Posts By: Emily Fromm

A Rescue Group Struggling to Save Puerto Rico’s Strays

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Lucky was rescued by Paws4Survival from a popular dog-dumping spot at the edge of a rainforest in Puerto Rico. She will be transported to the U.S. for adoption once flights resume.

Paws4Survival: $3,000

Even before Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, the island was home to thousands of homeless dogs and cats. Since 2015, Randolph, MA-based Paws4Survival has been working to rescue many of those pets, place them in local foster homes for extensive vetting, and transport them to Massachusetts and New York to be adopted.

As one could imagine, the organization’s efforts have been dramatically impacted by Maria, which effectively destroyed the island’s power grid. “We have 50 cats and dogs in Puerto Rico now that are without food and water,” says Paws4Survival President Nicole DiPaolo. “Our foster homes have no electricity or running water and barely any means to care for the animals. All homes with fences have been decimated. We have shipped 1,100 lbs. of supplies via Amerijet this week. Each week we will send another shipping container. Fosters cannot travel to the vet or stores, as gas lines are eight hours long and only cash is accepted.”

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Paws4Survival writes on its Facebook page: “Praying for Puerto Rico. This photo came to us from Guaynabo, the town where we found many dogs, like Lorenzo and Valencia. There are no words.”

“Our rescue efforts are at a halt,” DiPaolo says. “There is an embargo on animals flying off the island, so we cannot fly dogs out, resulting in higher boarding expenses. Our foster homes lost fences, so dogs and cats are now in crates and the dogs are unable to go outside unless on leashed walks. Food and water need to be shipped in, with only one airline flying supplies at a commercial rate of $749 per week for 1,100 lbs. of supplies. We are unable to rescue additional animals without added boarding fees, and have no end in sight.

“The dire situation gets worse for our foster families as the days go on. We will use the grant money to rescue dogs that survived Hurricane Maria and place them in boarding, fix our foster homes’ fences so the dogs are not contained in crates but back in yards, and to offset the costs of shipping food and supplies until business resumes in Puerto Rico. Just today, PetSmart opened for one hour and then closed to the public. Costco was open for five hours, but dog food ran out.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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More Irma Recovery Grants

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A family of volunteers takes a dog home to foster as Humane Society of Pinellas evacuates all its pets in advance of Hurricane Irma

The Petfinder Foundation has approved four new grants to help Florida shelters impacted by Hurricane Irma. They are:

Humane Society of Pinellas: $3,000

“Hurricane Irma negatively affected our facility in several ways,” says Grant Writer Grace Alfiero. “Because our region lost power for over six days, our refrigerators that stored all the pet medications, including vaccines, were not operable and now we need to replace all the medications and foster supplies. Our facility also suffered some structural damage and we will need to hire a professional contractor to make repairs in our cat isolation room, and with our aluminum overhangs and gutters.

“Specifically, here are our biggest needs, all are immediate needs:
1. Replace the roof damage in our Cat Isolation area so that we can continue to provide quality rehabilitative medical care and save lives.
2. Replace and purchase critical medical supplies, vaccines and prescription food lost during the power outage
3. Fund important landscaping work and trim trees to prevent future damage.
4. Repair aluminum overhangs, gutters and siding blown away during Irma’s high winds.
5. Replace items used to supply our 200+ emergency foster homes caring for the animals during and after the storm (crates, food, kitty litter, blankets and more).

“We project that all repairs will be made as soon as possible and hopefully before November 1, 2017, so that business operations can go back to normal.”

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Damage at Humane Society of Pinellas

 

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A cat who survived Hurricane Irma at Halifax Humane Society

Halifax Humane Society, Inc.: $3,000

Lisa Pearce, Grants Administrator, says: “Our goal is to save as many animals as possible in the Hurricane Irma aftermath. Our objective is to create a ‘rescue corridor’ up the East Coast and fast track animals as quickly as possible through multiple placement partners. Prior to Hurricane Irma reaching landfall, we rescued 111 dogs and cats from at-risk shelters and evacuated 159 animals out of harm’s way. Crates are in high demand.”

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Halifax Humane Society resident Prince, who was in a foster home during Irma, has been adopted!

Shih Tzu Rescue: $1,000

“Following Irma, our beautiful campus, which is home to about 70 companion dogs of all breeds and sizes, was terribly damaged,” says Stephanie Hochberger, who is on the board of the Davie, FL, organization. “Almost every tree on our 3.5-acre campus was uprooted and smashed much of our fencing. Parts of our roof are leaking badly from the water and wind. We are so grateful none of our dogs were injured as a result of the storm — they were never left alone for a second during Irma.”

Although the group prepared as best it could before the storm by putting up shutters and cutting back the trees, the trees were completely knocked over, and large equipment will be required to help clear the root systems of these decades-old trees. The fences, which provide safety from the main road and allow the dogs to be let outside in cycles, need to be replaced. And the shelter’s roof needs to be replaced or repaired before any more rain arrives.

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Downed trees destroyed fencing at Shih Tzu Rescue in Davie, FL.

 

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Zeus Jr. is one of the pets at Ayala’s Acres

Ayla’s Acres No-Kill Animal Rescue: $1,000

“Our animals in St. Johns County are in foster homes,” says Joan Guglielmo, director of operations at the St. Augustine, FL, sanctuary. “Because of Hurricane Irma, we are getting daily calls from pet owners who have been made homeless by the storm. Many of the people are unable to take their pets with them to temporary lodging. Ayla’s Acres would like to be able to provide boarding assistance for their pets in order to keep their dogs and cats from being permanently surrendered. The majority of people and their pets need short-term assistance.”

Guglielmo says the average cost to stay at a boarding facility is $30 per animal per day with a rescue-group discount, so our $1,000 grant will allow Ayla’s Acres to provide more than a month of boarding days. Guglielmo anticipates the average stay will be seven days. “We constantly work toward adding more foster families,” she says, “but the need for assistance for temporary boarding is paramount.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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We’re Continuing to Aid in Harvey Recovery

Libby is one of the dogs at Hardin County Pit Bull Rescue.

The Petfinder Foundation has given two new grants to help shelters affected by Hurricane Harvey recover. They are:

Hardin County Pit Bull Rescue: $2,000

The Batson, Texas, rescue group “sustained damage both inside our facility and out from Hurricane Harvey,” says Executive Director Jacquelynn Jackson. “We received almost 4′ of torrential rainfall, which caused major leaks in the roof of the building our dogs are housed in, resulting in partial ceiling collapse and water damage to floors, bottoms of walls, dog food and crates. We now have mold and mildew growing. We need to immediately purchase a portable building large enough to safely house our dogs until the damaged building can be repaired and sanitized.” Once the repairs are finished and the dogs are transferred back to the original building, the new structure will be used as quarantine housing for dogs displaced by the hurricane.

The other issue needing immediate attention is play yard fencing. “While our building was on higher ground and was not directly affected by actual rising flood water, our kennel and play yard area was,” Jackson says. “We lost over 100′ of fence to rushing flood water. Currently, our dogs do not have a secure place to play while outside together until we are able to repair and replace the fencing.”

Grant funds will be put toward the purchase of a portable building, fence replacement and repair, and dog bedding replacement, and will impact the 25 currently living at the facility and an additional 20 that the shelter will take in after repairs are made and the new space becomes available.

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Six-week-old puppies rescued from Harvey by Cuz I Matter Animal Rescue

Cuz I Matter Animal Rescue, Inc.: $500

The Pflugerville, Texas-based rescue group requested funds “to help with the medical costs associated with the 15 dogs that we took in from Robstown Animal Shelter and Neuces County Animal Shelter who were impacted by Hurricane Harvey,” says Treasurer Donna Hopsoon. “Of the 15 dogs that we brought into our rescue, four were found to be heartworm-positive and two tested positive for parvo.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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A Texas Shelter Flattened by Harvey

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Downed trees destroyed the shelter’s fencing in multiple spots.

Sandra Sue Benson Animal Adoption Center: $4,000

Jennifer Heard, board secretary at the Aransas Pass, Texas, shelter, tells us: “Our animal shelter, the Sandra Sue Benson Animal Adoption Center, has weathered through Hurricane Harvey in fairly good shape. [Board member] Dona Farrar and her husband, Steve, and their family members kept our animals safe and sound while the storm raged outside. The animals were all brought inside and kenneled safely away from the storm. In the aftermath, a generator was provided to maintain occasional air conditioning and a microwave. This family is truly the heart, soul, and backbone of our center.

“Throughout the week following the storm, the Farrars placed all of the animals from our center into the capable hands of other rescue groups that were not in the path of this destructive storm. Thanks to the Gulf Coast Humane Society, the Humane Society of San Antonio, the Wayward Whiskers of San Antonio, the Cowboy Cat Ranch, a farmer in George West wanting barn kitties, and one of our members, Cigden Zambrano, for fostering our two office kitties. So you see, what they say is true: ‘It takes a village.’

“We have been without power since the hurricane struck on Aug. 25.

“We need to take in pets from the community. People are dumping cats and dogs at our shelter. The most immediate need is for medical assistance. Animals need shots, flea prevention and heartworm prevention. Our first priority is to pets back with their owners. Our second priority is for community intake for animals who are lost and to treat them upon intake.

“Our fences are down. We have an 8-foot-high cyclone fence with barbed wire top that is four acres in perimeter and is down in multiple places. We need to put the fence back up.

“We are canceling the birthday bash and the Denim and Diamonds Casino Night. Since locals are financially stressed at this time, we ask that they take care of themselves first. Most of our needs can be taken care of by volunteer man hours and hard work, but our entire budget for a year comes from Casino Night. By canceling this event, we are putting our organization in financial jeopardy.”

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Sarah is one of the dogs waiting for a home at the Adoption Center.

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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A Florida Shelter Ravaged by Irma

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The flooding and damage at K9 Resque that resulted from Irma

K9 Resque: $3,000

We’ve sent a disaster grant to K9 Resque in Okeechobee, Florida, to help repair damages from Hurricane Irma. “Our outdoor kennel area was heavily damaged,” says Director Sharon O’Brien. “We have partial roof damage; one outdoor kennel is mangled and the rest are under water; our supply shed is under water; all of our crates are currently under water, as are all of our event supplies such as tables, chairs, canopies, and signs; and we lost our horse-food supply, as well as horse equipment and our barn fans.” Grant funds will be used to repair and replaced damaged items and structures at the shelter, which is currently home to 10 dogs, three cats and three horses.

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Kerry is one of the adoptable dogs at K9 Resque.

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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Cleaning Up After Hurricane Irma

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Samson is one of the dogs who weathered Irma at SCAR.

Second Chance Animal Rescue: $3,000

In the wake of Hurricane Irma, the Petfinder Foundation has granted funds to Second Chance Animal Rescue in Villalba, Puerto Rico, which was left without power or water and with damage to its roof, fence and vehicles as a result of category-5 hurricane winds. The shelter, which is home to 140 dogs and 13 cats, will use the grant funds to fix the roof of the building that houses the animals, the property’s fence and the damage to the frame of the vehicle that it uses to transport animals to veterinary appointments and to the airport to travel to their forever homes.

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A SCAR volunteer and dog prepare for Irma.

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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New Funds for Harvey Pets

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Timmy is a Harvey pet rescued by Take A Chance in New Orleans. You can meet him here.

As attention turns to the destruction of Hurricane Irma, shelters and rescue groups in Texas are continuing to care for pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey and rescue more animals from floodwaters, and the Petfinder Foundation is still there to lend a helping hand. Here are five new grants sent out to help the animal victims of Harvey.

Take A Chance Animal Rescue: $1,500

The New Orleans-based organization took in 10 dogs from shelters in Texas to make room for pets displaced due to Hurricane Harvey. “We ended up receiving more dogs than originally anticipated and we need to build some new kennels for these dogs. Right now they are being housed in temporary kennels,” says Director Hannah Lyell.

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A mama cat and five kittens rescued from floodwaters by Wags to Whiskers of Texas.

Wags to Whiskers of Texas, Inc.: $2,500

“Floodwaters covered our shelter compound and most of the Porter/Houston area,” says Ron McCuen, director of the Porter, Texas-based shelter. “This has resulted in the massive intake and relocation of animals and a high cost of food, safe housing, veterinary care, and foster placements. We will attempt to resume our adoption process as soon as possible, but our primary adoption location, PetSmart in Humble, Texas, was completely under water and is a total loss. Its expected reopening may not be until December or January and so far, no other facilities are available. Our normal weekly cost of care is over $1,000.” Grant funds will be used to repair and rebuild the shelter and provide food, housing and medical care to rescued pets.

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Harvey and Melvin were strays rescued from the hurricane by Texas Animal Society.

Texas Animal Society: $3,000

The Spring, Texas, rescue group has taken in 15 animals since the storm and expects to take in 10-15 more, as locals who will be displaced for months find temporary housing that will not accept their pets. “We had six fosters lose everything during the storm,” says Treasurer Sue Probst. “All of their animals had to be moved to other fosters. In addition, our local low-cost spay/neuter clinic was destroyed, making vetting costs increase dramatically. Our offsite adoption crates were being stored in a home that was totally underwater.” Grant funds “will help us provide vetting to the additional animals we have taken into the rescue, provide food and bedding for our fosters who have lost their homes and replace items which were damaged in the floods,” Probst says.

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A sick puppy rescued from Harvey floodwaters and being cared for by a SOCA foster


Saving Our Companion Animals – Fort Bend County: $1,000

“We’re working in conjunction with Fort Bend County Animal Services and Austin Pets Alive! to foster and adopt displaced animals and abandoned pets,” says volunteer Deborah Silvi. “We’ll use the funds to cover additional medical care when needed and to buy additional traps, crates, food, leashes, and toys for animals until they are adopted.” The Sugar Land, Texas-based rescue group has already taken in an additional 10 dogs and 20 cats.

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A puppy rescued from floodwaters by Fort Bend County Animal Services


Fort Bend County Animal Services: $3,000

“FBCAS participated in water recovery efforts, large-scale animal rescues and, while we were closed for a week, impounded displaced pets from the impacted areas,” says Adoption Coordinator Barbara Vass of the Rosenberg, Texas-based shelter. “Needs at our kennel include cleaning supplies, crates and medical needs for the pets coming in.”

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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Meet the Harvey Pets Your Donations Have Helped

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If you’ve donated to our Disaster Fund to help pets displaced by Hurricane Harvey, thank you SO MUCH! Please know that your gift is already saving the lives of pets who were injured, lost or displaced in Texas and Louisiana. You'll meet a few of them here, and we’ll continue to update our Hurricane Harvey blog as we send out new grants.

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The kitten and puppies pictured above are among the pets rescued from floodwaters by the SPCA of Brazoria County in Lake Jackson, Texas, which is also caring for the pets of displaced residents and homeless animals pulled from flooded shelters — more than 1,000 in total. We've sent a $5,000 grant to help pay for veterinary care.

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Zazu, above, is one of nearly 100 animals taken in by Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans, which received a $2,500 grant from the Petfinder Foundation. The funds will be used to provide medical care for the animals, nearly also of whom require heartworm treatment, vaccinations, microchips and spay/neuter.  

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Schmidt, above, was rescued by Bark and Roll Rescue Companions in Baton Rouge from a flooded rural shelter that was planning a large-scale euthanasia. He and other rescued dogs were malnourished, covered in fleas and ticks and anemic. All will receive veterinary care with help from our $3,000 grant.

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Maid Marian, above, and her littermates were rescued from Harvey by The Cattery Cat Shelter in Corpus Christi, which received a $3,000 Petfinder Foundation grant to help it care for rescued homeless cats as well as the pets of local residents who have lost their homes.

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The pup pictured above was found, starving and terrified, alone in a field by S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition in Santa Fe, Texas, which received a $3,000 grant from us to help rescue Houston’s lost and abandoned cats and dogs. Now named Dash, he and the dozens of other animals rescued by S.A.V.E. will receive desperately needed veterinary care and be placed in loving forever homes.

The Petfinder Foundation has also sent grant funds to many other shelters and rescue groups working to keep the animal victims of Hurricane Harvey safe. Please continue to visit our Hurricane Harvey blog to learn more.

Recovery from Harvey will be a long process, continuing after the TV cameras leave town, but these heroic organizations will continue their lifesaving work, and the Petfinder Foundation will continue to support them. Thank you again for your donation; we could not do it without you.

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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Grant Funds for Brazoria County

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A dog rescued from floodwaters by the SPCA of Brazoria County. Photo by jackiesue photography.

We’ve issued another grant to a shelter on the front lines of Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.

SPCA of Brazoria County: $5,000

Staff and volunteers at the Lake Jackson, Texas, shelter have been working around the clock to rescue pets endangered and displaced by Hurricane Harvey. “We are serving as the intake shelter for pets rescued from the floodwaters of Southern Brazoria County, Texas,” says Executive Director Stacey Suazo. “We are also managing the companion-animal shelter for pets of displaced pet owners. Our shelter did not sustain wind damage from the hurricane, and we are not taking on water, so we are also pulling from other local impound facilities that are flooded.”

Already caring for more than 1,000 animals, including 300 owned pets taking refuge with their families at the county fairgrounds and more than 700 lost or adoptable pets at the shelter and in foster homes, staff are now faced with the daunting task of thoroughly cleaning dogs and cats rescued from contaminated waters in the towns of Sweeny and Holiday Lakes. Many of the incoming pets are sick or injured. Our grant funds will be used to provide vaccinations, antibiotics, spay/neuter, and other veterinary treatments.

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National guardsmen lent a hand at the SPCA of Brazoria County on Sept. 3 after pulling dogs out of the water in nearby Wharton, Texas.

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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Saving Houston’s Stray Dogs and FIV+ Cats

Shadow is one of S.A.V.E.’s healthy, adoptable dogs.

We’ve awarded two new grants to adoption groups working to save Houston’s most vulnerable animals: Stray and abandoned cats and dogs, and special-needs cats in shelters that are desperate to free up cages.

S.A.V.E. Rescue Coalition: $3,000

The Santa Fe, TX-based rescue group is working frantically to catch the many stray animals who will not be able to survive in the flooded streets. “Just yesterday I personally picked up two dogs and a litter of kittens, and we are taking a litter of five puppies from an abandoned building today,” says Director Angela McGhee. The group is also bringing found, but possibly owned, animals to local shelters to give them the best chance of being reunited with their owners, and pulling equal numbers of those shelters’ adoptable pets to ensure they are not euthanized to open up cages. Many of S.A.V.E.’s own healthy, adoptable pets are being transported to rescue groups in Northern states to open up spots in S.A.V.E. foster homes for Harvey strays.

Grant funds will be used to vet all incoming pets according to S.A.V.E.’s strict intake protocols, which include full vaccinations, spay/neuter and, as is nearly almost necessary, heartworm treatment.

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Charlie Brown, an FIV+ cat, was adopted from Felines & Canines.

Felines & Canines: $3,000

“We are rescuing at least 100 cats from animal-control shelters in Texas that have been devastated by Hurricane Harvey,” says Kelly Thompson, director of development at the Chicago shelter. “Our focus is on those cats who are being left behind due to age/injury/illness/FIV+ status.

“As one of the most recognized shelters in the nation for our FIV+ cat program, as well as for our proven record of success with special-needs cats, we were asked if we would commit to taking these animals from the facilities in Texas that are not receiving adequate assistance. We were informed that the vast majority of groups are willing to welcome dogs and kittens into their programs, but the special-needs and senior cats have been significantly more challenging to place into rescue. We have made that commitment.” Funds will be used to provide veterinary care for all 100 cats.

Please donate now to help us continue to assist adoption groups working around the clock to keep displaced pets safe!

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