Posts Categorized: Disaster

Helping a Flooded Shelter Recover from Harvey

Peyton is one of more than 100+ adoptable dogs living at the flooded Etosha Rescue and Adoption Center.

We’ve rushed another grant to a shelter flooded by rain from Hurricane Harvey.

Etosha Rescue and Adoption Center: $2,500

“Etosha Rescue is located in Seguin in South Central Texas,” says Assistant Director Julie Mitchell. “This made us a target for the high winds and floods of Hurricane Harvey. We have suffered flooding, a carport ripped from the ground and upended, downed fences and posts, fallen tree limbs, a food shed that was damaged, and several tarps and tin roofs that were damaged. The water will drain off eventually, but we do need assistance with cleanup and repairs. This project will impact 106 dogs by giving them a safe and secure place to live.

“While we have a history of taking in pets from past natural disasters, we can not do that immediately because of the shelter damage. Once repairs are made and water recedes, we can then begin accepting displaced animals.” Grant funds will be used to repair damaged property and to purchase 14 large wire crates for pets displaced by the storm.

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 Grants to Help Pets Affected by Harvey

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Mr. Right and Lefty’s home was destroyed by Harvey, so the cats are staying at The Cattery at no charge while their humans find housing.

We’ve sent out two more grants to shelters impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

The Cattery Cat Shelter: $3,000

“We recently evacuated all our cats to another shelter in anticipation of Hurricane Harvey,” says Samantha Person, executive director of the Corpus Christi shelter. “Luckily, our shelter was not damaged, and we are starting from scratch with vetting new cats. In addition, we are boarding cats for free for community members who lost their homes.” Grant funds will be used for vetting new cats brought in as a result of the storm and to help cover the costs of housing cats whose owners have been displaced.

Paws Ranch Rescue & Animal Sanctuary: $1,000

“We suffered minor damage due to wind and a tree falling,” says Executive Director Ashlea Baehr. “We have also seen an increase in the number of stray pets coming in.” Grant funds will be used to repair damage to the kennels, as well as to cover veterinary and ground-travel expenses for 10 flood-displaced dogs who will be taken in by a rescue group in Massachusetts (that group will pay for travel certificates and crates; the flight will be donated by Pilots for Paws).

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

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How We’re Helping Hurricane Harvey Pets

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Dogs displaced by Hurricane Harvey and taken in by Austin Pets Alive! in Texas

Hurricane Harvey drenched Houston and other parts of Texas with up to 50 inches of rain this weekend, leaving 13 people dead and thousands displaced, with no end in sight. Animals have been suffering along with people, and the Petfinder Foundation is rushing grants to organizations that are housing evacuees’ pets; to ones that have taken in pets from flooded shelters; and to those whose own facilities have been flooded, forcing them to move their adoptable pets into boarding or foster care.

If you are with a shelter or rescue group impacted by Harvey, apply for a Disaster Grant here.

Our Disaster Grant application is still open and we anticipate receiving many more requests for funds as adoption groups move out of triage mode and are able to assess their needs. We also expect requests from horse- and farm-animal-rescue organizations, as large animals are generally not able to be evacuated, and local hay supplies are often destroyed during flooding, making feed much more expensive.

Below is a list of grants we have sent out to date:

Austin Pets Alive!: $2,500

“Ahead of the landfall of Hurricane Harvey in Texas, shelters in the path of the storm began clearing their cages,” says Development Director Maggie Lynch. “Austin Pets Alive! has been fielding dozens of calls for help. In response we have sent our own vans with staff and volunteers and coordinated other transport down into the coastal areas of Texas to pick up animals that would otherwise be euthanized or left behind, alone and in danger.” As of Saturday morning, APA! had transported 330 animals to its shelter and was expecting at least another 50-100 over the next 24 hours.

“While we can call on our community for supplies and fosters, we are facing a huge medical expense,” Lynch says. “Nearly every shelter from which we have taken pets does not vaccinate, microchip or even treat the medical issues of their vets. All of [the pets transported in] will need full intake vetting (all vaccines, heartworm tests, FIV/FeLV tests, dewormer, flea medications, microchips, and later spay/neuter surgery). Many are sick and need medical care, and some are pregnant.” Grant funds from the Petfinder Foundation will be spent on vaccines, medications and medical supplies, as well as to cover the extra staff time needed to intake pets and coordinate foster care and shelter care.

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Schmidt, rescued from a rural shelter in the path of Hurricane Harvey by Bark and Roll Rescue Companions in Baton Rouge

Bark and Roll Rescue Companions: $3,000

“We have been asked to take in 25-30 additional dogs, doubling our average monthly intake, from [open-admission] rural shelters in Southwest Louisiana that have flooded, as well as from [open-admission] shelters in the Houston area,” says President Dana Kahn. “We will need funds to transport these dogs to safety with us, and to care for them as many have extensive medical needs: mange, cherry eyes, heartworm, malnutrition, dental disease. In addition, they will need normal vetting (microchip, spay/neuter, vaccinations, vet exams, dewormer, heartworm prevention) to ready them for adoption.”

Tejas Rescued Pet Adoptions: $3,000

“Hurricane Harvey has displaced all of our animals from their regular PetSmart kennel locations,” says Director Tonette Webb. “The cats’ foster locations have flooded and have no electricity. The cats are being boarded at paid kennels. The dogs have been placed in foster homes and at paid veterinarians’ offices. This is a huge monetary burden Tejas never has to deal with. We have limited funds, and with our regular adoptions suspended indefinitely, no way to make up the money.” Grant funds will be used to cover food and boarding costs for the group’s displaced adoptable pets.

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Thor is one of 70+ pets taken in by Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans.

Zeus’ Rescues: $2,500

On Friday, Development Director Kellie Grengs told us: “As we are on the eve of Hurricane Harvey, we are hearing the calls for action from shelters in the path of the storm. If they cannot evacuate the animals, they will euthanize them. All of the Louisiana shelters are at maximum capacity and have been all summer. We have committed to taking 25 dogs from St. Landry Parish Animal Control & Rescue. After the Baton Rouge floods in 2017, our rescue took in more than 300 animals. We are seeking funding to support the care of 25+ dogs.”

The shelter ended up taking more than 70 dogs from St. Landry Parish. Funds will be used for their medical treatment and care prior to adoption; many are heartworm-positive and in need of spay/neuter, microchips, and full vaccinations.

4 Paws Farm, Inc.: $3,000

The Hempstead, Texas, rescue group is taking in pets dislocated by flooding caused by the outer bands of the storm. “Many people take in dogs after a flood but can’t keep them so they dump them in the country,” 4 Paws CFO Harry Stoorza says. “These dogs require extra time in finding their owners. Almost none are returned. Plus, the dogs require full medical attention with longer-than-usual recovery time. And their behavioral issues also require longer therapy times.” Funds will be used for trauma care, spay/neuter, vaccinations and food.

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 Pets in Flood-Ravaged Louisiana

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A litter of kittens rescued by Purrs of Hope had to be provided with a nursing mother.

Thanks to your donations to our Disaster Fund, we’ve been rushing donations to shelters and rescue groups working to save pets from the historic flooding that devastated Louisiana on August 13, 2016.

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A kitten rescued by Purrs of Hope Rescue in Hammond who lost his leg due to the flood

Purrs of Hope Rescue
We sent a $1,000 grant to Purrs of Hope Rescue in Hammond, La. “We took in 41 cats from Tangi Humane Society, a local shelter that flooded,” President Angela Bourgeois tells us. “[In total,] we have taken in 64 cats and kittens impacted by the recent flood. Our total cats are [now] over 200.”

None of the new cats had any vetting. All needed to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, combo-tested and given basic intake care, and some were sick and required immediate treatment. Thirty of them are receiving ringworm treatment; some are on antibiotics for upper-respiratory infections.

Among the cats taken in by the organization as a result of the flooding: A litter that fell through an attic roof and needed to be provided with a nursing mother, and another litter that had been without a mother for several days. This latter group of kittens were emaciated, flea- and worm-ridden and suffering from severe upper-respiratory infections; one (pictured) was injured and had to have his leg amputated. “We want to give a huge THANK YOU to the Petfinder Foundation for awarding us a grant that will help us provide the necessary vet care to these cats and kittens,” Bourgeois says.

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Brody (left) and Roger were taken in by Zeus’ Rescues and are receiving treatment for skin conditions.

Zeus’ Rescues
Our $2,500 grant to Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans provided medical treatment for animals who came from flooded shelters in the Baton Rouge area. “This grant helped our organization when we were in a really tight spot,” Volunteer Development Director Kellie Grengs says. “We had zero funds to support the medical care of 200+ animals that our small volunteer rescue brought in over the course of two weeks. The funds allowed us to quickly get medical attention to the neediest cases.”

Among those helped were Brody and Roger (above), who, along with about six other siblings/parents/aunts/uncles, were found trapped in a flooded trailer in Denham Springs. Other dogs in kennels in the yard had drowned and died. Brody and Roger were able to stay afloat inside the trailer that they had been locked in. Both dogs are being treated for severe skin issues and other medical problems related to floodwater exposure. Although they are shy, both are now wagging their tails and eager to please. They are currently in foster care and also available for adoption, and hoarding and animal-abuse charges are pending against their former owner.

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Sebastian was in bad shape, but is now healthy, happy and adopted.

Bark And Roll Rescue Companions
We also sent a $1,500 grant to Bark And Roll Rescue Companions in Baton Rouge, which provided care for multiple animals (a kitten found in the flood, a stranded fawn who was released back to its mother after the waters receded, and seven dogs suffering from flood-related illness and injuries) and also microchipped 75 dogs and cats living with their displaced owners in the Red Cross shelter (three of those dogs have since been separated from their owners and and then reunited with them thanks to the chips).

“We were also able to spay/neuter, vaccinate and prepare six dogs to be transported to Virginia to another rescue when their foster homes were flooded,” Bark And Roll President Dana Kahn says. “This grant also provided the financial assistance to board a couple of our dogs when their foster mom’s home was under four feet of water until safe housing could be obtained.”

Among the dogs helped by the grant was Sebastian (pictured), found sick, scared and severely matted after the floods. He had abrasions to his body as well as an upper-respiratory infection that required several rounds of antibiotics. “Due to the generosity of the disaster relief grant, we were able to quickly treat his infections and place him in our adoption program,” Kahn says. “He has since found his family, who adore him, and he has blossomed into the beloved family pet he was meant to be!”

Thank you for your generous donations, which allowed adoption groups to save these lives!

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Rushing Aid to Louisiana’s Animal Flood Victims

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Zeus’ Rescue shelter director Michelle Ingram with a dog rescued from a shelter that was flooded

As catastrophic flooding has devastated Louisiana, the Petfinder Foundation is rushing funds to the organizations working to save the region’s pets. These are the shelters we’ve sent grant money to already; we continue to send funds as groups contact us.

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Bark and Roll Rescue’s adoptable dog Elphie is safe from floodwaters.

Bark and Roll Rescue Companions
The majority of the foster homes at this Baton Rouge rescue group were flooded, and some are currently under eight feet of water. The group was able to transfer some animals to a rescue in Virginia, but others are being boarded.

“We also took in four dogs and a kitten from the floods who are ill from being in the cold waters and will need ongoing care,” says founder Dana Kahn. “Our rescue has offered to provide microchips and free registration to all the pets of flood victims who have been displaced to ensure they can get their animals back if they are separated during this trying time.”

We sent Bark and Roll a $1,500 grant to help the organization cover veterinary expenses and meet its animals’ daily needs of enrichment, food and care.

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Rescutopia has been distributing pet food to residents displaced with their animals.

Rescutopia’s Happy Tails Island
Savannah Brown, founder of the Baton Rouge cat-rescue group, tells us, “All of our foster homes are flooded and all pet supplies were destroyed. We need food, blankets, towels, crates, heartworm medications, flea preventative and anything else we can get.

“We focus on the East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parish Area; both areas have been 90 percent flooded. We have taken in several homeless pets who were evacuated. All of South Louisiana is completely devastated, as a flood like this has never occurred. The flooding is worse than Katrina. Our community is devastated.”

We sent Rescutopia $1,000, which will be used to pay for food, crates, pet supplies and any medical treatment that may be required.

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A dog from a flooded shelter who has found refuge at Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans

Zeus’ Rescues
The New Orleans shelter did not flood, but it has taken in more than 160 cats, kittens, dogs and puppies from shelters north of it that did — and many more are expected. Most of them have had minimal vaccinations and are not spayed or neutered; all will need to be altered and microchipped prior to being adopted at the reduced cost of $75 per animal.

Volunteer Kellie Grengs describes the desperate situation: “Shelter director Michelle Ingram and volunteers have driven in flood waters for the past four days to reach shelters that have taken on several feet of water. On Sunday, Aug. 14, Michelle pulled more than 60 animals from the Sorrento no-kill shelter and we expect more.

“Numerous shelters just a few miles north of us were impacted. One was overwhelmed by fast-rising flood waters and all they could do was open the kennels and let the dogs swim free so they didn’t drown. Rescue boats are in the process of saving human lives first and animals second. Michelle is on the scene pulling these animals and caring for them with a team of volunteers. Our shelter averages 400 adoptions annually; this will put a great strain on our already-limited resources, but we simply could not let these animals drown.”

We sent Zeus’ Rescues $2,500 to offset the costs of spaying and neutering the rescued pets. “Thank you so much!” Grengs says. “Last week was a whirl! We vetted 62 cats and one dog on Saturday afternoon alone and shipped 10,000 lbs. of dog/cat food and supplies to the flooded shelters. It was wild, to say the least. So many of the wonderful animals are in foster and will be getting adopted soon!”

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This pup rescued from Louisiana floodwaters is being cared for by Animal Aid for Vermilion Area in Abbeville.

Animal Aid for Vermilion Area
“Vermilion Parish and surrounding areas have been devastated by flooding,” says Roxanne Bayard, vice president of the Abbeville, La., shelter. “Many animals have drowned and waters continue to rise. We are having to evacuate homes with pets as well as the shelter to avoid animals drowning. We need to purchase crates, leashes, collars, cleaning supplies, new bedding, fans, litter, litter boxes and food. Many animals need emergency vetting due to injuries sustained in the flooding.” We sent $2,500 to help with these expenses.

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Saving Pets from Northern California Wildfires

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This kitten was rescued from wildfires by Sonoma Humane Society in Santa Rosa, Calif.; the lost and injured dog was saved by Wine Country Animal Lovers in Calistoga.

To date, three major wildfires raging in Northern California have burned more than 289,000 acres of land; one of them, the Valley Fire, has destroyed more than 1,250 homes. This means residents are fleeing and pets are being lost and injured.

The Petfinder Foundation is helping two organizations that are saving pets from these devastating fires: Sonoma Humane Society in Santa Rosa, Calif., and Wine Country Animal Lovers in Calistoga, Calif. Thanks to your donations, we have granted each group $5,000 in cash to cover medical, pet-care, staffing and other emergency expenses.

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Some pet supplies at Sonoma Humane Society’s evacuation-site outpost for Valley Fire victims

Sonoma Humane Society
Sonoma Humane Society has mobilized to the evacuation site at the Napa Fairgrounds in Calistoga to provide coordination, resources and medical attention for lost and injured pets. It is currently serving 500 people and a more than 400 pets with an on-site triage unit that is providing medical assistance, flea medications and vaccinations; moving animals in need of acute medical care to veterinary partners in local communities; managing an on-site depot where evacuees can pick up supplies so that they can take their pets with them; and using its adoption van to provide a quiet, comfortable place for lost animals to stay while shelter staff attempt to reunite them with their families.

Sonoma Humane Society is also taking in pets at its Santa Rosa campus from a Lake County shelter so that that shelter could make room for animals displaced by the fire. “All local shelters and vets in the fire areas are full,” says Sonoma Humane Society Director of Development Melissa Dobar. “We are placing several of our animals in foster homes to help manage our capacity as we prepare for the influx of more rescued animals. Additionally, we are actively recruiting foster volunteers and providing emergency orientations as we plan for the future needs of the fire victims.”

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This lost dog received medical care thanks to Wine Country Animal Lovers.

Wine Country Animal Lovers
Wine Country Animal Lovers is serving more than 300 animals at the Napa Fairgrounds evacuation site, with more animals arriving with their owners daily. Funds from our disaster grant will be used to pay vets in Lake County for displaced animals injured by the fire as well as pets being brought in by their owners. “We have let all of the vets in Lake County know that our organization will pay them to treat all injured animals, as few owners have the resources to do so,” says Wine Country Animal Lovers Board President Pam Ingalls. “We have asked that they discount what they comfortably can to make the funding go further and have guaranteed payment for their services.”

In addition, Wine Country Animal Lovers has removed all pets scheduled for euthanasia at the county shelter in Lakeport to make space for evacuated animals and placed them in foster care, where they will receive medical care before being put up for adoption. “We will be there as long as needed,” Ingalls says. “This will be a long haul. Not one dollar received will go other than to help Valley Fire animal victims. We are all volunteer-run.”

Thank you for helping us help these organizations save lives. Please donate here to provide additional help to pets in danger.

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More help for shelters affected by Texas, Oklahoma floods

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Flood rescue Nieve, with severe internal injuries, was saved by Austin Pets Alive!

We’re continuing to help shelters and rescue groups recover from recent devastating floods in Texas and Oklahoma. We recently granted $10,000 to Austin Pets Alive!, which not only suffered extensive damage when it was flooded on Memorial Day, but has also been called on to take in pets from surrounding towns and counties affected by the widespread flooding in central Texas, where shelters are overcrowded with lost and rescued pets.

“We need to foster out about 80 animals normally housed in our shelter,” Grants Manager Maggie Lynch says. “As of May 29, we have taken in 140 from other counties but are being called on to take many more as flooding continues.”

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Flooded kennels at Austin Pets Alive!

Our grant will help fund repairs to APA’s shelter: Its roof failed under the torrents of rain and its ground level was flooded. The rain-damaged parts of the building must be torn out quickly, as mold develops rapidly in Austin’s climate.

Our grant will also help pay staffers, who worked nearly 200 extra hours to coordinate the fostering out of all the shelter’s animals, and cover medical intake (including vaccines, tests and microchips) and spay/neuter for pets taken in from surrounding regions.

One pet rescued from the floods just in time is Nieve (pictured above). The little dog had suffered a tear to his diaphragm, allowing his organs to migrate into his chest cavity. APA’s vets operated, and he’s now recovering in foster care.

“We’re so grateful to be able to help pets like him because we are getting such great support from foundations like yours,” says Lynch.

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Flooding outside A Doggie 4 You in Texas

Replacing Kennels, Food
We also granted $1,000 to two organizations that suffered damage to their facilities and destruction of pet food. In Pipe Creek, Texas, our grant will help A Doggie 4 You replace more than 20 bags of dog food destroyed when storm rain and wind tore through its feed room.

“Thank you so much,” says president Patricia Godkin. “We really appreciate your support. We currently have 60 dogs and it has been crazy. We are finally getting a break from the rain. You guys are lifesavers.”

And in Tulsa, Okla., we’re aiding Amore Pit Bull Rescue. Founder Misty Bilby tells us: “We have two 10′  x 10′ x 6′ dog kennels that were destroyed when trees fell on them, and we had many bags of dog food ruined due to flood water.” The grant will be a big help. “We want to thank you so much for caring for our babies,” Bilby says, “and helping us make sure they are taken care of.”

Please donate now to help us continue to help shelters and rescue groups affected by flooding in Texas and Oklahoma!

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Pets in Texas and Oklahoma Need Your Help!

With Texas and Oklahoma battling deadly floods, the Petfinder Foundation is rushing funds to animal shelters and rescue groups to help save the lives of pets in the affected regions.

Here are just a few of the ways we’re helping:

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The Humane Society of Wichita County in Texas was able to reunite this dog with his owner after floods forced local residents to evacuate.

Caring for Evacuees’ Pets
The staff of just five people at the Humane Society of Wichita County in Wichita Falls, Texas, has been working around the clock to care for the pets of families who’ve had to evacuate — and the shelter desperately needed funds to pay for staff overtime and extra utilities (the Petfinder Foundation is one of the few national organizations that gives cash grants to pay staff for overtime hours during times of disaster).

“We started taking in evacuees’ animals at 11 p.m. Wednesday night [May 20],” shelter Director Cheryl Miller tells us. “As the days went on and the city zoned more areas for flooding, we took in as many as we could house. We wanted to be here for our community if and when it needed us, so we kept the shelter open and are having to pay the staff overtime.”

H.S. Wichita County, which usually houses 70 animals, has already taken in an additional 51 dogs and cats. The shelter is strictly donor-funded, and our grant of $2,000 will help cover the costs of staff overtime and additional water and electric bills.

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Rocky is at Etosha Rescue and Adoption Center in Seguin, Texas.

Repairing Flooded Kennels
The storms and flooding in Central Texas caused major damage to Etosha Rescue & Adoption Center in Seguin, Texas. Assistant Director Julie Mitchell tells us, “Our kennels are flooded with six inches of water. Wind damage destroyed several outdoor kennels, the two main gates to the facility, windows in the main building, and a window a/c unit for the indoor dogs. We need loads of sand or gravel to raise the ground level in the outdoor kennels, tarps for shelter, mosquito spray, flea shampoo, paper towels, sheets and blankets for dry bedding, other dog supplies, a new a/c unit, and window replacements.”

With help from our $2,000 grant, the shelter “will safely rebuild the kennels for the outdoor dogs, raise the ground level so the dogs will be dry, secure the facility again with new front gates, treat all dogs for flea infestation, and provide cooling for the indoor dogs,” Mitchell says. “We hope to restore the facility to ensure safety and good living conditions for our dogs, safe from standing water, heat, and flea infestation.”

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Lucky is in the care of Horse Feathers Equine Center in Guthrie, Okla.

Feeding Hungry Horses
One surprising result of the floods has been a hardship in acquiring much-needed hay for horses. Cheri White Owl, president of Horse Feathers Equine Center in Guthrie, Okla., tells us, “Hay costs have risen due to our having to secure sources outside of our normal ones. Flooding has delayed hay cutting and production; some suppliers have lost hay due to flooding. We are having to go to higher-priced suppliers to meet our needs.”

Our grant of $1,500 will provide Horse Feathers’ rescued horses with 25 high-quality bales of hay. “This will allow us to continue feeding the horses and maintaining their body weight and health,” White Owl says, which is critical to both horses waiting to be adopted and those who are lifelong sanctuary residents.

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Charlotte lives in an outdoor kennel at Heart of Texas SPCA.

Protecting Outdoor Dogs
An outdoor-only facility, Heart of Texas SPCA in San Antonio suffered damage to its kennels from high winds and heavy rain, including broken kennel frames, ripped tarps and flooding.

Director Paula Oberle tells us, “Many of the dogs who lost their canopy coverage were standing in mud and water with nowhere to go. We did manage to bring a few inside until the water receded, but more rain is coming. We need new canopies as soon as possible.”

With our $1,000 grant, Heart of Texas “will purchase the heavy-duty canopies and set them up ASAP to protect the dogs,” Oberle says.

Keeping Momma Dogs and Puppies Safe
Missy’s Haven Canine Rescue in San Antonio received heavy winds, rain and lightning, and suffered damage to fencing used to keep the dogs contained, water damage to a food-storage building and the loss of an air-conditioning unit due to power surge. Our $2,000 grant will allow the group to “rebuild the containment area and provide a/c to our building for moms and babies,” says President Michelle Holmes.

Replacing Ruined Dog Food
The only building damaged by flooding at OK Save a Dog in Prague, Okla., was the one that stored all the food. Our $1,000 grant will help the organization purchase a month’s worth of food as well as a secure building in which to store it.

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Idella is at Tejas Rescued Pet Adoptions in San Antonio.

Boarding Pets After a Foster Home is Destroyed
A foster home housing pets for Tejas Rescued Pet Adoptions in San Antonio was severely flooded, meaning its human residents and 25 dogs and cats had to evacuate, with the pets going to a boarding facility until the damage is repaired.

“The pets’ location was flooded with four feet of water,” Director Tonette Webb says, “causing extensive damage to floors, walls and kennels. Mud is covering the floors now and all will need to be disinfected, cleaned and replaced before the pets can come back here. All adoptable pets are in a fee-based boarding facility until then. The estimate for boarding time is two weeks, depending on clean-up.”

Our $2,000 grant will help pay for the boarding as well as clean-up of the pets’ living space. “We will save our adoptable pets, safe now in boarding, and clean their kennels and replace beds and food,” Webb says.

Please donate now to help us continue to help shelters and rescue groups affected by flooding in Texas and Oklahoma!

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Working Together to Help Animals During Disaster

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This dog was rescued by Central Oklahoma Humane Society with a fractured leg after a tornado struck that region in 2013.

This post, by Claire Sterling, originally appeared on the ASPCA Professional website. Read it here.

In the world of grantmaking, it’s common knowledge that applying for funding is hard work — and if you’re doing that work multiple times to reach a number of funders, all while scrambling to help animals who have been affected by a tornado, wildfire or severe flood, it can be downright overwhelming.

With this in mind, a group of funders have worked together to ease the burden of the grant application process for animal welfare organizations that either have been directly affected by a disaster or have been appointed by their local authorities to provide assistance to other organizations. The ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Petfinder Foundation and (for major disasters affecting Colorado) the Animal Assistance Foundation have just teamed up to form a single application and collaborative review process to streamline funding during a disaster.

These funders will collectively consider requests for funding that are submitted via a centralized portal at animaldisasterfunding.org for specific major disasters. Particular disasters for which the application portal is available will be determined on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the individual organizations participating in this funding collaboration. Eligible disasters must be significant enough to warrant a state-of-emergency declaration.

Information regarding specific disasters for which funding will be available will be posted via a Request for Proposals (RFP) on the “Funding Opportunities” page on animaldisasterfunding.org. (Please note that while applications submitted through the centralized portal will be reviewed by a group of funders, each funder who provides support will make its own grant to the applying organization and will issue its own grant contract and reporting requirements.)

Since participating funders can opt in and out of the collaborative, the makeup of the review committee will shift depending on the circumstances and on the affected geographic region(s). Over time, we expect to grow the group of funders to include other animal welfare grantmakers and, ideally, also community and family foundations serving disaster-affected regions.

We will all be learning as we go; this is a relatively unprecedented development not only in animal welfare, but also in the broader field of philanthropy. The concept of collaborative funding is nothing new, but rarely is it directly tied to a joint review of grant requests submitted via a single application form representing the interests of multiple funders. In this case, shared concern for applicants’ limited time — particularly when responding to a disaster — is the primary driver of our collaborative effort.

In the spirit of preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, our greatest desire for this funding collaborative is that disasters calling for its use are few and far between. And in the spirit of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, we strongly encourage organizations to do everything possible to make themselves and their facilities as disaster-proof as possible. As a starting point, please be sure to check out the ASPCA’s Disaster Response Resources page for further information.

With that, we wish you a healthy, happy, disaster-free 2015.

Guest blogger Claire Sterling is Director, Grant Strategies at the ASPCA. Having previously done foundation fundraising for six years at the Foundation Center, her personal blog, The Lion’s Share, provides philanthropy-related resources for organizations that better the lives of animals.

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Helping Dogs Rescued from Georgia Puppy Mill

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One of the rescued dogs with her adopter

When 359 dogs were seized from what authorities called deplorable conditions at Heavenly Kennels near Cumming, Ga., in July, the Petfinder Foundation was there to help. We rushed a $3,000 disaster grant to Cherokee County Animal Shelter in Canton, Ga., to help offset the cost of caring for the dogs, all of whom urgently needed medical care.

Veterinarian Dr. Michael Good, who assisted with the rescue, described the dogs’ living conditions to Atlanta’s WGCL-TV: “Almost every cage had feces in it. They’re designed that when they urinate, and I guess when they mash it down enough, it will fall through the grates.”

The cages’ wire floors caused the dogs tremendous pain. “I saw dogs sleeping in food bowls so they could get off the wire screen,” Good said. “Imagine living your whole life on something like that. It’s got to have an effect on your ligaments and your joints.”

Celebrity dog trainer and animal activist Victoria Stillwell was also present during the raid. “It’s absolutely disgusting, the conditions these animals are living in,” she told WGCL. “They are suffering physically, but they’re also suffering emotionally.”

Cherokee County Animal Shelter Director Susan Garcia told us the animals had been neglected of basic veterinary care for many years. “We have purchased vaccines, flea treatment, microchips and medication for this group of dogs that exceeds $10,000. We hope to improve the dental quality for some of the adult dogs. They are most vulnerable as many of them are pregnant or nursing puppies. Many of dogs in this case suffer from internal parasites, while most also suffer from bacterial infections and all are suffering from ear infections as well.”

The situation nearly overwhelmed the shelter, Garcia said: “Although our building is able to house the animals, we have a small staff that is unable to do the sheer amount of cleaning involved alone. We are relying on our volunteers, supporters and the community at large to keep us going through this situation.”

Ultimately, the cost of caring for the dogs exceeded $100,000, Garcia told the Cherokee Tribune in September. But there was good news: The kennel’s owners agreed to surrender the dogs to the shelter, and every one has been adopted.

The shelter held an adoption event on Aug. 23, and members of the community turned out in droves, Rescue Event Coordinator Lori Kekel told us. “Forty people stayed overnight” before the event to make sure they’d be able to adopt one of the dogs, and hundreds more lined up around the block that day.

The Petfinder Foundation grant helped produce this happy ending. “We could not have been as successful in this emergency situation without the help of our partners,” Kekel said.

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