Posts By: Emily Fromm

Helping Animal Wildfire Victims in the Northwest

An evacuee’s rabbit being cared for by Saving Grace

As wildfires ravage the West Coast, we’re helping shelters and rescue groups care for the animal victims.

We’ve sent a Disaster Fund grant to Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center in Roseburg, OR, which is taking in pets belonging to locals forced by the Archie Creek Fire to evacuate.

“Douglas County, along with the entire state of Oregon, is dealing with wildfires on a scale we’ve never seen before,” says Executive Director Megan Gram. “We currently have two wildfires causing level-three go-now evacuations for about 3,000 local residents. The fire which is impacting us most is the Archie Creek Fire. It is currently burning at 121,000 acres and is about 10% contained.”

A cat at Saving Grace

The shelter is also offering free pet food and crates for residents in need. “We are now starting to see strays who we assume were left behind by owners who did not have time to get them out,” Gram says. “We believe we will see more and more strays, whom we hope to be able to reunite with their owners in the coming weeks. We are reaching out to other counties in our area to see how we can help as we have additional space available to take in more animals as needed. We are currently caring for 43 evacuated pets on top of our existing shelter population.”

Petfinder Foundation grant funds will be used to provide care for displaced pets as well as strays who may have injuries sustained from the fires.

Evacuated chickens at Sanctuary One

We’ve granted additional disaster funds to Sanctuary One in Jacksonville, OR, where the Almeda and Obenchain fires have caused massive evacuations of both animals and people.

“We have taken in more dogs from our county shelter (four are being officially signed over to us and two will be held as fosters for the county),” says Executive Director Megan Flowers. “We are also working with our local law-enforcement community to help rescue farm animals in evacuation sites.”

Grant funds will help pay for dog food and vet bills for the dogs pulled from the Jackson County Animal Services, as well as gas and staff time required for the farm-animal rescues. The shelter is working with more than 40 farm animal rescues/evacuations and receiving new calls every hour from the sheriff department to assist in more farm-animal rescues.

A burned cat at Whitman County Humane Society

Another disaster grant recipient is Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman, WA. On Sept. 7, a wildfire destroyed most of the homes and buildings in the small towns of Malden and Pine City. Because the fire was moving so quickly due to high wind speeds, many people were forced to evacuate quickly, leaving behind their belongings and their pets.

“As the fire has gone out, people’s animals are returning to the area burned and injured,” says Director of Shelter Operations Ashley Renae Phelps. “We have been taking in all of the unclaimed animals as well as helping match lost pets to their owners.”

Grant funds will support staff working to catch stray burn victims and pay for these injured animals’ medical care. “We have already received five cats from this situation with vet bills totaling over $3,000,” Phelps says. “There is a known feral colony of about 30-40 cats living in the Malden area who, if alive, will need assistance.”

Your donation to our Disaster Fund helps us help more pets like these.

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Tallulah


This donation is given to honor the memory of beloved Tallulah, a beautiful, sensitive soul who will always hold a special place in my heart. She was extraordinarily gentle and innately intelligent, yet gloriously goofy. She enriched my life in many marvelous ways. I miss her terribly, but cherish the joy she so generously gave to me. I love you, dear girl.–Majada Saucerman

Chuchi


In memory of sweet Chuchi, who was a traveling companion, a friend, and loved dearly. When I would walk Chuchi, people would actually stop their cars and ask, “what kind of dog is that? She is so beautiful.” She was indeed. She had these incredible, expressive, knowing eyes. She seemed so wise. She was a rescue at age 5 and lived a happy life to the age of 16. She lived through a leg amputation due to a tumor when she was 13, hospitalization due to severe pancreatitis, and countless other ailments. She was nothing if not tenacious! She had such a strong life force. She will always be in my heart.–Donna Callegari

Honey

In memory of Honey the Dog, a sweet and happy girl who brought smiles to everyone. I couldn’t have imagined when we met in 2004 that our lives would become inseparable, nor that 15 years wouldn’t be enough time together. Honey’s adorable mix of basset and Lab drew a lot of attention and she loved it. She was a loving dog who just wanted to eat, walk and be with people. Though I worked long hours and made her move a few times, she was always there for me — walking me to the door when I left and greeting me with her tail wagging when I got home. I miss that every day, Honey. And I’ll miss you always. Thank you to Angel Paws Rescue and Petfinder for bringing us together.–Toni Ruberto

Help Your Local Shelter Cope with COVID-19

Are you with a shelter or rescue group impacted by the pandemic crisis? The Petfinder Foundation has grants of up to $1,000 available — apply today.

Coronavirus has impacted everyone — including homeless pets and those caring for them. We reached out to thousands of shelters and rescue groups; all are desperate for assistance. Below, you’ll find the most important ways you can help.

(Use this link to find adoption organizations near you.)

FOSTER (OR ADOPT!)
Fewer pets are being adopted, but they haven’t stopped coming in to shelters. Adoption groups need your help getting them OUT! “With everyone staying home, it’s a perfect opportunity to step up and foster a cat or dog,” says Cathy Boruch of Paws for Life Utah.

And if you’ve been considering adoption, do it now! “It’s a great time, with people spending time at home, to bring a new animal into the household,” says Jacki Dapkus of Surface Creek Animal Shelter in Colorado. “Keep those kids busy training a new puppy!”

DONATE PRODUCT
Groups desperately need pet food and cat litter — and cleaning supplies. “Don’t hoard!” says Julie Edwards of Humane Society of Northeast Georgia. “We need hand sanitizer, bleach, disinfectant wipes, baby wipes, etc.” Bobbi and the Strays in New York has had to close its two locations to the public due to the shortage of hand sanitizer.

You don’t need to go to the shelter to donate; most have online wish lists with links to the most-needed items. “We are asking our supporters to leave their old towels and blankets at home, limit their visits to the building, and donate through our Amazon wish list,” says Patricia Suess at Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts. Shelters that are closed to the public can still receive donation deliveries.

VOLUNTEER
Some shelters have told volunteers to stop coming in, but others are desperate for help. Shelters are short-staffed as employees have to stay home to care for their children; many shelter volunteers are over 60 and need to avoid contact. Extra hands are needed to clean, call vet references, take photos for social media, and, of course, socialize the animals.

Any high school or college student who is now without classes would be valued as a volunteer, especially as a dog walker,” says Laura Amlong at Franklin County Humane Society in Missouri. “Interaction with pets can reduce anxiety, and dogs and cats aren’t included in social-distancing recommendations (thank goodness).”

SHARE ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Homeless pets need you to network them. “We need additional exposure for our adoptable animals due to slow-downs or cancellations of off-site adoption events, transports, and adoptions,” says Sharon Banaszak of Humane Society of Cedar Creek Lake in Texas.

Please also use your social media to share your local groups’ other needs. “Our priorities are adopters, temporary fosters, donations via our website, and social media exposure to support all of the above,” says Nicole Schiff of Georgia’s Paws Humane Society.

MOST OF ALL, GIVE CASH
I’ll be real with you. I usually ask you to give to us, the Petfinder Foundation, and we distribute your donations to the shelters that need it most. But right now, everyone needs help. So today, I’m asking you to give what you can to your local shelter or rescue group.

Annual fundraising events that many groups rely on have been canceled, adoption fees are drying up and longtime donors are putting their wallets away. Shelters may literally lose the roofs over their heads. “We are terrified,” says Danielle Stewart of Apollo Support & Rescue in Texas. “What will we do if we can’t afford to pay our mortgage?”

And please give an unrestricted gift. “Lots of people want to donate to specific programs or initiatives, but it’s the shelter workers and animal-care attendants who need the support now more than ever,” says TJ Treviño of San Antonio Pets Alive!.

I know everyone is hurting right now, but the good news is, there are many ways you can help homeless pets in your community. Thank you for thinking of them, and please take care and stay safe.

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Abigail

Abi was rescued in 2010 and she was with me for a little bit over nine years. Abi was my best companion and friend during many transitions in my life. She was the most patient, calm and loving dog I could ever have. Across the 9+ years, we lived in eight different cities, including our transatlantic move to Germany 2.5 years ago. During the last year of her life, she enjoyed time in nature hiking with us. Abi passed away very suddenly from an undetected heart condition a day after we got engaged, as if her mission to leave me in the hands of a loving human lifetime companion was complete. We miss her every day. May you be in doggie heaven eating a lot of cheese and getting unlimited belly rubs from the angels. We love you forever, our beautiful wolf❤.–Gloria Cadavid

The Best Pet Transformations of 2019

We asked the shelters and rescue groups that received grants from the Petfinder Foundation this year to send us their favorite rescued-pet transformations of 2019.

Here are just a few of the submissions we received.

Many of these images are graphic. But these are the realities that animal rescuers face on a daily basis. Thank you to the shelter staff and rescue-group volunteers who work around the clock to save these vulnerable pets.

Your donation today can help change more pets’ lives.

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2018:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2017:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2016:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2015:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2014:

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Max

Max rescued me in 2005 and we were together in this life for a little more than 13 of his 14 precious years. Every day with him was nothing short of a gift. I miss him so much. He was so beautiful, loving, smart and inquisitive….just the most amazing dog I have ever known. He was always there for me with kisses and cuddles, even through some of the toughest times of my life. “Once by my side, forever in my heart” could not be a more accurate statement. I hope all of the pets you help in your organization get the opportunity to find their forever homes and get to experience the love they deserve.–Melissa Lee

Gracie

In memory of our Gracie girl (2007-2019). Thanks to Petfinder, we found two sisters (whom we named Lulu and Gracie) who needed a loving home over 12 years ago. Gracie (on the right) was the sweetest girl with a gentle and loving spirit. Her heart was big and so was her appetite — she was a voracious eater. And she always wanted and usually got a taste of whatever we were eating. She loved her people dearly and always wanted to be close and right smack in the middle of things. She also loved our walks in the park and our trips to the beach. We are heartbroken and Lulu is lost without her sidekick, but we are so grateful for her long, happy, and very spoiled life. Forever in our hearts, sweet girl — you were loved deeply and will be missed dearly. We promise to take good care of Lulu until you meet again.–JoAnn Gomes

Jill


In memory of Jill, the best friend of Shevawn Eaton, who was taken far too soon this past weekend. She will live forever in her heart.–Carole Devine