Petfinder Foundation News

More Grants for Ida Pets

Tyger at Trampled Rose Rescue & Rehab

We’ve approved three more grants to help shelters and rescue groups impacted by Hurricane Ida.

Our grant to Trampled Rose Rescue & Rehab in New Orleans will help fund repairs to its facility in Ponchatoula, LA. Its perimeter fence and chicken coop, which housed more than 25 rescue chickens, were destroyed by fallen trees, and its outbuildings, which contained dog food, supplies, and refrigerators for medication, were flooded.

“Although we rely on fosters for many of the dogs in our care, the property in Ponchatoula is home to rescue animals who need intensive medical care, are currently non-adoptable, and many others,” says Foster Coordinator Carolyn Broussard.

Snape and Albus at ARNO

Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) has been handling animal care for nearby shelters that closed due to Ida, as well as feeding pets left behind when owners were forced to evacuate, despite losing power for 12 days in its own facility.

Two dogs helped were Albus and Snape (above), who were dumped between a swamp and a sugarcane field just before the hurricane. Albus had a fractured leg and both were heartworm positive, but they are now safe and receiving care.

A stray dog at Somerset Regional Animal Shelter

Our grant to Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater, NJ, will be used toward medical care for the increased number of animals coming into the shelter as a result of Ida.

Bridgewater received an upwards of 10″ inches of rain during Ida, and many houses were destroyed by flooding. “In just this week alone, 50% of our kennel space was utilized to assist our communities with dog surrenders,” says Assistant Shelter Manager Rose Tropeano. The organization also took in cats from the flooded Plainfield Area Humane Society.



How We’re Helping Ida Pets

Bubbles, rescued by Louisiana SPCA

Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana on Aug. 29, destroying homes and leaving more than a million people without power.

Many animal shelters in the state were damaged or forced to evacuate. Those that were not scrambled to take in injured and abandoned animals.

Because of donors like you, we’re able to send Disaster Grants to aid these lifesaving efforts. Below are a few of the groups we’re assisting.

Bubbles, trapped under debris

Our grant will help the Louisiana SPCA care for evacuees’ pets and respond to reports of stray, injured, or abandoned animals — like Bubbles, who was chained inside a collapsed shed without food or water (above). Once rescued, Bubbles revealed himself to be friendly and affectionate (top).

Source: Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter

Terrebonne Parish Animal Shelter’s grant will provide food and medical care to abandoned or surrendered animals. “Ida left an estimated 90% of our homes damaged and 60% uninhabitable,” says shelter manager Valerie Robinson. “There are missing, abandoned, and sick or injured animals all across our parish.

Source: Take Paws Rescue

Take Paws Rescue in New Orleans sustained serious damage to its Stray Café adoption facility. Our grant will help it make repairs and help animals left behind during the storm, including the puppy pictured above, who was abandoned in a garage with two other small dogs.

Source: Cat Haven

Cat Haven in Baton Rouge lost power, has been unable to procure supplies, and sustained some damage from the storm, but continues to take in displaced pets. “We have seen 70 admission requests since August 29, 2021, the day Hurricane Ida hit,” says Executive Director Rachel Waldrop-Holzhauser.

We have also sent Disaster Grants to Bluetails in Marrero, LA; For Pet’s Sake Rescue in Long Beach, MS; Pearl River County SPCA in Picayune, MS; Trampled Rose Rescue & Rehab in New Orleans; Somerset Regional Animal Shelter in Bridgewater, NJ; and Animal Rescue New Orleans (ARNO) in New Orleans.



More Grants to Help Texas Shelters

Puppies at the warming center operated by Harris County Pets Resource Center

We’ve sent three more grants to Texas shelters to help them recover from this year’s devastating winter storms. Here are their stories:

Harris County Pets Resource Center
Project Manager Marissa Johnston writes: “Harris County Pets (HCP) [in Houston] was directly impacted by the week-long extreme weather event Winter Storm Uri. For six days, HCP was forced to remain closed to the public due to power and water outages as well as dangerous road conditions and freezing temperatures.

“Throughout the six days, staff remained on-site, including overnight, to care for the approximately 190 animals in our facility. As a county-operated organization, additional staff were required to stand up an animal-care site at a county-operated warming facility, where they cared for animals in need of warmth and shelter during the storm.

Puppies at the warming center

“Phone operators and animal-control officers continued to answer calls remotely and respond to urgent needs to ensure animals in the community were being kept inside with adequate protection from the freezing temperatures. At times, widespread power outages and cellular service interruptions presented an insurmountable challenge in maintaining these critical operations.

“One of the greatest trials of the event was the loss of power and water in our building. HCP had just two portable generators at our disposal that could provide power for limited sections of the facility. One of the generators proved unreliable and, therefore, during one of the coldest nights of the week-long storm, HCP had just one working generator to power a small section of our sprawling facility. We were thankfully able to get the second generator working by reducing the load and cutting off power to certain areas of the building. Animals needed to be consolidated to smaller sections to keep the generator running.

“Water was an additional concern, as the boil-water notice, followed by a loss of water pressure, raised concerns about our staffs’ ability to adequately clean kennels and provide safe drinking water for the animals in our care.

“As a result of extended power outages, certain medications and vaccines in our medical refrigerators became unusable and needed to be replaced.

A dog rescued by Harris County Pets

“Due to our six-day closure, the pets in our facility experienced a length-of-stay much longer than our average 5.9 days. To address this issue and avoid any potential capacity concerns, Harris County Pets hosted a free adoption event from Sunday, February 28th to Friday, March 5th.

“This was our first large-scale weather event endured in our new Harris County Pets facility. With only a few months until hurricane season, we fully expect many of the extreme challenges presented during Winter Storm Uri to further impact HCP in future weather events. As we engage in recovery from Winter Storm Uri, we are also looking to better prepare our building to withstand extreme conditions and protect the health and well-being of the animals in our care during such events.”

Our grant will help fund a water tank, replacement medications and vaccines,
temperature monitors, heating and cooling equipment, mobile hotspots, and additional emergency supplies (battery packs, flashlights, fans), as well as reimburse the shelter for waived adoption fees after the storm.

Odin at Bay Area Pet Adoptions

Bay Area Pet Adoptions
“The Texas artic storm hit all of us by surprise, as the Texas Gulf Coast never sees sub-freezing weather like this, in addition to a power grid failure,” writes Ann Traynor-Plowman, a volunteer at Bay Area Pet Adoptions in San Leon. “Our shelter lost power for almost a week. A water pipe in the big-dog kennel burst from the freezing temperatures.

“Bay Area Pet Adoptions prepared as well as we could for this winter storm event and sent the majority of our shelter dogs into foster, so we only had dogs with behavioral challenges left at the shelter, and our cattery. One of our wonderful staff members volunteered to stay at the shelter to care for our animals who were on-site, as well as keep an eye on the buildings. We combined all of the dogs into one building for convenience and close proximity to the cattery and office. He stayed in the small office to look after two of dogs who were sheltered there instead of the kennels.

Benjamin at Bay Area Pet Adoptions

“The power went out the first night on February 13th and did not come back on for five days. Our quick-thinking staff ran to Home Depot and purchased the last generator, gasoline, and multiple extension cords to help keep the small-dog kennels, cattery, and front office warm. She was also able to borrow some portable electric heaters from her neighbors.

“We are located on the Texas Gulf Coast and we had snow on the ground for days, which is unheard of. If it snows down here, it is usually melted by the next day.

“An overhead water pipe broke and rained down through the ceiling and light fixture, soaking all of the dog kennels on the right side of the building. Fortunately, all of the dogs had been moved to the other building and were safe and dry. The below-freezing temperatures also froze our water-well pump pipes and the lever handle broke.

“Plumbers were very scarce as this was happening all over the state. Staff finally located a plumber to patch the broken overhead pipe. To date, he has not had time to come back and give us an estimate for additional repairs. We were also able to locate a handyman to help with basic repairs to get the building up and running again.

“By the weekend, our shelter was recovering and many of the dogs who were in foster were able to return to the shelter. On a happy note, two of our shelter dogs found their forever homes due to the storm!”

Our grant will help cover out-of-pocket expenses the shelter had not budgeted for, such as the purchase of a generator to keep the animals and staff members warm, extensions cords, gasoline, water-pipe repair, and miscellaneous ceiling and lighting-fixture repairs from the burst attic pipe.

Ryder at Highland Lakes Canine Rescue

Highland Lakes Canine Rescue
The deep freeze’s impact on Highland Lakes Canine Rescue in Marble Falls included power loss for several days, impassable roads preventing scheduled animal care staff from getting to work, downed trees and limbs making parts of the property impassable, and frozen and broken pipes causing water outages for several days.

Pokey at Highland Lakes Canine Rescue

“Because we care for 20+ dogs at a time at our shelter, our number-one priority was the safety and comfort of these dogs. In response to these impacts, we took action on the following disaster recovery needs,” says volunteer Holly Goldbetter: “We immediately brought on and paid emergency animal-care staff living nearby to make sure the animals were fed, warm, and comfortable. We also purchased bottled water for drinking and cleaning needs while tap water was unavailable; a chainsaw and fuel to clear our property of many downed trees and limbs so that animal care staff could safely access work areas; and plumbing supplies to repair broken pipes so that water service could be restored.”

Our grant will offset these expenses and enable the shelter to take in and afford basic medical expenses for four additional dogs in 2021. Its basic medical expenses average just over $150 per dog, which includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm/parasite tests, and microchip.



Texas Disaster Grant: Texas Best Choices Animal Rescue

Luna’s intake photo

What was the money or product used for?
The Texas storm hit us hard and we had unexpected expenses that the $2,500 Disaster Grant funds were used for:

Heat lamps
Propane heaters
Electric heaters
Propane gas to run the heaters
Extreme electric bill
Kennel supplies — Water jugs to go get water when the water was cut off in our area, buckets to distribute the water, blankets, straw.

Luna after she’d recovered

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
This grant was extremely beneficial for us to meet the extra expenses required due to the storm. We in Texas have never experienced this type of cold weather and your generosity helped us keep the animals warm and meet their basic needs despite the conditions. Rolling power outages and no water were devastating, but propane heaters, propane gas, jugs, and buckets provided just what was needed. Blankets, too, were much appreciated!

How many pets did this grant help?
66 dogs and puppies

Luna in her new home

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
Luna came to us from her owner, who was threatening to dump her in the lake if we did not take her. She had no hair and was suffering with extreme mange, but she did not deserve to die. The first photo is her intake photo. We began medicating her, but when the cold weather hit, she was especially vulnerable. She not only thrived, but grew her hair back (second photo) and found a very special forever home (third photo)! Thank you for your generosity! You made a difference in so many lives!


Jackson (above) was also a resident during these tough times. Every dog at the rescue benefitted from your support, but we share Jackson’s story because he also got a forever home (bottom photo) thanks to Petfinder!–Karen A. Cadis, Secretary/Treasurer

Jackson with his new family



Texas Disaster Grant: Palm Valley Animal Society

What was the money or product used for?
The funding was for disaster relief from Winter Storm Uri. The funding covered repair of our AC compressor that blew when generators came on and off several times as we gained and lost power.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
Funding had to be diverted away from our animal care operations in order to cover the cost of repair for our AC compressor. Having the Petfinder Foundation come back and cover the cost of this unexpected expense means that we won’t have any interruption in our capacity to care for animals in our facilities.

How many pets did this grant help?
550, which is the average daily population count of animals in our shelter

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
Space is a Great Dane who is deaf and was rescued off the streets in the days leading up to Winter Storm Uri. He was undernourished and skinny. Thankfully, as it got colder, we had a few XXL dog sweaters that he was able to use to stay warm. As we battled the cold and the failure of our equipment, a partner shelter in Minnesota heard about Space and immediately snatched him up for rescue. He left our care just a few days after the storm and is living happily in Minnesota now!–Kerri Burrows, Grants and Data Coordinator



Texas Disaster Grant: Houston Humane Society

What was the money or product used for?
Due to damage sustained to the shelter from the winter storm, many repairs were required, including replacing the well pump and water filter, copper pipes in the kennels, and two new batteries for the generators. The Petfinder Foundation grant funds were used to reimburse HHS for these repairs.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
This grant enabled us to replenish the accounts that we used to pay for the upfront costs of damage repairs. This meant that we could use that money on the care of the animals instead.

How many pets did this grant help?

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
The Houston Humane Society rescued eight dogs and one adult pig from the deadly temperatures during last month’s winter freeze. The dogs were discovered after a report was made to the Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce by a concerned citizen. The officers on-scene from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Harris County Pets, partners of the Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce, shared that the animals appeared to have been left outside with no shelter, food, or water access during the storm, during which temperatures reached a horrifying 18 degrees.

The youngest victim, a puppy, was found barely alive, covered in ice, and suffering from a broken jaw, clearly the result of abuse. The puppy, now named Arctic (first three photos), received specialized surgery to repair her injuries. She remains in stable condition. We are happy to share that our strong girl Arctic will now begin her long road to recovery with her head held up high. She has refused the feeding tube that veterinarians thought she would need, and instead prefers her food wet and in a bowl!

Like many Texans, Arctic is resilient and a true example of how Texans progress toward recovery: proud and tough. Arctic is a sweet girl who, despite the stitches, loves to give wet kisses and will attempt to hug you when held. She is sure to have that tail wagging, begging for attention when you come near. The rest of the pups and pig remain under medical review and are adjusting well to volunteers and staff. All enjoy treats and playtime. The pig especially enjoys fresh strawberries.–Katie Fine, Community Impact Specialist



Texas Disaster Grant: NaNook and Koda

What was the money or product used for?
The 2021 Disaster Grant money was used to purchase two generators and replace an a/c wall unit that was damaged when the power outage occurred.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
This grant allowed us to purchase two generators to run our buildings’ electricity so that the dogs will not be without heat or air conditioning, lights, refrigeration of medications, foods, etc., again. During the last storm, power was knocked out in our area for three days. For three days, our founder dogpiled with all the dogs in our rescue in one room in between outside time to keep them warm.

How many pets did this grant help?

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
Four days before the Texas storm hit, four puppies were dumped about 20 miles outside of our rural town. We took these babies in and named them Cupid, Teddy, Paddy, and Nora. They were scared and timid and cold. It was difficult to get them to pile up with the other dogs and our founder, but she struggled through and kept these four and all the other dogs warm. Now, if a storm or other disaster ever knocks the power out again, the dogs will be warm or cool in their own spaces without such a struggle to pile up. Food and meds that are refrigerated will be safe.–Toni M. Burleson, Director



Helping Pets at Palm Valley Animal Society

A dog at Palm Valley Animal Society

We’ve sent another disaster grant to help a Texas shelter recover from last month’s devastating winter storm. At Palm Valley Animal Society in Edinburg, most of the dogs are housed outdoors, taking advantage of the generally warm climate of the southern tip of Texas.

“When the forecast made it clear that we were going to see several days of below-freezing temperatures, we rushed to get our outdoor animals into foster homes,” says Executive Director Donna Casamento. “In little more than a day, we were able to get more than 100 dogs into foster homes and out of the cold. However, that still left approximately 300 dogs who needed bedding, straw, and wind-blocks to protect them from the intense cold.”

One of the pets taken in by PVAS during the cold snap

The shelter also asked for donations of blankets, dog coats, straw, and other bedding, and purchased tarps to wrap the outsides of its kennel buildings. It bought two additional heaters and kerosene to keep them running, and staff worked 150 hours of overtime to make sure that the animals had extra food for energy and access to water that wasn’t frozen.

However, the shelter still incurred damages, from the easily fixable (frozen hoses) to a failed compressor that cost $3,000 to repair. Pipes froze and water lines burst, causing the shelter to go days without running water. Once the water was running again, it was not potable, and the shelter continued to rely on bottled water.

A cat rescued during the cold weather

“Once our utilities returned, we opened for normal operations, and we received a flood of animals, with our dog intake increasing 28% from the week prior to the storm,” Casamento says. “We have already sent more than 100 dogs to partners across the United States [and] hope to add several more large transports out of the region, as our numbers are still far too high for our community to manage.”

Our Disaster Grant will help the shelter cover repair costs, staff overtime, and the transport of animals to partner shelters.



Meet More Texas Pets We’re Supporting

A puppy at Athens Animal Rescue Shelter

We’ve sent three additional grants to Texas adoption groups to help them recover from the recent winter storm and resulting power and water outages.

Athens Animal Rescue Shelter in Malakoff was fortunate — it did not lose power and only lost water for one day, although it did spend time under a boil-water notice. “This was lucky, because we had just received 79 dogs and puppies from a single trailer home,” says President Lanette Ainsworth.

Dogs at Athens Animal Rescue Shelter

The Petfinder Foundation grant will help it recover the costs of paying for kennel-staff overtime and purchasing tarps, extra heat lamps, and extension cords. “In addition to voluntarily sleeping on the shelter floor in case we needed to respond to a power or water outage,” staff worked overtime insulating kennels, getting shelter pets into temporary fosters, and boiling snow for cleaning, washing dishes, and serving the animals, Ainsworth says.

An outside dog rescued by Houston Humane Society

“To prepare for the freeze, we distributed crates to so many pet owners who normally keep their pets outside in hopes it would save the lives of chained and outside dogs,” says Houston Humane Society’s Katie Fine.

Puppies at Houston Humane Society

“During this disaster, our shelter lost power and our generator malfunctioned and required repairs,” Fine says. “We had several pipes burst that required expensive repair and replacement. Finally, our well pump malfunctioned due to multiple power surges, so that entire apparatus had to be repaired.”

A dog family at San Antonio Pets Alive!

San Antonio Pets Alive! experienced power outages, loss of running water, and sub-freezing temperatures. The shelter had to temporarily close its doors, but staff drove or walked in dangerous weather conditions to care for its resident dogs and cats. Our grant will help offset the costs of extra blankets, water, dog beds, dog clothing, weather mats, and heating pads.



Your Donations Helped These Texas Pets

Clarisse at Heart of Texas SPCA

If you donated to the Petfinder Foundation’s Disaster Fund, your gift helped countless pets survive freezing temperatures and power and water outages in Texas.

Here are just a few of the adoption groups to which the Petfinder Foundation sent Disaster Grants thanks to donations like yours:

Maxine at Heart of Texas SPCA

Heart of Texas SPCA in Boerne suffered damage to its outdoor kennels. “The amount of snow we received caused our tarp covers to rip away from the frames,” says Director Paula Oberle. “The kennels became filled with snow, too wet and cold to use.” The group rescued several dogs from the street during the deep freeze, including Clarisse (top) and Maxine (above) and her puppies.

Roxie at Texas Best Choices

Texas Best Choices Animal Rescue in Quinlan had to purchase heat lamps, space heaters, and other equipment to keep its 65 resident animals warm. “The Texas winter storm hit us hard,” says co-founder Karen Cadis. “The overall electric bill will also be much more than normal: It’s projected at over $1,000.

Carlos at Footbridge Foundation

Footbridge Foundation in San Antonio lost heat and power, but still provided emergency shelter to animals who would otherwise have been exposed to the elements. “Out of the 20 additional animals that we were able to rescue just before the storm, five needed immediate and extensive medical care,” says President Wendy Bennett Black.

Sulfur at Missy’s Haven

Other organizations we’ve helped so far include A Doggie 4 You in Pipe Creek, which took in 42 dogs needing emergency shelter and Missy’s Haven in San Antonio and NaNook & NaKoda’s Big Paw Rescue in Brownwood, both of which lost heat and power.

It’s only thanks to donors like you that we are able to help during times of disaster or crisis, and we are incredibly grateful.

Thank you for all that you do to help pets in need.