Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)

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

What was the money or product used for?

Vaccines, spay/neuter surgical costs, parasite control, and special medications for a skin condition.

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

Wishbone Pet Rescue manages the Allegan County Animal Shelter at a very low cost of support from Allegan County. Wishbone provides the only medical program this shelter has ever had. Wishbone needs to raise over $150,000 in order to run the animal shelter as a no-kill facility.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Sausage was brought from a hoarding situation to the Allegan Animal Shelter that Wishbone manages. Dogs had been living outside in exercise pens. They had no shelter and were overcrowded in the enclosures. Sausage needed full vaccines and several rounds of parasite control. He also developed Demodex folliculorum mites around his eyes, which has required special medication. You can meet Sausage here.

Mutts and Runts Rescue: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money provided helped us purchase enrichment items such as fun feeders, puzzle games, treat balls, sensory toys and treats and bully sticks to use with those items. We also used the money to provide Adopt Me leashes, collars, and shirts for our foster dogs to wear while out in public.

We were able to provide six swim-therapy sessions and 12 daycare sessions for socialization, and purchase five social-media ads. We also purchased bandanas, bows, and bubbles for pictures.

Lastly, part of the money went to purchase a pet-management program to help us stay organized and up-to-date and make rescue easier.

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

The Adoption Options in Action Grant helped us utilize the tools we learned from the seminar. Using the props we bought, social-media tips we learned, and the ads purchased, we were able to gain more exposure for our rescue dogs. In turn, that helped us gain more followers and supporters for our rescue itself. Two of our disabled dogs had swim therapy sessions included with their adoptions as an incentive to encourage adoption. Daycare has helped socialize the dogs and helped us to learn more about their behaviors to include in their bios. The fun feeders, puzzle balls, treat holders, bully sticks, and treats helped us keep the dogs happy and mentally stimulated while in our care, thus reducing destructive behaviors. The Adopt Me collars, leashes, and shirts helped the dogs get noticed while out in public with their fosters. It has opened the conversation about rescue and what exactly a foster-based rescue is to people who never heard about it before. The biggest help has been having a pet-management software to help us streamline the rescue process. It keeps us organized and is a huge time saver. We wouldn’t have been able to do all of this without the grant and especially without the Adoption Options seminar.

How many pets did this grant help?

In total, the grant has helped us help 36 dogs. Since October we’ve had 14 adoptions and are currently caring for 11 dogs and 11 puppies.

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

The dogs most helped by the grant were two of our most difficult to receive interest. One was an adult large-breed dog, Jersey (first and second photos), and the other was our disabled and longest-stay (over a year) foster dog, Rocket (third and fourth photos). Jersey was found in 2018 as a stray in an orchard. She was quickly adopted then returned a year later. Upon being returned, she had no adoption interest and was suddenly without a foster home after a change in circumstance. Unable to find a foster home, we had to resort to boarding her. Jersey excelled the two months she was at boarding, yet we still had no one interested in her. With the grant’s help, we were able to promote her with the use of social-media ads. She was able to secure a first-time foster family who immediately adopted her after the first night!

Rocket was rescued, along with several other dogs, from an extreme hoarding case in Wasco, CA. He was only six weeks old when we found him. Rocket suffered severe nerve damage from a dog attacking him when he was only days old. He’s had physical therapy, specialist consultations, and surgeries to try and help him. It was concluded that he’d always be disabled, with extremely limited use of his back legs. After the grant, we put more effort into using pictures and posts to spread awareness about Rocket. We used the bandanas and bows for his pictures and videos. A rambunctious young pup, he was able to channel some of his energy into using the puzzle balls and fun feeders we bought with the grant. Knowing a disabled dog can be more expensive, we included four swim-therapy sessions with his adoption to encourage a successful transition. After a year and a half in our rescue, he too was adopted by his foster family.

Salty (fifth photo) was also helped greatly by the Adoption Options grant. He’s able to attend daycare regularly to help keep him socialized with new people and dogs. While in foster care, Salty has kept up with his training using the new treats and has stayed mentally stimulated using the puzzle toys and fun feeders. Salty has also become quite the model, wearing the bandanas and different props. He has gained a following of his own with the help of social-media ads. Unfortunately, we’ve still had little adoption interest in Salty. He’s another one of our adult large breed dogs and currently our longest foster dog. Meet Salty here.

Advocates for Abused and Abandoned Pets: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Thanks to this grant, we were able to purchase an agility kit consisting of several jumps, hurdles, weave poles, and hoops. Additionally, we obtained place tables with non-skid mats, a wobble board, and paw pods!

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

Using agility equipment in conjunction with our Canine Good Citizen (CGC) and Trick Dog training allows us to provide a variety of enrichment activities for our students. Agility is a perfect way to provide mental and physical exercise and stimulation, build confidence (especially for the fearful students), and to have fun. Each piece of equipment serves a different purpose, such as the pods, which teach balance and build core strength, or the place tables that allow an owner to provide distance training. When pets fall into rhythm with their handler during jumps, weave poles, cones, etc., seeing them work as a team is truly rewarding.

Pet owners are always telling us how well their pet sleeps after the training sessions, and we love it!

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 15 during the last training season.

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

Delilah (first photo) is a beautiful and loving but highly energetic girl. She learns commands very quickly, but her energy makes it hard for her to focus. Working on the agility equipment between CGC training allows her to expend energy while focusing on the task at hand. Redirecting her back to her CGC training then becomes easier. She will earn her CGC certificate soon.

Dash (second and third photos) is a fear dog — he’s afraid of pretty much everything. Pet owners often confuse fear with shyness and fail to realize that, without socializing or building confidence, their pet may remain fearful for a long time, if not forever. Teaching “up” is a great way to help fear dogs gain confidence. Jumping on a couch is different and until a pet owner sees that, they don’t understand. You can see in the pictures that Dash is still hesitant to get “up,” but once he did it and was praised for doing such an awesome job, he was quickly able to do it with more confidence.

Both Delilah and Dash have been adopted.

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

What was the money or product used for?

Our grant money was used to purchase a new Canon digital camera with accessories to enhance the photos and a case to carry and protect the camera. Additionally, we purchased an iPad with a case and a kiosk stand and software to process, enhance and edit the photos.

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

Our adoptable animals must compete in a digital and social-media world with other agencies and rescues, and often the picture is 1,000 words that we cannot always speak. This grant has allowed us the ability to not only get quality pictures but also get the “special picture” that sometimes coveys the real personality behind the our animals and allows our viewers to really see what we see in that pet. It also helps our followers to not only see that animal is in need of a home, but how that animal may fit into their home. With the digital software, we can not only edit and enhance the pictures, but we can use imagery and frames to make them more eye-catching and fun for our public.

The iPad gives us the opportunity to also capture the special moments in pictures and in video when we are at adoption events and share them on our social media. We can also showcase animals who are still at the shelter by using the iPad when it is in the kiosk.

We have just recently started in the last few weeks due to government end-of-year finance delays and shipping delays. It has been very hard to contain the excitement of our staff and volunteers, who have patiently be waiting for the issues to get resolved and the equipment to come in, but we hit the ground running with setting up, training and getting those perfect shots!

How many pets did this grant help?

To date, 25 adoptable animals over one and a half weeks, with so many more in the coming months.

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

Almost immediately after taking and posting picture of our dog Chloe (first photo), a small chocolate pit mix, we had a potential adopter contact us about her. They had seen her new picture on our website and instantly thought she was the right fit for their home. After speaking with our staff about her, they agreed to come in the next day and instantly fell in love. She was adopted less than 24 hours after that new picture.

We look forward to MANY more success stories and cannot thank the Petfinder Foundation enough for this opportunity for our homeless animals!

Patuxent Animal Welfare Society Inc. (PAWS): Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Our invoice for Oct. 1, 2019, through Jan. 15, 2020, from the Calvert Well Pet Clinic outlined the cats that were rescued, treated and placed up for adoption in our three locations of Petco. The grant of $1,000 was a major contribution to our overall cost of services of $7,856.11 for 125 rescued cats. A copy is available upon request.

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

PAWS was able to expand the outreach of its operation and take in more rescues. Not only were we able to handle the cats brought directly to us, we were able to help our local shelters by taking additional cats from them for adoption. The grant covered the cost of medical care, food, and foster supplies.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant was able to help at least 30+ cats.

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

Bowtie (first photo) was a very shy boy and needed a patient family. His new mom was ready for the loving.

Tasha (second photo), a beautiful, sweet, cuddly Russian blue, went with her new mom, who had no other pets.

Billy Ray (third photo) was a crazy happy kitten who couldn’t stop playing. The new parents were ecstatic to take him home.

Reese’s (fourth photo) new owner, Reese, fell in love with him. With them having the same name, it was meant to be.

Mouse (fifth photo) was just a lovable hunk of cat. He was no Mouse, for sure. His new parents loved that he was an armful.

Patches (sixth photo) was with us way too long. She was passed over for the more cuddly cats. But then her mom walked in and Patches just knew this was the person. It was such a great match.

Spice (seventh photo) was ready to head off with her new mom. Her eyes just said, “What are you waiting for? Let’s get outta here!”

JW (eighth photo) was just frozen in the corner until his angel appeared. He’s off to a quiet home with his mom, who has the patience of a saint and lots of love to give.

Humane Ohio: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to purchase 12 cat portals for metal cages and the template needed to install them.

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

We were able to install the cat portals in cages where adoptable cats stay while at the clinic. Our cages are quite small, as they are designed for spay/neuter patients who typically only stay with us for less than one day, but since we created an adoption program three years ago, we do have cats from our adoption program stay in the clinic at times, such as when they need medical care or when waiting to get into a foster home. The portals allow these cats to have access to two cages, decreasing stress by allowing them to eat, drink and sleep away from the litterbox area. As we know, cats are more susceptible to disease when stressed, so the installation of these portals has improved both the cats’ mental and physical health while they are with us.

How many pets did this grant help?

400 annually

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

Scarlett and her siblings came into our adoption program with significant health issues including ringworm, abscesses and emaciation. Due to these problems, they had to have frequent stays in the clinic environment for medical treatment. They were more comfortable together, so the portals allowed these three kittens the space to stay together while also staying clean and being comfortable.

Middleburg Humane Foundation: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Middleburg Humane Foundation (MHF) would like to thank the Petfinder Foundation for awarding us the Adoption Options in Action grant. We used the grant money to purchase supplies to assemble “sleepover kits”: collars and harnesses in multiple sizes, leashes, dog bowls, dog food, Nylabone chew toys, dog beds, and large crates. We also purchased heavy-duty duffel bags to put all these items in (except the crates) to keep everything in one place. We thought that people might be more inclined to foster our dogs if they do not have to purchase anything to facilitate the visit.

We used part of the money to purchase a pet stroller. The reasoning was two-fold: first, people fostering smaller dogs may borrow the stroller to increase the range of activities they could do with their foster. Second, the stroller allows MHF to bring smaller dogs to meet-and-greet events. We do not typically take smaller dogs to off-site events because the noise, activity level, etc., might prove overly stimulating to them. The option to put them in the stroller, somewhat removed from the stimuli, makes us more confident that an event would not overly stress out our dogs.

The last photo, of a dog named Gibbs, is one example of MHF using the stroller to promote adoptions. We brought Gibbs to a meet-and-greet event at a brewery and kept him in the stroller until he acclimated to the venue and people. By the end of the event, he was passed from person to person and having a great time. Shortly after the event, Gibbs was taken into foster care.

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

We had wanted to start a “Doggie Pajama Party” and short-term foster program to complement our long-term foster program, but did not know where to start. The Adoptions Options conference gave our Adoptions Counselor ideas not only about how we can develop these two programs, but also how we can utilize them to benefit our animals who have been harder to place.

The receipt of the Petfinder Foundation Adoption Options in Action grant money coincided with the Maddie’s Fund Foster Express Challenge. We were initially skeptical about whether we could get 25 of our animals into short-term foster care, but we felt we had a better chance of success if we could offer potential fosters a sleepover kit. We also devised a media strategy to build enthusiasm about our new Doggie Pajama Party and tie it in to our participation in the Foster Express Challenge. The sixth photo shows two of these Facebook posts.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant directly helped the five dogs who had sleepovers since we received the supplies for the sleepover kits in mid-November. Our grant request noted that six of our dogs have been with us for longer than three months. Three of the six were adopted before we purchased our sleepover kits, but two of the remaining three (Elle and Jax) have gone on doggie sleepovers. Elle’s “sleepover buddy” has indicated that she is considering adopting Elle, and Jax’s foster asked to foster him for an extended period with the intent to adopt. Further, this grant was the impetus to us commencing our sleepover and short-term foster programs and participating in the Foster Express Challenge over the holidays. The grant therefore indirectly benefited the animals who went into short-term foster between November 22 and January 10. We will continue to operate these programs and countless more animals will also benefit from the grant.

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

Dan (first four photos) is one of 59 dogs who were removed from a home in Montgomery County, Maryland, as part of an investigation that resulted in an animal-cruelty case being brought forward. Once the case concluded, the shelter in Montgomery County was able to adopt out or transfer the seized dogs, and MHF took in Dan and four other dogs. Dan has a partially formed paw (a congenital defect) that makes it difficult for him to walk.

Our entire board was excited about MHF’s receipt of the Petfinder Foundation grant, and the Chairman of the Board asked to take Dan for a sleepover to help kick off the sleepover program. Our Chairman took an immediate liking to Dan and wanted to do something to help him with his paw. He made an appointment for Dan’s hips to be x-rayed and scheduled him to be evaluated for a prosthetic. Shortly after his evaluation, Dan went into short-term foster for the holidays.

We received two calls on Jan. 2: First, Dan’s foster family asked if they could extend their foster period. Second, Dan’s prosthetic foot was ready for him to try out. The fosters insisted on accompanying MHF staff to Dan’s fitting (which we interpret as possible intention to adopt). Dan took to his new foot almost immediately and at one point started to run, causing everyone to run after him. We have attached a couple before and after pictures of Dan, and have a video of him testing out his new leg we can send via email.

Dan getting a new foot and possibly a new home is a wonderful way for Dan, and MHF, to start the new year. We are grateful for the Petfinder Foundation Adoption Options in Action grant as it was the start of this story that ends in “happily ever after,” and will allow us to provide many more “happily ever afters” this year. Thank you.

Appalachian Peace Paws Rescue: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

This grant was used to order supplies for our rescue animals so that we could provide a consistent diet during their stay with us.

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

We were able to order 21 16-lb. bags of Purina One kitten food, five boxes of Purina Pro Plan Calming Care, and 10 boxes of Purina Fortiflora. Having the kittens on the same diet consistently and on Fortiflora helped ease gastrointestinal issues and help them get ready for adoption faster. The Calming Care helped anxious shelter dogs settle into their foster homes and get adopted.

How many pets did this grant help?

120

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

Kali is a 5-year-old German shepherd who was surrendered to our rescue with separation anxiety. We started her on the Calming Care, and after a few weeks her foster really started to notice a difference in her behavior. She was adopted a few weeks after that and her adopter is continuing the Calming Care supplement.

Last Day Dog Rescue, Inc.: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Last Day Dog Rescue was able to purchase 275 microchips, at a cost of $7.27 each, with this $1,000 grant from the Petfinder Foundation and with matching funds from donations from individuals.

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

Thank you for this grant! Last Day Dog Rescue microchips every dog and cat that comes into our rescue. Microchips costs $7.27 each, and with a $1,000 grant from the Petfinder Foundation and matching funds from donations from individuals, Last Day Dog Rescue can microchip 275 dogs and cats. Microchipping each animal helps to make sure each dog and cat will be returned to its owner if lost. Without microchipping, lost animals may end up in a shelter, which may be already overcrowded.

How many pets did this grant help?

275 dogs and cats are being microchipped

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

Tonka was returned recently, as the adoptive family now has two small children and Tonka was not dealing well at the home. Tonka was microchipped by our volunteers upon return to the rescue. This is important in case Tonka gets out of the yard at his foster family’s house. Tonka is looking for his new fur-ever home! Meet Tonka here.

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!