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SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina: Grant Report

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

The Adoption Options in Action grant was used to purchase enrichment items that provide mental and physical stimulation as well as comfort for shelter animals. Some of the items included clickers and high-quality treats for our “no-bark” program, which not only provides the dogs with mental stimulation, but also makes them more adoptable as they learn to approach the front of their kennels and sit and be quiet as adopters walk the adoption floor. We also provide scent enrichment and food-gathering activities for the dogs that help keep them mentally stimulated while reducing stress. High-quality, indestructible toys are used to help them pass the time while in their kennel, and staff and volunteers help exercise the dogs with toys for games of catch and tug-of-war. We have also purchased new martingale collars that not only make walking the dogs easier, but also give staff and volunteers something to hold the dog with while getting them in and out of the kennels. We were also desperately in need of a few new Kuranda beds for our large dogs. Our cats in the treatment areas are enjoying new enrichment videos that provide the sights and sounds of nature. These videos greatly reduce stress for the cats and we have noticed a reduction in treatment time as a result. We have also purchased feral-cat dens that are also wonderful for reducing stress by giving cats a place to “hide,” and they make cleaning cages much safer and easier for our staff!

This grant has been a tremendous help in providing mental and physical stimulation while also reducing stress for the animals in our care. As a result, it also makes the animals more adoptable and eases their transitions into their forever homes. Staff and volunteers have been having so much fun coming up with creative ways to provide enrichment activities with the items we’ve been able to purchase with this grant!

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 300 animals have been served by this grant to date.

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

Max was a shy, scared boy brought to our shelter as a stray. He would cower and hide from anyone who approached him and didn’t seem to even know how to play. He was also heartworm-positive, but we saw something in him and knew we had to save this special boy. We started by bringing him out to the lobby desk and letting him lie at our feet under the desk. We encouraged staff and visitors to offer him treats and he gradually became more comfortable with people. He even got to go on a shopping trip to PetSense to pick out toys purchased through the Petfinder Foundation’s Adoption Options grant! He rode nicely in the shopping cart and enjoyed picking out his very own toys – probably the first he had ever had!

Each day, his confidence grew and he began approaching people on his own for pats on the head and a treat. He enjoyed the enrichment activities we offered him and he became more comfortable with the shelter environment as a result. He won the hearts of enough people who donated on his behalf to receive heartworm treatment and has now been adopted into his forever home! They are thrilled to have this loving boy who is so gentle with their children. Max has come a long way, from a frightened homeless dog to a loving companion who enjoys play time and, especially, belly rubs! Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for making a difference in the life of this special pup!