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.
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.
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.
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.
Here’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.
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.”
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.
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:
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.”
UPDATE – 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!
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.
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:
“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.
“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.”
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.
Life in a cage is stressful for shelter cats, and stress can lead to health and behavior problems that keep cats from being adopted. So we have grant programs designed to ease cats’ anxiety — both in the shelter and as they transition into their new adoptive homes.
We grant adoption groups Stretch & Scratch cat scratchers and ACES Humaniac Cat Castles cat carriers/habitats. Both go in cats’ cages and enable them to engage in instinctive behaviors there (scratching, hiding and resting on higher ground). And both go home with the cats when they’re adopted so they have something familiar in their new surroundings.
As part of the Cats R Cool program in partnership with The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org, we’ve granted out 33,780 Cat Castles to 66 adoption groups and 40,000 Stretch & Scratch cat scratchers to 107 organizations.
Both grants have been huge hits. As Wendy Mirrotto, executive director of Kitten Krazy, Inc., in Medina, Ohio, tells us: “I LOVE these Stretch and Scratch Cat Scratchers! The cats love them, too! They are purrfect for any cage and give the cats somewhere to stretch and scratch — a very important function for a cat.”
The scratchers are especially helpful for cats who are isolated as they recover from illness or surgery, including Henrietta, who was found frozen to a pipe and had to have a leg amputated due to frostbite; Bea, who arrived at the shelter covered in burns and stab wounds; and Roadie, whose eye was dislodged from its socket and had to be surgically removed.
The scratchers also help cats adjust to foster and forever homes — and can even curb unwanted behaviors there. “One of our adopters complained about [her new] kitten scratching furniture,” says Feline Finish Line Rescue president Catherine McCulloch. “I gave her two scratchers and told her to tie them on the table legs. She said the kitten loved them and started to leave other items alone.”
The Cat Castles likewise help cats both in shelters and at home. Inside their cages, the Castles give the cats a place to hide as well as an elevated vantage point (via a “turret” on top of the box) where they can view their surroundings while feeling secure.
“These boxes are vital to the enrichment and stimulation of the cats we are caring for while they are waiting for their forever homes,” says Humane Society of Southern Arizona Associate Director of Development Morgan Rost. “The boxes/perches will remain with the cat or cats — if a bonded pair — through the duration of their time at the HSSA and will go home with each cat at the time of their adoption.”
Thanks to donors like you, shelter cats like Luna (right) can rest easy while waiting for their forever families.
Thanks to your help, we’ve sent a $2,000 emergency grant to All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga., to help cover medical expenses for the dogs who were injured during a deadly break-in on Oct. 16. That night, an intruder let 40 dogs out of their kennels; three dogs were killed, more than a dozen were severely injured, and all the survivors are traumatized.
“[The grant] really will help,” says AAAR founder and director Mary Crawford.
The two staffers who arrived at the shelter the morning of Oct. 17 were met with a chaotic and frightening scene, volunteer Kathy Brantley tells us: “All these dogs were bleeding to death; they were in shock, their faces were swollen.”
The staffers called for help and scrambled to put the loose dogs back in their kennels. Working with shelter volunteers, they took the badly injured dogs to veterinarians across the city and scoured the neighborhood to find the four dogs who had been released onto the street. All the lost dogs were found, including Fred and Wilma (pictured), former strays who returned to the shelter on their own.
The three dogs – Butler, Flapjack and Jack — who died as a result of injuries they sustained during the break-in were all gentle dogs not known for fighting, Crawford and Brantley tell us. Butler only had three legs and didn’t stand a chance when the frenzied scene erupted, Brantley says.
Last month, police arrested a woman in connection with the incident. Crystal Gale Fessler has been charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals, probation violation and criminal trespass, but her motives, and whether she acted alone or with a partner, remain unknown, Crawford says.
AAAR typically houses about 70 dogs, most of them pulled from nearby Macon Animal Control. Although the property is surrounded by a 10-ft. fence topped with barbed wire, the person or people who broke in likely slipped through a small gap between the fence and barbed wire, Crawford says. The shelter’s perimeter has since been secured, and security cameras have been installed.
Meanwhile, the shelter is working to cover the dogs’ vet bills. Your support of the Petfinder Foundation is helping AAAR pay for this lifesaving care.
Our One Picture Saves a Life program, which includes photography training and camera and photo-editing software grants, is helping shelter pets find homes, one photo at a time. A great example is Shelby, a senior gal who found herself at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson.
The shelter’s public relations coordinator (and One Picture Saves a Life workshop attendee), Sara Gromley, tells us Shelby’s story:
“Shelby is just one of the hundreds of pets you’ve helped at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, thanks to the One Picture Saves a Life program. As a 10-year-old stray Shepherd mix with age-related ailments (including a heart murmur and worn teeth) as well as slight separation anxiety, Shelby had a very difficult time finding a home.
“She waited at the shelter for a month without any interest from potential adopters. Then I took a photo capturing her sweet demeanor and warm personality. The photo received more than 7,000 views on Facebook, was sent to our media partners, and captured the attention of a very nice lady who came in to meet Shelby. It was love at first sight! Now Shelby is enjoying the cozy retirement she’s always deserved — all thanks to a single picture.
“We’re so grateful for the One Picture Saves a Life program. I never considered myself a photographer, but I receive weekly compliments from adopters who came in specifically because of photos they came across. The impact this program is making for shelters across the country is nothing short of astounding!”
Learn more about our One Picture Saves a Life program, which is made possible thanks to our partners The Animal Rescue Site, GreaterGood.org, John Paul: Pet and Underwater Dogs photographer Seth Casteel.
The Humane Society of Independence County in Batesville, Ark., snagged a $1,000 as a regional winner in last year’s Animal Rescue Site Shelter+ Challenge. The shelter’s Sue Augustus sends us this report:
“Thank you so very much for all that you do to help those of us in animal rescue try to make a difference. A special thanks to The Animal Rescue Site for their generous support of these contests over the past several years! What a great way to increase support from all our communities, AND make a difference in so many pet’s lives!
I am attaching a couple of pictures of some of our more recent challenging and successful adoptions. Both stories are so very heartwarming and truly let us know that we can make a difference!
Arbor came to our shelter in June 2011 along with her three sisters, Zinfandel, Fluff and Miller. They had been found abandoned way out in the country and were quite wild and unsocialized. It took many volunteers many months to get these sweet girls to a point where they were adoptable. All found wonderful loving homes except for Arbor.
Arbor continued to flourish in our shelter, but just never find her forever family. Then, in December, Zinfandel’s family (they had renamed her Blanche) contacted us and said they were wanting to adopt Arbor and reunite her with her sister. Oh what a happy day for everyone at our shelter, and for the two sisters! Arbor is seen in this picture, snuggled up with her sister Blanche.
The comments from their family: “The sisters are happy to be together! They love running and playing in the backyard. They snuggle when they sleep. Arbor (who will remain Arbor because she knows her name and that’s what we’ve called her for the last eight months!) is so very different from Blanche. Much more people-oriented, braver, and sillier! She loves to play! Thank you for allowing us to bring these two beautiful girls into our lives!”
We just LOVED this Happy Tail!
Shades came to us in June 2009 with his sister, Flicker. They had been fostered for a short period of time before we could get them into our shelter. They were about four months old. Flicker found her home after living at our shelter for almost a year and a half, but Shades had to wait. He was one of our longest residents, but in November of 2012 a miracle walked in. David and Tina took their time in deciding on their new best friend and trucking companion. Shades ultimately was adopted by David and Tina, and he immediately took to the highways with them in their 18-wheeler, traveling back and forth from Arkansas to California!
For the next several weeks, pictures were posted of Shades on his “Excellent Adventure” on our Facebook page. What a most wonderful and heartwarming story for all our staff, volunteers and supporters!