Posts Categorized: Grants

More Grants to Help Texas Shelters

Puppies at the warming center operated by Harris County Pets Resource Center

We’ve sent three more grants to Texas shelters to help them recover from this year’s devastating winter storms. Here are their stories:

Harris County Pets Resource Center
Project Manager Marissa Johnston writes: “Harris County Pets (HCP) [in Houston] was directly impacted by the week-long extreme weather event Winter Storm Uri. For six days, HCP was forced to remain closed to the public due to power and water outages as well as dangerous road conditions and freezing temperatures.

“Throughout the six days, staff remained on-site, including overnight, to care for the approximately 190 animals in our facility. As a county-operated organization, additional staff were required to stand up an animal-care site at a county-operated warming facility, where they cared for animals in need of warmth and shelter during the storm.

Puppies at the warming center

“Phone operators and animal-control officers continued to answer calls remotely and respond to urgent needs to ensure animals in the community were being kept inside with adequate protection from the freezing temperatures. At times, widespread power outages and cellular service interruptions presented an insurmountable challenge in maintaining these critical operations.

“One of the greatest trials of the event was the loss of power and water in our building. HCP had just two portable generators at our disposal that could provide power for limited sections of the facility. One of the generators proved unreliable and, therefore, during one of the coldest nights of the week-long storm, HCP had just one working generator to power a small section of our sprawling facility. We were thankfully able to get the second generator working by reducing the load and cutting off power to certain areas of the building. Animals needed to be consolidated to smaller sections to keep the generator running.

“Water was an additional concern, as the boil-water notice, followed by a loss of water pressure, raised concerns about our staffs’ ability to adequately clean kennels and provide safe drinking water for the animals in our care.

“As a result of extended power outages, certain medications and vaccines in our medical refrigerators became unusable and needed to be replaced.

A dog rescued by Harris County Pets

“Due to our six-day closure, the pets in our facility experienced a length-of-stay much longer than our average 5.9 days. To address this issue and avoid any potential capacity concerns, Harris County Pets hosted a free adoption event from Sunday, February 28th to Friday, March 5th.

“This was our first large-scale weather event endured in our new Harris County Pets facility. With only a few months until hurricane season, we fully expect many of the extreme challenges presented during Winter Storm Uri to further impact HCP in future weather events. As we engage in recovery from Winter Storm Uri, we are also looking to better prepare our building to withstand extreme conditions and protect the health and well-being of the animals in our care during such events.”

Our grant will help fund a water tank, replacement medications and vaccines,
temperature monitors, heating and cooling equipment, mobile hotspots, and additional emergency supplies (battery packs, flashlights, fans), as well as reimburse the shelter for waived adoption fees after the storm.

Odin at Bay Area Pet Adoptions

Bay Area Pet Adoptions
“The Texas artic storm hit all of us by surprise, as the Texas Gulf Coast never sees sub-freezing weather like this, in addition to a power grid failure,” writes Ann Traynor-Plowman, a volunteer at Bay Area Pet Adoptions in San Leon. “Our shelter lost power for almost a week. A water pipe in the big-dog kennel burst from the freezing temperatures.

“Bay Area Pet Adoptions prepared as well as we could for this winter storm event and sent the majority of our shelter dogs into foster, so we only had dogs with behavioral challenges left at the shelter, and our cattery. One of our wonderful staff members volunteered to stay at the shelter to care for our animals who were on-site, as well as keep an eye on the buildings. We combined all of the dogs into one building for convenience and close proximity to the cattery and office. He stayed in the small office to look after two of dogs who were sheltered there instead of the kennels.

Benjamin at Bay Area Pet Adoptions

“The power went out the first night on February 13th and did not come back on for five days. Our quick-thinking staff ran to Home Depot and purchased the last generator, gasoline, and multiple extension cords to help keep the small-dog kennels, cattery, and front office warm. She was also able to borrow some portable electric heaters from her neighbors.

“We are located on the Texas Gulf Coast and we had snow on the ground for days, which is unheard of. If it snows down here, it is usually melted by the next day.

“An overhead water pipe broke and rained down through the ceiling and light fixture, soaking all of the dog kennels on the right side of the building. Fortunately, all of the dogs had been moved to the other building and were safe and dry. The below-freezing temperatures also froze our water-well pump pipes and the lever handle broke.

“Plumbers were very scarce as this was happening all over the state. Staff finally located a plumber to patch the broken overhead pipe. To date, he has not had time to come back and give us an estimate for additional repairs. We were also able to locate a handyman to help with basic repairs to get the building up and running again.

“By the weekend, our shelter was recovering and many of the dogs who were in foster were able to return to the shelter. On a happy note, two of our shelter dogs found their forever homes due to the storm!”

Our grant will help cover out-of-pocket expenses the shelter had not budgeted for, such as the purchase of a generator to keep the animals and staff members warm, extensions cords, gasoline, water-pipe repair, and miscellaneous ceiling and lighting-fixture repairs from the burst attic pipe.

Ryder at Highland Lakes Canine Rescue

Highland Lakes Canine Rescue
The deep freeze’s impact on Highland Lakes Canine Rescue in Marble Falls included power loss for several days, impassable roads preventing scheduled animal care staff from getting to work, downed trees and limbs making parts of the property impassable, and frozen and broken pipes causing water outages for several days.

Pokey at Highland Lakes Canine Rescue

“Because we care for 20+ dogs at a time at our shelter, our number-one priority was the safety and comfort of these dogs. In response to these impacts, we took action on the following disaster recovery needs,” says volunteer Holly Goldbetter: “We immediately brought on and paid emergency animal-care staff living nearby to make sure the animals were fed, warm, and comfortable. We also purchased bottled water for drinking and cleaning needs while tap water was unavailable; a chainsaw and fuel to clear our property of many downed trees and limbs so that animal care staff could safely access work areas; and plumbing supplies to repair broken pipes so that water service could be restored.”

Our grant will offset these expenses and enable the shelter to take in and afford basic medical expenses for four additional dogs in 2021. Its basic medical expenses average just over $150 per dog, which includes spay/neuter, vaccinations, heartworm/parasite tests, and microchip.

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Texas Disaster Grant: Texas Best Choices Animal Rescue

Luna’s intake photo

What was the money or product used for?
The Texas storm hit us hard and we had unexpected expenses that the $2,500 Disaster Grant funds were used for:

Heat lamps
Propane heaters
Electric heaters
Propane gas to run the heaters
Extreme electric bill
Kennel supplies — Water jugs to go get water when the water was cut off in our area, buckets to distribute the water, blankets, straw.

Luna after she’d recovered

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
This grant was extremely beneficial for us to meet the extra expenses required due to the storm. We in Texas have never experienced this type of cold weather and your generosity helped us keep the animals warm and meet their basic needs despite the conditions. Rolling power outages and no water were devastating, but propane heaters, propane gas, jugs, and buckets provided just what was needed. Blankets, too, were much appreciated!

How many pets did this grant help?
66 dogs and puppies

Luna in her new home

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
Luna came to us from her owner, who was threatening to dump her in the lake if we did not take her. She had no hair and was suffering with extreme mange, but she did not deserve to die. The first photo is her intake photo. We began medicating her, but when the cold weather hit, she was especially vulnerable. She not only thrived, but grew her hair back (second photo) and found a very special forever home (third photo)! Thank you for your generosity! You made a difference in so many lives!

Jackson

Jackson (above) was also a resident during these tough times. Every dog at the rescue benefitted from your support, but we share Jackson’s story because he also got a forever home (bottom photo) thanks to Petfinder!–Karen A. Cadis, Secretary/Treasurer

Jackson with his new family

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Texas Disaster Grant: Palm Valley Animal Society


What was the money or product used for?
The funding was for disaster relief from Winter Storm Uri. The funding covered repair of our AC compressor that blew when generators came on and off several times as we gained and lost power.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
Funding had to be diverted away from our animal care operations in order to cover the cost of repair for our AC compressor. Having the Petfinder Foundation come back and cover the cost of this unexpected expense means that we won’t have any interruption in our capacity to care for animals in our facilities.

How many pets did this grant help?
550, which is the average daily population count of animals in our shelter

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
Space is a Great Dane who is deaf and was rescued off the streets in the days leading up to Winter Storm Uri. He was undernourished and skinny. Thankfully, as it got colder, we had a few XXL dog sweaters that he was able to use to stay warm. As we battled the cold and the failure of our equipment, a partner shelter in Minnesota heard about Space and immediately snatched him up for rescue. He left our care just a few days after the storm and is living happily in Minnesota now!–Kerri Burrows, Grants and Data Coordinator

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Texas Disaster Grant: Houston Humane Society


What was the money or product used for?
Due to damage sustained to the shelter from the winter storm, many repairs were required, including replacing the well pump and water filter, copper pipes in the kennels, and two new batteries for the generators. The Petfinder Foundation grant funds were used to reimburse HHS for these repairs.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
This grant enabled us to replenish the accounts that we used to pay for the upfront costs of damage repairs. This meant that we could use that money on the care of the animals instead.

How many pets did this grant help?
300

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
The Houston Humane Society rescued eight dogs and one adult pig from the deadly temperatures during last month’s winter freeze. The dogs were discovered after a report was made to the Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce by a concerned citizen. The officers on-scene from the Harris County Sheriff’s Office and Harris County Pets, partners of the Harris County Animal Cruelty Taskforce, shared that the animals appeared to have been left outside with no shelter, food, or water access during the storm, during which temperatures reached a horrifying 18 degrees.

The youngest victim, a puppy, was found barely alive, covered in ice, and suffering from a broken jaw, clearly the result of abuse. The puppy, now named Arctic (first three photos), received specialized surgery to repair her injuries. She remains in stable condition. We are happy to share that our strong girl Arctic will now begin her long road to recovery with her head held up high. She has refused the feeding tube that veterinarians thought she would need, and instead prefers her food wet and in a bowl!

Like many Texans, Arctic is resilient and a true example of how Texans progress toward recovery: proud and tough. Arctic is a sweet girl who, despite the stitches, loves to give wet kisses and will attempt to hug you when held. She is sure to have that tail wagging, begging for attention when you come near. The rest of the pups and pig remain under medical review and are adjusting well to volunteers and staff. All enjoy treats and playtime. The pig especially enjoys fresh strawberries.–Katie Fine, Community Impact Specialist

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Texas Disaster Grant: NaNook and Koda


What was the money or product used for?
The 2021 Disaster Grant money was used to purchase two generators and replace an a/c wall unit that was damaged when the power outage occurred.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?
This grant allowed us to purchase two generators to run our buildings’ electricity so that the dogs will not be without heat or air conditioning, lights, refrigeration of medications, foods, etc., again. During the last storm, power was knocked out in our area for three days. For three days, our founder dogpiled with all the dogs in our rescue in one room in between outside time to keep them warm.

How many pets did this grant help?
24

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.
Four days before the Texas storm hit, four puppies were dumped about 20 miles outside of our rural town. We took these babies in and named them Cupid, Teddy, Paddy, and Nora. They were scared and timid and cold. It was difficult to get them to pile up with the other dogs and our founder, but she struggled through and kept these four and all the other dogs warm. Now, if a storm or other disaster ever knocks the power out again, the dogs will be warm or cool in their own spaces without such a struggle to pile up. Food and meds that are refrigerated will be safe.–Toni M. Burleson, Director

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How You Helped West Coast Wildfire Pets

Chase, rescued by Whitman County Humane Society

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


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

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

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

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


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Best Pet Transformations of 2020

We asked the shelters and rescue groups that received grants from the Petfinder Foundation this year to send us their favorite rescued-pet transformations of 2020.

Here are just a few of the submissions we received.

Many of these images are graphic. But these are the realities that animal rescuers face on a daily basis. Thank you to the shelter staff and rescue-group volunteers who work around the clock to save these vulnerable pets.

Your donation today can help change more pets’ lives.

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2019:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2018:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2017:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2016:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2015:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2014:

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Helping West Coast Animal Wildfire Victims

An evacuee’s rabbit being cared for by Saving Grace

As wildfires ravage the West Coast, we’re helping shelters and rescue groups care for the animal victims.

Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center
We’ve sent a Disaster Fund grant to Saving Grace Pet Adoption Center in Roseburg, OR, which is taking in pets belonging to locals forced by the Archie Creek Fire to evacuate.

“Douglas County, along with the entire state of Oregon, is dealing with wildfires on a scale we’ve never seen before,” says Executive Director Megan Gram. “We currently have two wildfires causing level-three go-now evacuations for about 3,000 local residents. The fire which is impacting us most is the Archie Creek Fire. It is currently burning at 121,000 acres and is about 10% contained.”

A cat at Saving Grace

The shelter is also offering free pet food and crates for residents in need. “We are now starting to see strays who we assume were left behind by owners who did not have time to get them out,” Gram says. “We believe we will see more and more strays, whom we hope to be able to reunite with their owners in the coming weeks. We are reaching out to other counties in our area to see how we can help as we have additional space available to take in more animals as needed. We are currently caring for 43 evacuated pets on top of our existing shelter population.”

Petfinder Foundation grant funds will be used to provide care for displaced pets as well as strays who may have injuries sustained from the fires.

Evacuated chickens at Sanctuary One

Sanctuary One
We’ve granted additional disaster funds to Sanctuary One in Jacksonville, OR, where the Almeda and Obenchain fires have caused massive evacuations of both animals and people.

“We have taken in more dogs from our county shelter (four are being officially signed over to us and two will be held as fosters for the county),” says Executive Director Megan Flowers. “We are also working with our local law-enforcement community to help rescue farm animals in evacuation sites.”

Grant funds will help pay for dog food and vet bills for the dogs pulled from Jackson County Animal Services, as well as gas and staff time required for the farm-animal rescues. The shelter is working with more than 40 farm animal rescues/evacuations and receiving new calls every hour from the sheriff department to assist in more farm-animal rescues.

A burned cat at Whitman County Humane Society

Whitman County Humane Society
Another disaster grant recipient is Whitman County Humane Society in Pullman, WA. On Sept. 7, a wildfire destroyed most of the homes and buildings in the small towns of Malden and Pine City. Because the fire was moving so quickly due to high wind speeds, many people were forced to evacuate quickly, leaving behind their belongings and their pets.

“As the fire has gone out, people’s animals are returning to the area burned and injured,” says Director of Shelter Operations Ashley Renae Phelps. “We have been taking in all of the unclaimed animals as well as helping match lost pets to their owners.”

Grant funds will support staff working to catch stray burn victims and pay for these injured animals’ medical care. “We have already received five cats from this situation with vet bills totaling over $3,000,” Phelps says. “There is a known feral colony of about 30-40 cats living in the Malden area who, if alive, will need assistance.”

A bird at Exotic Bird Rescue Center of Oregon

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

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

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

Siskiyou Humane Society staff feeding animals sheltering in place

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

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

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

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The Best Pet Transformations of 2019

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 2019.

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 2018:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2017:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2016:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2015:

The Most Amazing Transformations of 2014:

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Getting Dogs Out of Shelters – ASAP!

Shelter dog Cookie with one of her field-trip fosters

We like programs that help homeless pets by breaking down old ways of thinking — like the idea that shelter dogs need to stay in shelters! That’s why we’re supporting field-trip programs, which get dogs out of shelters for a few hours or even days.

These programs have countless benefits:

  • They relieve stress for the dogs, and tire them out so they’re better behaved when they get back to their kennels.
  • They let volunteers collect valuable information about (and take adorable photos and videos of) the dogs in real-world settings.
  • They get the dogs out into their communities, and their adorable faces in front of potential adopters.
  • They attract new volunteers and adopters by offering a low-stakes way to hang out with the dogs.

ACC field-trip favorite Bundles

When Animal Care Centers of NYC (ACC) debuted its field-trip program, the line to volunteer stretched down the block! “The BoroughBreak is a great way to not only give the animals much-needed time out of the shelter, but to gain deeper insight into their behavior from our fosters and volunteers,” says the shelter’s Jennifer DiClemente, “who become adoption ambassadors for great dogs like Bundles.”

ACC’s grant from the Petfinder Foundation will fund the purchase of no-pull harnesses so that volunteers can feel confident handling dogs who need to practice leash manners or have energy to burn — the same dogs who benefit most from getting out of the shelter.

DAWG dog Rocket on his field trip

Denison Animal Welfare Group (DAWG) received a Petfinder Foundation grant to purchase supplies such as collars, leashes, and ID tags for its field-trip dogs. The program has been a game-changer for the Texas shelter: “Dogs are receiving more visitors and increased visibility in our community,” says President Stephanie Phillips.

Hold times are shorter, adoptions are occurring quicker,” and other organizations are more likely to pull dogs thanks to an abundance of information about them, she adds, including “videos, report cards, likes and dislikes, and things the volunteers might not have observed in a shelter setting.”

Ping’s field-trip fosters adopted him!

“The program does so much for our dogs,” says Mirah Horowitz, Executive Director of Hawaii’s Kauai Humane Society, which also received a Field Trip Grant. “It gives them a much-needed break from the stress and boredom of living in the shelter. It improves their socialization by getting them out in new environments and with new people. And, it some lucky dogs’ cases, it results in a forever home!”

One such lucky dog was Ping. “His family was living on Kauai for a temporary work assignment and took him out on multiple field trips. As they were getting ready to return to the mainland, the adopter’s children decided to surprise their mom on Mother’s Day with the gift of unconditional love. The family adopted Ping, and now he is living his best life on the East Coast!

The Animal Foundation’s Papz

Since launching its program in July, The Animal Foundation in Las Vegas has sent more than 150 dogs on field trips to restaurants, parks, and even family holiday gatherings. “These temporary breaks have helped many of our dogs better cope with living in the shelter as they await their forever homes,” says Development Manager Amy Wiles.

The shelter will use its Petfinder Foundation grant to purchase booties for field-trip dogs. “They will protect the dogs’ paws as they venture out into our uniquely hot Las Vegas climate with its scorching surfaces,” Wiles says.

With your help, we can get more dogs out of shelters, where they can de-stress, show off their true personalities and meet potential forever families.