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Central Missouri Humane Society: KONG Toys Grant Report

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

Our organization was so thankful to receive the KONG toy grant! We usually have around 60-70 dogs at our shelter at a time and keeping them busy and enriched is a major goal for us. The shelter can be extremely stressful at times and we are always working hard to provide a safe, low-stress, enriching environment for all of our animals. In addition to providing enrichment, the KONG toys have helped them to build the skills they need to cope with the stress and anxiety of shelter life. Building and developing those skills to cope will help them to transition to a new life outside of the shelter and set them up for success in their new homes.

The KONG toys we received have been extremely popular at our shelter and have provided countless hours of fun for our dogs and cats. Our staff members concocted a special recipe of canned food, chicken broth, treats, hot dogs and vitamin supplements which they then stuff inside each KONG and store in the freezer until ready to use. The frozen KONG toys have been amazing for use in the shelter as well as at off-site events, especially during the hot summer months. The KONG toys not only keep the animals busy and provide a delicious and healthy treat, but have also helped to reduce stress and boost confidence. We have recently implemented a training and behavior program at our shelter and the KONG toys have been perfect for our crate-training exercises and clicker-training sessions.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant has helped over 200 animals in our care! As much as the dogs love their KONG toys, the cats seem to love them too, especially the young kittens with tons of energy to play all day. Not only have the KONGs been fantastic for our active animals, they have also been a great resource for our elderly animals and those coming out of surgery that are on cage rest and need to take it easy. The KONG toys have provided comfort and fun and been the perfect resource for behavior training and modification. KONG toys are perfect for the shelter as they are easy to sanitize and extremely durable. The toys we received through this grant will continue to improve the lives of shelter animals for months to come!

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

At the end of June, a stray pit bull named Shay (first photo) came into our shelter. She was nervous and full of anxiety, but had the sweetest disposition. She was adopted and reluctantly returned three weeks later due to behavior issues. After working with our behaviorist, it was determined that in addition to being a very anxious soul, Shay also had a severe storm and noise phobia. She was put on medication to help with the anxiety but the most important factor has been to manage her stress level and provide a calm environment until she is adopted. KONG toys have been AMAZING for her and we have seen a huge difference in her since we started implementing KONG toys into our management techniques. She loves to hang out in a quiet office and spend the afternoon chewing on a frozen KONG. It keeps her busy and helps her to release some of the stress she is harboring. By the time she finishes her KONG, she is ready to curl up in her bed and take a peaceful nap. She has gotten acclimated with her routine and looks forward to her daily KONGs. From Shay and all the staff here at the Central Missouri Humane Society, THANK YOU, PETFINDER FOUNDATION, for changing the lives of shelter animals everywhere! Meet Shay:

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