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.
Happy World Spay Day! We’re working with the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and other organizations to get the word out that spaying and neutering saves lives — and you can help!
Through the end of February, animal organizations are hosting low-cost spay/neuter events in an effort to sterilize a total of 60,000 pets, feral cats and street dogs around the world. Find a low-cost spay/neuter event near you.
You can help spread the word! Here are some easy ways to raise awareness:
- Find a low-cost spay/neuter event happening in your area and share it on Facebook, Twitter and your other social networks.
- Add a World Spay Day 2014 Spay/Neuter Counter Widget to your website. Simply embed this code: <iframe width=”241″ height=”385″ src=”https://worldspayday.org/widget/widget.asp” frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” allowfullscreen></iframe> (Learn more about how the counter works here.)
- Volunteer at a spay/neuter event! Organizations near you may need volunteers to check in clients, monitor recovering animals, staff information tables, or help spread the word. Learn more about volunteering at spay/neuter events.
Since National Hugging Day is Jan. 21, we asked our friends from shelters and rescues across the country for pictures of their adoptable pets being hugged! Our favorite photos, below, come from groups that received photography equipment grants and training through the One Picture Saves a Life program.
1. Walking shelter dogs during the winter in East Hanover, N.J., can be frigid, but Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter volunteer Kathy Wieczorek warms it up by fitting in snuggle time with Sky. The shelter saved this 2-year-old Chihuahua, who was born with one “baby eye” that’s smaller than the other, from an overcrowded shelter in the South, and now all she wants is to be in her own home. (Learn more about adopting Sky.)
2. Chicago Cat Rescue saved Edelweiss and her brother around Christmas, when the young kittens were wandering outside an abandoned apartment building in freezing temperatures. Foster mom and Chicago Cat Rescue founder Julie Adams says little Edelweiss loves playing with her sparkly pink toy, chasing her brother and getting as many cuddles as she can. (Learn more about adopting Edelweiss.)
3. After dutifully nursing her litter of puppies in foster care, Bella, a 3-year-old Beagle, is back with The Animal Foundation of Las Vegas and Henderson, Nev. Since she has finished the work of raising little ones, this small, sweet and now-spayed girl would love to relax in a home of her own. (Learn more about adopting Bella by contacting The Animal Foundation.)
4. Having only three legs doesn’t slow down Huggie Bear, who’s waiting for his forever home at Victoria Trap Neuter Return in Victoria, Tex. He came to the organization with a badly mangled leg that had been caught in a car’s fan belt. Now he’s healed and is ready to begin his life with a family! (Learn about adopting Huggie Bear.)
5. A strikingly handsome Dalmatian and Australian Cattle Dog Mix, 1-year-old Jude loves to give hugs, “hold hands” and dance! Jude’s caretakers at In the Arms of Angels in Tucson, Ariz., say this social boy adores playing with people and other dogs. Watch out come bath time — he’ll jump into the shower with you if you give him the chance! (Learn about adopting Jude.)
6. Not only is 10-month-old Roman agreeable with kids, dogs and other cats, his caretakers at Lifeline for Pets in Monrovia, Calif., say this handsome heart breaker likes to cuddle, too. (Learn about adopting Roman, a truly move-in ready cat!)
7. Seven-year-old Olive endured a rough past, and she has the scars to prove it. One of eight dogs who were transferred to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson from a Missouri dog-fighting raid, only Olive was suspected of being used for fighting. Olive is sweet as can be with people, but she needs to be an only dog. Olive is searching for the chance to enjoy her senior years on the couch and prove to everyone that she’s a lover — not a fighter. (Learn more about adopting Olive by contacting the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.)
1. You helped us rush aid to All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga., to help dogs like Mic and others injured during a shelter break-in in which three dogs were killed. (Read more about our grant and learn about adopting Mic.)
3. You helped us teach shelter staff and volunteers to take great pet photos, helping hard-to-place dogs like Shelby find families. (Learn more.)
4. You helped us give $26,000 to aid abused and neglected farm animals, including horses like Page. (Learn more about Page’s transformation.)
5. You helped us give shelters vaccines so they can focus their limited time and resources on finding homes for pets like Thor. (Read more about Thor’s adoption.)
6. You helped us rush $9,000 to shelters working to save pets like Melody from the deadly Colorado floods. (Learn more about our grant and learn about adopting Melody.)
7. You helped us give thousands to protect pets like Joey from the California Rim Fire. (Learn more.)
8. You helped us fund a trailer that helped rescuers save 367 dogs from a massive multistate dog-fighting ring. (Learn more.)
9. Thanks to your donations, we gave more than $50,000 in cash and product to help pets affected by the devastating Oklahoma tornado. (Learn more.)
10. With your help, we gave Summer Cooling Grants that not only kept pets (including donkeys!) comfortable during the summer months, but also increased adoptions by making potential adopters more comfortable at shelters. (Learn more.)
To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ve been sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!