Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
To purchase agility equipment, including: Rubber Surface Dog Agility A-Frame, 9′ Ramps 42″ Wide. 7′ Ramps 36″ Wide, Dog Agility Equipment Mini A-Frame / A Frame / AFrame, Dog Agility Hurdle Cone Set, 8 agility cones, 4 agility rods, The KLIMB Dog Training, Platform and Agility System and Octagon Hoop Jump.
Play time and agility training are led by our in-house, certified dog trainer in conjunction with the dog kennel managers. All dogs receive on-site training with our staff, and many receive off-site training as well. There is a need for all of our dogs to have regular exercise and stimulation beyond just walks and free time in one of our three fenced-in play areas. With our newly renovated, larger play yard, complete with AstroTurf, we are introducing agility training. We have purchased agility equipment with provided funding, and the dogs are learning so much and enjoying the agility experience.
50 dogs a month
Have you ever seen anything more heartwarming than rescued dogs letting go of the past and playing freely in the sunshine? Exercising their minds as they prepare for new lives? RBARI’s rescued dogs now have a brand new, safe and beautiful place to run and exercise without restrictions. It is because of your support that we can make such beautiful improvements for our four-legged friends. And, most importantly, renovations such as our new play yard, fully equipped with agility equipment, improve the quality of life for rescued dogs residing at our shelter until they find their forever homes.
Our new agility equipment allows our dogs extra play and training to help them decompress, play, train, meet potential adopters and participate in play groups and enrichment activities. Freedom, sunshine and outdoor play are so important to the well-being of our rescued dogs.
At LifeLine’s DeKalb County Animal Services, we used the emergency foster-kit grant money to buy supplies for our individual dog-foster kits. A large portion of this money was used to purchase crates, of which we are perpetually in need, as well as flea/tick preventatives, martingale collars, Kongs and seat-belt harnesses. We also put the money toward other supplies, including “Adopt Me” collars, harnesses, and leashes. Several of these foster kits were used during our Home for the Pawlidays program, where fosters sign up to take a dog home for the week of Thanksgiving.
At LifeLine’s Fulton County Animal Services, the grant money provided crates, collars, leashes, harnesses, toys and other basic supplies to allow fosters to take and safely foster an animal in need. Prior to the grant, we literally had no crates at FCAS with which to send out medium to large dogs. Lack of supportive supplies is always a hindrance to recruiting new fosters and getting them to commit to caring for an animal outside of the shelter.
The foster supplies that we were able to purchase with the Petfinder Foundation grant have allowed us to have ready-to-go foster kits for our foster program. Having these kits ready and available not only expedited our foster process, allowing more animals to leave, but it also helped to remove barriers for those who had previously been hesitant about fostering due to financial constraints.
On average, a full foster kit costs around $100-$125, depending on the size of the dog, as well as what supplies the foster parent may or may not already have. We estimate that we were able to get between 80 and 100 dogs into foster homes because we had foster kits available to support the foster parents.
Princess Buttercup (first photo) came into the shelter emaciated and extremely shy. She was very scared of noises and needed a quiet home in which to decompress. She was able to leave with a foster family who would work on her social skills while she gained her health. They fell in love and later adopted her!
We received the foster supplies that were bought using the grant money right before our big Home for the Pawlidays foster event. During this event, members of the public sign up to take a foster dog home for the week of Thanksgiving. Two of our heartworm-positive, senior dogs went out during this event and have since turned into longer-term fosters. Sandman, the cute brindle in the Santa picture (second photo), worked his magic on his foster parents and convinced them to foster him through his heartworm treatment.
Router, the handsome pup with the bowtie (third photo), also ended up being a longer-term foster and has since gone through his heartworm treatment as well. Last week, Router’s foster emailed me that she was going to adopt him because she couldn’t imagine him ever leaving her home.
Both of these foster parents were sent out with supplies acquired through the Petfinder Foundation grant. We believe they chose to extend their foster period beyond the Thanksgiving break because they were sent home with the necessary resources/supplies and felt supported by our foster program as a result.
The resources provided by the Petfinder Foundation to the Palm Springs Animal Shelter covered the costs for a member of our behavior team to attend a DPFL mentorship program at Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas.
This grant enabled one of our behavior-team members to become more proficient in organizing and staffing dog playgroups at our shelter. She has not only been able to re-establish small (for now) playgroups, she has also begun to build a volunteer team to help run playgroups, as well as train staff to do the same. She is currently working on more enhanced kennel routines for dogs and helping staff and volunteers to increase their skills in this area. We are truly grateful!
Our January adoptions increased by more than 100 percent, for a total of 63 dogs. I’m comfortable assuming that at least 25 percent of these dogs – nearly 16 dogs – were rendered more adoptable due to playgroup activities.
The following dogs have been trained specifically by Vanessa Marin, who attended the Dogs Playing for Life mentorship program at Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas. She has seen a significant reduction in stress in all of them, and several have gone on to forever homes. Many had been returned due to issues in the home and are currently with pet owners who are committed.
Duncan – high-energy, returned multiple times
Timon – high-energy, 441 days at the shelter
Cinnamon – good with humans, dog-reactive
Ripley – high-energy, ADOPTED after two returns
Paige – slow to bond with humans, reactive with other dogs, ADOPTED after one return
Anton – high-energy, good with other dogs, difficult for some humans to physically manage, ADOPTED after three returns
Rosie and Rachel benefited from this donation, which helped update their rabies and distemper vaccinations and provided combo testing for them.
Rosie and her sister Rachel were presented to a local veterinarian for euthanasia due to their owners no longer being able to care for them and family members not wanting them. Both were 10 years old and in good health. The veterinarian contacted Friends of the Plymouth Pound to see if we could make room for them in our adoption program. We accepted them, but only after they had updated testing and vaccinations. This money helped pay for Rosie and Rachel to get a second chance at life: As of this date, they are BOTH in new forever homes! Thank you!
The grant funds were used to send me (Heartland Animal Shelter’s shelter and dog program manager) to the Dogs Playing for Life mentorship program at Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, Texas.
The grant allowed me to get formal, immersive training in running playgroups. Rather than rely on trial and error and my own experiences, I benefited from a master class of seasoned professionals. The two leads for the DPFL program were so knowledgeable and helpful and gave me the confidence to handle introducing new dogs to each other rather than relying on the same helper dogs or pairs of friends and potentially burning those dogs out. The grant has allowed me to expand the playgroups I conduct to include every single big dog in our care; they all have at least one friend. Since my mentorship program, I have also trained a number of volunteers to run these groups on their shifts, and a formal training and documenting process will be put in to place in the coming month!
The grant helped and helps all of the dogs in our care on site. We have about 20 big dogs at any given time, and all of them have been able to have at least one friend and are socialized to other dogs at least once a day now.
When I returned from the training in November, I was determined to get our longest-term dog, Blade (first photo), into a playgroup. For his entire tenure at the shelter, he had never interacted with another dog because we believed him to be too reactive. During the training, I could not stop thinking about how wrong that was, but I knew I had to introduce him to just the right kind of dog. Because of the DPFL training, I was able to identify the perfect “helper” dog for Blade. The week I returned, I had a friend from another shelter who had also gone through DPFL training come in and help me. The experience was magical: Blade’s tail was wagging and, despite his age (12), he was prancing like a young pup! After Blade had played for 10 minutes with the first helper dog, I brought in another. Seeing Blade play with not one but two dogs, after such a long period of social isolation, was wonderful to behold.
The Petfinder Annual Survey General Animal Care grant was used to ready 15 cats for adoption.
This grant provided significant financial support to give appropriate veterinary care to 15 cats from a hoarding situation. Our intake over the summer months was particularly high. In the early fall, we were faced with taking animals from two hoarding cases back-to-back. This put both great financial strain on us and strain on the staff’s time to care for such large numbers at the same time. This funding helped to expedite the process of readying many of these animals for adoption, thus decreasing their time in the shelter, reducing the staff time needed and making room to accept more animals.
During the early fall, we took in two hoarding cases, one of 15 cats and one of 22 dogs and 14 cats. In both cases, the animals were in need of general veterinary care, spay/neuter, testing, vaccinations, fecal analysis, etc. A significant percentage of animals in both cases were also in need of extraordinary medical care, including mass removals and major dental work. The grant funding, used in its entirety, helped to provide basic veterinary care and spay/neuter services for 15 of these cats, many whom have since been adopted.
The Kong toys that we received were used for cat enrichment in our free-roaming adoption lounge, isolation kennels, and foster homes.
This Kong grant helped our organization by giving us a fun, new toy option for the cats in our care. They especially helped us provide enrichment for cats required to be in isolation. The cats have really enjoyed them!
After Madame President was rescued from a euthanasia list at a local animal-control facility, she quickly charmed her caretakers at Tenth Life! Due to her unknown health status at the time she arrived, isolation was required until she could be tested and cleared of all communicable diseases, parasites, etc. We were told that she was aggressive and could not be picked up. While in isolation, Madame President was given the Kong stuffed toy that we received through this grant. She loved playing with it and it allowed us to offer a her a unique enrichment experience.
We quickly learned that she is as sweet as she can be! She loves to play and adores human companionship. She is currently available for adoption. We will send her favorite Kong stuffed toy home with her!
This grant was used to send a staff member to the Dogs Playing for Life mentorship.
Brittney Muto attended this training and has put it into action in our shelter in variety of ways, the first being that she has used what she learned to provide assessment and socialization for dogs that we received and house as part of a dog-fighting case. Second, she has used it for intensive one-on-one training for dogs in our care that are non-social, displaying behaviors of concern, or are deteriorating in a kennel environment. Third, she used this training to create an in-kennel enrichment program for all dogs in our facility. Additionally, she is teaching a training to our volunteer staff on leash-walking skills.
Brittney has used this training to work with 20 dogs from a fighting case. In addition, she has worked with six “challenging-behavior” cases since attending the training. She has also used what she learned regarding kennel enrichment training to begin a kennel program and leash training for volunteers, which has benefited all 265 dogs who have passed through our shelter in the last three months.
Corky came in marked as dog-aggressive by staff for his kennel reactions; walking him past kennels, he would attack every cage he could. I assessed him in playgroups and quickly realized he wasn’t dog-aggressive at all. I started by walking him on a loose leash through kennels and squirting him with a water bottle when he would try to run up on a cage and treating him when he would come back to me or look at me. He was also horrible about busting through doors, so I worked with him on sitting and waiting to be “freed” to walk through. When Corky left for rescue, I could successfully walk through the whole shelter and he constantly made eye contact with me, not even paying attention to any dogs, and patiently waiting to walk through doorways.
The P.L.A.Y. pet beds we received at Underhound Railroad dog rescue were passed out to a new incoming group of transport dogs and puppies as they arrived here in Maine to go to their loving foster homes. Each dog was greeted with warmth, love, and something to call their own. They each took their soft place to rest, P.L.A.Y. pet beds, with them to their brand new foster homes.
The P.L.A.Y. pet beds provided a safe and comfortable place in each foster home for these new foster pups to begin to feel safe, protected and loved and start to learn what being part of a family is all about. Because they were donated, it also meant valuable funds could be spent on other necessary needs while we could continue to be able to offer these safe places for our new foster dogs.
Our sweet, lovable, goofy Smoke (first photo) has had it rough. What we know is that he was run over with a lawnmower and then left at the ER vet to be put down rather than try to save him. Fortunately for him, there was a vet tech there that day who said Smoke deserved a chance and saved him from being put down. He has three legs now as a result of his injuries, but that hasn’t slowed him down or changed his endearing personality. His savior was unable to keep him, though, so another volunteer stepped in to keep him safe while he found a home. But he was still living in an outdoor enclosure.
Fast forward and Smoke became an Underhound! He was welcomed with love and a new P.L.A.Y. pet bed of his very own when he was transported from the south to Maine. He took his new P.L.A.Y. pet bed with him to his foster home, where he quickly learned that being indoors was comforting and family life was for him.
Our sweet Smoke went from a horrific injury, facing euthanasia, to living outside in an uncomfortable enclosure spending much of his time alone, to a comfy foster home with a bed of his own. His P.L.A.Y. pet bed was part of this fantastic process.
Smoke is now adopted and in his forever home! Thank you, P.L.A.Y., for providing that little bit of comfort and sense of belonging to these sweet souls who are just trying to find their place in this world.
Funding was used to promote the adoption of a senior rescue pet in need of re-homing. The grant allowed us to offset the adoption fee and provide the family that adopted the pet with a variety of cost savings to help with the responsibilities of an aging pet.
The grant provided our senior pet his chance at finding the loving family and forever home he deserved. Funding provided our organization with the ability to not only offset the cost of adoption but also allowed us to assist the family with providing Old Man his needed medications, vet appointments, and more for up to one year post adoption. Without help from the Petfinder Foundation and Purina ONE, Old Man may have never found his forever home, where he can rest peacefully for the remainder of his golden years surrounded by those who love him most. This senior-pets grant opportunity gave our senior pet his second chance at living his life full of love that we had been trying to find for him alone without success.
Old Man came to our rescue as an abandoned and injured senior back in 2019. After months of searching for his owners with no luck, we finally listed him for adoption, but were not surprised to have limited inquiries due to the stigma or costs associated with owning an elderly or aging pet. Desperate to find him the loving home he so deserved and yearned for, we took the chance and applied for the Purina ONE Senior Pet Adoption Assistance grant, which we were awarded. It allowed us to offer a waived adoption fee, and provide one year’s worth of medications, food and more as an added benefit to the family that was interested in adopting Old Man. Shortly after posting the new ad, we were pleased to have a variety of inquiries, which led to him successfully finding the forever home and love he deserved.