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Author: Emily Fromm

In memory of sweet Max, who was loved by so many and will be missed by all.–Sheryl LaBoda

Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm


During January’s polar vortex, temperatures in some parts of the country hit minus-30 degrees. In such extreme temperatures, shelters pets are incredibly vulnerable.

That’s why the Petfinder Foundation is introducing Winter Warming Grants (and, later, Summer Cooling Grants) as part of our longstanding Disaster Preparedness and Relief Program.

Our Disaster Grant helped the dogs at Oklahoma’s Perkins Animal Control. “Our shelter is partially open-air,” said Animal Welfare Supervisor Colleen Crummy. “In the worst of winter, our aging heating system could not even keep the shelter above freezing, and the dogs’ water would be frozen.” With our grant, the shelter purchased infrared heaters and had outlets installed to power them.

Our grant kept Cody warm all winter.

This was a blessing to dogs like Cody (pictured above), who was found roaming a field, skinny, cold, and scratched-up. “Despite his rough appearance, he was one of the sweetest dogs we have ever had,” Crummy says. “He enjoyed the warmth of the shelter, which was provided by our new heaters. Cody now lives nearby and is enjoying a very spoiled life.”

Diddy was abandoned during a polar vortex.

Another dog who benefited from a Petfinder Foundation grant was Diddy (pictured above). The 11-month-old boxer mix was abandoned in Illinois during a polar vortex and left in the cold to fend for himself until a good Samaritan took him to Hope Animal Rescues.

Unfortunately, the shelter’s pipes were damaged by the extreme cold, and it lost heat and running water. Our grant paid for repairs and insulation so the pipes will never freeze again, and the shelter was again livable for pets like Diddy, who’s since been adopted.

We don’t expect to see the end of extreme heat and cold any time soon, so these severe-weather grants are now a permanent part of our Disaster program. Your donation to our Disaster Fund will help us save lives.

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

Brody will be missed by more than you know.–Donna Webb

Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

Every time we give a grant to a shelter or rescue group, we ask for a report detailing how they used the funds and telling us the story of an individual pet helped as a result. (You can read all of these reports here.)

There are always some that make us smile, or laugh, or say, “wow!” And I wanted to share those with you. So here you’ll find our favorites from 2018, all featuring pets helped by your donations.

Best Breed Ambassador: Ginger
An adoptable pit bull at Associated Humane Societes in Newark, N.J., Ginger (pictured above) arrived at the shelter fearful and anxious. The staff decided to make her the resident office dog to socialize her. She quickly came to love all people, and soon got a second job: She visits area libraries so children can practice reading to her. Her calm, sweet disposition mean she’s always a popular audience.

Best Jogging Buddy: T-Bone
We’ve heard of stray dogs joining humans on their runs, but cats? T-Bone was walking along a Colorado hiking trail when a man jogged by. The friendly cat joined him and ran along beside him for a couple of miles. After the run, the jogger brought T-Bone to Colorado’s Routt County Humane Society, where a Petfinder Foundation grant helped him find a wonderful forever home.

Most Dramatic Rescue: Bear
Fleeing Hawaii’s volcanic eruption in May, a dog named Bear and his owner were separated moments before they were to be rescued by helicopter. Despite many subsequent searches, Bear could not be found. After several weeks, volunteers hiked into the lava-flow zone and found him! He was much leaner, but in good spirits and happy for some company. With help from our disaster grant, Hawaii Island Humane Society was able to rescue Bear (along with some cats, ducks and chickens) and reunite him with his owner.

Best Model: Pom Pom
When Pom Pom was adopted after 2 1/2 years at Jersey Shore Animal Center, staff and volunteers cried tears of joy. Her adopter didn’t care that Pom Pom was 10 years old, had no teeth, and suffered from an autoimmune disease — she just wanted to rescue a cat who really needed a home. Sweet Pom Pom had been so beloved at the shelter that a volunteer painted a beautiful picture of her, which was presented to her adopter. Pom Pom is now being pampered in her forever home.

Best Second Act: Jackson
Jackson lost both eyes as a result of dog fighting. Florida’s Pit Sisters rescue took him into its TAILS (Teaching Animals and Inmates Life Skills) program and, when one particular inmate started training Jackson, they formed an instant bond. Thanks to a Petfinder Foundation grant, Jackson was able to go home with his new dad after graduation — the perfect second chapter for both.

Best Office Assistant: Casper
Casper would “attack” when anyone tried to open the door to his cage at Michigan’s Harbor Humane Society. So staffers decided to see how Casper would do in a different environment and put him into office foster. Within hours, Casper showed his true nature. He loved attention so much, staff took to calling him Caspuurrrr because of his loud purrs when he was pet. He soon went to a wonderful home with another long-term resident cat.

Best Cinderella Story: Ginger
Somerset Humane Society in Maine used our grant to purchase agility equipment, which worked like a charm on a 2-year-old pit mix named Ginger. Ginger had been at the shelter for months, with no interest because she was so anxious in her kennel, barking and throwing herself at the kennel door. But the new agility equipment helped her use up her excess energy and focus on learning routines. After the shelter posted Facebook photos of her doing her tricks, she was adopted within a week!

As you know, these stories are only possible because of your support. Thank you so much from all of us at the Petfinder Foundation, and warmest wishes for 2019!

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

We’ve awarded a Disaster Grant of $750 to Oscar’s Cause in Dundee, Florida, to help care for pets it rescued from Hurricanes Michael and Florence.

“Our disaster relief team deployed with supplies for Hurricane Michael two weeks after returning home from Hurricane Florence,” says Funding Coordinator Tori Hodges. “Our efforts included search and rescue, supply distribution, transportation and intake. We brought home three surrenders in need of medical care who were directly impacted by the hurricane.”

The grant funds will go directly to those three dogs, who needed to be completely vetted and cared for while awaiting forever homes. One of the three, Riley (pictured above), a 2- to 3-year-old boxer mix, has severe PTSD and anxiety from being crated inside his home as it collapsed during Hurricane Michael. Oscar’s Cause is working with local trainers to provide him support during his decompression time. The group expects him to be one of the more difficult adoption cases at its facility.

Another dog, Rico (pictured below), approximately 11-month-old, 70-lb. male bulldog mix, has been adopted.

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

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 2018.

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 2017:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2016:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2015:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2014:

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

Bernie, an injured cat at Butte Humane Society

As wildfires devastate California, we’re helping shelters save displaced and injured pets. Here are a few of the disaster grants we’ve sent out so far:

Butte Humane Society: $4,000
The Camp Fire in Northern California’s Butte County has destroyed more than 10,000 structures, displaced more than 50,000 people, and caused more than 60 deaths, and more than 600 people are currently reported missing. Many households in the region have pets. “Conservatively, we estimate that there will be at least 15,000 dogs and cats (not including other small animals or livestock) that are displaced, injured, abandoned, lost or have already perished,” Butte Humane Society Development Director Brad Montgomery tells us. “We feel it will take weeks or even months in order to truly evaluate the scope of the impact.”

BHS has been working with regional partners to do everything it can to help its community’s pets and their owners. The first day of the fire, the shelter moved out all of its adoptable animals — either to emergency foster homes or shelters in safe zones — to open up needed space for evacuees’ pets and injured and stray animals from the impacted areas.

Ruger, a rescued dog at BHS

“Our partners North Valley Animal Disaster Group, Chico Animal Control and Butte County Animal Control have handled much of the sheltering of the evacuated animals, and we’ve been asked to shelter and care for overflow and a number of injured strays,” Montgomery says. “We also noticed that, because people can’t keep their animals with them at the American Red Cross shelters, many people have chosen to keep their animals with them wherever they are, from living the last week in a Walmart parking lot to staying with friends or in motels, to staying in shelters and keeping their animals outside in their vehicles or in crates or whatever they have.”

To help these evacuees, the shelter established a temporary pet-supply resource center at an offsite warehouse. “We have received literally tons of donated pet supplies and we are giving them to people in need,” Montgomery says. “People are breaking into tears when we give them a doggy bed, a bag of cat food, or a dog leash.”

A burned stray cat being cared for at BHS

BHS has also been providing veterinary services at its clinic. “We are fortunate to have an exceptional veterinarian named Dr. Turner, as well as backups in crisis from other partner agencies,” Montgomery says. “Dr. Turner lost her home in this fire, yet she’s still at work providing our clinic services. She’s ensuring that the injured animals we are taking care of are getting the treatments they need.”

At the same time, the shelter continues to provide many of its regular services, such as spay/neuter, vaccinations, and microchipping. “We have started providing these services at no cost to those impacted by the Camp Fire,” Montgomery says. “It’s simply the right thing to do in this situation to remain true to our organizational mission. Our average costs are roughly $190 per animal.”

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society: $3,000
Southern California is suffering from wildfires as well. As of Nov. 17 in Ventura and Los Angeles counties, the Woolsey Fire was 82% contained after burning 98,362 acres and displacing thousands of people and animals. Santa Maria Valley Humane Society is providing care and safety to dogs and cats transferred from at-capacity shelters in the area.

Dogs transferred to Santa Maria Valley Humane Society to make room for evacuees’ pets

“On average, Santa Maria Valley Humane Society cares for about 100 dogs and cats at any given time,” says Executive Director Sean Hawkins. “In addition, this last week we accepted another 43 dogs and cats who were transferred to us from Ventura County Animal Services and Santa Barbara County Animal Services so that those agencies could make room for animal victims of the emergency evacuation due to the Woolsey Fire.”

Our grant funds will be used for veterinary care of these animals, including specialized surgeries, spaying or neutering, vaccinations, and to help offset fee-waived adoptions to move these animals into homes as quickly as possible.

Surfcat Cafe and Adoptions: $2,500
Our grant will help the Oxnard, CA-based rescue group care for cats displaced by the Woolsey and Hill Fires in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

Osiris, an injured cat cared for by Surfcat Rescue

“Our first response is to help fire victims recover their cats,” says Executive Director Leslie Ann Weiss. “We were able to purchase wildlife night-vision cameras and feeding-site materials so displaced cats had food and water. Once cats were spotted on the video feed, we were able to place humane live traps to rescue them and reunite them with their humans.”

The group is also pulling “less-adoptable” cats from local shelters including Ventura County Animal Services and Humane Society of Ventura. The Petfinder Foundation’s Disaster Grant will help fund emergency medical care for injured cats and supplies for foster parents keeping displaced cats safe and healthy until they can be in a more permanent location.

Thank you so much for your donation to our Disaster Fund; we could not have helped these organizations save lives without donors like you!

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

My donation is a memorial for my friends who have just lost their beloved spaniel, Millie. They found Millie 10 years ago with Petfinder. Here is Millie’s picture on a happy day when she got a new leash!–Diann Hicks Carlson

Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

Hensley, a female Lab-mix puppy, was found in Pender County, N.C., by the Asheville-based Brother Wolf Animal Rescue.

Here’s an update on how the adoption groups who received Petfinder Foundation Disaster Grants are helping pets impacted by Hurricane Florence.

A dog being transported to safety by Peak Lab Rescue

We granted $2,500 to Peak Lab Rescue in Apex, N.C., which has rescued more than 100 dogs from Florence, including 48 dogs pulled before the storm at the request of shelters facing closure, as well as pets still being rescued from affected areas on an ongoing basis. The group also transported 42 dogs and 40 cats to safety from the Carteret County Humane Society in Newport, N.C., after it was partially destroyed by Florence.

Larkin, a 3-month-old kitten, was found by Brother Wolf in Pender County, N.C.

We granted $2,000 to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, N.C., which rescued and/or provided care to around 250 animals before and after Hurricane Florence. Brother Wolf evacuated animals from shelters in Harnett County, N.C., and Horry and Fairfield Counties in South Carolina, transporting them to 10 rescue partners New York State and Fort Myers, Fla.

Brother Wolf also sent its Rapid Response team to rescue stray, lost and abandoned animals from the floodwaters in Warsaw, N.C. The pets rescued included a tiny 4-week-old kitten found screaming for help atop a floating pile of debris; two dogs, one of them completely blind, who’d been abandoned in one-foot-deep freezing water inside their home; and four cats whose elderly owners had been forced to evacuate without them and were desperate to get them back.

Kassandra was rescued by Operation Paws for Homes

We also granted $1,500 to Operation Paws for Homes in Alexandria, Va., which transported animals from rural North and South Carolina shelters. The pets saved included Kassandra (above), a 5-year-old Lab mix who’d been in a shelter that was right in Florence’s path and was forced to evacuate. Kassandra, who is shy at first but gets along with dogs, cats, and kids, is healthy and ready for her forever home!

Gummo was brought to an N.J. foster home .

Our grant of $1,000 to JerseyGirls Animal Rescue in South Plainfield, N.J., helped the seven dogs the group rescued from North Carolina, before and after Hurricane Florence. All the dogs, who range from just under a year to 4-5 years old, received routine vet care, spay/neuter, and treatment for any medical conditions, and all seven are still available for adoption. They include Gummo (above, pictured while waiting for transport to a foster home in New Jersey).

Thank you so much for your donation to our Disaster Fund; we could not have helped these organizations save lives without donors like you!

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

A dog evacuated by Brother Wolf

As the floodwaters from Hurricane Florence continue to rise, we’re helping adoption groups that are rescuing abandoned animals and evacuating adoptable pets from local shelters to make room for flood victims.

A kitten rescued by Brother Wolf

We’ve sent a Disaster Grant to Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in Asheville, N.C., whose Rapid Response team is running search-and-rescue efforts in flooded areas. “It’s not uncommon to find dogs on chains neck-deep in water, community cats in trees, and animals who are ill, injured, or severely malnourished and dehydrated from surviving for days without food or fresh water,” Brother Wolf’s Andee Bingham tells us.

A puppy rescued by Operation Paws for Homes

We’ve also rushed funds to Operation Paws for Homes in Alexandria, Va., which transported animals from rural North and South Carolina shelters in Florence’s path. “Many have only outdoor kennels that offer little protection from the elements,” says OPH volunteer Mark Conners. The pets are now in loving foster homes and receiving necessary veterinary care.

This dog is safe with JerseyGirls.

Another Disaster Grant recipient, JerseyGirls Animal Rescue in South Plainfield, N.J., has taken in adoptable dogs from a North Carolina shelter that had to evacuate prior to Florence’s arrival. “We intend to rescue more dogs from the areas affected by the hurricane,” says president Rosemary Petriello. “Unfortunately, the likelihood of those dogs being in poor health is very high.

These grants are just the beginning of what we expect to be weeks of rescue and recovery efforts. We are continuing to reach out to shelters and rescue groups to provide whatever assistance is needed.

Your donation to our Disaster Fund will help the animal victims of Hurricane Florence.

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

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Cindy before surgery (left) and in her new home

Your donations to the Petfinder Foundation’s Emergency Medical Fund help hundreds of sick, injured and abused homeless pets every year. Here are four of the most recent:

Cindy
As a young puppy, Cindy’s leg was badly injured (she may have been hit by a car). Rather than seeking proper treatment, her owner chose to apply a homemade splint. This caused her leg to become permanently deformed, making it difficult for her to sit, stand and walk and causing permanent pain. Our grant to Homeless Animal Rescue Team in Virginia paid for Cindy’s amputation surgery, and today, Cindy is happy, healthy, and living the good life with her doggy brother in her forever home! Read her story.

vlad
Vladimir has made a full recovery

Vladimir
This 1-year-old Siberian husky was hit by a car on a major highway in San Antonio. Rescued by Molino de Suenos/Windmill of Dreams Animal Rescue and Sanctuary in Texas, he was taken to a veterinary clinic and x-rays showed multiple fractures in his leg. Our grant paid for his much-needed orthopedic surgery. Vladimir had 100% recovery of his leg function and has been adopted. Read his story.

pixie
Pixie is loving her pain-free life in her new home

Pixie
When Pixie came to the Roanoke Valley SPCA in Virginia, she refused to walk. X-rays revealed that her leg had been broken and had tried to heal without treatment. Thanks to our grant, the shelter was able to pay for amputation surgery and placed Pixie in a foster home to recover. After weeks of healing, Pixie’s foster family realized they had fallen in love with her so much that they had to adopt her. Pixie is now part of a loving family that spoils her rotten! Read her story.

barney
Barney is loved by his new family

Barney
Barney was surrendered to Georgia Pet T.A.I.L.S. after his owner left him on a cable tie-out during the day. The cable got caught wrapped around his back legs. He was left like that for so long that the circulation was cut off nearly the entire day to both rear legs. Our grant enabled the rescue to provide Barney with two surgeries and several skin grafts, and today he is a healthy, happy boy who has recently been adopted! Read his story.

Thank you so much for all your support, which allows us to save these pets and many others like them!

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

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Gemma at the vet (left) and headed to her new home

Every day, our Emergency Medical Fund helps save pets who have been terribly abused, injured and neglected, getting them critical medical care so that they can find loving, forever homes.

These are just a few pets helped by your donation recently:

Gemma
In April, the Berea Animal Rescue Fund in Ohio received a call that a puppy had been brought into a local vet’s office after a family member strangled her for having an accident in the house. The puppy was close to death and the family, unwilling to pay for her treatment, wanted to have her euthanized. Berea ARF rescued the pup and, with help from a Petfinder Foundation grant, got Gemma the x-rays, oxygen therapy, and antibiotics she needed to survive. Gemma made a full recovery and was adopted by her loving foster mom. Read her full story.

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Rosie before her surgery (left) and after

Rosie
Our grant to New Leash on Life USA in Pennsylvania provided much-needed relief to Rosie, whose ears had been crudely and cruelly cropped and stitched with fishing wire before she ended up at a crowded Philadelphia shelter. Despite regular cleaning, Rosie’s ears were chronically inflamed and infected due to fluid trapped within scar tissue. Surgery removed her remaining ear tissue, and Rosie is now pain-free, recovering well and serving as the organization’s ambassador dog, teaching children and adults about dogs’ resilient spirits. Read Rosie’s story.

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Fonzie after surgery (left) and with his new mom

Fonzie
The 3-month-old beagle was found in a cemetery, where he’d been living for at least two weeks, abandoned with a badly broken hind leg. Forever Friends Humane Society in Oklahoma picked him up and, thanks to a Petfinder Foundation grant, was able to bring him to the vet for surgery immediately. Fonzie was quickly adopted and his new family followed all his recovery instructions. He now leads a normal, happy life with a wonderful family that loves him dearly! Read his full story.

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Daryl after surgery (left) and with his new mom

Daryl
In January, a good Samaritan came across a stray cat who’d been hit by a car and was badly injured, a bone protruding from his hind leg. His rescuer took him to Pets Alive in Middletown, N.Y., which immedately brought him to a veterinary hospital. Sadly, Daryl had a compound fracture and doctors could not save his leg, but thanks to a Petfinder Foundation grant, he got the surgery he needed. He made a full recovery and soon captured the heart of a family, who report that he’s a playful and energetic companion, “even with just three legs!” Read Daryl’s story.

So many pets like these can only get a chance at happy lives with expensive medical intervention, and your donations make these treatments possible. Thank you again for helping the most vulnerable homeless pets.

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

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Shadow was emaciated and nearly hairless

Our Emergency Medical Fund grants are often the difference between life and death for homeless pets with medical conditions that render them unadoptable. Here are just a few of the pets who were helped thanks to donors like you:

Shadow
When the schnauzer mix (pictured above) arrived at Broome County Humane Society in New York State, she was emaciated, infested with fleas and parasites, and nearly hairless. Our grant got her on the road to healing, and her loving foster mom, who saw Shadow through her rehabilitation, has decided to adopt her! Read Shadow’s story.

martha
Martha had been shot in the face with a BB gun

Martha
The sweet 3-year-old stray was found by Animal Control with multiple pellet wounds to her face. Rescued by Half the Way Home cat rescue in Georgia, her face continued to swell even after the pellets had been removed. Our grant helped pay for her testing and care; today she is doing much better and will never know suffering again. Read Martha’s story.

wesley
Wesley will soon be walking on all four legs!

Wesley
Bred for racing, the greyhound injured a growth plate in his right tibia as a puppy and grew up with a deformed leg. His owner realized Wesley would never race and asked Ohio’s American Lurcher Rescue Project to find him a good home. Our grant helped pay for surgery and Wesley is now recovering, with several families hoping to adopt him. Best of all, he’ll soon be running on all fours for the first time in his life. Read Wesley’s story.

diesel
Therapy and a brace are helping Diesel walk again

Diesel
Diesel’s owners left him outside for over a week while they were out of town. Scared and alone, the young border collie mix jumped a 30′ wall and shattered his right rear leg and left front leg. When his owners found out what happened, they refused to pay his veterinary bills and surrendered him to St. Louis Senior Dog Project, where he underwent surgery and extensive physical therapy. Our grant funded a custom orthopedic brace that finally lets the energetic pup go for the long walks he loves. Read Diesel’s story.

Your donations help us ease these and many other pets’ suffering. From all of us at the Petfinder Foundation, thank you for everything you do to help pets in need.

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

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Reggie before his surgery (left) and today
If you donated to support the Petfinder Foundation’s Emergency Medical Fund, you know that your gift, and the fund, have helped hundreds of homeless pets in need of lifesaving veterinary care. We thought you’d like to meet a few of them.

Reggie
The 1-year-old Australian shepherd (pictured above) was unable to bear any weight on his leg when he was picked up as a stray. An MRI showed that Reggie had a bone fragment in his elbow, and had developed arthritis so severe that the leg would never be pain-free. Our grant enabled Speak St. Louis in Collinsville, IL, to get Reggie’s injured leg amputated. He recovered beautifully and he is currently living a happy life with a wonderful family and Aussie sister. Read more about Reggie.

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Wayne with injured hind legs (left) and today
Wayne
Cats Meow Feline Fosters in Morehead, KY, was called to pick up a stray cat living in a trailer park who couldn’t use his back legs. X-rays revealed that one leg was dislocated and the other was broken, and the cat needed surgery to pin the bones back together. Our grant allowed the rescue group to get this surgery for the good-natured cat, now named Wayne, and he’s since been cleared for unlimited activity. Wayne enjoys running, playing, and even some climbing, and is ready for a forever home! Read Wayne’s story.

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Rutley’s infected ear (left) and Rutley now
Rutley
Mr. Rogers, now named Rutley, was dumped in the overnight drop box of a Southern California shelter in horrific condition: The 9-year-old dog had a large, open tumor on his ear that was infected and infested with maggots. Although he was in terrible pain, he still wagged his tail when he was rescued by Camp Cocker Rescue in Sherman Oaks, CA. Our grant allowed the group to get his tumors removed, and Rutley now enjoys going to the beach and chasing balls at his adoring forever home. Read more about Rutley.

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Bobo soon after surgery (left) and today
Bobo
The Humane Society of McCormick County in South Carolina received a call about a dog found with sticks duct-taped to his front leg. They found a friendly dog, now named Bobo, who was struggling to walk, the skin wearing away on his paw from being dragged on the ground. Shelter vets diagnosed him with brachial plexus avulsion, caused when the limb is pulled so hard that the nerves are yanked out of the spinal cord. Our grant enabled the shelter to get Bobo’s leg amputated, and he is now walking (and feeling) much better. This friendly boy is ready to be adopted! Read his story.

It’s thanks to your support that these sweet pets are no longer suffering and are looking forward to long lives in loving homes. Please help us continue this lifesaving work, and thank you again from all the pets you’ve helped!

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

Every time we give a grant to a shelter or rescue group, we ask for a report detailing how they used the funds and telling us the story of an individual pet helped as a result. (You can read all of these reports here.)

There are always some that make us smile, or laugh, or say, “wow!” And I wanted to share those with you. So here you’ll find our favorites from 2017, all featuring pets helped by your donations.

sundanceSundance: Best Humane Educator
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in North Carolina got a grant from us to support its humane-education program, and Sundance, a boxer mix who’d been waiting for a home for nine long months, was the perfect canine ambassador. Over four weeks, he taught more than 100 elementary-school students how to properly interact with pets. He became a social-media star and soon found a forever home where he’s the center of attention.

hemiHemi: Craziest Rescue Story
In June, the 2-month-old kitten was seen dodging cars on a busy North Carolina highway. Construction workers stopped traffic to try to catch him, but he vanished. Unbelievably, he’d managed to jump into a car’s undercarriage, and hitchhiked all the way back to the driver’s home, where he hid in the garage, still avoiding capture for several days before finally getting caught on some sticky pads for bugs. In a stroke of luck, the homeowner’s neighbor was a volunteer for Paws for Life NC, and she got Hemi, who had a badly broken leg, the care he needed, with help from our Emergency Medical Grant. These days, Hemi is healthy, safe, and adored by his forever family.

roxanneRoxanne and Lando: Best Bonded Seniors
Senior dogs are hard to find homes for — two XL seniors, even moreso. But when these two gentle, bonded boxers were surrendered to a shelter due to a breakup in the only home they’d ever known, Rescue One in Missouri had to save them. A Petfinder visitor’s Sponsor a Pet donation allowed the group to waive their adoption fee, and after six months in foster care, these two “big babies” went to a loving home — together.

crystalCrystal: Best Reunion
Our Disaster Grant helped Sonoma Humane Society care for pets displaced by Northern California wildfires — including Crystal, who jumped out of her carrier and took off running while her family was evacuating. Luckily, she was eventually caught and brought to the shelter, where, thanks to her microchip, staffers were able to contact Crystal’s owner. As it was safe to return home, the owner came straight in to pick up her cherished 12-year-old cat.

franklinFranklin: Best Playgroup Makeover
We LOVE helping shelters implement playgroup programs! They truly save lives, and Franklin, helped by our grant to Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, is a perfect example. He arrived with lots of bad behaviors, was labeled dog-aggressive and was nearly impossible for staff to handle. Once they put him in playgroups, he became a different dog! He turned out to be dog-friendly, and his stress-induced behaviors vanished. These days, he’s doing wonderfully in a home with a canine sibling!

billieBillie: Funniest Office Cat
Our grant to Metro East Humane Society in Illinois helped 14-month-old Billie get needed eye surgery. She still has only partial vision, but that doesn’t stop the mischievous kitten from bringing daily smiles to shelter staff as she awaits her forever home — and helps herself to her favorite treats, even if they’re supposed to be “for dogs”!

autumnAutumn: Bravest Chicken
Autumn was badly burned in the Northern California wildfires, and is being rehabilitated at Sonoma Humane Society. But she’s helping others heal at the same time, as part of the shelter’s therapeutic humane-education program, supported by our grant. The program teaches children empathy and compassion and, since the fires, has also provided a calming environment to kids who lost their homes. “The children are learning a lot from Autumn,” program director Carol Rathmann tells us, “but their most important lesson is that every living being deserves a chance.”

Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

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 2017.

The response was overwhelming. These are just a few of the hundreds 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 pet rescuers who work around the clock to save these vulnerable pets.

Your donation today can help change more pets’ lives.

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2016:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2015:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2014:

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

A burned cat at Sonoma Humane Society

Sonoma Humane Society: $4,000

“We are currently experiencing an unprecedented wild fire disaster,” says Development Director Melissa Dobar. “Many have had to evacuate quickly and were not able to take their animals. Over 2,000 residences have been destroyed. Since this began on Oct. 8, 2017, we have had hundreds of calls and animals come through our doors. The disaster continues with winds moving fires throughout the community.

“We are providing services with a skeleton crew, as many of our own staff have lost homes and are evacuated and some are living at the shelter. We are taking in burned and injured animals and providing shelter and medical care; facilitating a lost-and-found-pets effort; providing resources and items to evacuees; and working closely with our municipal shelter, Sonoma County Animal Services (SCAS), and the California Veterinary Medical Association to make our medical and surgery suites available for animals impacted by the fires.

“As the fires began, the SCAS shelter lost power, phones and Internet and, until they recovered, we were set up to provide communications and assistance on their behalf. We are also in communication with partner shelters and rescues throughout the area. Our primary partnership is with SCAS, as they lead the Emergency Operations for the animals in our area.”

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

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

sol
Sol is at Humane Society of Puerto Rico.

Humane Society of Puerto Rico: $20,000

Like the rest of the island, the Guaynabo-based shelter serving the greater San Juan area was severely damaged by Hurricane Maria. “We lost a component to our power generator, components for our surgical table, our refrigerator to store vaccinations, and our van has died,” says Executive Director Maritza Rodriguez. “We sustained significant water damage. We need help making these repairs so we can become fully functional again and reopen our medical clinic, which provides low-cost services to thousands of animals every year. We imagine that many animals have been injured by Maria and, in the long term, we want to be able to offer them care — from basic vaccinations and testing, to surgeries for broken bones, and sterilizations.

“This will be an ongoing project, as we imagine the fallout from Maria will go on for months and months, if not years. We believe our generator repairs would be about $2,000, our surgical table about $500, a new refrigerator $1,500, and a new (second-hand) van $5000. We would put the rest of the grant money into animal medical services to allow us to reduce our prices even more for animals affected by Maria. After Irma hit, we saw a very high incidence of animals that had been run over by vehicles, and we imagine the same will be true here. We would like to be able to help them, and also provide DHLPP [distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parainfluenza and parvovirus], rabies, and bordetella vaccinations, as well as fecal tests and treatment, and spay/neuter services.

“Given the severity of the situation on the ground in Puerto Rico, it is very hard to know when supplies will once again reach the island. Ideally, we would like to fix our generator and surgical table immediately. But communications are very compromised and transportation is difficult. There is also a gas shortage. We would like to purchase a new refrigerator ASAP so we can store vaccines, but most of the stores are closed now. We hope to be able to make these repairs and purchases in the next couple of weeks; same with the van. As for providing care to the animals, we would keep this going as long as we have funding.”

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

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

HSMiami
Cookie is at the Humane Society of Greater Miami.

We’re sending three new grants to Florida shelters to help them recover from Hurricane Irma:

Humane Society of Greater Miami: $10,000

“Our shelter is still picking up the pieces left behind by Hurricane Irma,” Senior Director of Development Ronald Stayton says. “We estimate that we suffered more than $400,000 in losses and costs associated with downtime. When we first lost power, the chiller could not handle the load and we lost air conditioning in all but one area of the shelter, and our A/C compressors blew. We had to move all animals from affected parts of the shelter and from our separate intake/quarantine building into the main shelter where the A/C was working. As a result of moving sick animals to the main building, we are currently experiencing a spread of the illnesses that were in that building, primarily upper-respiratory infection. We anticipated this and had ordered medications as a precautionary measure.”

The adoption center, which is home to 180 cats and 139 dogs, also had several leaks in its roof from the severe beating it got from the storm, and the community spay/neuter clinic also experienced roof damage and has several leaks.

SAFE
Damaged air-conditioning ductword at SAFE Animal Shelter

SAFE Animal Shelter: $10,000

Sherry Mansfield, executive director of the Middleburg, FL, shelter, says: “We were badly flooded during Hurricane Irma and have to replace the infrastructure, including all equipment, appliances, drywall, furniture, air conditioning and ductwork, etc. We still have more than 40 cats and kittens and six dogs. We have received many donations from the community but right now we need funding to help get the shelter operational. We have much to do inside the building.”

manatee
Calla is at Humane Society of Manatee County.

Humane Society of Manatee County: $2,000

“Hurricane Irma destroyed two structures we highly depend on,” says Valerie Bliss, director of development at the Bradenton shelter. “One of the structures is a storage shed for all of our lawn-maintenance equipment. Sadly, first the shed was robbed the day after the hurricane, and then a very large tree branch came down and crushed it. Irma also destroyed a shed where we kept clean towels, beds and sheets for our shelter animals. Cleanliness and comfort are top priorities for the care of our shelter residents. Our shelter is at capacity, so storage is virtually nonexistent. Temporarily, volunteers are taking loads of laundry home to clean for us. The downside to this is the fact that we are dependent on them to return the clean laundry as soon as possible, coupled with the fact that our industrial machines are set up for the highest sanitary standards as set by hospitals.” Grant funds will go toward replacing the sheds.

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

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

FRIENDS
Horses at F.R.I.E.N.D.S. immediately after Hurricane Irma

F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Horse Rescue & Sanctuary: $2,000

“While we did not get a direct hit by Hurricane Irma, we did suffer severe damages and losses by the rain and heavy winds that came with her,” says Debra Beye Barwick, director of the Fort Lauderdale rescue. “We are asking for your help in funding for a new water pump and a new 40′ dry cargo container, as ours were damaged. We also lost four 18′ x 21′ shelters that were in our turn-out areas and in the pasture. Our long term needs: to get the fallen trees off our fences, to replace the fences with corral panels, and to bring 25 loads of clean white fill to help with the footing for the horses and their caretakers.”

catdepot
Two Cat Depot residents wait out the storm.

Cat Depot: $1,000

“Before, during, and after Hurricane Irma, our staff has worked literally day and night with hurricane preparedness, evacuating cats from other organizations to us, caring for all the cats during the storm, and cleaning up the facility after the storm,” says Maria Sadowski, communications specialist at the Sarasota shelter. “Naturally, we need to compensate everyone fairly for their efforts, and are now trying to get this money refunded so it doesn’t have to be taken out of the regular budget for the cats.” The shelter’s total cost for 85.71 overtime hours is $1895.45.

highlands2
A cat rescued by Humane Society of Highlands County after being outside during Irma.

Humane Society of Highlands County: $2,000

“We had many kennels crushed by trees on our property,” says Cindy Dutton, volunteer coordinator at the Sebring shelter. “Thankfully, no dogs were killed or injured.” Grant funds will help offset the cost of new kennels, fencing repair and replacement, and tree removal and trimming.

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

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Further Reading

Author: Emily Fromm

paws4survival-lucky
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.”

puertorico
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!

donate2

Further Reading