Posts Categorized: Grants

Hurricane Sandy: We’re Giving $1 Million+ to Help Pets

Hurricane Sandy has devastated animal shelters in the northeast — but the Petfinder Foundation is getting cash and goods worth more than $1 million to Petfinder shelters and rescues in need. Here are just a few ways we’re helping:

Humane Society of Atlantic County dogs were crammed into tiny cat cages to escape floodwater.

  • We’ve given $18,500 and counting in cash grants to affected shelters, including the Humane Society of Atlantic County in Atlantic City, NJ. The shelter was flooded with seawater a foot deep; large dogs had to be moved into tiny cat cages to escape the rising water; and the organization lost thousands in damaged supplies and equipment. Our grant will help staffers repair the facility and care for local residents’ pets in need of medical aid, food and shelter.
  • Thanks to pharmaceutical giant Boehringer Ingelheim (BI), we’re donating vaccines to shelters and rescue groups that lost medications during the storm (many vaccines need to be refrigerated, so shelters that lost power had to discard theirs). BI will work with the Petfinder Foundation to figure out what vaccines each shelter needs most.
  • DelMonte is donating 1,200 lbs of Nature’s Recipe premium dry cat food to be distributed to organizations in need via a Petfinder Foundation grant.
  • With help from our partners at Wahl, we’re donating grooming supplies and shampoo to shelters that lost theirs due to Hurricane Sandy.
  • True-Dose is donating its Calming supplement to shelters to help relieve anxiety in pets going through the stress of being displaced from their homes, living in an unfamiliar environment and being separated from their families.
  • We’re giving KONGs to shelters that need to replace toys damaged by the hurricane thanks to a donation from our partners at that company.

Still, we need your help. Even the smallest donation makes a difference. Please give today.

donate.jpg

 

Rescue U Helps Renovate Five Shelters with Mars Petcare

Rescue U is at it again! We just got back from the Nashville, TN area working with Mars Petcare, which includes Pedigree, helping coordinate their Mars Volunteer Program at five local animal shelters. Volunteerism is the heart and soul of our Rescue U program. Helping Mars/Pedigree by showing their employees how they can improve the living conditions for animals in shelters is yet another way Rescue U is training animal advocates.

The Petfinder Foundation’s Rescue U team poses with volunteers from Mars/Pedigree behind the agility step platform they built at Nashville Metro Animal Care and Control. This platform will not only give the shelter dogs there agility training, but alleviate fear of open stairs, making them more adoptable.

The Mars Volunteer Program is a month long endeavor where Mars employees are given time off to perform various community services as team building events. Rescue U participated this year by designing and running their animal shelter activities. Mars/Pedigree has done animal projects in the past, but they wanted to take their program to a whole new level, so they brought us in. Mars/Pedigree selected the 5 shelters we are going to help, the Williamson County Animal Shelter, the Maury County Animal Shelter, the Sumner County Animal Shelter, the Humane Society of Sumner County, and Nashville’s Metro Animal Shelter, and Rescue U got to work.

We worked with the 5 shelters to determine what their greatest needs are. We then designed the projects to be completed in a single day with new volunteers working each day. While that may sound like a simple task, most shelter staff is so busy surviving the day to day upkeep of their animals they don’t even realize what their greatest problem areas may be. They may realize that their cats suffer from upper respiratory issues but not understand the connection between mental and physical health. The same is true for their dogs. They know they are stressed and slightly kennel crazy even though they spend time outdoors, but they don’t realize that most of their outdoor time isn’t productive exercise time since the dogs are hunkered down in the one corner of their play yard that provides afternoon shade.

Mars volunteers install sunshades over the outside dog runs at Williamson County Animal Control. The sunshades will shade the yard, allowing dogs to enjoy it year round.

Though these projects were completed in a single week, running Rescue U projects is like running a cooking show. Isn’t it always cool how the onions and peppers are already cut up and put in cute glass dishes? Well that is what Rescue U does. We prep the projects so the volunteers can show up on a Monday morning ready to pour concrete into the mystically graded, graveled and formed concrete pad that was awaiting them. No magic here — just us, working all day Saturday and Sunday getting it ready. The easier we can make it seem for the volunteers, the more fun they will have and the more likely they will be to want to do it again!

The projects the Mars/Pedigree volunteers completed included creating a cat stimulation garden to enrich the lives of the cats in one shelter, putting up shade screens to protect dogs from the blazing Nashville sun, constructing a storage building for food, installing exercise pens, painting, adding shelving, installing wall fans, replacing doors and repairing others, in addition to adding agility equipment, benches and landscaping to make the shelters more appealing to potential adopters. We had a blast on this project! We will have more pictures and video for you soon!

donate.jpg

A Damaged Kitten and Dog Get Second Chances

adopted cat

Percy

You can help us save more pets like Percy and Sport: Donate to the Petfinder Foundation today and Animal Planet will DOUBLE your gift!

Thanks to our partnership with Blue Sky Soda, we were able to give grants to shelters including the Marin Humane Society in Novato, CA. MHS grants manager Helen Cameron told us about two very special pets helped by our grant:

“At MHS, we’re in the happy endings business. And sometimes the path to those smiling conclusions can have unusual, expensive twists and turns. Such was the case with Percy, a kitten who came to us in a group of 13 kittens from an overwhelmed man who was concerned about their health. Percy’s condition was the most complex.

“One of his legs had been trapped in his twisted umbilical cord during birth, and was stunted and useless. And one of his eyes was too badly damaged to be restored. In addition to neuter surgery, our skilled veterinarians removed both the leg and the eye, allowing Percy to become a happy, healthy, adoptable little fellow. He spent some time in one of our loving volunteer foster homes while he recovered. We estimate that his extensive treatment would have cost more than $1,000 at a private veterinary hospital.

“Percy was next evaluated by a team of experienced MHS behavior and training professionals whose final verdict was ‘all-around great kitten.’ Fate continued to smile on him when a pair of registered veterinary technicians who live in San Francisco saw his adoption listing on our website and drove quickly across the bridge to meet him and take him home.

“‘Percy is awesome!’ his new guardian says. ‘He is sweet, loving, playful, curious, confident, moderately talkative and super-interactive. We have been looking for a long time for the right cat or kitten who would get along with and be respectful of our 3.5-lb. Chihuahua, and who would be happy as an indoor-only cat, and Percy is the right cat. We couldn’t be happier with him and feel lucky to have found him. We are so grateful this little guy was saved.’ ”

Helen also tells us the story of Sport, another pet with severe medical needs who was helped by our grant:

Sport

“Found wandering with multiple injuries after being hit by a car, Sport, a young Corgi mix, was rescued by an MHS officer and brought to the shelter, where he received first aid and surgery.

“In spite of multiple, serious injuries, Sport’s plucky personality came through, and he quickly became a favorite among the staff. Since no one came to claim him, he went for foster care to our special program at San Quentin prison.

Pen Pals pairs animals who need time to recover and/or be rehabilitated with specially selected low-security inmates who provide them with needed attention and encouragement. After about a month, Sport was healthy enough to return to our campus, where his new family found and adopted him.”

donate.jpg

Agility Course Is Just what an Energetic Shelter Dog Needed

agility course

Adoptable pooch Weston tries out a tire perch at the new agility course.
(Source: Humane Society of West Michigan’s Facebook page)

Weston tries out the tire tunnel.

Our friends at the Humane Society of West Michigan have been doing a great job of documenting the Rescue U improvements to the shelter on their Facebook page. They recently posted some great photos of adoptable dog Weston trying out the new agility course.

The shelter’s marketing and events coordinator, Nicole Cook, gives us this update: “Weston has been at our organization for about two months. He is a high-energy dog who needs lots of exercise. He gets stressed in our kennels and really thrives when we take him outside. Having the new agility course in our dog park is exactly what Weston needed! We take him out several times a day — sometimes we just play fetch with him but the majority of the time we focus his energy by teaching him the agility course and introducing him to the obstacles! We have noticed that he has picked up quickly on learning the course and we are excited to share his skills with potential adopters!

“Another dog who has really excelled in the new agility course is Jauxer. Jauxer is a long-term resident who has been at our organization since February 2011. Jauxer is a fearful dog and having our agility course allows us to introduce him to new things and help take fear out of simple things — stairs, unfamiliar surfaces, etc. — while helping enrich his stay at Humane Society of West Michigan. We are able to use the agility course to build his confidence and teach him new skills that his adopter can continue to work on with him once he is in a home environment.” Check out this video of Jauxer and pal Kelsey enjoying the agility course.

Adoptable cat Serena tries out the new perches in the cat colony.


Nicole adds: “We have also had several cats get adopted out of our cat colonies after Rescue U installed the cat perches. The cats catch the attention of adopters by climbing up and playing on the perches. Several adopters have commented that they couldn’t pass up those cats after they saw them playing or climbing on the perches!”

Thanks so much to Nicole and Humane Society of West Michigan for the update, and to the Animal Rescue Site and Groupon Grassroots donors for funding the project. We can’t wait to hear more about how the renovation is improving life — and helping find forever homes — for pets at the shelter.

donate.jpg

Michigan Shelter Pups Get a Burn-Free Dog Run

Shelter dogs test out their newly-AstroTurfed dog run.

The Humane Society of West Michigan has wonderful, long, spacious dog runs. However, the runs were filled with pea gravel that was burning the dogs’ paw pads when it got hot outside. Our Rescue U volunteers fixed that.

We took out five tons of gravel and leveled out the runs to get them ready to lay down AstroTurf. Thanks to the generous support of the Animal Rescue Site, we were able to purchase recycled turf from Duke University to install in these runs (it had been used in Duke’s football stadium!).

HSWM Executive Director Trudy Ender (front) helps install AstroTurf. (Source: HSWM’s Facebook page)

Installing it was no easy task. The turf was rolled into 75-90 ft. rolls that weighed approximately 600 lbs. each, meaning we rolled out about 3,000 lbs. of turf in one afternoon. Once it was rolled out we had to fold it and drag it into the pens. It took six of us just to move it and place it. The edges all had to be pounded into the gravel and the seams epoxied with a nasty, sticky green goop.

All in all, redoing the dog runs was three days of hard work, but the mission was accomplished! We also put thresholds in the doorways and re-installed the fence surrounding the runs.

We completed many other projects at the Humane Society of West Michigan. Now our student volunteers, who came from Grand Valley State University, Central Michigan University, Michigan State University, Grand Rapids Community College and Kettering University in Flint, are getting ready to go back to school, and we’re grateful to them for giving up a week of their summer vacations to work morning to night to make the shelter a better place for all the wonderful pets there.

BONUS VIDEO: Rescue U founder Bryna Donnelly explains how the new agility course will help shelter dogs adjust to life in their adoptive homes:

Press coverage of the Rescue U build at HSWM:

August 24: Thanks to Rescue U, humane society animals get new digs (Press Unleashed)

donate.jpg

VIDEOS: Michigan Shelter Dogs Get a New Agility Course!

Thanks to the generous donors who supported our Groupon Grassroots campaign, our Rescue U volunteers are not only renovating the Humane Society of West Michigan in Grand Rapids, they’re treating the dogs there to a brand new agility course! Check out some footage of adoptable dogs Elliott and Credence (top) and Jauxer and Kelsey (middle) trying out the course, and learn more about it (bottom), in the videos above.

Here are some recent photos of Rescue U’s progress at the shelter:

dog agility courseRight: An adoptable dog takes the new tire tunnel for a test run. The recycled tires were donated and painted with non-slip paint to give the dogs a place to run through and jump on.

dog agility course Rescue U program manager Douglas Woolsey posted this photo to the Rescue U Facebook page on Sunday, with the comment: “Making some great progress! Painting our tires now for the agility area.”

shelter renovationThe Humane Society of West Michigan posted this photo to its Facebook page on Tuesday, with the comment: “The Petfinder Foundation’s Rescue U is busy doing great things around HSWM! Here is a photo of our Cat Holding Area being painted! In addition to that room, they have also painted our entire Admitting Area! They also created an agility course in our dog park, have put sound panels in our dog kennels (to help reduce the noise), and put turf in our outdoor dog runs! The changes are amazing and we are so grateful for all that they are doing to improve our facility!”

Local news coverage of the Rescue U build at HSWM:

August 19: VIDEO: Humane Society of West Michigan gets a facelift (WZZM-13)

August 19: BLOOPER VIDEO: During our interview about renovations to the animal shelter, one cat tried to steal the show! (WZZM-13)

August 21: New agility course and upgrades at Humane Society (WZZM-13)

donate.jpg

A Little Training Gets a Boisterous Shelter Dog a Loving Home

Munch, now named Hunter, with his adoptive mom, Allison

When you donate to a charity, you don’t always know how your money benefits pets. Here’s an example of how a Petfinder Foundation grant — made possible by your donations — saved the life of one shelter dog. Want to help more dogs like Munch find forever homes? Give just $5 today!

Munch came in to Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Care & Control in Charlotte, NC, in November 2010. A 2-month-old stray, his outlook was grim. He was boisterous and hyper, and a big black dog (labeled a Chow Chow mix) to boot. To make matters worse, he had serious health problems: He had severe injuries after being attacked by another dog; he also had mange, and soon developed kennel cough.

But because Charlotte-Mecklenburg is one of four pilot shelters of the Petfinder Foundation’s Train to Adopt program, trainer Karen Owens was able to work with Munch after he’d recovered from his injuries and illness. She chose him because she knew that, as an energetic black dog, “he would need all the help he could get.”

As it turned out, Munch was a perfect pupil. “He had lots of energy but really thrived when his energy was channeled into training,” Owens remembers. “He was also one of the first dogs that learned the ‘are you sleepy?’ trick, in which the dog puts his head down between his paws on command. He learned it within two or three short sessions.”

Munch showed off his new trick, as well as “sit” and “down,” at an adoption event at a local mall. He was adopted on the spot, one month to the day after his first Train to Adopt session.

adopted dog

Hunter and Allison

Munch has since been renamed Hunter and is now almost 2 years old. His adoptive mom, Allison Brown, tells us, “He is absolutely the best dog! I am so grateful to Animal Control for nursing him back to health and training him. When I adopted Hunter, he was house trained as well as crate trained, and he knew how to sit, to wait for his food to be placed on the floor before he went for it, and to do ‘are you sleepy?’ — so cute!”

The fact that Hunter was a Train to Adopt graduate really made the difference in his finding — and staying in — a forever home. In fact, TTA dogs are significantly less likely to be returned to a shelter after they’re adopted. Allison tells us, “Having never had a dog before at all, the training done by Karen at Animal Control made adopting Hunter so much easier for me.”

These days, Hunter is living the good life, going on walks and runs with Allison, enjoying “run-arounds” with his best friend, Rascal, a black Lab mix who lives a few houses away, and playing tug of war with his girlfriend, Emma the pug. “He is a happy, healthy boy,” Allison says, “and I am so thankful that he is a part of my life.”

Whom can Hunter thank for his happiness? Allison, of course, for adopting him, and Karen for training him, and everyone at Charlotte-Mecklenburg for nursing him back to health — but also donors like you, who made his training possible. So give just $5 today. It may not seem like much, but it will make a world of difference to pets like Hunter.

donate.jpg

Max’s Happy Ending: Neutered, then Adopted!

dog adoption

Max with parents Laurie and Rob

Max the dog can look forward to a lifetime of love from his adoptive family — and he won’t be fathering any unwanted litters. Thanks to a spay/neuter grant from our partners at the Ryan Newman Foundation, Max and 63 other dogs and cats have been spayed or neutered, preventing potentially millions of unwanted puppies and kittens over the years.

Three shelters — Pulaski County Animal Shelter in Somerset, KY, Clearfield County SPCA in Philipsburg, PA, and Paws & Claws Feline Rescue in Statesville, NC — received $1,000 each from the Ryan Newman Foundation via the Petfinder Foundation.

The Clearfield County SPCA used the funds to neuter 13 male dogs and spay three females. One of the neutered pups was Max, who went on to be adopted by Laurie and Rob Porter, pictured with him at right.

Max, a 2-year-old Boxer mix, had been dropped off at the shelter by an owner who didn’t have time for him. Boy, has his life changed for the better!

Laurie recently wrote to the shelter with an update: “Max is up to 63 pounds now (no more ribs) and all smiles. Everyone he meets comments about how handsome and friendly he is. Max is great with people and other dogs, and we visit the dog park several times a week. Our friend has a tiny Yorkie and they love to play together too. The size difference is rather amusing, but he’s very gentle with her. …

“He loves water and really enjoys visiting lakes and parks as well. Max is walking much better on the leash, and he is very intelligent and willing to learn new things. He is very snuggly and lovey as well. He is an absolute sweetheart and we love him very much.”

Many thanks to the Porters for adopting Max, the Clearfield County SPCA for caring for him while he awaited his forever home, and the Ryan Newman Foundation for funding Max’s (and so many other pets’) spay/neuter to keep more pets like Max from ending up in shelters.

NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Ryan Newman and his wife, Krissie, established the Ryan Newman Foundation in January 2005 to educate and encourage people to spay/neuter their pets and to adopt dogs and cats from animal shelters, among other goals. Learn more about the Ryan Newman Foundation here.

You can help support the spaying and neutering of pets in shelters and rescue groups by donating to the Petfinder Foundation.

donate.jpg