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SPCA Florida: KONG Toys Grant Report

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

We received a donation of KONG toys that have been used to entertain dogs in our care while they wait for homes.

Among the KONG toys were a number that were grey, with thicker walls than the regular ones. Our shelter crew found them extremely durable, which is fantastic for heavy chewers and in a shelter environment. The downside is that the reinforced wall allows less space for filling, so the toy doesn't keep dogs occupied for as long. They feel $15-20 would be a fair retail price since they do not get destroyed, even by eager and large dogs in a shelter environment.

The KONG toys came at just the right time and made a huge difference for both the dog kennel staff and the dogs. We started the year with an outbreak of pneumonia in the dog kennels, so we had to close them for visitors and adoptions while treating all the dogs, keeping them in quarantine, and doing a deep cleaning to get rid of the infection. This meant several weeks of bored, high-energy dogs who could only have toys and items that withstand regular disinfection. Right after this was over and we prepared to open came the COVID-19 crisis and we had to close the entire facility to the public. Saying that the KONGs were life-saving may be an exaggeration, but they were certainly sanity-saving.

For the next question, I don't have the correct answer since the KONGS are still in use and will be for a long time. They're cleaned and used over and over again. :-)

How many pets did this grant help?


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

Charley (first three photos) spent a total of 949 days in shelters, 279 of these with SPCA Florida. He was with us through both the pneumonia outbreak and COVID-19 closing. Before all that happened, he was quite popular on doggie dates and sleepovers, but never found his Happily Forever After. Just like all dogs, Charley loves getting a filled Kong to entertain him.

Charley’s story has an interesting twist: He was featured in a Dogs on Zoom event sponsored by Pedigree. The person adopting him had lost all her dogs to old age during a span of just a few months — the oldest had been over 17. She saw Charley and knew that he was the dog for her. I think his extended wait in shelters was to find just the right person. He filled the hole in her heart, and she gave him the perfect home he so needed and deserved.

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