Posts Tagged: Humane Society of Southern Arizona

For Cats, Easing the Stress of Shelter Life

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.

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The Stretch and Scratch attaches to the cage wall so it doesn’t take up living space.

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.

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Luna at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson enjoys her Cat Castle.

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.

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‘One Picture’ Helps Senior Gal Find a Loving Home

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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, GreaterGood.org, John Paul: Pet and Underwater Dogs photographer Seth Casteel.

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

Arizona Dogs Say Thank You for Summer Cooling Grant!

Adoptable Skylar enjoys a yard that’s been improved with turf, a shade and a misting system.

Our Summer Cooling Grant is helping dogs at Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson keep cool via a new misting system in its yard.

Shelter PR Coordinator Sara Gromley tells us, “Here are some photos of our new area we spruced up thanks to your summer cooling grant. The mister system is absolutely deluxe! It goes from scorching hot to tropical cool within seconds of flipping a switch. Staff members enjoy taking breaks by bringing dogs out in the yard and it’s actually pleasant to be outdoors! The dogs love the turf and the shade sail works perfectly. Petfinder Foundation, we love you!”

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The yard before the new turf was added

Gromley adds, “The dog model is Skylar, #757011, a 5-year-old male golden retriever mix. He was found as a stray and has been waiting for a home since early June (which I believe is against the laws of nature, when you’re a golden retriever).”

Donate to help us keep shelter pets cool and Orvis will match your gift!

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

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

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

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

Dewey loved playing in the kiddie pool.

Dewey plays in the kiddie pool.

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

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

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Benson cools off in a kiddie pool.

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

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

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

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

Emmit, left, and Lily enjoy their catsicles.

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

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

Robbie, a red tabby, loves his catsicle.

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

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

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

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Mars Petcare Staffers Compete to Help Tucson Shelter Pets

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

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

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

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A Mars staffer hula hoops for pets.

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

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

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

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

Competing to see who can make the most leashes

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

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

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

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

Donate now so we can help shelters save more lives.

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