Petfinder Foundation News

Top 10 Horse Comebacks of 2013

1. Vincent lost his ears when he was attacked by a pack of dogs while tethered to a tree. Rehabilitated by Triple R Equine Rescue Ranch in Greensburg, Ind., this gentle boy is now one of the stars of the group’s Unbridled Potential program, which pairs horses with at-risk youth. (Read Vincent’s story.)

Vincent (Photo: Triple R Equine Rescue Ranch)

Vincent (Photo: Triple R Equine Rescue Ranch)

2. Petey came to New England Equine Rescue North in West Newbury, Mass., emaciated and in need of shots, deworming and dental care. He has since become a barn favorite and field champion! (Read Petey’s story.)

3. Found wandering alone, severely malnourished, Lucky was taken in by Local Equine Assistance Network (L.E.A.N.) in Las Vegas. When he had returned to a healthy weight, he began to show symptoms of arthritis. Supplements have greatly helped with his pain and he’s finally ready for his own home. (Read Lucky’s story and learn more about adopting him.)

Lucky (Photo: L.E.A.N.)

Lucky (Photo: L.E.A.N.)

4. Echo was a Reserve Champion last summer, and then dumped at an auction in the fall. He caught a bug at the auction house and his health did a downward spiral. He came dangerously close to being put down, but then the miniature horse was taken in by Pipsqueak Paddocks Miniature Horse Haven Society of Chilliwack, B.C.  The group treated Echo’s sinus infection, and this brave little horse was valiant throughout the process. (Read Echo’s story.)


Echo (Photo: Pipsqueak Paddocks Miniature Horse Haven Society)

5. Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc. of Sylmar, Calif., took in Lakota after he had been severely abused and neglected. The group brought him back to health, but he still has a lameness issue they are working to improve. With his special diet and holistic veterinary care, Lakota has made remarkable progress and should be ready to find a permanent home within a year or two. (Read Lakota’s story.)

Lakota (Photo: Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc.)

Lakota (Photo: Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc.)

6. Page, a 25-year-old thoroughbred, gained 20 much-needed pounds in the first 24 hours after she was rescued by Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene, Wash. Her health and weight have only continued to improve! (Read Page’s story.)

7. Windsong was 25 years old and in poor condition when she was taken in by Doxy’s Horse Recovery in Afton, N.Y. Through improved nutrition, dentist visits and good daily care, she blossomed into a handsome senior and was adopted to a loving home! (Read Windsong’s story.)

Windsong (Photo: Doxy's horse recovery)

Windsong (Photo: Doxy’s Horse Recovery)

8. This starving horse’s owners had never even given him a name when they decided it was time to shoot him. Thankfully, he was rescued by Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary in Elkhart Lake, Wis., where he was named Rudy. He was so weak that he collapsed several times as he struggled to walk into the barn, but his health has since improved significantly. (Read Rudy’s story.)

9. Twenty-year-old Branch was a skinny stallion when he was dumped at animal control. He was rescued by L.E.A.N. in Las Vegas and has since been gelded and brought up to a healthy weight. He is looking for a relaxed retirement home. (Read Branch’s story and learn about adopting him.)

Branch (Photo: L.E.A.N.)

Branch (Photo: L.E.A.N.)

10. Storm was 2 years old, wild and untrained when she was surrendered to Dream Equine Therapy Center in York, S.C. She’s since been transformed into this 13-year-old girl’s well-behaved riding partner and best friend! (Read Storm’s story.)

Storm (Photo: Dream Equine Therapy Center)

Storm (Photo: Dream Equine Therapy Center)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ll be sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Check back tomorrow for another Top 10, and thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!

Top 10 Puppies Making ‘Adopt Me’ Faces of 2013

Here are some of our favorite puppies of 2013. All of them have found their forever homes!

1. Bella was rescued when one of our staff members found her and her siblings wandering in the desert. She was fostered in our office through In the Arms of Angels Rescue of Tucson, Ariz., and this face won over the first potential adopter who crossed her path! (Read Bella’s story.)

This is the culprit who brought the Petfinder Foundation to its knees


2. Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter of East Hanover, N.J., rescued Frenchie, the very pregnant mother of these Pit Bull mix puppies, right before she was going to be euthanized. Now these puppies are making too many “Adopt Me” faces for us to handle. (Read the story of Frenchie and her puppies.)


Frenchie’s puppies (Photo: Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter)

3. Wyndall was just 8 weeks old when he was abandoned with a deep puncture wound and a broken jaw. The Last Resort rescue in West Millford, N.J., rushed him to the animal hospital, where he made a full recovery — with a slight grinding noise when he eats the only reminder of his past mistreatment. (Read all about Wyndall.)


Wyndall (Photo: The Last Resort)

4. These puppies were rescued from a South Carolina drainpipe, where they’d been surviving by eating animal carcasses. They were taken in by Stokes County Humane Society in Danbury, S.C., where they charmed everyone with their adorable faces and dispositions. (Read the puppies’ rescue story.)

(Photo: Stokes County Humane Society)

(Photo: Stokes County Humane Society)

5. Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Mich., took in Bailey (below) and her sister Shirley from a shelter in Arkansas. With a face like this, it’s no wonder she found a home just days after she was spayed and vaccinated. (Read Bailey’s story.)

6. Blue Mountain Humane Society of Walla Walla, Wash., took in eight Pit Bull mix puppies and their mom from a town where the breed is banned. Their “Adopt Me” faces were so effective, they found homes before they even left foster care. (Read their story.)


Clockwise from top left: Anastasia, Anabelle, Apollo and Arnold (Photo: Blue Mountain Humane Society)

7. A bath at Pocatello Animal Shelter in Pocatello, Idaho, made this pup even more lovable and huggable — and with that face, this puppy didn’t have to wait long to go home. (Read this puppy’s story.)

8. Golden Retriever-mix puppies Wren, Gia, Cinnamon, Drake, Romeo, Bella, Ace, Nutmeg and Dozer were born in Kentucky and then transported to Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota in Minnetonka, Minn. Just try to resist them! (Read their rescue story.)


Wren, Gia, Cinnamon, Drake, Romeo, Bella, Ace, Nutmeg and Dozer (Photo: Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota)

9. Adorable (below left) and her brother Imp charmed us instantly, and we weren’t the only ones. Soon after they were surrendered to the Humane Society of Elmore County in Wetumpka, Ala., they were scooped up by loving adopters who were thrilled with these sweet and healthy puppies. (Read Adorable and Imp’s story.)

Adorable (left) and Imp (Photo: The Humane Society of Elmore County)

Adorable (left) and Imp (Photo: Humane Society of Elmore County)

10. Zeus was 10 weeks old when he came to Start Over Rover in Hastings, Neb., wearing a T-shirt and a diaper. His back legs were deformed and he had constant diarrhea. His family had gotten him for free from a breeder, and realized they could not care for his special needs. Zeus was quickly adopted and had one leg amputated the following week. He likely has more surgeries ahead of him, as his gastrointestinal tract is not quite right, but he remains a happy, playful boy. (Read Zeus’ whole story.)

Zeus - start over rover

Zeus (Photo: Start Over Rover)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ll be sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Check back tomorrow for another Top 10, and thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!

Top 10 Shelter Dog Makeovers of 2013

1. “Fatty Patty” was an overweight 9-year-old Puggle who was heartworm positive and had a tumor the size of a baseball hanging from her back leg. The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County in Clarksville, Tenn., got her medical care and renamed her Patty Cakes and took her to the groomer’s — where she so charmed the staff, they adopted her! (Read Patty’s full story.)

2. A kind couple found Pee Wee, an 8-year-old Yorkie who was emaciated and sick, alone and scared on the side of a busy Baltimore interstate. Save A Yorkie Rescue of Sinking Spring, Pa., took Pee Wee in, cut away his painfully matted fur and got him much-needed medical and dental care. Pee Wee is now an obedience-school grad and the pride of his new family! (Read Pee Wee’s whole story.)

Pee Wee

Pee Wee (Photo: Save A Yorkie Rescue)

3. When Skye was rescued from a junkyard, she had just given birth, and two of her puppies had died inside of her. Her skin was so filthy she looked gray, her home-cropped ears were badly infected and she was hours from death. Ghetto Rescue FFoundation in Long Beach, Calif., provided her multiple needed surgeries and a “spa treatment” to help her become the healthy and shining white beauty she is today. (Read Skye’s story and learn about adopting her.)

4. Fabio was 10 months old when Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Huntington, N.Y., rescued him. He had never been groomed or bathed in his life and was matted and smelled awful. After being groomed and bathed, Fabio was a new dog, and best of all, he found his perfect home! (Read Fabio’s whole story.)

5. When Khleo came to The A.N.N.A. Shelter of Erie, Pa., as a stray, her tiny feet were balls of matted fur that disguised terrible, long, toenails that were also causing her pain. With her fur shaved and her nails trimmed, she is now is a happy, healthy — and adopted — girl. (Read Khleo’s whole story.)

Khleo (Photo: The ANNA Shelter)

Khleo (Photo: The A.N.N.A. Shelter)

6. When Oscar was transferred from a crowded shelter to Home for Good Dog Rescue in Summit, N.J., he was starving because he’d been kenneled with food-aggressive dogs. Home for Good helped Oscar gain the weight and confidence he needed to go home with an awesome family. (Learn more about Oscar.)

7. Marin Humane Society of Novato, Calif., took in Pierre, whose behavior assessment indicated he was smart and cooperative and would benefit from a stable, comfortable home and a caring guardian. Just two weeks after Pierre received medical attention and a full grooming treatment, he found that home! (Read Pierre’s story.)

Pierre (Photo: Marin Humane Society)

Pierre (Photo: Marin Humane Society)

8. Sarah’s owners surrendered her when she was 8 years old, overweight and suffering from cherry eye in both eyes. The Pet Rescue Center of Mission Viejo, Calif., rescued her the day she was scheduled to be euthanized. They gave her the eye surgeries, teeth extractions and full-service grooming she needed to find a home with these outstanding folks. (Read Sarah’s story.)

Sarah (Photo: The Pet Rescue Center)

Sarah (Photo: The Pet Rescue Center)

9. When Spankie was found wandering on the side of a country road, his matted fur was full of fleas and ticks, his skin was red and he was obviously miserable. Kim Acres Animal Sanctuary of Von Ormy, Tex., took him in, treated his fleas and ticks and gave him a soothing bath and haircut. He was transformed into this handsome, sweater-sporting boy, and he will be neutered and ready for adoption on Dec. 27. (Learn more about Spankie.)

Spanky (Photo: Kim Acres Animal Sanctuary)

Spankie (Photo: Kim Acres Animal Sanctuary)

10. When Texas Gulf Coast Bull Terrier Rescue of Katy, Tex., rescued Bingo, he looked very sad and smelled awful (bull terriers are prone to skin conditions in general). After a few days of TLC, Bingo was feeling “like a new man” and ready to start looking for his new family. (Read more about Bingo and learn about adopting him.)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ll be sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Check back tomorrow for another Top 10, and thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible gift to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!


Download “Give” to Help Pets!


Malea and her beloved adopted dog, Oscar.

Check out a special guest post from recording artist Malea McGuinness — then learn how you can help animals while treating yourself this holiday season!

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”―Mahatma Gandhi

This quote was relevant when it was first said and is just as relevant now. We are evolving, but perhaps not as quickly as we could be.

Animals have always had a deep place in my heart, even during times in my life when I was unable to have pets. Maybe in some ways I have identified with rescue animals because I myself needed to be rescued early in my life.

When I made my transition from Broadway actress to singer/songwriter, I started volunteering at The Amanda Foundation, a rescue group in Los Angeles. This is really where I was exposed to all the animals who came in from shelters, puppy mills, dog fighting, etc. I learned how important it was to spay and neuter, as The Amanda Foundation was one of the first rescues I knew of to have its own spay/neuter truck. I also learned about the importance of tagging and microchipping your pets. [Learn more about why Petfinder believes all pets should wear collars and tags.] I also learned that one person can make a difference, and I was so fulfilled seeing animals go off to their forever homes, knowing that, in a small way, we volunteers had helped them on their way.

When I became busier with my touring schedule, I started working with different animal foundations and societies around the country. My experiences showed me that I could best help by raising money and awareness for this cause, by doing my music and being an animal advocate.

My latest song, “Give,” has to do with the season of giving. It reminds me of this time of year five years ago, when a dog named Oscar came into The Amanda Foundation just as we were closing, right before everyone was going home for the holidays. He was 10 years old, a Pit Bull mix with a brindle coat, and his owners didn’t want him anymore — he was too old for them, they said. He was crying and I tried to console him by taking some warm blankets out of the dryer and wrapping him up and putting him in my lap. We just hung out there in his kennel until I had to go home. I adopted Oscar a few months later. He had a special talent: He could make anyone — even the most vehement anti-dog person — a dog lover.

There’s so much to be grateful for this holiday season — it’s been an eventful year for me, giving birth to my daughter Grace a few months ago. We as humans have the power to help so many who need our help. I wrote this song, “Give,” while on my “Save A Life Adopt A Pet” tour last year. While traveling across the country I had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring people who give whatever they can to help animals. And like I say in the song, “We’re all in this together.”

–Malea McGuinness

Want an extra way to help pets? Download Malea McGuinness’s song “Give” below and she’ll donate $1 per download to the Petfinder Foundation through Dec. 30, 2013.

Learn more about Malea:

Top 10 Reasons to Give to the Petfinder Foundation this Holiday Season

One of the easiest ways to help pets in need this holiday season is to donate to the Petfinder Foundation to help homeless pets like Brandy (pictured). Here are 10 reasons to give:

Brandy was adopted from California’s Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.

1. It’s a great gift for your favorite pet-lover. Donate in honor of a loved one and we’ll send her or him a beautiful holiday card with a personal letter announcing your gift.

2. You’ll get a free calendar. Gift $50 or more and we’ll send you a certificate redeemable for a free personalized 12-month calendar from!

3. You can memorialize a beloved pet. Give in memory of a pet and we’ll send you a charm customized with your pet’s name by our friends at Fuzzy Nation. You can also send us a photo and some remembrances to post to our Pet Memorial Wall.

4. Your gift will help the pets in the greatest need. We offer aid to shelters and rescue groups during times of crisis or disaster. Recently, we helped the survivors of a deadly shelter break-in and a shelter that was hit by a schoolbus.

5. Our partners help your donation go further. Each year since 2012, our friends at Orvis have matched your donations up to $30,000. We’re also able to help thousands of pets in need thanks to cash and product grants from our partners at the Animal Rescue Site, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, John Paul Pet, Bissell, Petco, Wahl, KONG, Thundershirt and more.

6. We help pets put their best faces forward. We teach shelter staff and volunteers skills that help pets find homes. Our One Picture Saves a Life program, in which we train shelter workers to take professional-quality pet photos to post online, has saved countless pets like Brandy (read Brandy’s story here).

7. Your donation will go toward pets, not fundraising. Over 90% of every dollar we spend goes toward programs that help homeless pets — not toward advertising or other fundraising or administrative expenses. Check out our blog post, “When You Give to Us, Where Does Your Money Go?”, for more info.

8. We have good grades! We have the highest possible ratings from the top independent charity watchdog groups: Charity Navigator, GuideStar and the Better Business Bureau. And we post all our financial documents to our website. Visit our Financials section if you’d like to learn more.

9. We won’t sell your contact information. You know how after you give to some charities, you immediately start getting phone calls and junk mail from dozens of similar organizations, all asking for money? That won’t happen when you give to us. You can read our privacy policy here.

10. You can meet the pets your donation is helping. We ask the shelters and rescue groups we help to tell the stories of the pets whose lives are impacted by our grants. You can read these stories in the adoption groups’ own words, and see pictures of the pets, in our Success Stories section.

However you decide to help homeless pets, all of us at the Petfinder Foundation would like to wish you and your (two- and four-legged) family a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!


After Dogs Die in Georgia Shelter Break-In, We’re Helping Survivors (WARNING: Graphic)

Mic bears scars from the incident at All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga.

Mic still has scars from the deadly break-in at All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga.

Thanks to your help, we’ve sent a $2,000 emergency grant to All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga., to help cover medical expenses for the dogs who were injured during a deadly break-in on Oct. 16. That night, an intruder let 40 dogs out of their kennels; three dogs were killed, more than a dozen were severely injured, and all the survivors are traumatized.

“[The grant] really will help,” says AAAR founder and director Mary Crawford.

Mic before the deadly break-in (above left) and immediately after (above right). Photo credit: AAAR

Mic, a “smart and fun boy,” before the Oct. 16 break-in (left) and immediately after

The two staffers who arrived at the shelter the morning of Oct. 17 were met with a chaotic and frightening scene, volunteer Kathy Brantley tells us: “All these dogs were bleeding to death; they were in shock, their faces were swollen.”

Fred and Wilma (Photo: AAAR)

Fred (left) and Wilma are a bonded pair.

The staffers called for help and scrambled to put the loose dogs back in their kennels. Working with shelter volunteers, they took the badly injured dogs to veterinarians across the city and scoured the neighborhood to find the four dogs who had been released onto the street. All the lost dogs were found, including Fred and Wilma (pictured), former strays who returned to the shelter on their own.

The three dogs – Butler, Flapjack and Jack — who died as a result of injuries they sustained during the break-in were all gentle dogs not known for fighting, Crawford and Brantley tell us. Butler only had three legs and didn’t stand a chance when the frenzied scene erupted, Brantley says.

Last month, police arrested a woman in connection with the incident. Crystal Gale Fessler has been charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals, probation violation and criminal trespass, but her motives, and whether she acted alone or with a partner, remain unknown, Crawford says.

AAAR typically houses about 70 dogs, most of them pulled from nearby Macon Animal Control. Although the property is surrounded by a 10-ft. fence topped with barbed wire, the person or people who broke in likely slipped through a small gap between the fence and barbed wire, Crawford says. The shelter’s perimeter has since been secured, and security cameras have been installed.

Crawford and Brantley say they are still looking for homes for several of the surviving dogs, including Fred, Wilma, Mic and Lionel, who suffered a large wound on his neck during the break-in.

Lionel is healing and ready for a home. (Photo: AAAR)

Lionel, who nearly starved to death before AAAR rescued him, is recovering from his new injuries and ready for a home.

Meanwhile, the shelter is working to cover the dogs’ vet bills. Your support of the Petfinder Foundation is helping AAAR pay for this lifesaving care.

Donate now to help us help more pets like these.

A Heartwarming Holiday Puppy Tale


Looking for a heartwarming holiday story that celebrates the power of pets to change our lives? Check out Home for Christmas: A Golden Christmas 3. Donate $50 or more and we’ll send you a DVD copy of this heartwarming story about love, loss, hope … and how a puppy can turn even the most unlikely Scrooge into a true believer. (You can also buy the movie here.)

The DVD’s distributor, Gaiam, is a proud supporter of the Petfinder Foundation’s work on behalf of homeless pets across North America. We are so grateful to Gaiam for their generosity.


Send Holiday Cards that Help Homeless Pets!

shutterfly_homepageThis holiday season, order custom cards and gifts AND help save the lives of homeless pets, thanks to our partnership with Just visit our new Shutterfly homepage and start shopping — 10% of your purchase price will be donated to the Petfinder Foundation to help us help pets in need.

You can customize any card or gift with photos that feature your pets, but Shutterfly also has some designs that highlight the special role our furry family members play in our lives. Here are our favorites (click on any of the photos below and, if you order prints, 10% of your purchase price will be donated to the Petfinder Foundation).

Happy Pawlidays

Feliz Naughty Dog

Wrapped Bone

Purrrfect Holiday

Purrrfect Memories

Bright Paw Lights


‘One Picture’ Helps Senior Gal Find a Loving Home


Shelby’s profile pic after HSSA staff attended our workshop

Our One Picture Saves a Life program, which includes photography training and camera and photo-editing software grants, is helping shelter pets find homes, one photo at a time. A great example is Shelby, a senior gal who found herself at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson.

The shelter’s public relations coordinator (and One Picture Saves a Life workshop attendee), Sara Gromley, tells us Shelby’s story:

“Shelby is just one of the hundreds of pets you’ve helped at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, thanks to the One Picture Saves a Life program. As a 10-year-old stray Shepherd mix with age-related ailments (including a heart murmur and worn teeth) as well as slight separation anxiety, Shelby had a very difficult time finding a home.

“She waited at the shelter for a month without any interest from potential adopters. Then I took a photo capturing her sweet demeanor and warm personality. The photo received more than 7,000 views on Facebook, was sent to our media partners, and captured the attention of a very nice lady who came in to meet Shelby. It was love at first sight! Now Shelby is enjoying the cozy retirement she’s always deserved — all thanks to a single picture.

“We’re so grateful for the One Picture Saves a Life program. I never considered myself a photographer, but I receive weekly compliments from adopters who came in specifically because of photos they came across. The impact this program is making for shelters across the country is nothing short of astounding!”

Learn more about our One Picture Saves a Life program, which is made possible thanks to our partners The Animal Rescue Site,, John Paul: Pet and Underwater Dogs photographer Seth Casteel.


Shelby’s photo before the One Picture Saves a Life workshop and grant

Get MONOPOLY’s New Cat Token and Help Homeless Pets


Purchase a MONOPOLY game with the new Cat token from by Nov. 30 and $1 will go to the Petfinder Foundation to help pets in need.

Just in time for your holiday shopping, Hasbro has announced the newest MONOPOLY token – the Cat! And for every MONOPOLY game purchased from through Nov. 30, the company will donate $1 to the Petfinder Foundation — up to $10,000 — so we can help shelters and rescue groups save more homeless pets.

The Cat was chosen to be MONOPOLY’s newest token after a public online vote in which the feline beat out a helicopter, diamond ring, robot and guitar. The Cat joins the game’s other beloved pet token, the Dog, and in honor of the Cat token joining the MONOPOLY family, is launching a scavenger hunt with amazing prizes!


The Cat joins the Dog token.

To play, simply search to find the adoptable-pet profiles for the Cat and Dog tokens, where you’ll also find your entry for a chance to win. The grand prize for the Adopt a Token sweepstakes is a life-size replica of the Cat token, a $250 gift card for you and a $250 gift card for the adoption group of your choice. (Learn more about the scavenger hunt here.)

And if you want to get your holiday shopping done early AND help homeless pets, you can purchase a MONOPOLY game from and know that $1 will help us help pets in need.

Get MONOPOLY’s new Cat token and help homeless pets!