PLATINUM2024

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)

Investigating pet shops and puppy mills since 1992.

aka CAPS   |   Thousand Oaks, CA   |  http://www.caps-web.org
GuideStar Charity Check

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)

EIN: 58-2040413


Mission

Founded in 1992, the Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS) is the only national nonprofit dedicated exclusively to protecting companion animals from cruelty in pet shops and puppy/kitten mills. CAPS addresses animal suffering through investigations, outreach, legislation, legal advocacy, consumer assistance, rescue, and shelter reform.

Notes from the nonprofit

CAPS is a very small nonprofit organization with a large reach - both geographically and in terms of the work that our small team is able to do.

Ruling year info

1993

Founder & President

Ms. Deborah A Howard

Main address

1336 N. Moorpark Rd. #245

Thousand Oaks, CA 91360 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

58-2040413

Subject area info

Animal welfare

Human-animal interactions

Consumer protection

Population served info

Adults

Families

Activists

NTEE code info

Animal Protection and Welfare (includes Humane Societies and SPCAs) (D20)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Two million puppies and kittens are born in animal mills every year. These animals are often unhealthy, and their parents suffer in overcrowded, unsanitary cages. Typically, the young animals produced at mills are sold to unsuspecting customers at pet shops or in online marketplaces. The goal of CAPS is to end this inhumane practice. We use a coordinated strategy of nationwide programs in this effort.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Investigations

CAPS conducts hundreds of undercover investigations each year. Our targets include not only pet shops but also the huge network of USDA-licensed breeders and brokers who supply pet shops with animals. Undercover CAPS investigators have been inside more than 1,000 puppy-and-kitten mills. Videos and reports from our investigations have helped expose the disturbing realities of commercial dog and cat breeding. These investigations also provide important evidence for our ongoing legal, legislative, and outreach efforts.

See samples of CAPS undercover investigations online at https://www.caps-web.org/investigation-reports/.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families
Activists

A big part of the CAPS mission is to educate the public about pet shops and their connection to animal mills. We use many methods of outreach:

Social media
News stories
Television and radio public service announcements
Protests and outreach events
Blogs, action alerts, and newsletters
A pet shop complaint form and database for the public

Watch our Public service announcements, Videos, Investigation Videos and Reports on our website and social media channels.

Population(s) Served
Activists
Adults
Families

As evidence of abuse and neglect, CAPS periodically rescues animals during our undercover investigations. We provide these animals with veterinary care and partner with shelters, rescue organizations, and animal lovers to place them into foster care or permanent homes.

Read some of our rescue stories on our website: https://www.caps-web.org/category/caps-general/rescues/

Population(s) Served

CAPS regularly assists in the creation of legislation to restrict the retail sale of certain animals. These laws put financial pressure on puppy mills by eliminating their retail markets. More than 340 pet shop ordinances and state laws have been passed in the United States and Canada since the 2010 passage of a CAPS-generated ordinance in West Hollywood, California. Our longtime work in California was also critical to the passage of a 2018 law banning the retail sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in the entire state. Maryland has since passed a similar law, and other states now have comparable legislation pending.

Learn more about laws we’ve helped enact on our website: https://www.caps-web.org/category/legislation/.

Population(s) Served

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) licenses and inspects our country’s 3,000 commercial dog and cat breeding facilities. The USDA is supposed to protect the animals living there by enforcing the Animal Welfare Act. CAPS has been investigating the USDA since 1995, and our evidence has proven, however, that the federal agency has minimal concern for dogs and cats suffering in mills—or for puppies and kittens transported to pet shops or sold online. CAPS continues to put pressure on the USDA, and we are advocating for congressional oversight hearings into the USDA’s wrongdoings.

Read the OIG Report and USDA-Related Articles on our website.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Families
Activists
Families
Adults
Activists
Adults
Families
Activists
Adults
Families

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Number of animals rescued

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Rescues and Rehabilitation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

This metric tracks Dogs Saved from Kern County Animal Services as a result of CAPS' outreach efforts.

Number of puppy-selling pet stores

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Investigations

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Decreasing

Context Notes

CAPS works to stop pet stores from selling puppies who come from puppy mills. We measure our progress by the reduction in the number of pet stores that sell puppies.

Number of Pet Shops Investigated

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Investigations

Type of Metric

Outcome - describing the effects on people or issues

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CAPS investigates pet shops to pass legislation and to determine compliance with laws re: sharing breeder information, selling 'rescue' puppies, disclosing financing options, etc.

Number of Puppy Mills Investigated

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Investigations

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CAPS investigates puppy mills that sell to pet shops that we've investigated for violations of federal and state laws.

Number of TV and Radio Stations running PSAs

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Education & Outreach

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CAPS creates English and Spanish public service announcements (PSAs) to inform people about spay&neutering their pets, adopting rather than buying puppy mill puppies, etc.

Number of TV and Radio Stations Targeted for PSA Placements

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Education & Outreach

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CAPS seeks to get our message into particular markets each year, depending on funding to promote placements.

Number of State Laws (retail pet shop bans) Passed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Legislation and Legal

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CAPS' inspections of pet shops and the mills that sell to them provide evidence that helps to pass retail ban laws. We were behind the CA amendment, 2021:Illinois, 2022: New York, 2023: Oregon laws.

Number of Municipal Ordinances (retail pet shop bans) Passed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Legislation and Legal

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CAPS is working to prohibit the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits at pet shops via municipal ordinances.

Number of Video Exposes and Documentaries Created

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Education & Outreach

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Watch CAPS' videos online: https://www.youtube.com/user/all4caps https://vimeo.com/capsweb

Number of Breeder Investigation Videos

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Investigations

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

CAPS investigates breeders (puppy mills) to document violations of state and federal laws. Videos are useful when CAPS works on legislation to ban retail sales of dogs, cats, and rabbits.

Number of Pet Shop Investigation Videos Created

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Investigations

Type of Metric

Context - describing the issue we work on

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Pet shop investigations are filmed for use in exposes and to gather evidence of violations to be used when working with legislators on ordinances and laws.

Number of Kern County Animal Services Videos

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Rescues and Rehabilitation

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

CAPS produces videos of at-risk dogs at KCAS to use on social media to promote adoption.

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Since 1992, the Companion Animal Protection Society's primary goal has been to protect companion animals by investigating their abuse and suffering in pet shops and puppy mills. CAPS has a highly integrated and effective program of action called the Pet Shop Campaign. The components include: pet shop investigations, consumer complaints and assistance, puppy and kitten mill investigations, shelter statistics, pet shop protests, humane store conversions (from pet shops selling commercially bred animals to adoption centers offering shelter/rescue animals), ordinances, and consumer education/outreach through media and public service advertising. The goals are to: eliminate the abuse and exploitation of companion animals in pet shops and puppy and kitten mills, reduce the emotional distress and financial costs to defrauded consumers, convert pet shops to humane adoption centers that provide animals from local rescues and shelters, and decrease the number of animals being euthanized in shelters each year.

Pet shop ordinances help to advance CAPS' mission by addressing inhumane breeding and sales practices. In turn, some pet shops transition to offering shelter and rescue animals for adoption; other retail adoption centers open to replace pet shops that close. Peaceful protests raise community, consumer, and media awareness of industry cruelty and can change consumer behavior as well as shop policies regarding sources of animals. Investigations allow CAPS to document conditions and violations of local, state and federal laws. Media coverage of CAPS' efforts highlights the cruelty behind the cute puppies and kittens in pet shops and encourages people to adopt from shelters and rescues rather than buy from pet shops.

CAPS is uniquely qualified to do this work via decades of experience focusing exclusively on all aspects of the pet shop and puppy/kitten mill industry. We are the investigative experts for this cruel industry. CAPS has strong relationships with key players in all levels of government, other nonprofits, and the media. CAPS is the only national organization that investigates inside USDA-licensed dog and cat breeding facilities (more than 1,000 to date). CAPS sends an undercover investigator to the breeders and brokers who provide puppies and kittens to the pet shops we are targeting and investigating. The investigator shoots undercover video footage and photographs and writes in-depth reports that document Animal Welfare Act (AWA) violations. If the facility has serious violations, we turn over our evidence to USDA and appropriate state agencies. CAPS uses USDA inspection reports and photographs as additional evidence. Our investigative expertise supports all of the other components of our work. CAPS uses investigative evidence to produce PSAs, investigative exposes, educational literature, and media stories to inform our audience about the connection between pet shop animals and the facilities where the animals are bred.

Since the CAPS-generated ordinance passed in West Hollywood, seven state retail ban laws (impacting dogs, cats, and rabbits) and more than 500 ordinances have passed in the U.S. and Canada. The number of USDA-licensed brokers and breeders has decreased from 5,000 to less than 3,000. This illustrates the domino-effect of our work. However, CAPS' goals can be limited by the impulses, ignorance and apathy of consumers who want to acquire a puppy or kitten. These consumers are not inclined to go to a shelter or rescue but instead buy from a pet shop or online seller. Undercover investigations are necessary to get the information required to enforce and create ordinances, but they are not easy to accomplish, and they are expensive. CAPS has investigated hundreds of pet shops across the country, as well as more than 1000 puppy & kitten mills, most of them USDA-licensed. CAPS' undercover investigations reveal that the USDA is extremely negligent in its enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) as it applies to commercial dog/cat breeders and brokers. It is difficult to simultaneously try to work with this federal agency and hold it accountable for enforcing federal law to protect animals. Those who profit from pet shops and puppy/kitten mills don't want to see the laws affecting their businesses change, and they usually fight back. Fortunately, CAPS' legal pleadings have enabled municipalities with pet shop ordinances to successfully defend lawsuits by pet shops and trade industry associations. Despite many challenges, CAPS has made great strides against pet shops and the puppy/kitten mill industry. In addition, CAPS' Spanish language PSA on the importance of spaying & neutering pets is on 128 radio and television stations across the country. Also, CAPS' efforts have saved more than 200 at-risk dogs in 2 years from Kern County Animal Services in Bakersfield, CA.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, CAPS' online complaint forms for pet shops, rescues, and shelters

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We share the feedback we received with the people we serve, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people we serve tell us they find data collection burdensome, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time

Financials

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)
Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
NET GAIN/LOSS:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

0.53

Average of 7.84 over 10 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

8.1

Average of 7 over 10 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

13%

Average of 8% over 10 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)

Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)

Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)

Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

Created in partnership with

Business model indicators

Profitability info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation -$1,145 $32,384 $226,131 $48,480 $1,159
As % of expenses -0.3% 10.1% 60.2% 11.8% 0.3%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation -$11,017 $21,893 $216,845 $40,019 -$8,016
As % of expenses -3.3% 6.6% 56.3% 9.5% -1.7%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $316,989 $357,477 $599,033 $460,405 $466,478
Total revenue, % change over prior year -10.1% 12.8% 67.6% -23.1% 1.3%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 3.3% 3.8% 2.0% 2.7% 0.0%
Investment income 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 1.5% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 96.7% 96.2% 80.7% 96.1% 100.0%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.0% 17.3% -0.3% 0.0%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $328,134 $322,093 $375,902 $411,925 $452,548
Total expenses, % change over prior year 16.6% -1.8% 16.7% 9.6% 9.9%
Personnel 13.0% 11.8% 14.0% 15.0% 18.5%
Professional fees 17.8% 13.8% 17.8% 26.2% 21.6%
Occupancy 4.7% 4.9% 15.7% 1.1% 6.7%
Interest 6.8% 7.0% 0.0% 4.4% 4.3%
Pass-through 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0% 0.0%
All other expenses 57.7% 62.6% 52.4% 53.3% 48.9%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $338,006 $332,584 $385,188 $420,386 $461,723
One month of savings $27,345 $26,841 $31,325 $34,327 $37,712
Debt principal payment $7,457 $7,810 $0 $21,298 $6,204
Fixed asset additions $0 $0 $274,228 $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $372,808 $367,235 $690,741 $476,011 $505,639

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Months of cash 5.9 7.1 9.5 8.8 8.1
Months of cash and investments 5.9 7.1 9.5 8.8 8.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 5.1 6.1 7.8 8.1 7.2
Balance sheet composition info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Cash $161,322 $190,978 $296,364 $302,891 $305,226
Investments $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0 $0 $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $593,095 $593,095 $813,554 $790,947 $790,947
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 10.6% 12.4% 3.5% 1.6% 2.7%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 63.9% 61.4% 54.8% 51.3% 52.7%
Unrestricted net assets $250,574 $272,467 $489,312 $529,331 $521,315
Temporarily restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets $0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $3,000 $0 $0 $0
Total net assets $250,574 $275,467 $489,312 $529,331 $521,315

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Material data errors No No No No No

Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Documents
Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization

Founder & President

Ms. Deborah A Howard

As president of CAPS, Ms. Howard is responsible for overall management, program planning, and reporting. Ms. Howard has extensive experience in the communications field. She ran an Atlanta-based public relations agency, Howard Communications. She was formerly with Porter/Novelli — the lead PR agency with the Omnicom Group — in San Francisco. Ms. Howard worked with “Dateline” for over a year to prepare an expose of the multimillion dollar pet shop and puppy mill trade. “A Dog’s Life,” which was over an hour in length, aired in two-parts in the spring of 2000. Viewers were shocked at the inhumane conditions at puppy mills that provide dogs to pet shops and appalled at USDA’s Deputy Administrator of APHIS Ron DeHaven’s smug indifference to the horrid conditions at two USDA licensed facilities. They sent more than 9,000 letters and emails to NBC, the second largest response to any “Dateline” program in its history. “A Dog’s Life” won a Genesis award in 2001. Ms. Howard has also generated stories on the pet shop/puppy mill issue with Reader’s Digest, Life, People, Detroit Free Press, The Philadelphia Inquirer, CNN “20/20”, “Hard Copy,” “Marketplace” (CBC) and with numerous television news programs and newspapers around the country. As a public relations professional, Ms. Howard handled a number of national accounts. The newspaper placements for her PR clients included the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Detroit Free Press, The Miami Herald, The Baltimore Sun, and Dallas Morning News. Ms. Howard’s numerous magazine placements included U.S. News and World Report, Consumers Digest, Rolling Stone, Elle, Vogue, GQ, Cosmopolitan, Better Homes & Gardens, Working Woman, and Entrepreneurial Woman. Ms. Howard has also worked as a radio news reporter and anchorwoman. After graduating from New College of Florida with a BA in Political Science, Ms. Howard earned a law degree from Santa Clara University.

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)

Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Compensation
Other
Related
Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization

There are no highest paid employees recorded for this organization.

Companion Animal Protection Society (CAPS)

Board of directors
as of 04/24/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Ms. Deborah Howard

Deborah A Howard

Ida McCarthy

Stephanie McMorrow

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 4/16/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/16/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.