Petfinder Foundation News

Puppy Mill Survivors Headed for Home at Last

Puppy Mill Survivor checked by vets

After being rescued from a Rowan County, KY, puppy mill, this dog was checked by veterinarians.

After more than a year of healing care and thanks to financial support from the Petfinder Foundation, 118 small-breed puppy mill survivors rescued from horrific conditions in Rowan County, KY, are finally ready to join families.

“Enrichment supplies for dogs traumatized from living in a puppy mill are extremely important in training them to trust people and ready them for adoption,” Tim Rickey, vice president of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team, said. “Without your generous support, we could not have provided much-needed socialization and positive reinforcement to the dogs we rescued.”

After the APSCA seized the dogs in October 2011, the Pefinder Foundation provided them with a $1,000 disaster-relief grant to help with the dogs’ rehabilitation and recovery. The rescued dogs included Chihuahua, Dachshund, papillon, miniature pinscher and poodle mixes. Several of the dogs were pregnant, and some were only a few weeks old. All were badly neglected: Many of them were covered in mold and matted fur, and they were suffering from infections, dental disease and other health problems. They were kept in cramped, filthy cages.

“We used the grant to pay for treats, toys and staff/responder time socializing the dogs,” Rickey said.

Rescued Rowan County puppy.

One of the rescued Rowan County puppies.

After the dogs spent more than a year in recovery, the owner of the puppy mill pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one kennel violation.

“Since the case has come to a close,” Rickey said, “we could finally make the dogs available for adoption.”

The dogs were all transferred to partner shelters, and Rickey reported their outcome couldn’t be better: “Most of the dogs were snapped up almost instantly and are now enjoying loving homes!”

To learn about applying for a disaster-relief grant, visit here.

 

A Miracle for an Escape Artist with Separation Anxiety

King

We got this grant report from Humane Society of Warren County in Front Royal, VA. Executive director Lavenda Denney tells us:

“A loving pit bull named King had once been adopted but then returned to the shelter because he was suffering from separation anxiety. During times of separation, he was chewing excessively and causing destruction in the home.

“He was also an escape artist. His first adoptive family lived in town limits and the neighbors were scared of King due to his breed. All of these behavioral issues combined forced the family to return King, although he had been wonderful with the family, very kind and loving, as long as he had adequate attention.

“Once returned, we placed King in a Thundershirt. He did very well in kennel, participated in shelter dog-play groups and off-site adoption events. King was even featured at a Chamber of Commerce after-hours event. He was given a second chance when a wonderful family came to adopt him.

King in his Thundershirt. “He was so excited to be adopted that he wouldn’t sit still,” Denney says.

“The family was made aware of his separation anxiety and escape issues. King was sent home with his Thundershirt in an effort to continue to reduce his stress level as he transitioned (once again) from the shelter to a new home environment. King’s new family was trained on the use of the Thundershirt and encouraged to purchase a shirt.”

 

 

 

One Picture Saves a Life

Bones, before (inset) and after

These days, most people who adopt find their pets on Petfinder before they meet them at a shelter. That means the pet’s photo plays a big part in making a first impression.

And wouldn’t it be great if all shelter pets could have their portraits taken by a bestselling, world-famous pet photographer? Like, say, Underwater Dogs author Seth Casteel?

Seth can’t photograph every homeless pet, but in our new program with The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org, One Picture Saves a Life, he’s traveling the country training shelter staff and volunteers to take pictures the way he does — pictures that show the pet’s true personality. And our friends at John Paul: Pet are helping to give those pets grooming makeovers so they can truly put their best faces forward.

One Picture Saves a Life kicks off at St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center in Madison, NJ, and will be followed by stops in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Chicago, Charlotte, NC, and Puerto Rico.

To learn more, visit http://www.OnePictureSaves.com.

 

A Shot at Life … Join the 2 Million Pet Challenge!

Mary-Kate, an adoptable cat at The Long Island Feline Adoption Center, is healthier thanks to a vaccination grant from BIVI and the Petfinder Foundation.

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve partnered with Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc. (BIVI) and The Animal Rescue Site to help vaccinate 2 million shelter pets.

The initiative, called A Shot at Life … Join the 2 Million Pet Challenge!, is a three-part collaboration to help protect shelter pets against disease so that they are more likely to be adopted.

Nearly 8 million pets enter shelters each year, with about half of them making it out. A Shot at Life … Join the 2 Million Pet Challenge! will vaccinate 25 percent of the shelter population and hopefully help more animals be adopted.

Visitors to The Animal Rescue Site, a partner of GreaterGood.org, can click daily on the “Click Here — it’s FREE” button on the site. For every click, the funding from advertising sponsors helps pay for food and care for shelter animals.

The Petfinder Foundation works with shelters, rescue organizations and animal welfare organizations across the country to help ensure that no adoptable pet is euthanized for lack of a good home. Based on the number of clicks the campaign gets through The Animal Rescue Site, the Petfinder Foundation will work with local shelters to provide vaccination awards.

BIVI will provide the vaccines that will be granted to shelters to vaccinate both dogs and cats. “We are extremely excited about this partnership,” says Colin Meyers, BIVI’s executive director, pet division. “We believe prevention is the best medicine and that every dog and cat deserves to be protected against disease.”

BIVI has already donated 13,500 doses of vaccine to help pets displaced by Superstorm Sandy. Working with the Petfinder Foundation, more than 13,000 pets were vaccinated due to this effort, and BIVI hopes A Shot at Life … Join the 2 Million Pet Challenge! will continue to help more animals be vaccinated.

“Imagine 2 million animals being vaccinated just because people went to The Animal Rescue Site and clicked on our sponsorship ad,” says Meyers. “It is truly amazing what we can do if we work together, and I look forward to the day we vaccinate that two-millionth pet.”

“The Animal Rescue site is proud to have Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., as a partner,” says Liz Baker, executive director of GreaterGood.org. “We believe together we can give shelter pets a better chance of finding homes by keeping them healthy with vaccinations.”

“Our mission is to ensure no adoptable pet is euthanized for lack of a home,” says Petfinder Foundation executive director Lisa Robinson. “Providing good health is one of the biggest steps in helping animals find good homes. BIVI is providing that through preventive health.”

To help donate to the challenge and for information on how the challenge is progressing, visit http://www.TheAnimalRescueSite.com/AShotAtLife.

If you are with a Petfinder shelter or rescue group and would like to apply for a vaccination grant, click here.

 

Kitten Thrown from a Car Finds Love

Slick

We received this grant report from Cyndi Dill at HELP Humane Society in Belton, MO, which received a Shelter+ Challenge grant from the Petfinder Foundation and The Animal Rescue Site.

Slick and his new best friend.

“Slick was brought into our vet clinic right at closing time on a Saturday afternoon. A Good Samaritan had seen the kitten get tossed from a car right in front of her. She stopped to help the kitten but could not afford to have his injuries treated. Her vet contacted us about taking over his care and we were happy to be able to help him.

“Our vets were not sure he would survive — he had many injuries and a hairline fracture on one of this back legs. He did survive and is now in a family where they can’t imagine life without him. Their little girl dresses him up. He is now a year old. Slick loves his little girl.

“In addition, we were able to purchase 30 feline leukemia/FIV combo tests at $813.60. Each and every cat that comes into our shelter must be tested, and the test is not cheap. We were so happy to be able to purchase these with a portion of your grant!”

Thank you to everyone who voted in the Animal Rescue Site’s Shelter+ Challenge. Your donations enable us to help shelters and rescue groups help more pets like Slick.

 

How Did Five ‘Hard-to-Place’ Dogs Find Homes?

Dart was adopted thanks to a grant from the Petfinder Foundation and Orvis.

We received this grant report from Peg Zappen at Coulee Region Humane Society in Onalaska, WI. The shelter received a grant from the Petfinder Foundation and Orvis, which for the second year in a row is matching your donations to the Petfinder Foundation dollar-for-dollar up to $30,000. (Donate now and double your impact!)

Choodle

“Several dogs with special needs got boosts toward adoptability. We used grant funds for extra veterinary care that removed obstacles to adoption for these dogs.

Dart is a 6-year-old male pug cross who is very social, loves to give kisses and had very bad breath. His teeth were so bad that adopters were reluctant to look at him very seriously. Thanks to you, lucky Dart got his very bad teeth cleaned, a tooth extracted and was neutered. He now has a sweet smile and has been adopted.

“Choodle is a male poodle/Chihuahua cross who loves to be dressed in sweaters and cuddled but sadly suffered from bad teeth and very bad breath. Choodle also benefited from having his teeth cleaned and needed dental extraction completed and was neutered. He became much more appealing and is now in his forever home.

Wyatt

“Wyatt is a male redbone coonhound — a common dog in this part of the country — surrendered because he was missing a foot. Wyatt was neutered, which is just what it took to make it easier to place him. He is now living in a coonhound-loving home.

“Sweet Maggie is an 8-year-old beagle with too many strikes against her, including epilepsy. Thanks to you, she had seven teeth extracted, improving her prospects for long-term good health. An adopter with experience with an epileptic dog saw her, saw the work that had been done for her and wanted to keep her run of good luck going by taking her home forever.

“Pee Wee is a charming, snuggly Chihuahua mix who was surrendered to us by a man who was devastated because he had accidentally hurt this dog. This gentleman was dog-sitting Pee Wee for a friend and accidentally stepped on Pee Wee’s leg and broke it. The man had dogs of his own and was not accustomed to having a small dog underfoot. He offered to pay for half of the veterinary care for Pee Wee, but the owner said Pee Wee was not worth spending money on and wouldn’t take him back. Our gentleman already had all the dogs he could manage, could not truly afford any vet care, and brought Pee Wee to us.

Maggie

“We turned to the Petfinder Foundation’s Orvis grant funds for help. A local vet x-rayed Pee Wee’s leg, found a fracture that required surgery and performed the surgery for less than $250. A vet tech is providing foster care until Pee Wee can be safely adopted out.

“These five dogs would not be in such good shape, with such good fortune and hope, without you. Thank you so very much.”

Donate today and Orvis will match your gift to help more dogs like these find forever homes!

 

 

 

Cats in Long Island are Healthier Thanks to Our Grant

Mary-Kate with her vaccines.

We received this email from Lisa Napoli, shelter manager at The Long Island Feline Adoption Center in Smithtown, NY. LIFAC received a grant from the Petfinder and Boehringer Ingelheim to replace vaccines that had been destroyed during Hurricane Sandy.

“On behalf of the Long Island Feline Adoption Center, I would like to take this opportunity to thank BI and the Petfinder Foundation for awarding us this vaccination grant.

“During the storm our facility lost power, destroying the vaccines we had for our animals. These vaccines can be costly and replacing them ourselves would have been a hardship that we would have otherwise been forced to endure on our own.

“As a rescue, we know that every penny counts, so we are extremely thankful for the assistance we received.

Baby with her vaccines.

“Here are a few pictures of our cats waiting to receive their vaccines. The brown tabby is Baby, who has been at the adoption center for a few years now. She stays in the office and greets everyone who comes into our adoption center.

“The second picture is of a tabby-and-white cat named Mary-Kate. She can be shy at times but is very sweet. She is a beautiful kitty and is waiting for her perfect home.

“Thanks again for helping us in our time of need. These vaccines will be of great benefit to all of our cats and kittens here at the shelter. Now we can focus all of our efforts on getting them each good homes.”

 

A Shelter Renovation is the Key to Getting Pets Adopted

The Petfinder Foundation‘s program assistant and resident photographer-videographer, Brody Anderson, spent last week in Tavares, FL, documenting Rescue U  ‘s renovation of Lake County Animal Services. He sent back this report:

This cat at Lake County Animal Services in Tavares, FL, will enjoy a new outdoor enclosure.

“I was fortunate enough to be a part of Rescue U’s January project at Carolina Waterfowl Rescue in Indian Trail, NC, so I thought I had a good idea of what I would witness at the Tavares build. The shelter would undergo a series of improvements with the intention of enriching the lives of the pets living there. Happy, healthy pets have a much better chance of finding forever homes.

“During the course of my visit, I had the opportunity to speak with the shelter’s animal services director, Marjorie Boyd. As our conversation progressed, I began to truly understand the impact the project would have for the shelter’s pets.

Zeus (left) and his sister Princess were both adopted during the Rescue U renovation.

“Marjorie was very excited about the new meet-and-greet yard. Families will now have a chance to spend quality time with the dogs, in the sun and away from the noisy kennel environment. With their stress levels lowered, each dog will have the chance to impress adopters. The majority of the shelter dogs were well-behaved, and many knew tricks. Playing a quick game of fetch or demonstrating sit-and-stay skills could be a shelter dog’s ticket to scoring a forever home.

“Being a big fan of cats, I was dismayed to hear how many at the shelter are euthanized each year. At first glance, many cats can seem shy and distant. This can be a turnoff for families looking for a household pet. Marjorie hopes the new outdoor cat enclosures and the new playroom will go a long way toward changing this perception. She works diligently to promote cat adoption and she’s convinced these new areas will have a positive effect.

“After my discussion with Marjorie, I wandered through the kennel corridors with my camera. I came across Zeus and Princess, brother and sister Pit Bull mixes. It was sad seeming them behind the chain-link kennel gates, but thanks to your generous donations, they got the chance to run and play in the meet-and-greet yard. And sure enough, both were adopted while I was in Florida.”

Your donation to the Petfinder Foundation will help us renovate more shelters and give even more homeless pets a better quality of life and greater chance at finding forever homes.

Rescue U is Off to Florida!

Pets like this border collie-mix girl will benefit from Rescue U’s renovation.

The Animal Rescue Site and the Petfinder Foundation’s Rescue U is in Tavares, FL, at Lake County Animal Services from March 9-15 performing some much-needed renovations. Volunteers from Pennsylvania, Kentucky, New Jersey and Florida are rolling up their sleeves.

The adoptable dogs at Lake County Animal Services will have plenty of space to play and exercise with a new 50’x70′ exercise pen built by Rescue U volunteers. 

Right now there are only two small outdoor play areas for the dogs at the shelter, which severely limits the amount of play and exercise time each dog is able to get. Rescue U is building a brand new 50’x70’ outdoor exercise pen. This will mean a significant increase in the amount of time each dog gets outside, making the dogs happier, healthier and more adoptable.

Rescue U is also making general fencing repairs throughout the shelter. Several of the cat and dog kennels are in need of repair, and the industrial perimeter fence needs to be replaced in some areas. Our Rescue U volunteers will fix this for Lake County Animal Services to make sure their kennels are safe and their perimeter is secure.

By the end of the Rescue U build, this area will include two outdoor play areas for the adoptable cats at the shelter.

The cats at the shelter are getting a special focus on this trip. Not only will their kennels be repaired where needed, but the cat room is getting a fresh coat of paint, and a mural to brighten up the mood of the room for potential adopters!

The Petfinder Foundation also ran a Groupon Grassroots campaign to help fund two outdoor cat play areas. These areas will vastly improve the quality of life of the cats at the shelter, allowing them a safe, stress-free place to stretch and play outside. This will reduce upper respiratory infections and other communicable disease and make the cats at the shelter much more adoptable.

All in all, this trip will make a huge difference for Lake County Animal Services. There is a lot of work to do in one week, but Rescue U will get the job done as always!

 

We’re Helping Shelter Cats See the Sun

A cat at Lake County Animal Services in Tavares, FL

Doug Woolsey, program manager

With Rescue U, I spend a lot of time going into animal shelters across the U.S., scouting locations for renovations, volunteering my time and actually building. The majority of the time, we focus our efforts on the outside, building exercise pens, meet-and-greet areas, and making functional repairs to the building or surrounding grounds.

One thing that always strikes me whenever I go into an animal shelter is the cats. Most of the time, the cats have their own large room and it’s filled with small cages where the cats spend the majority of their time. Some shelters have a colony room that the cats can go into for a short period of time, but then it’s back to the small cage. Typically there is no natural light, poor air flow and not enough room for them to exercise. That’s why building safe, enclosed outdoor cat areas is so important.

When we did a renovation in Jefferson City, TN, at the Humane Society of Jefferson County last May, we built an outdoor cat area, and I left feeling like I had really made a difference in the lives of the cats. I have a small obsession with cats. When I go into shelters, I always look at the ferals. It’s because of them that I realize how dire the cat situation is: Seeing a cat who is used to roaming free and fending for himself trapped in a cage and terrified shows me what the other cats have resigned themselves to. When I saw the cats in Jefferson City run out into the sun and have a safe place to stretch out and relax or play, it made all the frustration and hard work that went into building that enclosed yard instantly worth every second.

Petunia is a happy cat at the Humane Society of Jefferson County thanks to lots of outdoor time!

On March 9-16, Rescue U is going to Lake County Animal Services in Tavares, FL, for our spring break renovation, and one of the projects we are doing is building two separate outdoor enclosures that will include cat trees, scratching posts and toys.

This is extremely important for these cats. The area where they keep the cats is small, has no natural light and is very stuffy. The new enclosures will not only allow the cats to have some outdoor time, but greatly improve their overall well-being. Melissa Enck Descant, shelter director at the Humane Society of Jefferson County, said it best: “The difference we have seen in the cats has been amazing. They are happier, healthier and more playful. Our adoption rate for kittens has also increased. People love being able to go in and interact with the kittens, helping them to find their perfect companion. Our euthanasia rate is also down thanks to how healthy everyone has been.”

For this trip we started a Groupon Grassroots Campaign to help with the cost of building the yards. Our goal was to raise $500, and the campaign ended up raising $800, meaning donors made 80 donations of $10. The wonderful thing about the program is that the donations received beyond our goal will be used exclusively for improving life for the cats at the Tavares shelter. The last Groupon Grassroots Campaign that Rescue U participated in raised more than double our goal, and thanks to our generous donors, the Humane Society of West Michigan received a much larger dog agility course and we were able to put more money into other projects for the shelter.

We have volunteers coming out from Oklahoma, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Kentucky to help with this build. I’m sure that everyone who participates in this project will get the same gratification that I did in Jefferson City when they see the cats run out into the sun, stretch their legs and enjoy the fresh air that they would not have gotten otherwise.