Posts By: Emily Fromm

A Rescue Vehicle Is Hit by a Drunk Driver

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The animal-rescue vehicle purchased by Alaska’s Extended Life Animal Sanctuary

Thanks to your donations, when the animal-rescue vehicle used by Alaska’s Extended Life Animal Sanctuary in Nikiski was totaled by a drunk driver, the Petfinder Foundation was able to help.

AELAS founder Tim Colbath tells us, “On Jan. 9, our primary pet transport vehicle was hit and totaled by a drunk driver.” Colbath himself received a broken leg and other injuries, but made a full recovery. Unfortunately, the organization’s Chevy Suburban was beyond repair.

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Buddy, who was rescued by AELAS

“The accident impacted our ability to transport pets,” Colbath says. “My 2001 Dodge pickup can only handle the transport of four cats at a time. Even with a cap on the back, it is too cold and rough for animals to be transported nine months a year here in Alaska.”

The Petfinder Foundation awarded AELAS an $8,000 disaster grant. Together with a smaller payment from the drunk driver’s insurance company, AELAS was able to purchase a 2004 GMC Yukon XL.

The new vehicle plays a critical role in AELAS’s rescue work: The organization serves all of south central Alaska, and often transports animals 200-300 miles to the sanctuary.

One such long-distance rescue was Buddy, who was shot by a passerby while he was relaxing in his own yard. Buddy’s owners didn’t have the means to get him treatment, so AELAS volunteers drove 100+ miles to Homer to pick him up.

They rushed him straight to their vet, where Buddy underwent surgery to remove the bullet that had been lodged in his bone for — as Colbath learned — six days. Despite his ordeal, Buddy is a happy, friendly boy who is ready for a safe and loving home. Read the story of Buddy’s rescue or meet Buddy here.

With its new truck, AELAS will be able to continue rescuing pets like Buddy. “I want to thank each and every member of the Petfinder Foundation for helping us get this rig,” Colbath says. “This 2004 GMC Yukon XL is absolutely perfect for the pet transporting we do every day, weekly to Anchorage and back. We service two of the three Southcentral Alaska PETCO stores, and the cats and dogs love the ride now!”

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For Shelter Dogs, Happiness Saves Lives

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Smiley on his dog bed

Happy, healthy dogs are more likely to get adopted. When shelter dogs are physically comfortable, feel safe and secure, and are not crazed with boredom, they show their true personalities and charm potential adopters.

That’s why many of our grants are designed to improve shelter dogs’ quality of life. A bed, a toy and even a good shampoo can make all the difference.

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Smiley, a 9-year-old blind Pit Bull, has been at the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts in Brockton for quite some time. Thanks to our grant, he and other dogs there sleep on cozy P.L.A.Y. beds. “There is nothing Smiley likes better than going out for long walks,” shelter director Kim Heise says. “But having a nice, soft, comfy P.L.A.Y. bed to snuggle up on in his kennel makes having to come back a little easier.” Read Smiley’s story.

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Finley with his KONG

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We granted 300 KONG toys to Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson — great news for dogs like Finley, a 5-year-old Italian Greyhound mix. “Shelter life can be scary for pets,” PACC Development Director Karen Hollish tells us. “The enrichment activity that Finley received from the granted KONG toys meant he was relaxed, happy and ready when his adopter finally walked by.” Read Finley’s story.

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Suzy before (top) and after

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Adoption groups receiving our grants of Wahl grooming products tell us the mild shampoos are a blessing to their dogs, many of whom come into their care with painful skin conditions and smelling terrible. Suzy had spent her seven years living outdoors when she arrived at Houndhaven in Minneola, FL, and her coat was in poor shape. After a regimen that included Wahl baths, Suzy blossomed — and was adopted. Read Suzy’s story.

Thank you for your support, which makes stories like these possible. Donate to improve quality of life for more shelter dogs.

 

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Cleo

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No words can describe how different life is without you. There is no one at the door watching me when I leave for work in the morning and no one greeting me when I get home at night. I was always so happy to see you and you were always so happy to see me. No matter what, I wanted to be near you and you were my shadow wherever I went in the house. Cleo, remember the time I took you home for the first time?!

cleo2I miss the tortilla-chip smell of your feet, the warmth of your belly, the wetness of your nose on my face and so many more things … I miss watching you run in the park and I miss that little butt wiggle when you wagged your tail–oh how that wag made me so happy. I miss my best friend. Cleo, you were always there for me and gave me a higher sense of purpose. I love you with all of my heart. I looked forward to the time of day when I got home to walk with you. I loved our “Puppy Make Out” time and hanging and eating together. You were a great friend, wonderful therapy dog and everyone loved you, even the cat. Grandpa misses you so much and I know he felt so lucky to be with you these last 6 months. You are always near me and I carry your memory in my heart. Thank you for choosing me. Thank you for lighting up my world and teaching me the beauty in the little things, and teaching me about being grounded. You defined “home” for me. You are the first thought on my mind every morning and the last thought on my mind every night. I love you more than words can say, Cleo Luna. Thank you. Thank you.–Erica Hesselson

Happy

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Happy, you will be dearly missed. I saw the love and light in your eyes. I am so sorry I was not able to do more for you. I will always miss you and I will never forget you. You will always be in my heart.–Lori Mehl

Our New Rescue Van Will Save Lives in Detroit!

MHS_van_collage2Here’s a sneak peak at the new animal-rescue van purchased with our $40,000 grant to the Michigan Humane Society! With this van, MHS will be able to save thousands of Detroit animals from cruelty and neglect.

“Thank you for the time you took to help MHS with this and for the significant donation that made this possible,” says MHS Vice President of Development Marta Diffen. “Animals in the city are counting on us and we are truly grateful!”

The vehicle will enable MHS cruelty investigators to save more pets like Zeva, a German shepherd puppy found wandering the streets of Detroit so emaciated and weak that she was walking on her wrists — her paws were not strong enough to support her body.

Zeva was treated at MHS’s Detroit Center for Animal Care, then fostered — and ultimately adopted — by MHS Chief Cruelty Investigator Debby MacDonald. See Zeva’s amazing transformation in the video below.

Donate now to help more pets like Zeva.

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Happy Ending for Detroit Puppy With Two Broken Legs

Thanks to a Petfinder Foundation grant, the Michigan Humane Society has purchased a new rescue van to save abused and injured animals in the beleaguered city.

“This generous gift from the Petfinder Foundation will travel thousands of miles each year to rescue animals in need,” says MHS’s Interim President and CEO, David A. Williams. “The Petfinder Foundation will help us save the very lives we may then re-home using the most widely recognized website that has placed millions of animals, Petfinder.com. We are grateful for such a great partner. The support is vital and very much appreciated.”

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At this Detroit home, Flutter fell from the second-floor porch onto the concrete patio below.

The $40,000 grant, part of our SNAP-X Detroit project, will mean more help for abused and injured animals like Flutter, a puppy rescued after falling from a second-floor porch.

Flutter’s owner called the MHS Rescue Department the day after the 4-month-old German shepherd mix fell off the porch.

Once at the shelter, it was clear that Flutter was in terrible pain and could not put weight on either of her front legs. X-rays confirmed that she had broken both legs.

Vets outfitted her with two pretty pink casts, and she went into a foster home — with Stacey Bean, the rescue driver who’d saved her! A few months later, after Flutter had made a full recovery, her story was featured on the local news, and she was immediately adopted by Esther Martinez, who’d already adopted two dogs from MHS. “She was just adorable, and I loved her from the moment I saw her,” Martinez told MHS. Watch a video on Flutter’s adoption.

Donate now to help more pets like Flutter.

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In Detroit, a Former Outside Dog Finds a Place on the Couch

Our SNAP-X Detroit grant program continues to save the lives of the city’s most at-risk pets. As part of the effort, we gave a $10,000 grant to All About Animals Rescue, which operates in some of Detroit’s lowest-income zip codes.

AAAR forges relationships with area pet owners — many of whom keep their dogs outside — providing pet food, veterinary care and supplies such as collars and straw to improve the dogs’ quality of life, all while educating the owners in an effort to get them to bring their pets indoors. If they refuse, AAAR offers to rehome the dogs.

Spenser was one such outside dog. AAAR founder Amber Sitko tells us Spenser’s story in pictures:

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The handsome boy on the couch is Spenser. He used to be known as Scarface. His owner disappeared and the owners’ roommates allowed Spenser to stay, but life didn’t get any better for him.

 

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This is where Spenser lived. The roommates weren’t so interested in feeding Spenser, so he had daily rescue visits until a foster home could be found.

 

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Finally, AAAR found Spenser a loving foster home, where he had a playmate! Sadly, he also tested positive for heartworm.

 

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Spencer’s foster mom agreed to continue fostering him until after treatment. During that time, she fell in love with him and decided to adopt him! He tested negative last month too, so all good things with Spencer!

 

Donate now to help more pets like Spenser.

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A New Van to Rescue Cruelty Victims in Detroit

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Edgar was left in a garbage can to die. MHS cruelty investigators saved his life.

One sad result of Detroit’s bankruptcy has been that animal cruelty victims are more vulnerable than ever. With massive cuts to Animal Control, the city agency is unable to respond to many of the calls it receives, and animal shelters and rescue groups are scrambling to fill in the gaps.

As part of our SNAP-X program to help Detroit’s pets, the Petfinder Foundation has given a cash grant of $40,000 to the Michigan Humane Society to purchase a second animal-rescue vehicle, meaning MHS will be able to help more pets like Edgar, who was left in a garbage can after prolonged and severe neglect.

On March 9, a passerby walking his dog heard whimpering coming from a trash can and discovered the dog. The man called MHS, and when its cruelty investigators arrived on the scene they found the 4-year-old Maltese mix in the garbage can, the handle of a plastic bag twisted around his neck.

Rescuers rushed the dog to MHS’s Detroit Center for Animal Care, where vets saw that he was covered with severe urine burns — meaning he’d probably been confined in a small space for a long time before he was finally discarded like trash.

Today, the dog, who has been named Edgar, is in a loving foster home and improving every day. The MHS Cruelty Investigation Department is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or people responsible for his deplorable treatment.

Helping More Pets Like Edgar
Our $40,000 grant funds a fully-equipped animal-rescue vehicle that will enable MHS workers to get even more pets like Edgar out of abusive situations. The organization’s Marta Diffen explains why it’s so desperately needed:

“With Detroit Animal Control hobbled by a variety of factors, our cruelty calls have increased by 26% since 2011 and our rescue calls are up nearly 30%. Our miles driven are up 12%. We expect this trend to continue while the city goes through bankruptcy.

“A new van is paramount to meeting this increasing demand. With Detroit Animal Control not responding to calls regarding stray animals, we are dispatching drivers and rescuing animals from the streets multiple times a day. The wear and tear on the rescue vans is where we are seeing the biggest challenge. Increased miles and carrying more animals is resulting in significant wear to the vehicles and the kenneling equipment.”

Edgar4UPDATE – April 9, 2014: Today, exactly one month after Edgar’s rescue, the Michigan Humane Society posted the photo of him at right on its Facebook page and reported, “Edgar, the Maltese mix who was found in a trash can, is recovering well in foster with MHS cruelty investigator Mark Ramos. Look how cozy he looks on his bed!” We love Edgar’s adorable underbite.

UPDATE – April 16, 2014: Edgar went to his forever home today! Adopter Cindy Nelson-Pouget told MHS, “Something was just pulling at my heart, saying, ‘You need to go get this dog.'” Check out Edgar and his new mom in the video below. Congratulations, Edgar and Cindy!

Read more about how we’re helping pets in Detroit.

Donate now to help more pets like Edgar.

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Helping Desperate Pets in a Bankrupt Detroit

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Junior was helped thanks to our grant to All About Animals Rescue.

The economic downturn has been devastating for residents of Detroit, and their pets. While residents have struggled to stay afloat — or fled the city altogether — animal control services have been drastically cut in the wake of the city’s declaration of bankruptcy in July 2013.

Thanks to our SNAP-X program, founded by animal advocate Fabiola Beracasa, a generous donation from Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. campaign, and donors like you, we’re working to help these vulnerable pets.

With Detroit Animal Control no longer adopting out pets to the public, homeless pets are dependent on the private shelters and rescue groups that pull from the shelter. We’ve given sizable cash grants to two of them: All About Animals Rescue and Michigan Humane Society.

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Mona on the day AAAR volunteers met her

All About Animals Rescue (AAAR) not only finds new homes for pets in need — it also operates the largest high-quality, high-volume, low-cost to no-cost spay/neuter and vet care operation in Michigan. AAAR has spayed or neutered more than 80,000 cats and dogs and provides free health screenings, low-cost vaccines and preventative care to more than 50,000 Detroit-area pets each year.

AAR’s volunteers also pound the pavement year-round, working with residents of some of Detroit’s lowest-income zip codes to help people keep their pets, bring chained pets into their homes and generally improve their pets’ quality of life.

The group’s founder and president, Amber Sitko, tells us about two of the dogs helped by our grant:

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Mona (left) and Junior were grateful for food, water, real collars and basic veterinary care.

“At an outreach event, we met a homeless man living in a filthy camper shell on a vacant lot. It didn’t take long to realize that he had a mental illness and a drinking problem. He had found Mona and Junior wandering the streets and was afraid someone would use them as bait dogs, so he said he chained them up on his lot.

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Mona greets an AAAR volunteer.

“Somewhere along the line, Junior was lucky enough to get a dog house. Mona had part of a wood box. Not having adequate shelter and being chained is bad enough, but he would forget to feed them and said he didn’t really have the money to get them food anyway. When he remembered, he said he’d share some of his food.

“Our first order of business was getting them watered/fed, real collars on them so chains weren’t rubbing against their necks, better shelter, and a vet call.

“It didn’t take long for Mona and Junior to find a rescue visit the highlight of their day.

“It took longer to get them to a place where they could run free and just be dogs. But they’re finally safe and happier than they’ve ever been before.”

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Junior and Mona today (pictured at right with AAAR Detroit team leader Kristen Huston): safe, happy and healthy

UPDATE: Sitko tells us, “Mona was adopted by a great guy who owns a tattoo shop. She will be going to the shop with him as soon as she’s more confident around strangers.” Junior is safely in the care of another rescue group.

Stay tuned for more stories of Detroit pets helped by our SNAP-X grant and your support. Donate now to help more pets like Mona and Junior.

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