Petfinder Foundation News

When You Give to Us, Where Does Your Money Go?

Second Chance Rescue used our grant to buy 14 extra-large dog crates so it could save dogs like Sprokett, who’d been scheduled for euthanasia at a shelter. “He’s now very happy in a wonderful foster home!” says Second Chance’s Debi Root. “Thank goodness we had the room (and the crate) to take him in before his time was up — he’s one terrific boy!”

Emily Fromm, Chief Development Officer

Once in a while someone will write to me and ask, “If I donate to you, how much of my money will go to actually helping pets?”

This is a question I’m always happy to answer, because it gives me a chance to show off the fact that the Petfinder Foundation does great work at very little administrative expense. It’s a question everyone should ask before giving to charity, and I’m going to tell you how to find the answer in our Form 990, the return we file each year with the IRS. You can follow the same steps with any organization’s 990 (many make theirs available on their websites, or you can use independent watchdog group Charity Navigator’s 990 finder).

You can find our 990s from 2010 through 2014 on our Financials page, or open our 990 for 2014 by clicking here.

On our 990 for 2014, go to p. 10, the Statement of Functional Expenses. Here’s where you can see how we spent our money in 2014. Our total expenses, at the bottom of column A, were $1,315,071. Of that total, $1,193,501, or 91%, went to program service expenses — that is, the programs that help homeless pets.

You’ll also see that we spent $51,037 (3.8%) on management and general expenses and $70,533 (5.4%) on fundraising. So …. is that good? Well, according to Charity Navigator, “the most efficient charities spend 75% or more of their budget on their programs and services and less than 25% on fundraising and administrative fees.” So with 91% of our budget going to programs and services, we are really efficient by the highest independent standards.

Trinity had been in constant pain from a botched declaw. With our grant, CATS Cradle got her surgery to relieve her suffering.

But you don’t have to take our word for it. We’ve been reviewed by the three major independent watchdog organizations: the Better Business Bureau (we have an A+ rating), Charity Navigator (we have four out of four stars) and GuideStar (we have five out of five stars).

One thing we don’t spend our money on: for-profit telemarketing firms. You may have read some of the recent exposés about these companies and the huge percentage of donors’ money that they keep for themselves.

If you ever receive a call from the Petfinder Foundation, I can promise you it will be from me or another member of our three-person staff. We never have, and never will, hire a telemarketing firm, nor do we purchase mailing lists.

Back to our programs and services. We give grants to the adoption groups that post their pets on Petfinder.com — i.e., the overwhelming majority of shelters and rescue groups in North America. Our grants are designed to help groups find homes for their adoptable pets, prepare for and recover from natural disasters, and become more sustainable.

An organization must apply for a grant in order to receive funds. Some of our grant programs include emergency medical, disaster recovery, vaccination, transport (moving pets from crowded shelters to regions where they are more likely to find homes) and Rescue U (volunteers renovate dilapidated or disaster-damaged shelters). We also give grants for care and feeding, spay/neuter and general operations.

But all our grants are designed with one ultimate goal in mind: preventing the euthanasia of adoptable pets. That means we do whatever it takes to help shelters and rescue groups keep the pets in their care physically and mentally healthy, and available to adopters who will give them loving forever homes.

Charitable giving is a great way to have an impact and receive a tax deduction. I hope this post has answered any questions you may have had about giving to us. If it hasn’t, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me at emily@petfinderfoundation.com. You can also learn more about us by exploring our website, following us on Facebook or signing up for our monthly newsletter. Thank you for everything you do to help homeless pets!

Other resources:

Real Simple: What to Consider When Making Charitable Donations

Charity Navigator: Top 10 Best Practices of Savvy Donors

Charity Navigator: Evaluating Charities Not Currently Rated by Charity Navigator

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Rescue U Renovates a Bird Rescue!

Joyce, a volunteer, cares for two adoptable geese at the rescue.

Rescue U is gearing up for our trip to Carolina Waterfowl Rescue in Indian Trail, N.C., from Dec. 31-Jan. 10. This renovation will be vastly different from any we’ve done in the past.

Until now, we’ve focused on shelters that care for dogs and cats. On this build, we’ll be working to improve the lives of ducks, pigeons, swans and other adoptable birds.

Carolina Waterfowl Rescue sustained considerable damage from the tornadoes of spring 2012, leaving the animals there without shelter. Thanks to a generous grant from GreaterGood.org and The Animal Rescue Site, we’re building a new barn to protect the birds from predators and the elements.

The barn will be 20’ x 45’ and will feature a storage area, a veterinary exam room and an animal holding area. It will include windows, garage doors and a ventilation system. We also will be building an enclosed outdoor exercise/play area for the birds.

Many structures at the rescue were tornado-damaged. The new barn will provide space for the birds to roost and stretch their legs.

Because the pathway into the rescue is currently rutted, muddy and often impassable, we will be putting in a gravel driveway so that staff and potential adopters can easily get to the barn and the rest of the facility.

We will also be building four 16’ x 8’ carports with feeders (to shelter the outdoor animals), and putting in fencing. Although we are only enclosing the southern and eastern perimeters of the rescue, we’re still installing approximately 1,200 linear feet of fence.

All that is a lot to accomplish in a week, but we’re confident that the determination and work ethic of our volunteers will shine through. Rescue U volunteers from all over will come together to share ideas, learn new skills and unite in a common goal: helping to save adoptable pets.

 

10 Easy Ways to Help Homeless Pets

Want to help homeless pets this holiday season but don’t have much time? Here are 10 fast and easy (and, in many cases, FREE) ways you can make a difference through the Petfinder Foundation.

This year, the Petfinder Foundation helped homeless pets like Dawn.
  1. Give of Gift of Hope. When you make a donation in honor of a loved one this holiday season, he or she will receive a personalized card announcing the gift by Dec. 25. Donate $50 or more and we’ll also send him or her a special gift. (Find out more.) Donate by Dec. 17 to ensure delivery by Christmas Day.

     

  2. “Like” us on Facebook and stay informed about what the Petfinder Foundation is up to all year long. You can also join our cause at causes.com for even more news.

     

  3. Complete a survey. Sign up to take surveys at SurveyMonkey.com and the Petfinder Foundation will receive 50 cents for each one you complete.

     

  4. Give a new bed to your furry friend. For every bed purchased from its Artist or Original collections, Pet Lifestyle and You (P.L.A.Y.) will donate a specially designed Chill Pad bed to a shelter dog.

     

  5. Buy a gift from The Animal Rescue Site. A donation to the Petfinder Foundation is made for each purchase from the Animal Rescue Site store. For an extra-special gift, order a pair of Purple Paws & Circles Button Knit Slippers (only $10) by Dec. 25 and The Animal Rescue Site will donate $5 to the Petfinder Foundation. Order by Dec. 19 to ensure your gift arrives by Christmas!

     

  6. Sponsor A Pet. Want to adopt, but can’t right now? Sponsor A Pet through the Petfinder Foundation to help pets in need until you’re ready to adopt.

     

  7. Create a Pinterest Board. For every “Pinning for Pets” board created on Pinterest, BISSELL will donate $10 to the Petfinder Foundation. Start looking for BISSELL products and cute pups today!

     

  8. “Like” Comfort Zone products on Facebook. For every new like, Comfort Zone products will donate $1 to the Petfinder Foundation.

     

  9. Make a custom accessory with your pet’s photo. Visit FuzzyNation.com to create a puppy purse or other custom accessory; the Petfinder Foundation receives a donation for each one sold.

     

  10. Text a donation. Pressed for time? Text 4PETS and your email address to 20222 to donate $10 to the Petfinder Foundation.

A special thank you to everyone who helped impact the lives of homeless pets this year. And if you do have some time to give, please volunteer at your local animal shelter. Have a wonderful holiday!

 

Comfort Zone® Products Worked Wonders for Her Cat; ‘Like’ them on Facebook and Help Homeless Pets!

We’re big fans of Comfort Zone® products, and all month, they’re giving $1 to the Petfinder Foundation — up to $7,000 — for every new “like” of their Facebook page! (Click here to “like” Comfort Zone® products on Facebook now!)

The products — Comfort Zone® with Feliway® for cats and Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.® (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) for dogs — combat stress-related behavior by mimicking pheromones the animals themselves secrete and which trigger a sense of security or well-being.

Toby

Best of all, Comfort Zone® products come in sprays or plug-in diffusers, so they’re super easy to use (i.e. no “pilling” an already stressed-out cat!).

Our own Bethany Meissner has seen Comfort Zone® with Feliway® work wonders on her cat Toby. “I’ve used Comfort Zone® with Feliway® to help Toby get over his fear of the carrier,” she says. “Although he doesn’t love car rides to the vet, he now can sit more quietly and doesn’t get as anxious as he used to.”

The product also helped Toby adjust after Bethany’s recent move. “I made sure to use my Comfort Zone® with Feliway® diffuser in the bathroom where Toby lived for the first day,” she says. “Although he hid at first, within a few hours he was happily exploring his new domain.”

Finally, it’s helped Bethany when she’s brought home new cats (she’s fostered seniors for D.C.’s Washington Humane Society). “Not only did Comfort Zone® with Feliway® help the fosters adjust to their new home,” she says, “it helped Toby as he navigated the new smells that came from fosters living in another room. And I always made sure to use a few extra sprays the week the fosters came out of their room and met Toby face-to-face for the first time!”

Without Comfort Zone® with Feliway®, Toby might have exhibited destructive scratching or urine-marking; Comfort Zone® with Feliway® is 95% effective at reducing both stress-related behaviors in cats. In dogs, Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.® (Dog Appeasing Pheromone) helps control stress-related barking, digging, chewing and soiling.

Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.®

The makers of Comfort Zone® products have heard from dozens of dog parents who’ve seen miraculous changes in their dogs’ behaviors. John R. writes: “My wife and I are completely amazed. Our Lab/Pit Bull mix Marley was uncontrollable, particularly when company was at the house. He would jump all over our guests and we could not calm him down.

“We heard about Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.® and tried it as a last resort. Lo and behold, Marley is now a gracious host when we have friends and family to the house. I would personally recommend this product to anyone who wants to live in harmony with their dog!”

Many other pet parents have seen Comfort Zone® with D.A.P.® help with their dogs’ fear of thunderstorms, destructive nighttime behavior, separation stress and general “spazzy” behavior.

So try Comfort Zone® products to help your own pets, and “like” Comfort Zone® products on Facebook today to help those still waiting for their forever homes!

 

Give the Gift of Hope and Your Loved One Will Get this Awesome Stuff!

This card, by artist Laura Jackson (http://www.spaystreet.com), will come with a personalized letter to your loved one.

This holiday season, give the Gift of Hope to a homeless pet by donating to the Petfinder Foundation in a loved one’s honor.

Donate by Dec. 17 and your gift recipient will get the beautiful card pictured above, with a  personalized letter from us. The watercolor is by Austin, Tex.-based artist Laura Jackson, who has often donated her work to us for our holiday cards to gift recipients.

I asked Laura — who writes a great blog about rescuing pets that has a lot of excellent pet-care tips — why she is so generous to the Petfinder Foundation. “Your foundation takes real action to improve the lives of shelter animals and people,” she said. It’s true!

In addition to the card, if you give $50 or more, your loved one will receive a special gift from us: A copy of one of the following new books (while supplies last; if we run out, we will send your giftee a Petfinder Foundation t-shirt):

A Christmas Home by Greg Kincaid. Greg has been working with Petfinder since the publication of the first book in his series, A Dog Named Christmas, in 2008. (Read his posts on the Petfinder blog.) A Dog Named Christmas, about a young man who convinces the people in his town to foster all the pets in their local shelter over the holidays, was made into a Hallmark Hall of Fame original movie, and Greg worked with the producers to have a PSA for Petfinder and pet adoption aired at the end!

That book also inspired Petfinder’s annual promotion, “Foster a Lonely Pet for the Holidays,” which shelters nationwide have participated in every year for the past four years.

A Christmas Home, the third book in the series (after the 2010 prequel Christmas with Tucker), revisits the McCray family at a time when the local shelter is about to close due to lack of funding. Like Greg’s other books, it’s touching and wise (but you don’t need to have read the first two in the series to enjoy it). See the book on Amazon.

Why has Greg continued to work with us over the years? “It’s always such a honor to work with Petfinder,” he says. “I don’t know of anyone who does more for shelter pets than this talented and hardworking organization of animal advocates. They truly make the world a better place.” Thanks, Greg!

Little Boy Blue: A Puppy’s Rescue from Death Row and His Owner’s Journey for Truth by Kim Kavin. When Kim, a journalist, adopted Blue as a puppy in 2010, she became curious about his history. Her investigation led her to the crowded North Carolina shelter where he’d been scheduled for euthanasia before he was rescued by the organization that brought him to the Northeast and posted him on Petfinder.com.

Little Boy Blue tells the inspiring story of the “underground railroad” of rescue groups that has exploded in recent years, thanks in part to Petfinder giving groups the ability to reach potential adopters all over the country. You will also come to know and love Blue, a very special dog who now brings smiles to the faces of everyone he meets.

The author is even donating some of the book’s profits to the Petfinder Foundation. Here’s why: “I found my dog Blue on Petfinder, and in reporting Little Boy Blue I learned about the critical role that Petfinder plays in helping dogs like him find homes,” Kim tells us. “The Petfinder Foundation is doing great work to help rescue groups of all sizes, not to mention all kinds of animals, and I could not be more thrilled that a portion of my book’s proceeds are helping the Petfinder cause.” See the book on Amazon.

So give the Gift of Hope — the perfect present for the compassionate person in your life!

 

A Special Way to Remember a Best Friend

Lisa Robinson, executive director

When I adopted my BoxerLab mix, Luckie Boy, eight years ago, I had no idea the kind of true love that I would be given. I quickly found out how tossing a ball and running in the park with my new furry friend could be the best time spent.

Luckie Boy was a great dog.

A few months ago, Luckie developed a bone tumor in his nasal cavity. The news completely devastated my family. Over the next few months, the tumor grew — it created a bump on his head that got bigger as the days went on. His breathing became heavy and he started getting nosebleeds.

His personality changed too; he became withdrawn. This week we made the hard choice to put him to sleep. While the decision was hard, I find comfort knowing that we gave him a wonderful life and that he blessed my life with true unconditional love.

As we move forward as a one-dog family (although I don’t think that will last long — our five-year-old Lab, Scarlett, seems lonely and has been looking for Luckie), I am truly touched by the support of our friends and family.

People have given us flowers and cards, and made donations in Luckie’s memory. I’m reminded how many lives my little black dog touched. I’m also reminded what a great way a donation is to honor a pet’s life.

At the Petfinder Foundation, we often receive donations in memory of loved ones, two-legged or four. Like all the funds we receive, they go exclusively into programs that provide direct care to homeless pets across the country. Improving the lives of pets still waiting for their forever homes is a wonderful way to honor a life that has blessed yours.

To make a donation in memory of a loved one for whom you’re thankful, click here.

 

Sandy Refugee Storm the Dog Gets a Second Chance

Meet adoptable Dobie/Am Staff mix Storm at Westchester Humane Society in Harrison, NY.

Westchester Humane Society got a disaster grant from the Petfinder Foundation to care for the animals it took in because of Hurricane Sandy. Board member Irma Jansen wrote to us about one of those refugees, a Doberman/American Staffordshire Terrier mix named Storm (pictured above).

Storm with a pal

This is Storm, one of the 18 animals the Westchester Humane Society in Harrison rescued from New York City. Storm came from Staten Island the day before the hurricane hit.

They were evacuating shelters and were overcrowded. In order to help prevent a lot of animals from being euthanized, we rescued a total of 18 dogs and cats.

Storm, named in ‘honor’ of the hurricane, was saved from Sandy and did not seem to care that a week after the hurricane, a snow storm hit our area! It has been quite a week in the NYC area.

She loves the snow, this 2-year-old girl! She is an absolute sweetheart and we are happy we were able to have saved her. Thank you so much for making this rescue possible!

Some of the other shelters and rescue groups receiving disaster grants in Sandy’s wake include:

These puppies, at Tails of Love Animal Rescue in Staten Island, will benefit from a Petfinder Foundation disaster grant.

  • Tails of Love Animal Rescue, Inc., in Staten Island, NY, which lost heat and power and suffered damage to its roof and outdoor kennels, and also needed money for food, blankets, a generator, food bowls (since staff could not wash them without hot water) and cleaning supplies.
  • Seer Farms, Inc., in Jackson, NJ. “We took in over 50 animals in the first weekend after the storm, which is an approximately 10% increase in our population, and we are taking in new animals every day who were either rescued from abandoned homes or brought by their owners who are living in shelters,” says owner Laura Pople. “We lost power for several days and spent several thousand dollars on tree removal.”
  • Abandoned Angels Animal Rescue in Columbus, NJ, which took in pets for people whose homes had flooded and will care for them until their families can find housing for themselves and their pets, or find them new homes if their guardians can’t take them back.
  • Helping Every Animal Live Society, Inc. in Lodi, NJ, which needed to relocate to a safer building. “We lost all or vaccinations and antibiotics that needed refrigeration. The river swept away many of our crates and destroyed pallets of dog food,” says vice president Benjamin Ortiz. “This grant will be used solely to relocate our rescues to a safe and healthy facility.”
  • Animal Rescue R Us, also in Lodi. “We lost crates, bedding, food and supplies due to damage from flood,” says president Christina Chavis. The grant will allow the shelter to replace those items to care for its 20 adoptable pets.

We are able to help these organizations continue their lifesaving work thanks to donors like you. Thank you to all who gave — every little bit helps.

 

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.

 

The Petfinder Foundation Helps Victims of Hurricane Sandy

I think I speak for everyone at the Petfinder Foundation when I say that our thoughts are with everyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. All of us here have been working diligently to provide whatever assistance we can to help pets, and the people who care for them, during this difficult time.

Pets like Doddy at the Humane Society of Atlantic County will be helped by a Disaster grant from the Petfinder Foundation.

For me, awarding grants is one of my favorite parts of my job as Program Manager at the Petfinder Foundation because I know each grant I award is directly helping homeless pets. Most recently we awarded $10,000 to the Humane Society of Atlantic County in Atlantic City, NJ. They were hit extremely hard by Sandy. The shelter had approximately a foot of sea water throughout during the worst part of the storm and because of the flooding they lost a significant amount of medical and shelter supplies, including medications, food, and other items.

In addition to the damage, the Humane Society is also offering assistance to the pets in the community that were affected by the storm in the form of medical care, food and shelter. This is a great example of the role animal shelters play in their local communities. When disaster strikes, shelters not only cope with their own losses, but work overtime to care for the pets of those around them so that people who’ve lost everything can at least know their pets are safe.

Danielle Tustin, Adoption Counselor for HSAC, says, “We are hoping to replenish our medical and shelter supplies, and establish a point where those affected in the community can bring their pets for medical care and any needed supplies. We will need to purchase medications, vaccines, and food, as well as pay doctors and staff to help care for these animals. We anticipate caring for a significant of local animals from the community in the coming weeks as a result of this disaster.”

The Petfinder Foundation is continuing to reach out to and award groups affected by this storm. If you are a group in need of help, please fill out the disaster application here. To help other organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy please make a donation to the Petfinder Foundation here.

Petfinder Foundation Helps With Hurricane Sandy

The Petfinder Foundation has always been concerned with the safety of homeless pets when a disaster hits.  Hurricane Sandy is no exception. Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the Frankenstorm including our fuzzy friends. At this time, the Foundation is preparing to help Petfinder members in a variety of ways, including providing disaster relief grants, assistance with transport of homeless pets to safer areas and providing education and care to those who need it.

Here are some of the ways that we are helping:

The Petfinder Foundation IFAW truck prepares for recovery efforts.

The Petfinder Foundation partnered with International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) to fund a recovery and disaster vehicle. The truck has proven to be helpful in a variety of ways when a storm hits. Often the PFF truck is loaded up with supplies like food, medical equipment and crates to help homeless pets affected by a storm. Once deployed, the truck provides additional assistance by transporting homeless dogs out of the disaster area to a safer environment where they are better able to find forever homes. Currently, the Petfinder Foundation rig is loaded up with boats and water rescue gear in preparation for water support of the devastated areas. The truck is also prepared with sheltering supplies to make sure to address whatever unmet animal needs there might be following the storm.

The Petfinder Foundation partners with National Animal Rescue and Sheltering Coalition (NARSC) to address specific needs when disaster hits. As there is a great need with Hurricane Sandy, we are actively working with our NARSC partners to ensure that proper procedures are followed and that organizations are working as a team to bring the best support to affected shelters and rescue groups.

Hurricanes and other disasters can devastate animal rescue and shelter organizations. The Petfinder Foundation oversees a Disaster Fund to help pets and animal welfare organizations when natural or man-made disaster hits a community. We are currently accepting applications from Petfinder members who were hit by Hurricane Sandy. We have already received several applications and are reaching out to groups to award disaster grants and help them through this troubling time.

As we move forward with recovery efforts, the entire Petfinder Foundation would like to personally thank all the shelter and rescue groups staff and volunteers for their time and effort to help save the lives of homeless pets.

To support the Petfinder Foundation Disaster and other programs, donate here.