Posts Tagged: Shelter+ Challenge

Two Sisters, Formerly Feral, Are Reunited and Loved

The Humane Society of Independence County in Batesville, Ark., snagged a $1,000 as a regional winner in last year’s Animal Rescue Site Shelter+ Challenge. The shelter’s Sue Augustus sends us this report:

“Thank you so very much for all that you do to help those of us in animal rescue try to make a difference. A special thanks to The Animal Rescue Site for their generous support of these contests over the past several years! What a great way to increase support from all our communities, AND make a difference in so many pet’s lives!

I am attaching a couple of pictures of some of our more recent challenging and successful adoptions. Both stories are so very heartwarming and truly let us know that we can make a difference!

Arbor came to our shelter in June 2011 along with her three sisters, Zinfandel, Fluff and Miller. They had been found abandoned way out in the country and were quite wild and unsocialized. It took many volunteers many months to get these sweet girls to a point where they were adoptable. All found wonderful loving homes except for Arbor. 

Arbor continued to flourish in our shelter, but just never find her forever family. Then, in December, Zinfandel’s family (they had renamed her Blanche) contacted us and said they were wanting to adopt Arbor and reunite her with her sister. Oh what a happy day for everyone at our shelter, and for the two sisters! Arbor is seen in this picture, snuggled up with her sister Blanche.

The comments from their family: “The sisters are happy to be together! They love running and playing in the backyard. They snuggle when they sleep. Arbor (who will remain Arbor because she knows her name and that’s what we’ve called her for the last eight months!) is so very different from Blanche. Much more people-oriented, braver, and sillier! She loves to play! Thank you for allowing us to bring these two beautiful girls into our lives!” 

We just LOVED this Happy Tail!

Shades came to us in June 2009 with his sister, Flicker. They had been fostered for a short period of time before we could get them into our shelter. They were about four months old. Flicker found her home after living at our shelter for almost a year and a half, but Shades had to wait. He was one of our longest residents, but in November of 2012 a miracle walked in. David and Tina took their time in deciding on their new best friend and trucking companion.  Shades ultimately was adopted by David and Tina, and he immediately took to the highways with them in their 18-wheeler, traveling back and forth from Arkansas to California!

For the next several weeks, pictures were posted of Shades on his “Excellent Adventure” on our Facebook page. What a most wonderful and heartwarming story for all our staff, volunteers and supporters!


R.O.A.R. to Save Stray Puppies from Lives of Fear


Give to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12 and have double the impact for homeless dogs like Bonnie.

You’ll help save twice as many stray puppies like Bonnie (pictured) from lives filled with danger and fear when you donate to us through Global Giving from through Nov. 12.

During that time only, Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. is matching donations to the Petfinder Foundation dollar-for-dollar (learn more about the campaign here). That means your gift will help save more homeless pets like Bonnie, whom the Humane Society of McCormick County in McCormick, S.C., recently took in.

Volunteer Judy Haywood tells us how our grant helped the group pay for exams and vaccinations for 29 dogs and cats. It also fully funded the cost of health exams, spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations for Bonnie and her siblings Tucker, Hooch, Bootsie and Bart:

“In March, we trapped a litter of five dogs. They were all shy of people and other dogs and were about 4 months old. Two were taken into foster homes to help socialize them with people and dogs. The remaining three eventually overcame some of their shyness with the help of another friendly dog at the pens and some very patient volunteers. Two of the three puppies at the pens went through six weeks of training at PetSmart that dramatically helped their social skills and confidence. They are still waiting to be adopted but they are now spayed/neutered, up-to-date on their shots, and healthy.”

Bart (left) and Hooch

Bart (left) and Hooch

Judy continues: “We are an all-volunteer group that does not receive any public money, so we constantly have to fundraise in order to keep picking up and adopting out dogs and cats in our county. This money was very appreciated.”

Bonnie, her siblings and many other pets across North America have been helped by our Shelter+ Challenge by The Animal Rescue Site grant program, supported by and your generous donations.

Donate to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12 to double your impact!

R.O.A.R. to Protect Adoptable Cats with Microchips

Give to us through Global Giving from 10/14-11/12 and have double the impact for homeless cats like Bubba.

Give to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12 and have double the impact for homeless cats like Bubba.

You’ll help microchip twice as many adoptable cats like Bubba (pictured) when you donate to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12.

Through Nov. 12, Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. is matching donations to the Petfinder Foundation dollar-for-dollar (learn more about the campaign here). That means your gift will help shelters and rescues microchip more cats like Bubba, who is being cared for by Crash’s Landing Cat Rescue and Placement Center in Grand Rapids, Mich.

Dr. Jennifer Petrovich tells us how our $1,000 cash grant is helping ensure the safety of all of the cats in the group’s care:



“I am microchipping every single cat we take in and also chipping all of the 260 current cats in our program. The pet will permanently be registered to us in the event that the owner were to lose, abandon, relinquish custody of (hopefully not any of these!) so that we would be notified and be able to retrieve our cat!”

The grant, Petrovich adds, is helping foster the long-term security and safety of the pets the group serves.

Bubba, Benji (at right) and many other cats at Crash’s Landing have been helped by our Shelter+ Challenge by The Animal Rescue Site grant program, supported by and your generous donations.

Donate to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12 to double your impact!

R.O.A.R. to Rescue Dogs in the Greatest Need

Give to us through Global Giving from 10/14-11/12 and have double the impact for dogs like Alana.

Give to us through Global Giving from 10/14-11/12 and have double the impact for dogs like Alana (with her new family).

Our grant to Friendship Animal Protective League in Elyria, Ohio, helped the group save homeless dogs from communities where they stood a very low chance of finding families. And if you donate to us through Global Giving from Oct. 14-Nov. 12, you’ll help twice as many at-risk dogs like Alana (above).

For those 30 days, Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. is matching donations to the Petfinder Foundation dollar-for-dollar (learn more about the campaign here). Our grant money, Executive Director Gregory Willey tells us, has provided the most-needed care for facility’s companion animals, from spay and neuter surgeries to vaccinations.

“The money allows us to reach further out in to the community to rescue dogs and puppies from shelters where they might otherwise not have a chance to find a forever home,” Willey tells us.

“Alana was a 2-3-year-old stray Bulldog mix at [an open-admission shelter]. It is a shelter that has a lot of difficulty finding homes for the dogs they find,” Willey says. “We made arrangements for Alana to come up to Elyria and, within a week, Alana was off to her new home. Grants like the one received make this type of work possible. Alana is now happy in her new home and has the second chance that she deserved.”

Alana and many other at-risk dogs were helped by our Shelter+ Challenge by The Animal Rescue Site grant program, supported by

Donate to us through Global Giving from Oct. 14-Nov. 12 to double your impact!

R.O.A.R. to Care for Cats with Special Needs


Give to us through Global Giving from 10/14-11/12 and have double the impact for homeless cats like Tim Gunn.

Donate to us through Global Giving from Oct. 14-Nov. 12 and you’ll help twice as many homeless cats with special medical needs like Tim Gunn (above).

For those 30 days, Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. is matching donations to the Petfinder Foundation dollar-for-dollar (learn more about the campaign here). That means a happy ending for cats like Tim Gunn, who was gravely injured before he was rescued by Purrfect Pals in Arlington, Wash. Purrfect Pals Executive Director Connie Gabelein tells us how our grant helped Tim and many other cats in the group’s care:

“In addition to adopting out nearly 2,000 cats per year in our adoption centers, Purrfect Pals provides a sanctuary for special-needs cats in need of a long-term home. This includes FIV+ cats, FeLV+ cats, geriatric cats, cats with acute and chronic illnesses, injured cats, cats in need of end-of-life hospice care and cats with behavioral challenges.

“One of our sanctuary rooms, FIV Land, is home to 20 wonderful cats who have FIV. Some are long-term residents, but many will be placed in ‘permanent foster homes’ and will continue to receive medical care from our organization.



“Your generous grant allowed us to provide food and medical care for these cats, including Rock Star, Super Trooper, Jonathan Gato, Tim Gunn, Jillian, GiGi, Cedric (right), Night Shade, Mr. Darcy, Tristan and Cowboy.

“Tim Gunn was surrendered to Purrfect Pals by a Good Samaritan who found him fending for himself outside with serious injuries from an animal attack. When he arrived, the entire right side of his face was infected. Tim was very frightened when he arrived, but went into foster care to heal from his wounds and to learn to trust people again.

“It took several months, but now Tim LOVES attention, especially having his ears and shoulders scratched. He is still afraid of loud noises and dogs but adores the other cats in FIV Land. Now he is the first to greet visitors and doesn’t hesitate to hop up into laps!”

Donate to us through Global Giving from Oct. 14-Nov. 12 to double your impact!

Maimed Dog and Puppies Are Rescued Just in Time

rescued dogs

Sissy and her puppies soon after their rescue. Note Sissy’s deep neck wound.

After spending her entire life on a chain that eventually became embedded in her neck, a dog named Sissy, along with her severely neglected puppies, was saved thanks to our Shelter+ Challenge grant to Start Over Rover in Hastings, Neb.

Start Over Rover Vice President Amy Michalek tells us how the grant, made possible by our partnership with The Animal Rescue Site, gave Sissy and her family a second chance:

“Start Over Rover was asked to help a mother dog and her seven puppies. Located approximately 1,000 miles away, this canine family was scheduled to be euthanized the next morning. They were being temporarily housed at the St. Martin Parish shelter near St. Martinville, La. They were all victims of severe abuse and neglect. The Sheriff’s Department had taken the animals from their abusive owner and they were taken to the local municipal shelter. Because no one had adopted them within seven days, they were slated to be euthanized. The shelter manager posted a plea on the Internet, hoping that someone would come through for the family of dogs. Everyone involved hated the thought that they had been rescued from their abuser only to face being euthanized seven days later.

“The momma dog, whom we now call Sissy, had been chained to a tree when she was just a pup. As Sissy grew, the chain grew into her neck. She gave birth to a litter of puppies when she was approximately six months old and still chained to the tree. After neighbors complained about Sissy’s embedded collar, her abusive owner tore the chain out of her neck; she then had no way to ‘keep’ Sissy except to put her in a chicken coop with her puppies. They all became flea-infested. Chickens are omnivorous, and as they pecked at the fleas on the puppies, some drew blood and then the chickens ate off part of the limbs before Sissy was able to get them off of the puppies. This resulted in two of the puppies missing limbs or parts of limbs. Sissy had a two-inch deep wound around her neck after the embedded chain was removed.


Sissy nursing her puppies

“Two of Start Over Rover’s board members flew to Louisiana to retrieve the family before they were euthanized. The Rover volunteers arrived at the St. Martin shelter at 11:30 that night, retrieved Sissy and her babies, and started the 19-hour drive back home. During this time, they grew especially fond of the smallest puppy in the litter, whom they named Runtley. He was the sickest of the pups, so he got to ride up front, being cuddled and loved during the trip home. About six hours into the trip, Runtley suffered severe diarrhea and started crying out in pain. He ended up passing away in the volunteers’ arms just as they entered a veterinary clinic in Oklahoma to get him some help. The volunteers were heartbroken.

“The emotional Rover volunteers arrived back in Hastings around 6 p.m. that evening. They arrived to a TV truck with cameras, and lots of volunteers to greet them, as well as a newly built isolation room. Volunteers at Start Over Rover worked around the clock to build the air-conditioned, separately ventilated room in only 24 hours, just in time for the arrival of Sissy and her pups.

Aggie was missing a limb and suffering from a staph infection.

Sissy’s pup Aggie was missing a limb and suffering from a staph infection, which is visible on her torso.

“Momma Sissy was named after St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals. Little Fay was named after Lafayette, La., which was the city into which the Rover volunteers flew. (Fay passed away shortly after arriving in Nebraska due to complications from a staph infection.) Marty was named after the St. Martin shelter which saved the dogs initially and then put out the nationwide call for help. Aggie was named after a woman on Facebook who aptly applied a not-so-nice name to the abuser of this family. Beau was named after a town near the St. Martin shelter, Breaux Bridge, and we swear that the staff at the shelter were all pronouncing it ‘Beau Bridge.’ Annie, who is the largest of the puppies, was named after the director of Start Over Rover, Anne Halbert, who was one of the volunteers on this rescue trip. Selah was given her name because God clearly had His hand in all of this.

“Finally, there was little Runtley, our sweet baby who passed on the way home. His and Fay’s ashes are in two urns located inside Start Over Rover. We are sad they are gone, but we are so happy that they knew that they were loved before they passed. All of the remaining puppies have been adopted and are doing very well.”

Momma Sissy’s neck wound was too wide to be stitched or stapled, so volunteers treated her with hydrotherapy three times a day until it could be stitched closed. “Today you can’t even tell that Sissy had such a severe wound,” Michalek says. “Her coat is shiny, she has put on weight, and she loves to play.”

And in even happier news: “Sissy is finally adopted and in a very happy home where she is much appreciated,” Michalek says. “After hearing Sissy’s story, her new family promised that they would never ever put another collar around her neck! She uses a harness when needed.”


Sissy today

Donate to help us save dogs like Sissy, and Orvis will match your gift!


How Rescued Rabbits Are Helping Save Homeless Cats


Hopscotch, a lionhead rabbit in Woburn, Mass., is available for adoption through the House Rabbit Network.

We gave a vaccination grant to the House Rabbit Network in Woburn, Mass. They couldn’t use it — so they paid it forward to their friends at the nearby Lowell Humane Society.

“We didn’t want to see the vaccines go to waste,” House Rabbit Network foster parent Aimee Swartz tells us. “So we just picked the humane society we knew could really use them and that we work with a lot.”

The House Rabbit Network won the grant by coming in second in the state during the recent Animal Rescue Site Shelter+ Challenge. Like all second-place state winners in the online competition, the network received 100 dog or cat vaccines.

Unable to use them on their rabbits, the volunteers who run the organization decided to give the Lowell Humane Society 100 FRVCP vaccines to protect its cats against the upper-respiratory infections most common in shelters.

“It’s great,” says Jill O’Connell, executive director of the Lowell Humane Society, a private, open-admissions shelter that takes in nearly 2,000 homeless pets each year. “We are a pretty small shelter, but we consider ourselves pretty high-volume. The majority of our money is spent on medical costs, so this allows us to spend somewhere else.”

Abby the Lop Eared Rabbit.

Adopt lop-eared Abby from from the House Rabbit Network.

In the next Shelter+ Challenge, the House Rabbit Network plans to go for Massachusetts’ first-place prize — a cash grant, Swartz says. In the meantime, its vaccination grant will make a huge difference for nearby cats.

“We are just getting into kitten season,” O’Connell tells us, “and to vaccinate 100 cats is really going to help.”

Donate today to help us help more pets in need.


Kitten Thrown from a Car Finds Love


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 YOU Help Shelters Win!

The Animal Rescue Site’s Shelter+ Challenge is back with even more opportunities for shelters and rescue groups to win: more than 200 prizes and $100,000 to be given away between now and April.

Peanut, now adopted, was helped thanks to a Shelter Challenge grant awarded to Alabama’s Prattville/Autauga Humane Shelter.

Already some great groups are opening up their mail to find checks and letters from us! And there’s plenty more to come. We are extremely grateful to The Animal Rescue Site for funding the challenge every year since 2008, giving more than $1 million in grants to help hundreds of shelters and rescue groups, chosen by your votes, better care for homeless pets.

The Shelter+ Challenge is also an incredible opportunity for so many organizations to earn funds, involve their online supporters and get the word out about what they do in their communities.

Above all, voting in the challenge is fair. Some organizations, unfortunately, have tried to game the system by emailing their supporters with ways to get around the contest’s one-vote-per-day limit. But deleting cookies or refreshing your browser won’t give your group more votes — and neither will any other “secret, surefire” methods. The contest comes with all types of safeguards to ensure that only legitimate votes are counted, and efforts to cheat only damage an organization’s reputation.

So vote online daily for your favorite shelter or rescue group. There are over $100,000 in prizes to be awarded and your vote can make a difference!


An Innovative Shelter Program Helps Princess Find Her Castle

One of the many shelters that won grants in The Animal Rescue Site’s Shelter+ Challenge last year was the Nebraska Humane Society in Omaha. Grants Manager Alexandra Nather wrote to tell us how our $1,000 grant changed the life of one very special dog there.

Princess leaves the shelter with her new BFF.

“Being an open-admission shelter, we accept all animals, and many with special needs or circumstances have long stays with us. The following is the story of Princess, a young Pit Bull who finally found the perfect forever home after being at the shelter for five months.

“One of the biggest challenges we faced at our shelter last year was finding creative ways to handle dogs who had a long shelter stay. Princess forced our staff to think outside the box.

“She came to the shelter because her owner didn’t have the time or money to care for her. She was young, strong and out of control, but oh, so loveable. She would sit on desks, go through the trash and jump over half doors. It soon became clear that working with her in the shelter was not enough — we needed to find a way to get her off-site and exercised, both mentally and physically.

“We created a new dog-walker program called Shelter Support. Trained volunteers led teams that worked with Princess. The dog walkers scheduled times and days to take her off-site to the lake or to McDonald’s for ice cream, out to a shopping mall or a store where well-mannered dogs are allowed.

Princess relaxes at her new home.

“The new support system was a success and made all the difference for Princess and other dogs with similar issues. After five months of shelter care, a calmer and well-mannered Princess finally found her forever home (complete with one adoring little girl).

“We are most grateful to be the recipient of a $1,000 grant through the Shelter+ Challenge. Thank you for helping us care for homeless pets.”

Thanks to the Nebraska Humane Society, the Animal Rescue Site and, of course, Princess’s new family for finally giving her a castle to call home!