TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Local charities who counted on Amazon’s donation program are reeling after learning the company is shutting it down.

Through AmazonSmile, the company donated a percentage of customers’ purchases to a charity of their choice.

This week charities learned the disappointing news.

“This is a really tough loss for us,” said Amy Jo Zeitz, a volunteer with Florida English Bulldog Rescue.

“A lot of bulldogs get in trouble because they’re not the healthiest breed,” said Zeitz, who is now fostering a 6-year-old bulldog named Bentley, after he came to the rescue with several health issues, and recently underwent surgery.

“It’s a total ear ablation surgery. That was upwards of $3,000. That’s just one bulldog. We can help 50 to 100 bulldogs a year,” said Zeitz.

FEBR relies solely on private donations.

“It’s really sad because that has helped us so much,” said Zeitz.

This week, Amazon sent the following email to customers:

“Dear customer,

In 2013, we launched AmazonSmile to make it easier for customers to support their favorite charities. However, after almost a decade, the program has not grown to create the impact that we had originally hoped. With so many eligible organizations—more than 1 million globally—our ability to have an impact was often spread too thin.

We are writing to let you know that we plan to wind down AmazonSmile by February 20, 2023. We will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where we’ve seen we can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities to using our logistics infrastructure and technology to assist broad communities impacted by natural disasters.

To help charities that have been a part of the AmazonSmile program with this transition, we will be providing them with a one-time donation equivalent to three months of what they earned in 2022 through the program, and they will also be able to accrue additional donations until the program officially closes in February. Once AmazonSmile closes, charities will still be able to seek support from Amazon customers by creating their own wish lists.”

In a statement sent to News Channel 8, Amazon said, “The company, which ranks among the top corporate philanthropists in the U.S., will continue to pursue and invest in other areas where it can make meaningful change—from building affordable housing to providing access to computer science education for students in underserved communities.”

“Since we started with AmazonSmile we had like $12,000 from them, and quarterly it’s like $1,000. This is a real unfortunate time because of the inflation. Our vet bills are going up, food is going up, and just your basic care.”

Local charities who counted on Amazon’s donations like FEBR will have to look for other funding and hopefully fill the gap.

“Hopefully maybe down the road, they’ll change their mind. I mean this is affecting so many rescues and groups,” said Zeitz.

According to Amazon, charities will still be able to receive physical donations if purchased by customers through the Amazon Wish List program.

For more information, read here.