Petfinder Foundation News

Help Us Keep 10,000 Shelter Pets Cool this Summer!

Samantha Esquivel and Sara Gromley from the Humane Society of Southern Arizona share frozen treats with adoptable Benson.

HSSA‘s Samantha Esquivel, left, and Sara Gromley share homemade frozen dog treats with adoptable Benson.

As part of Petfinder’s Summer Pet Safety campaign, we’re challenging Petfinder.com visitors to help us raise $10,000 to help keep 10,000 shelter pets cool and safe this summer. (Donate to keep shelter pets cool here.)

Dewey loved playing in the kiddie pool.

Dewey plays in the kiddie pool.

The funds raised will go towards Summer Cooling grants to help shelters purchase misters, sun shades and other cooling devices.

We visited the first grant recipient, the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA), this week. HSSA, which takes in about 10,000 pets each year, received $1,000 to help keep its animal residents cool as temperatures in Tucson hit triple digits over the summer. HSSA Public Relations Lead Samantha Esquivel showed us some of the ways the shelter keeps pets comfortable in hot weather (and you can too):

Benson Frolics

Benson cools off in a kiddie pool.

1. Fresh, cool water – for both drinking and playing in – is key for keeping dogs like Benson, a 9-year-old flat-coated retriever, safe and happy. Not only does Benson benefit from HSSA’s overhead misting system, he loves the shelter’s sprinklers and kiddie pool, which you can set up at home.

2. Homemade frozen treats – such as a Kong toy stuffed with peanut butter and kibble stuck in the freezer for several hours – are an easy way to keep your pet entertained and cool. You can try our recipe for catsicles to give your feline friends a frosty, tasty snack.

3. Shade sources – such as trees, dog houses or the sunshades HSSA uses in its visiting yards – are crucial when your pet is outside. But even if plenty of shade is available, be sure to limit your pet’s time outdoors and watch closely for signs of heatstroke (learn the symptoms of heatstroke).

Sibling 9-week-old kittens Emmit, left, and Lily enjoyed their catsicles.

Emmit, left, and Lily enjoy their catsicles.

“The best part of our dogs’ day is when they get to let loose in the visiting yard with volunteers, but we always have to be vigilant about heat and usually cut playtime short,” HSSA Public Relations Coordinator Sara Gromley tells us. “Thanks to a grant from the Petfinder Foundation, we’re able to extend the fun!”

Robbie the 1 1/2-year-old Red Tabby loved his catsicle treat.

Robbie, a red tabby, loves his catsicle.

Check out Petfinder.com’s Summer Pet Safety campaign for more cooling tips.

Are you with a Petfinder member shelter? Apply for a Summer Cooling grant here.

Donate to help us keep 10,000 homeless pets cool and Orvis will match your gift!

 

A Maltipoo Is Thrown Over a Shelter Fence

Tippy Sits in the Grass

Tippy is available for adoption at k9.5 Rescue.

When Tippy the Maltipoo was thrown over a six-foot-high shelter fence onto concrete, our grant from Orvis — which matches donations dollar-for-dollar up to $30,000 — arrived just in time for k9.5 Rescue in Greenville, S.C., to save her life.

“She was literally on the verge of death, with a heart rate of 36,” k9.5 President Allison Rathert tells us. “During a period when we only had a few hundred dollars in the bank and an emergency-room fund that was soon to be maxed out as a result of Tippy’s visit, the $1,000 grant allowed us to cover a life-threatening crash and do what we needed to do to save her.”

The 2-year-old dog’s left hip was completely out of its socket, and she suffered nerve damage, too, Rathert says. Tippy spent three days in critical care. Veterinarians also diagnosed her with Addison’s disease, an adrenal condition that affects dogs like Tippy for life.

Despite her acute injuries, chronic condition and the past abuse she suffered, Tippy was cheerful, affectionate and friendly. After three days in the hospital, she entered a foster home for an extended recovery and is up for adoption (learn about adopting Tippy here).

“Tippy is currently doing remarkably well and responding to her medication,” Rathert says. “She is back to her feisty, active and joyful self.”

Bryson Sitting in the Sunlight

Now that his eye has healed, Bryson is available for adoption from k9.5 Rescue.

After paying for Tippy’s care, k9.5 still had $200 in grant funds remaining. Rathert says she put that money toward medical treatment for Bryson, a 2½-year-old Great Pyrenees suffering from entropion. The painful eye condition caused Bryson’s lower eyelid to curl inward and scratch his cornea.

“Bryson has recovered successfully and his eye looks fantastic,” Rathert says. “He has not squinted or had drainage since.”

We’re proud that our grant allowed k9.5 to help these two beautiful dogs.

“The joy and immense relief that flooded me upon opening the envelope simply cannot be described accurately,” Rathert says. “It was literally a lifesaver.”

Help us save more homeless pets like Tippy and Bryson!

 

Saving a Pregnant Pit Bull and Her Puppies

Sunny is available for adoption

Sunny is available for adoption at Utah Animal Adoption Center.

When Utah Animal Adoption Center in Salt Lake City rescued a very pregnant Pit Bull from an abusive situation, our grant from Orvis — which matches donations dollar-for-dollar up to $30,000 — helped pay for the mother’s and her seven puppies’ medical care.

“Sunny was extremely malnourished,” Resource Development Director Samantha Johnson tells us. “You could see her ribs.”

Despite being badly mistreated, Sunny had a gentle and loving temperament that endeared her to the staff. Five days after the shelter took Sunny in, they helped her have her pups.

“She was the sweetest thing ever,” Lead Shelter Assistant Lindsay Ortega says. “She let us assist her, she let us rub her belly, she let us clean her babies off. She was the best momma.”

One of Sunny's seven puppies.

One of Sunny’s seven puppies

The grant helped the shelter pay for Sunny’s spay as well as her puppies’ spay/neuter surgeries, microchips and vaccinations. Johnson tells us that the organization took in 1,175 animals last year and found homes for 1,139 of them.

“Our ability to take on a pregnant animal, rehabilitate her, and find homes for her puppies is greatly impacted by the funding we received from Petfinder Foundation,” Johnson says.

Four of Sunny's seven puppies; all are up for adoption at Utah Animal Adoption Center.

Three of Sunny’s seven puppies

Donate to help homeless pets, and Orvis will match your gift!

Helping Animal Victims of the Colorado Wildfire

Displaced Cat in Kennel

This Humane Society of Pikes Peak Region photo shows one of the many displaced pets in the organization’s care.

We’ve rushed $3,000 in disaster aid to Colorado Springs, Colo., where the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region is caring for 358 cats, dogs, birds, pocket pets and other animals displaced by the raging Black Forest fire.

“We’re working around the clock,” Grants and Corporate Relations Manager Marsha Wayman tells us.

The fire is the most destructive in the state’s history, with officials saying 360 homes have already been destroyed. Thousands of residents are being evacuated, and many of them are bringing their pets to the shelter for temporary housing and care.

“We’re working right now with animal recovery, trying to locate animals that have been left behind,” Wayman tells us.

Two Displaced Dogs in a Cage

Two of the many dogs whose owners were evacuated and who are being cared for by the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.

The fire comes less than a year after the state’s second-most destructive fire, the Waldo Canyon fire, struck the region.

Temporary Shelter for People and Pets

A temporary shelter for people and pets being managed by the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region.

“The good news is we have an incredibly experienced and talented team,” Wayman says. “That’s kind of a silver lining, but the impact is going to be larger this time.”

As the manager of the area’s Community Animal Response Team, the organization is tasked with providing professional response, resources and community education during and after disasters, Wayman says. They are housing displaced animals at several locations, including one site where pet parents can stay with their pets. They working to transport large animals – such as horses and goats – to other organizations that are better equipped  to care for them, Wayman said.

Chinchilla in Cage

The Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region is caring for small displaced companion animals like this one, too.

The organization expects to spend a significant amount of money on transporting and housing pets while their caretakers are indefinitely displaced. Wayman says she is grateful for the Foundation’s fast assistance.

“We appreciate it so much,” Wayman said. “We need all the help we can get.”

Help us save more pets when disaster strikes.

Delivering a Grant — and Meeting Shelter Pets — in Tucson

Lisa Walks Nina the Adoptable Dog

Petfinder Foundation Executive Director Lisa Robinson walks Nina, a Pit Bull mix, at Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson.

Once in a while, we like to deliver a grant in person. So this week we headed to one of our local Tucson shelters, Pima Animal Care Center (PACC), to present a $1,000 Summer Cooling grant. The funds will be used to install a misting system in the shelter’s meet-and-greet yards and outdoor dog runs to make both more comfortable for the pets and potential adopters.

While we were there, we also spent some time walking a few of the resident dogs — including Nina (above) — and speaking with staff and volunteers about the positive changes the shelter is making. We left feeling prouder than ever to be supporting its work.

Animal Care Advocate Justin Gallick tells us that the county-funded facility, which takes in nearly 25,000 homeless or lost pets a year, is undertaking a radical outlook shift.

“Our culture, and reputation, has for years been based on the animal-control model,” he says. “Now there’s a lot more emphasis on customer service, finding the right match and post-adoption follow-up.”

Justin with Snookums the Puppy

PACC’s Justin Gallick snuggles with Snookums, a 6-week-old Pit Bull.

The organization recently increased its live-release rate from around 50 percent to nearly 65 percent, Gallick says, adding that he expects that number to continue to rise. In the past, PACC did not have a staff member dedicated solely to increasing adoptions, but it recently hired its first full-time adoption coordinator, Ellie Beaubien. It also hired its first full-time volunteer coordinator, José Ocaño. Since February, Ocaño has increased PACC’s volunteer force from 90 people to more than 300.

When it was time for us to walk dogs, two of the shelter’s regular volunteers, Laura Hines and Kainan Jarrette, paired us with pups who needed exercise. PACC is situated next to a small lake – a rare sight in the desert! – and devoted volunteers such as Hines and Jarrette ensure PACC’s temporary residents enjoy daily excursions around the water.

Foundation Walks Dogs Around the Lake

Petfinder Foundation Senior Program Manager Toni Morgan, Robinson and PACC volunteers Laura Hines and Kainan Jarrette (from left) walk adoptable dogs.

Hines and Jarrette come to PACC several times a week to exercise and socialize dogs such as Ernie, a 1-year-old German Shepherd mix (below). Their apartment complex won’t let them adopt any more pets (they already have two cats), so the volunteering helps them get their pet fix.

“I have a very strong love for animals, and it’s nice to be part of the solution,” Jarrette says.

“It’s mutually beneficial, really,” Hines adds. “You get to do something for them but they also give a lot to you.”

Laurie and Kainan and Ernie

Hines and Jarrette with Ernie

We left excited to return to the shelter to see the new misting system installed in time to help the resident pets beat the summer heat. As Adoption Coordinator Ellie Beaubien tells us, “Our animals need it so desperately. I really can’t thank you enough!”

We’re also thrilled that PACC staffers will be attending our upcoming One Picture Saves a Life seminar in Las Vegas, where they’ll learn how to take lifesaving photos of their adoptable pets. PACC’s One Picture Saves a Life grant also includes a digital SLR camera and Photoshop photo-editing software.

Both grants are sure to help save the lives of pets such as Preston (below). We can’t wait to come back!

Preston the English Bulldog

Preston the English Bulldog is available for adoption from PACC.

See all of Pima Animal Care Center’s adoptable pets.

Help us help more pets in need.

 

 

ThunderShirt Transforms a Blind, Frightened Beagle

Little Fella the Beagle was comforted by the ThunderShirt we granted to

Little Fella is comforted by his ThunderShirt (and a pal).

Our ThunderShirt grant to Friends of the Animals in Lancaster, S.C., transformed the life of Little Fella, a 1-year-old blind Beagle who was abandoned by his guardians and terrified of the world.

“Once the shirt was on, I could pick him up and place him in a crate with a stuffed dog to begin his socialization training and to provide him comfort,” Friends of the Animals foster mom Renae Barnett tells us. “It worked!”

Little Fella wore the Thundershirt continuously for a month, during which time he bonded with the other dogs in his foster family.

“I have a pack of dogs,” Barnett says, “mostly big: two blind and deaf Aussies and some small elderly dogs. Little Fella came out of his shell and within two weeks he was sleeping with them and playing with them.”

Littel Fella is Happy Today

Little Fella has been adopted.

Although he couldn’t see it, Little Fella managed to map out his foster home and get around the house well. He was eventually adopted, and we’re thrilled that our ThunderShirt grant helped make room in the rescue for another dog in need.

“He is an awesome boy and we miss him and love him,” Barnett says. “But the goal is always to find the best home for each pet.”

Help us help shelters and rescues save more pets like Little Fella.

Are you a Petfinder member? Apply for a ThunderShirt grant.

 

Mars Petcare Staffers Compete to Help Tucson Shelter Pets

Humane Society of Southern Arizona resident Jenna enjoys a toy and leash courtesy of Mars Petcare.

Shelter life can be stressful for dogs like Jenna, an energetic young Boxer mix who’s been returned several times to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona (HSSA) in Tucson. That’s why the Petfinder Foundation is working with Mars Petcare to give pets like her toys, treats and other enrichment supplies to help them stay healthy and happy until they find the right family.

The HSSA, Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) of Tucson, In the Arms of Angels of Green Valley, and Pinal County Animal Care and Control of Casa Grande benefited from a recent friendly fundraising competition that we organized for 200 Mars Petcare employees.

Mars Staffer Hula Hoops

A Mars staffer hula hoops for pets.

The Mars staffers broke into four teams of 25, each competing for a different organization in events such as a hula-hoop contest and leash-making competition.

The whole thing was a fun way for Mars employees to give back and for the Petfinder Foundation, which is based in Tucson, to support local adoption groups.

All four organizations received cash grants, along with leashes, cat scratchers, dog toys and pet food. The first-place winner, the HSSA, received a $1,000 grant; In the Arms of Angels received $500; and PACC and Pinal County Animal Care and Control each received $250.

Mars Petcare staff members competed to see who could make the most leashes.

Competing to see who can make the most leashes

“The Humane Society of Southern Arizona is so grateful for the wonderful donation and will be using the money to help care for our animals by providing vaccinations, food, enrichment and spay-and-neuter surgeries,” HSSA PR Coordinator Sara Gromley tells us. “It is especially helpful during litter season, when we need extra support to care for our little ones.”

PACC Adoption Coordinator Ellie Beaubien says the shelter will use its grant to buy leashes and cat carriers, which adopters are currently required to provide if they want to adopt from the county facility. Providing these to adopters will make the adoption process more convenient, Beaubien says (PACC will raise its adoption fees slightly so the program can continue).

Pear Eats Donated Food

Pima Animal Care Center resident Pear (now adopted!) enjoys her Temptation treats and canned Sheba food.

As a government-funded shelter, PACC just hadn’t had the money it needed to implement this relatively inexpensive but lifesaving policy. “This [grant] gave me the opportunity to provide something important to adopters,” Beaubien says.

Donate now so we can help shelters save more lives.

 

Oklahoma Shelters Preparing for Surge of Lost Cats

Kitten rescued from rubble

Oklahoma City animal control officers rescued this kitten from the rubble around Moore.

After the May 20 tornado devastated Moore, Okla., the Petfinder Foundation rushed $15,000 to help Central Oklahoma Humane Society and City of Oklahoma City Animal Services Division cope with the influx of lost and injured pets. Intake numbers are finally slowing down – but with cat-search efforts underway, that the number is expected shoot up again.

“We are beginning our cat-trapping efforts on-site before they do the demolition, so we expect to bring in about 30 to 40 cats in the next few days,” Christy Counts, founder and president of Central Oklahoma Humane Society, tells us.

In addition to the cash grants, we worked with ThunderShirt to get the comforting shirts to displaced dogs, and with Wahl to deliver shampoo, clippers and other much-needed grooming supplies to the shelters. We helped Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. rush vaccines to the facilities as well.

As of yesterday, the shelters had taken in close to 130 displaced pets and reunited at least 60 with their families.

“We are still in the recovery phase, so things haven’t completely slowed down quite yet,” Central Oklahoma Humane Society Director of Outreach Amy Shrodes tells us. “But we are definitely a lot more caught up than we were this time last week.”

Happy Reunion between Dog and Girl

This girl was reunited with her dog at Central Oklahoma Humane Society.

Donate to assist with the recovery efforts in Oklahoma.

 

Vaccination Grants Give Shelter Pets Time to Find Homes

Taz the Pit Bull

A vaccination grant helped the Dog and Cat Shelter in Sheridan, Wyo., care for Taz.

It took Taz the pit bull almost a year to find the right family — but our a vaccination grant let the Dog and Cat Shelter of Sheridan, Wyo., give him all the time he needed.

“Thanks to people like you, we can keep animals as long as it takes to find them a forever home,” shelter co-director Sharon Johnson tells us.

We’ve partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. and The Animal Rescue Site on A Shot at Life … Join the 2 Million Pet Challenge! to help protect millions of shelter pets against disease so they’re more likely to be adopted.

We awarded the Dog and Cat shelter 200 vaccines to protect its dogs against deadly but preventable conditions such as distemper, parvovirus and adenovirus. We also provided 200 vaccines to protect its cats against common shelter diseases including panleukopenia, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus.

Valued at $4,470, the vaccination grant helped the shelter afford a year of Taz’s care and feeding costs.

“He’s one of those big muscular guys who could be a scary dog if you didn’t know him – but what a gentle, loving dog he actually is,” Johnson says. “He loves people, especially kids, and enjoys playing and going on walks.

“Taz gets along well with most other dogs and many people thought of adopting him but for various reasons it didn’t happen,” Johnson says. “Finally, a young gentleman adopted Taz and we have heard from him that Taz is doing very well.”

Taz’s new person reports that he goes hiking in the mountains and is very obedient and smart. Thank you for your donations, which helped make Taz’s happy ending possible!

Taz Plays and Romps

Taz gets plenty of playtime in his new home.

Learn more about A Shot at Life.

Donate to help us save pets like Taz.

 

Rushing Aid to Oklahoma’s First Responders

Susie the hero dog

First responders found Susie standing guard over a deceased man after the tornado hit Moore, Okla.

We knew Oklahoma shelters would be inundated slammed with lost, injured and frightened animals when the tornado struck. We knew that staff were working without power, water or Internet, so we called them and helped them apply for desperately needed cash grants over the phone.

“I really appreciate how easy it was, and how you reached out to us,” City of Oklahoma City Animal Services Division Superintendent Catherine English told us.

The Petfinder Foundation awarded $10,000 in assistance to the Animal Services Division, the government agency tasked with being the lead local responder to the crisis.  We awarded another $5,000 to the division’s neighbor and partner in responding to the disaster, the Central Oklahoma Humane Society. We have also worked with our partners at Thundershirt and Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health to rush Thundershirts and vaccines to the scene.

Working together, the two Oklahoma City organizations are caring for more than 150 displaced pets, and they have reunited more than 33 lost animals with their families, English said.

Amy Shrodes, director of outreach for the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, was particularly moved by the story of Susie, a 12-year old Schipperke-Border Collie mix. First responders found Susie standing guard over a deceased man inside a house in Moore, which was particularly devastated by the storms.

They assumed the dog was guarding her owner, and took her to an emergency shelter. They were surprised when Susie’s true owner came forward to claim her. The pair lived a half mile from where Susie was found watching over the dead man.

“It was just like a dog’s sense of protection to be by the person,” Shrodes told us.

Most of the displaced animals the organizations have taken in since the tornado struck have been dogs, English said. But as demolition efforts start, she expects more cats will come out of hiding: “Cats will be flying out of everything.”

Displaced Kitten

This displaced kitten is waiting to be reclaimed at Central Oklahoma Humane Society. If his or her family can’t be located, the kitten will be put up for adoption.

The two organizations will pool their resources to house, feed, medicate, treat and comfort all the displaced pets. Our grants will help cover staffing costs, which are skyrocketing because the agencies have been working around the clock.

English’s staff was able finally able to go home and get some sleep last night. “It’s only been two days,” she said. “It seems like nine months.”

English said the grant money and supplies the Petfinder Foundation provided will go a long way. “I’ve never experienced that kind of outreach, that kind of service level,” she added. “It’s kind of unheard of.”