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Hardin Animal Relocation and Transition Team (HARTT): Orvis Dog Enrichment Grant Report

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

HARTT will use the grant from the Petfinder Foundation and Orvis to make animals more adoptable by treating health needs such as dental work, heartworm treatments, eye issues/removals, basic dermatitis or flea allergies. Many times, a few simple treatments make a dog much more desirable for adopters as they know they aren’t going to find any hidden “gotchas” when they get the animal home. In addition, we would use some of the grant to purchase appropriate toys to let the big dogs have things to toss and tug on, allowing them to play and gain confidence, and for additional nutritional supplements for those who need it. Help with these monetary items frees us to focus on each animal. We can better provide that essential time in our homes for the dogs to learn to trust and enjoy human companionship and learn to share space with other dogs and cats. The most frequently asked questions from adopters are: “Is this dog healthy? House trained? Does he walk well on a leash? Is he good with other dogs (and cats)?” Through our vetting/foster program, we can answer those questions with confidence and know we are making a difference in a person’s decision to adopt. In addition, it is with pride that we can assure each adopter that every HARTT dog or puppy leaves fully vetted: spayed/neutered, microchipped, up-to-date on vaccinations, up-to-date on flea/tick and heartworm medications, and ready for their new home with a new collar and name tag with contact information already on it.

Dear Petfinder Foundation and Orvis: We appreciate your choice to hold hands with us this year. We want to thank you both for selecting our rescue, Hardin Animal Relocation and Transition Team (HARTT Rescue), to receive your generous $1,000 grant. As we know, it takes a lot of people to make a rescue work well—especially if you are trying to help a large number of needy companion animals. We will be using your grant to help get dogs adopted and will keep you updated on how your grant monies are used in our rescue efforts. At this time, there are two routes through which we are helping get dogs adopted: following a time of foster care and veterinary care, we either arrange transport to other areas of the country OR arrange direct adoptions from HARTT’s foster homes.

If we can agree that success is in the numbers, what appears to be working best and getting more dogs adopted is to send puppies, moms with nursing puppies, and some single adult dogs en mass to rescues in areas of the U.S. where there are few puppies to adopt. This one action does three major things:

1. Gives each puppy a definitely better chance of adoption at a young age
2. Clears the shelters of a lot of mouths to feed and care for, and
3. Removes much of the potential breeding population from our already overcrowded area.

Too many times we see a few members of a litter of puppies adopted locally, and their remaining littermates growing up to adulthood within the shelter—or having to be euthanized for space. We also see puppies in our area given away for free, eventually ending up at the shelter or left on the side of the road to fend for themselves. Once they get to be 4 to 5 months old, they are not considered “cute” anymore—or they are tearing up the house and all of the items in it! It is tragic to watch these things occur. Transporting puppies to forever homes makes the difference for so many. In the past three years we have helped an average of 750 animals get to adoptive homes through transporting them.

For puppies and dogs who get directly adopted from our rescue without going through another rescue partner, we find that in-home fostering and full vetting of each animal is our key to success. Our fostering network is small—basically just two homes. I, with more floor space for puppy exercise pens, puppy play pens, and wire kennels in my home, take most of the puppies. Carol, with less room, but with large kennels and dog houses, takes most of the adults. She finds special enjoyment in training and socializing adult dogs. We use large amounts of cleaners and disinfectants to keep disease transmission to a minimum. We quarantine each litter and adult dog as they come into our homes so we can assess vetting needs and protect other animals from anything contagious.

We treat our foster homes like a shelter and use the Association of Shelter Veterinarians’ standards for the animals and for cleaning. As you know, few puppies or dogs enter a rescue program in perfect health. Many of our animals come to us with kennel cough, ringworm, mange, skin issues, general internal worms and parasites—almost always fleas and ticks!—and sometimes other, more exotic issues. Adult dogs can have all of these same issues and more—such as heartworm, aggression issues, past injuries, shy or scared behaviors, etc.

We do not discriminate if we can alleviate these issues, but some are not cheap to fix. Health and wellness issues make dogs less adoptable unless we do something to treat or train them. Therefore, any grant monies used to provide treatment will enable greater success and adoptability for these animals.

Again, thank you to the Petfinder Foundation and Orvis for choosing HARTT Rescue as the recipient of their $1,000 grant to promote dog adoption and adoptability. We are pleased and very appreciative of your choice.

How many pets did this grant help?

Just got the funding...this is my letter to help with press releases, etc.

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

These funds will help countless dog and puppies when we begin to use the monies that we just received. Pets like Mollie Mae, pictured, who came from a place in Mississippi where she was kept in an outside kennel most of her life. She was never given heartworm treatment or flea and tick treatment. She was matted and dirty, heartworm-positive and had the worst ear infections we had seen in a while. She was, and remains, very loving and sweet. One month later, she is completely treated for heartworms, has been washed, dematted and is thriving on lots of love, attention and good nutrition. She is currently on Petfinder in search of a home. What a difference just a month in rescue can make when we have the funding to treat what ails them!

Meet Mollie Mae: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35756495

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