Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)

Central Missouri Humane Society: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The funds from this grant were used to purchase supplies to support dog playgroups at our shelter. The supplies we purchased were suggested by the professionals at Dogs Playing for Life and included martingale collars, long leashes, air horns, and walkie talkies. We also purchased Gentle Leader halters and basket muzzles for our high-energy dogs who can easily become overstimulated. To avoid resource-guarding, we provided our playgroups with kiddie pools instead of traditional water buckets. We provided each staff member involved in playgroups with a walkie talkie to keep our staff safe and make it easy to call for additional help in the case of an emergency.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant made such a huge difference for the pets in our care! With limited resources, we try our best to provide our animals with enrichment opportunities to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated. After attending the conference, our staff was excited for the opportunity to implement playgroups at our shelter. We had tried playgroups at our shelter before but never with more than three or four dogs at a time. The benefits of playgroups were very apparent, especially after learning more about Dogs Playing for Life at the conference. Since implementing playgroups, we have seen a huge change in our dogs! Stress in the kennels has definitely decreased and the dogs are visibly more relaxed.

Working in a shelter environment, it’s easy to have our guards up and be prepared for the worst to happen. I think that’s why we had been a little apprehensive implementing large playgroups at our shelter before. We always imagined the possibility of a large dogfight breaking out. The people at Dogs Playing for Life made a point to tell us that it’s unlikely for animals of the same species to want to hurt each other. Dogs are social beings and communicate differently than we do and it’s our job to learn how they communicate and offer them freedom and support while in playgroups.

Every dog we have introduced to playgroups has done amazing! Each dog has their own particular play style and we have learned which dogs will do well with others. This program has worked wonders for many of our dogs who were considered “dog reactive” initially. Playgroups allow us to do a much more accurate assessment of their personality and gauge whether they would do well in a home with other dogs. The public also loves watching dogs interact in playgroups and doing so helps them consider dogs they may not have previously considered. We have seen the length of stay decreased for some of our dogs and placed others who had been considered long-term residents.

How many pets did this grant help?

35

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Bailey (first photo) was a 4-month-old German shepherd dog who’d come into our care months earlier. Some kind people had saved her from a bad situation and she was severely under-socialized. For the first couple of weeks in our care, she wouldn’t let any of our staff members even touch her. We sent her to an experienced foster home, but she wouldn’t warm up to strangers coming into the house. Eventually, she came back to the shelter, where we worked with her each day to ease her stranger-danger and make her feel safe with new people.

She was one of the first dogs introduced to playgroups at our shelter and we saw a change in her immediately! She loved being around the other dogs and easily read their body language. She was tolerant and understanding and quickly became a playgroup rockstar. She also started warming up to strangers very easily when in a playgroup setting and back in her kennel. She was the first one to join the playgroup and the last one back to her kennel at the end of the day. For the first time, we saw her hold her ears up in excitement.

After 112 days in our care, Bailey was adopted just a week after first participating in playgroups. The change in her, as with many of our other animals, has been astounding. We are incredibly grateful to have received this grant and look forward to witnessing more success stories each week!

Life Is Labs Rescue, Inc.: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Vaccines for puppies and to represent less adoptable dogs at events with photo stands.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It allowed us to fully vaccinate litters of puppies to prepare them for adoption. It also allowed us to present less-adoptable dogs not suitable for adoption events at those events.

How many pets did this grant help?

50

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

We rescued a litter of 13 puppies from a shelter in Alabama. Two days later, while in quarantine, one of them broke with parvo; we caught it immediately thanks to our HomeAgain TempScan chips that allow us to easily scan to take temperatures. We rushed that puppy to the vet, where he won a very hard-fought 10-day battle with parvo that cost $10,000 between our general practice vet and the University of Georgia, where he remained in the ICU for over a week. We feel strongly that being able to vaccinate the litter immediately gave them some initial immunity from the parvo — as we learned in Adoption Options — because none of the remaining 12 broke with it.

Darlington County Humane Society: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The grant was used to purchase a camera to photograph our pets in need.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The camera was a godsend for us. We started to use the camera during the first week of September and the impact was immediate. Our rescue partners started to notice better-quality photos and in greater quantity, and our adopters too were responding more and asking about pets under our care. More pets were simply going home! For the months of September and October, we took in 441 pets (cats and dogs), and 353 were either adopted or pulled by preapproved rescue partners. We still have much work to do as the intake quantity versus the safe quantity are not where we want them to be, but it is a work in progress and a job we work on daily. Thank you for helping us to get closer to our goal of being a no-kill shelter.

How many pets did this grant help?

353

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Milo is my favorite adoption story. He arrived very shy and with another dog who was quickly pulled by a rescue, as she was on the verge of birthing. Milo was at a real loss being left behind. He had arrived on July 19 and no one had been able to snap pictures and or write a bio on him. He was sitting unnoticed and the clock was ticking. I met him on Sept. 9. Milo turned out to be THE best photo subject. He was happy and animated and very child-friendly! He was a different pet than the one with scant info online. Shortly after I updated his info online, we heard from one of our rescue groups, Home at Last Rescue in Pennsylvania. They wanted Milo! Milo left on transport several weeks ago (making the 10-hour journey up I-95 from South Carolina to Pennsylvania) and recently I learned the super news that his foster mom adopted him. It was official: He now had a new home!

This is the bio I wrote for him: “Update, Sept. 9: What a class act! Milo is such a lovely dog! Arriving with his best friend Lola (who has since birthed a litter of pups), Milo was a bit at a loss when she went into foster care. To see him today is honestly just pure joy! He has done such a wonderful job of settling in and making new friends. Nicely sharing his space with a teen and a younger, very bouncy dog, Milo takes everything in great stride and welcomes all into his world with a wide grin and softly wagging tail. Very polite and super easy to walk/manage, he’s a great choice for folks of all ages and brings a nice, calming energy to the group. Although he’s just about 1 year old, he has a more mature outlook on life, but will rev up his game when prompted to! While Milo was out in the exercise pen, for example, silly teen pup Casper grabbed the end of his leash and walked him around, and then started a fun-spirited game of tug-of-war. Milo is the perfect size pet: not too big, not too small. He would tell you, he’s ideal for any lap! Milo is a real keeper and ready to move on into his new pet role!”

Breckinridge County Animal Shelter: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Restore and renovate trailer donated to animal shelter for community cat room.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It helped by allowing us to get the chairs, cat towers, beds, toys, bowls, and litter pans for inside the cat room. It also helped with supplies for the cats and storage for the supplies.

How many pets did this grant help?

10 cats are in the cat room now and many more are to come.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

We have had four kittens since they were 8 weeks old and they are still with us three months later. They were getting bored in cages in the shelter and one had stopped eating. Once the cat trailer was done, we moved them all, with some others their age, out to the cat room. They have come back to life and really started to show their personalities. They all love the freedom they have to play and roam around freely. After only being out in the cat room for three days, one of the four kittens was adopted.

Project Precious Paws/Montgomery City Animal Shelter: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We bought agility equipment including weave poles, a tire jump, a tunnel, a see-saw base and other supplies.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We are able to use the equipment to enrich the daily lives of the dogs in our care as well as using it in teaching basic obedience commands. Any training makes them more adoptable.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far we have used it with the three dogs we have had in our care since we set up the equipment.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Maddie came to us as a puppy. She was returned after her first adoption and was out of control and full of energy. We started working with her on the agility equipment and on obedience commands and she was able to use up a lot of her energy and be able to focus on training. She was doing well and had the “sit” command down and was adopted in a week. The photos are of her on her first day of training.

Breckinridge County Animal Shelter: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Dog/puppy play yard project

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The play yard project has really given our dogs a safe, comfortable and enriching place to play. We noticed that the dogs are showing their true colors once in the play yard. Playgroups have also become a daily enrichment since the play yard project was completed. Our volunteers are thrilled to have a place to interact with the dogs. The public/community has really embraced our play yard as well. They have donated new toys, treats and a kiddie pool just for the play yard. They love our updates on social media and want to give back to our dogs in need. The dogs in our care are truly benefiting in many ways, all thanks to the play yard.

How many pets did this grant help?

100, and more to come!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Burt and Ernie were two German shepherd brothers who came into the shelter as owner-surrenders. Their owner was diagnosed with an illness and could not care for them any longer. We knew adopting out two bonded adult brothers would not be easy. After posting a picture of the brothers in the play yard, we had a wonderful family come by the shelter to meet them. We walked the family into the play yard to introduce everyone. They soon fell in love with Burt and Ernie! Burt was showing off all his tricks and spunky characteristics on the puppy play ramps. Ernie was giving kisses to their youngest granddaughter. The family got to see Burt and Ernie’s real personalities in the play yard, which made them adopt. Everyone got a happy ending!

Miss Maggie May's Rescue: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

We used the money to offset the cost of much-needed training for dogs who have been in rescue for a while and one who was very scared of human interaction. Our goal was to help eight dogs. Four of the dogs did not make it to training: Two got adopted and are doing great in their homes, one passed away from kidney failure, and the other one has been responding well to the training his foster is providing.

The stories of the other four are below.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It helped reset a few of the dogs so that we can start getting them to adoption events, building up their confidence and helping our fosters to better understand them and continue helping these dogs to be all they can be.

How many pets did this grant help?

4

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Sabrina (first and second photos) was born in rescue over three years ago. She was adopted at 4 months of age and came back to us a month later due to a family emergency. She was adopted out again a few weeks later, and again returned to us due to a changed work schedule. Sabrina was going to adoptions at our local Petsmart twice a month. In the last year, she started to get a little reactive towards other dogs, and not too happy when people would approach, so she started to stay home. We had her evaluated and it was found that she was attached to her foster family and was being protective. Our trainer started working with her by taking her out and about and letting her know the world is still okay. Sabrina will be attending an adoption event this month, but another foster will be handling her. The second pic is a goofy photo of Sabrina not wanting to get out of the trainer’s car when she was brought back home, the first is Sabrina at a cafe. Meet Sabrina here.

Zelda (third photo) came to us very pregnant, and very scared. She couldn’t walk, she was so pregnant. Her foster was only able to handle her and pick her up because she couldn’t run away. Zelda gave birth four days after she arrived. Her foster continued to try to handle her, but as the pups grew, Zelda kept finding places to hide. You could see that she wanted human interaction but was scared of it — she wouldn’t even eat in front of people. Zelda’s foster was eventually able to pet her and give her ear scratches, but very slowly. Zelda started to turn around a little bit after a year in rescue, but only with her foster mom. She was okay with the large resident dog, but not the other dogs or the other adults in the home.

We had to get her over that final bump in her road, so we had her evaluated and it was determined that she would benefit from a board-and-train situation in our trainer’s home. She has made great progress and soon will be returning to her foster home. She still needs a little more work, but our trainer will give her foster the tips and guidance to continue working with Zelda and building up her confidence.

Two other dogs also went into board-and-train situations. Beau needed a little bit more manner training than we could provide and went into a day camp/boarding situation. He is now attending adoption events. The fourth photo shows him from our Adopt Love Adopt Local event here in Tucson. Meet Beau here.

Fifi has been in rescue for more than two years and started getting too protective of her foster mom with other dogs while out in public. She will be attending adoption events again starting this month. Meet Fifi here.

Stephens County Humane Society: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Stephens County Humane Society purchased new Petco folding crates with our grant money. Many of our existing crates were bent, starting to show signs of rust, had broken or missing bottoms and were rapidly becoming unusable. We were definitely in need of new crates, and were delighted when our grant request was approved.

Because of a company-wide sale going on at Petco at the time of purchase, we were able to order two more crates than originally planned, for a total of seven medium, seven large and five extra-large Petco premium, two-door crates!

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The crates we were able to purchase with this grant have helped in so many ways! First and foremost, we have been able to supply new crates to our families taking dogs home as part of our foster-to-adopt (sleepover) program. The crates are returned to us at the time of adoption or when the dog is returned because the family decided not to adopt. Previously, all we had to offer were old crates with missing or broken trays, bent doors, etc. Offering new crates provides better security for the dog, looks much better and is representative of the image Stephens County Humane Society wants to portray.

A second way in which we have been helped has been in our foster program. As of this writing, we have four crates out with puppies in temporary foster programs. It is much safer for young, vulnerable puppies to be in foster homes until after their second booster shot and for us to be able to send a large crate so the puppies have plenty of room to play, sleep and begin puppy-pad training is key to the success of our puppy foster program.

A third use for these crates has been at on-site adoptions. These crates are so lovely, it gives our on-site adoptions the professional appearance we are seeking to assure our potential adopters that we are a legitimate animal-welfare rescue and shelter. And having the additional crates means our on-sites can include more dogs and/or we can have more than one on-site scheduled at a time.

Lastly, we use one of the new crates in our office for dogs who need a little extra TLC. We had a young pup who came to us with a fractured rear leg. He was our office companion for several weeks, kenneled in one of our new Petco crates. In another situation, we had an adult male who developed a severe infection following neuter surgery. He also spent several days in the office, where we could keep him calm and give him the care he needed while he healed. (This boy – Rigsby – is in one of the included pictures.) Yet one more example is Bettie Jo. This young pup (included in the pictures submitted with this report) was adopted and returned after the family realized they could not give her the care she needed. She came back severely malnourished, with a dull, brittle coat. Bettie Jo was kenneled in the office, where we could give her personal care, monitor her food intake, keep her warm and get her back on the road to health. These are just a few examples of this valuable purpose for our new crates. (See the story below about Jack for yet another example.)

How many pets did this grant help?

Because we used the grant for crates that have multiple and repeated uses, determining a specific number of pets helped is difficult. A conservative estimate of animals helped is 50-75 from the date we received the grant up to the date of this report. And, of course, as outlined above, the crates continue to help us in a myriad of ways.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

We recently had a little Jack Russell terrier at the shelter named Jack. He came to us as an owner-surrender, covered in fleas and in questionable mental health. It was obvious that Jack had been treated with a heavy hand because of his tendency to cower and be just a little hand-shy.

For three mornings in a row, while housed in our kennels, he was nervous and snappy and very difficult for staff and volunteers to deal with. So we set him up in the office, in one of our new Petco crates, with a blanket and a pet bed and let him live in the office, closing the crate at night.

What a difference! Throughout the day, he would routinely “put himself to bed” in the crate and take a nap, and we could see his confidence rising, knowing he had his own safe “den” to run to. He became more open and trusting and the snappiness completely disappeared.

Jack was adopted into a great, dog-experienced home the day after his neuter surgery. As a result of his time as our office dog, we were able to share a lot of information about him that will, hopefully, ensure his success with his new family. And we emphasized the need for Jack to have a crate where he could feel secure and have a safe place of his own to go.

Stanly County Animal Control: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

To purchase 100 microchips from the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Inc.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

These will give the adopted animals a greater chance of being returned to their owners if they go missing.

How many pets did this grant help?

100 total

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Jaeger came to the shelter on Nov. 30, 2018, and was with us for two months. On Jan. 28, 2019, he was adopted to a loving family. Thanks to the Adoptions Options in Action grant, we were able to provide him with a free microchip that was registered to his new adopted family as well as to our shelter.

Friends with Four Paws: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The funds allowed us to purchase a high-quality camera with multiple lenses and equipment for a portable photography studio with lights and a backdrop.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant helps our organization put our adoptable pets out on our Petfinder website in the best possible way and give them the extra little bit to look their best.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far, this grant has helped at least 80 dogs find their home!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

This grant has specifically helped a little guy by the name of Dan to quickly find his home! With our new equipment, we were able to get good-quality photos of him and upload them to Petfinder, and within just a few hours the application came in that would put Dan and his new family together.