Posts By: Emily Fromm

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




For just short of 15 years Toby enhanced our lives and brought us more love and happiness than we could have ever dreamed of. He had a great sense of humor, accompanied us on close to 6,000 miles of walks and made us feel worthy. He was a true gift from above and our lives will never be the same without him.–Lois & John Karhinen; Queensbury, NY

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.



Pets in Texas Need Help Now

Collins at Operation Kindness

When a devastating winter storm hit Texas last week, most residents lost power during freezing temperatures. Millions continue to lack heat and water — including animal shelters.

“We had a pipe freeze during the winter storm, [so] our rescue has no water,” says Marlene Heavner of Cowboy Capital Pet Assistance League in Bandera. “We are harvesting snow and rainwater runoff for our dogs.

Like them, adoption groups statewide are doing whatever they can to keep their pets safe. We are rushing them disaster grants to help. Below are a few of the groups we’re assisting.

Annie at Cowboy Capital Pet Assistance League

Cowboy Capital Pet Assistance League is not only without running water, it also needs heat lamps to warm its kennels during the record low temperatures. “We don’t have heaters as we have never needed them before,” says Heavner.

Ace at Operation Kindness

Operation Kindness in Carrollton flooded after a pipe burst. “We have also been experiencing power outages all week, making it impossible to keep the shelter warm,” says Grants Manager Amy Udell. “We are trying to place the animals currently at the shelter into foster care.”

Bella at Fort Worth AC&C

Fort Worth Animal Care & Control is rescuing pets left outside to suffer in the frigid temperatures. “Calls for animals without shelter outside have increased exponentially,” says Shelter Superintendent Jessica Brown, “and our field staff has been responding as quickly as possible.”

Bobbi Jeanne at Safe Haven Cat Sanctuary

At Safe Haven Cat Sanctuary in Haslet, “we had to borrow a generator to provide heat for the shelter so the cats would not freeze to death,” says Debra Jeanne Crafton. “There are permanent residents [with] fragile immune systems, which means exposure to extreme weather conditions could be fatal.”

We can only only help these groups because donors like you support the Petfinder Foundation Disaster Fund. Your donation today will help even more pets.



How You Helped West Coast Wildfire Pets

Chase, rescued by Whitman County Humane Society

Your donation to the Petfinder Foundation Disaster Fund made a real difference to pets who lots their homes during the West Coast wildfires that took place earlier in 2020. Here are some reports we’ve received from the shelters and rescue groups we helped:

Whitman County Humane Society
Thanks to our grant to this Washington State shelter, staff traveled to Malden, Wash., after a fire destroyed the town. They brought supplies, shared resources, performed visual exams, and caught and took in cats in need of medical treatment [pictured above]. Leftover funds were used for the care of the cats that were taken from Malden.

“We went to Malden on a mission,” says Director of Shelter Operations Ashley Phelps. “We had been told that there was a feral kitten, whom they called Chase [top photo], who would not let anybody catch him. Many tried, and one person was even bitten in the process.

“Chase was badly burned. When he walked, it sounded like someone was walking on dead, dry leaves. This was well over a week after the fire and we knew that time was running out for him as infection set in.

“Thankfully, we caught him and one of the technicians who treated him fostered him and eventually adopted him. He has some permanent damage, but is living a happy, healthy, and spoiled life with his new family!” Read the grant report.

Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center
Our grant to this Oregon shelter helped cover the cost of caring for 55 pets who were evacuated from their homes during a wildfire and temporarily boarded at the shelter.

“This grant helped one cat [pictured above] whose family lost their home in the fire,” says Executive Director Megan Gram. “Thankfully, they were able to grab him in time to evacuate. Many of the families to whom we provided assistance were not able to find their cat in time and were forced to leave them behind. When the man who owned the cat came to pick her up, he told us that it meant so much to him to have her back because she was all he had left. We were so happy to be able to reunite them once he’d found a temporary place to stay.” Read the grant report.

Exotic Bird Rescue of Oregon
Because birds are so sensitive to air quality, they are particularly vulnerable to wildfire smoke. Our grant helped EBR provide medical care to parrots it took when their families were evacuated from their homes.

“Isabella and Zach [pictured above] are parrots who belong to a family that evacuated during the severe wildfires we had this fall,” says EBR board member Tarie Crawford. “They were brought to EBR to be cared for while the family sheltered to wait out the fires. Upon returning to their home, the family discovered that the home had burned down.

“Isabella, a 21-year-old green-wing macaw, was treated with medications for an infection. The family is relieved and glad that their birds are safe with us until they can rebuild their home and create a safe space for them again.” Read the grant report.

Siskiyou Humane Society
Our grant helped this California shelter provide extra food and supplies for more than 100 animals displaced by the Slater Fire and helped cover expenses to send a team out for boots-on-the-ground rescue.

“We received many cats from the Slater Fire after no one had claimed them,” says the shelter’s executive director, Kim Latos. “Buck [pictured above] was my favorite; he was a beautiful manx kitten. All the cats have been adopted.” Read the grant report.

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



The Best Pet Transformations of 2020

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 2020.

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 2019:

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:




Cally was a rescue dog from the Brittany Spaniel Association. He especially loved my husband Michael HD and only tolerated women. When he passed away at age 17 years, he was dreaming of chasing rabbits and squirrels.–Jere Hopkins-Doerr

Helping West Coast Animal Wildfire Victims

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.

Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center
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

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 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

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.”

A bird at Exotic Bird Rescue Center of Oregon

Exotic Bird Rescue of Oregon
We sent additional funds to Exotic Bird Rescue of Oregon in Springfield, which has been asked by Greenhill Humane Society in Eugene to help provide shelter and care for exotic birds displaced by the Glendower/Almeda Drive, Beachie, and Riverside fires.

Because the fires are so fast-moving, many exotic-bird owners have been forced to evacuate without their pets’ food, cages, toys, and medications. The rescue’s foster homes have been providing smoke-free havens for the sensitive animals, and Exotic Bird Rescue has been taking food to evacuation centers where displaced pet owners have been staying with their birds housed in carriers or travel cages.

Our grant funds will be used to pay for food, cages, and toys or toy materials, as well as medications and any medical attention that displaced birds might need.

Siskiyou Humane Society staff feeding animals sheltering in place

Siskiyou Humane Society
Another disaster grant will help Siskiyou Humane Society in Mt. Shasta, CA, which is helping pets affected by the Slater Fire in Happy Camp, CA. The shelter has been deployed by Siskiyou County Animal Control as boots on the ground, conducting animal rescue, checking homes for animals, and leaving food and water where animals are sheltering in place after their owners have evacuated.

“Expenses associated with the service provided for this fire include fuel, food, wages, and pet supplies,” says Shelter Manager Kim Latos. “We had to close to accommodate the rescue services, leaving minimal staff. Everyone had to work longer hours. Our new transport van had engine failure and staff used their own vehicles to transport food and supplies and visit the areas deployed to.”

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