Our Favorite Stories from 2017

Every time we give a grant to a shelter or rescue group, we ask for a report detailing how they used the funds and telling us the story of an individual pet helped as a result. (You can read all of these reports here.)

There are always some that make us smile, or laugh, or say, “wow!” And I wanted to share those with you. So here you’ll find our favorites from 2017, all featuring pets helped by your donations.

sundanceSundance: Best Humane Educator
Brother Wolf Animal Rescue in North Carolina got a grant from us to support its humane-education program, and Sundance, a boxer mix who’d been waiting for a home for nine long months, was the perfect canine ambassador. Over four weeks, he taught more than 100 elementary-school students how to properly interact with pets. He became a social-media star and soon found a forever home where he’s the center of attention.

hemiHemi: Craziest Rescue Story
In June, the 2-month-old kitten was seen dodging cars on a busy North Carolina highway. Construction workers stopped traffic to try to catch him, but he vanished. Unbelievably, he’d managed to jump into a car’s undercarriage, and hitchhiked all the way back to the driver’s home, where he hid in the garage, still avoiding capture for several days before finally getting caught on some sticky pads for bugs. In a stroke of luck, the homeowner’s neighbor was a volunteer for Paws for Life NC, and she got Hemi, who had a badly broken leg, the care he needed, with help from our Emergency Medical Grant. These days, Hemi is healthy, safe, and adored by his forever family.

roxanneRoxanne and Lando: Best Bonded Seniors
Senior dogs are hard to find homes for — two XL seniors, even moreso. But when these two gentle, bonded boxers were surrendered to a shelter due to a breakup in the only home they’d ever known, Rescue One in Missouri had to save them. A Petfinder visitor’s Sponsor a Pet donation allowed the group to waive their adoption fee, and after six months in foster care, these two “big babies” went to a loving home — together.

crystalCrystal: Best Reunion
Our Disaster Grant helped Sonoma Humane Society care for pets displaced by Northern California wildfires — including Crystal, who jumped out of her carrier and took off running while her family was evacuating. Luckily, she was eventually caught and brought to the shelter, where, thanks to her microchip, staffers were able to contact Crystal’s owner. As it was safe to return home, the owner came straight in to pick up her cherished 12-year-old cat.

franklinFranklin: Best Playgroup Makeover
We LOVE helping shelters implement playgroup programs! They truly save lives, and Franklin, helped by our grant to Ohio’s Cuyahoga County Animal Shelter, is a perfect example. He arrived with lots of bad behaviors, was labeled dog-aggressive and was nearly impossible for staff to handle. Once they put him in playgroups, he became a different dog! He turned out to be dog-friendly, and his stress-induced behaviors vanished. These days, he’s doing wonderfully in a home with a canine sibling!

billieBillie: Funniest Office Cat
Our grant to Metro East Humane Society in Illinois helped 14-month-old Billie get needed eye surgery. She still has only partial vision, but that doesn’t stop the mischievous kitten from bringing daily smiles to shelter staff as she awaits her forever home — and helps herself to her favorite treats, even if they’re supposed to be “for dogs”!

autumnAutumn: Bravest Chicken
Autumn was badly burned in the Northern California wildfires, and is being rehabilitated at Sonoma Humane Society. But she’s helping others heal at the same time, as part of the shelter’s therapeutic humane-education program, supported by our grant. The program teaches children empathy and compassion and, since the fires, has also provided a calming environment to kids who lost their homes. “The children are learning a lot from Autumn,” program director Carol Rathmann tells us, “but their most important lesson is that every living being deserves a chance.”