Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
With the $1,000 grant investment, the Arizona Humane Society (AHS) was able to purchase six bubble machines, 17 liters of bubble solution, 12 silicone lick pads, one interactive slow feeder, 10,000 pipe cleaners, two iCalmDog portable speakers, three packages of essential oils, two sound balls, seven training clickers, and 70 squeaky toys.
AHS firmly upholds the practices of providing enrichment actives to all shelter pets at least once a day. With the support provided from the Petfinder Foundation, AHS was able to purchase $1,000 worth of canine enrichment supplies used to keep dogs happy and healthy while waiting to find their forever families! Attached are photos of enrichment activities taking place with AHS’s shelter canines. These activities would not be possible without the support of the Petfinder Foundation!
AHS purchased enrichment supplies that are easily cleaned and shared among shelter animals. Thus far, the Petfinder Foundation’s grant has been able to help about 200 canines who are waiting to find their forever families! Based on the supplies that AHS was able to purchase, we foresee being able to help nearly 600 more homeless canines in the coming months with these enrichment supplies.
As of Jan. 17, AHS is housing more than 150 canines, 88 of whom are available for adoption. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, AHS was able to purchase a variety of enrichment supplies that have not only kept our dogs entertained, but have also helped address various behavior challenges while they are waiting to find their forever homes. Cane (first photo), a 2-year-old American Staffordshire terrier mix, has greatly benefited from the Petfinder Foundation’s investment by learning to pace himself while eating.
Cane entered AHS’s shelter as a stray and our staff immediately noticed that he enjoyed his meals so quickly, he often made himself sick. AHS initially used a puzzle feeder to slow down his eating, but this smart boy learned to flip the tray upside down to release all the kibble, allowing for easier access and a quicker meal. With the Petfinder Foundation’s grant, AHS purchased an interactive slow feeder which requires Cane to rotate a container filled with food and drops small amounts of kibble into a puzzle feeder (featured in a social-media video). Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, this interactive feeder had prevented Cane from eating too quickly and also provides him with mental stimulation.
Cane and one other canine featured in AHS’s enrichment video are currently available for adoption and listed on the Petfinder website.
One of the most obvious barriers that must be addressed for a senior pet to be adopted is how to minimize the financial impact of their medical care for potential adopters. The dog which we were seeking assistance for was Mischief, a sweet senior dog who battles with arthritis and maintaining a healthy intestinal tract. In order to move Mischief into his forever home more quickly, grant funding is allocated to support his adopting family by 1) waiving Mischief’s $150 adoption fee; 2) funding just under two years of Proviable DC probiotic to reestablish healthy intestinal balance ($29.99 per 80-capsule bottle [taken once a day] x 8 bottles = $239.92); and 3) funding one year of Galliprant 60 mg to treat Mischief’s osteoarthritis pain ($50.74 per 30-capsule bottle [taken once a day] x 12 bottles = $608.88).
It is well documented by shelters and humane societies across the country, including PAWS Atlanta, that individuals and families looking to adopt are most often drawn to younger animals, particularly puppies and kittens. Adoptions take longer and become less frequent in direct correlation with a dog’s age. Many, many wonderful senior dogs come into our shelter, but they just do not move into their forever homes at a pace similar to younger, more active dogs. Our current length of stay for a senior dog is 105 days, compared to 65 days for younger dogs. Our goal is to reduce this length of stay for senior dogs, because we know that new surroundings and circumstances create an enormous amount of stress on an animal. Their worlds are turned upside down. To reduce this stress, dogs (and all abandoned pets) ideally need to be placed into their forever homes as quickly as possible. Being able to reduce the length of stay for a dog at our facility—especially a senior dog—is critical to reducing this stress and settling them into their new homes.
Grant funding through the Petfinder Foundation’s Senior Pet Adoption Grant will help us, most importantly, find a forever home for Mischief and reduce the financial burden on his new family because of the medical care he requires. Funding also helps our organization because, as we move animals into their new homes, this opens space at our facility to help yet another dog or cat.
Unfortunately, Mischief has not been adopted yet, but he is in a wonderful foster home while he waits to find his new home. We know that once he is adopted, he will be greatly helped by this grant. Mischief’s photo and story have been highlighted repeatedly on social media, including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, since we received the grant. He has also been highlighted in our email blasts, is posted on the Petfinder site, and our shelter manager and adoption counselors have been talking about him to potential adopters.
Grant funding will be used to support Mischief, an 11-year-old, 75-lb. pit bull mix who came to us for safekeeping after his beloved parent passed away over a year ago. Mischief has not been adopted yet, but we have been working very hard to publicize Mischief using a variety of communication tools (e-newsletters, social-media outlets, etc.).
Currently, Mischief is staying with one of our foster families. Our foster family has really been enjoying Mischief, providing him with a lot of much-needed love. They recently told us, “Despite his name being Mischief, he’s a real easy-going kind of guy. He loves to be in the same room with us, especially his foster dad. He’s a good companion to his people and does exceptionally well with other dogs. Mischief loves to play with toys and adores treats of all kinds. Being an older dog, Mischief is really a low-key guy and would thrive in a home that is quiet. He has a tiny bit of separation anxiety and would probably love to be in a home with someone who is retired or works from home.”
We will continue our outreach efforts to find Mischief a permanent home and the funds generously donated by the Petfinder Foundation will be used for the purposes outlined in the grant. We are extremely grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for its support of our organization and its commitment to join us in finding Mischief his forever home.
From his Petfinder profile: “Walking Mischief yesterday, he seemed like the happiest boy in the shelter — happy to have his paws on the trail, happy with all the delicious smells, happy to be outside, happy to have a human friend to walk with him. He’s a leisurely walker at 10, prone to many ‘sniff-stops’ to investigate who’s been where doing what. Mischief came to PAWS Atlanta for safekeeping after his beloved owner died. He loves that all the volunteers and staffers are making a big fuss over how handsome and sweet he is, and he loves it even more when they give him treats for being a good boy. Mischief is friendly with other dogs and would probably love to have a dog companion. Most of all, he would love to be back in a home with someone he can love and watch over. He seems house-trained and very used to being around people. This guy is just smooth, easy company. And, also, his tiny picket-fence teeth. Can we talk about his tiny picket-fence teeth?!” You can meet Mischief here.
Thanks to this generous grant, we were able to purchase some really nice things for sweet seniors Foxy and Daisy, including orthopedic beds, easy-step pet stairs, a nail dremel, high-quality dry and wet food, new collars and leashes, and flea and tick preventative, with remaining funds to cover their rabies vaccines and reduced adoption fee.
The orthopedic beds and stairs are especially helpful, since both Foxy and Daisy are 13 years old! The beds that we typically get donated do not provide the orthopedic support needed for their old bones, and the stairs will prevent potential injury from them jumping off the furniture. The ones we were able to purchase are wide and sturdy and the pups use them constantly.
While we get donations of dry and canned food, often it’s of lesser nutritional value and packed with fillers verses needed vitamins and minerals. The food we were able to purchase with this grant is Foxy- and Daisy-approved! They totally clean their bowls now. While we do provide flea and tick preventatives to our adoptable babies, they are expensive, so being able to purchase some through this grant is a huge savings for us!
Foxy and Daisy were transferred to us together after they were found in the home where their owner had passed some time prior to their rescue. They were sick, confused, and in need of medical attention — how could we say no to these innocent babies when the shelter called? We knew these two would have to be fostered and adopted together. It took a while to get them healthy, but they have an amazing, albeit humble, foster mom, who is now adopting them — yay! They will live out their lives with stability, warm, comfortable beds, and full bellies. Petfinder Foundation, thank you!
Dual total ear canal ablation (TECA)
This helped us towards a $4,400 surgery for a young dog in extreme pain. This has made this girl very happy. We have some training to do now with her before placing her up for adoption. She is living at the founder’s home under her care.
Chance was surrendered to the shelter with “cauliflower” growths protruding out of both her ears. She was a sweet and pleasant girl despite the pain she was in. The Petfinder Foundation emergency medical grant of $1,000 helped us in great way towards the cost of her treatment, and with fundraising for the rest, we were able to get her surgery done within a month of her rescue from the shelter. She may be deaf, but she is happy and pain-free. We have some training to do with her in regards to small-dog assertiveness, but we have her in training and will place her up for adoption when we know she is ready. The first four photos were taken yesterday; the last four show her before her treatment.
We used the money to purchase sturdy, safe, functional harnesses in a range of sizes for all three shelter locations. Shopping on Amazon, and purchasing gently used harnesses, allowed us to purchase 19 harnesses for our shelters. More harnesses means more opportunities for dogs to go out on field trips, as we had previously been limited by the amount of supplies we had available.
The purchase of the harnesses allowed us to grow our Field Trip for Shelter Dogs program, and meant that more dogs could go out on any given day. It also did something more than expected, which was that, by the Field Trip program growing, it brought much-needed levity and happiness to our staff. We love seeing animals go out of the shelter, even for a day. It paved the way for more hope for the future. We are now looking to grow our Field Trip program even further, and this wouldn’t have been possible without the additional supplies!
Countless! Because we used the grant to purchase harnesses, which we can reuse, the impact of the grant was that we immediately saw an increase the number of animals who could go out on a field trip on any given day, and that impact endures.
Our Field Trip for Shelter Dogs program is thriving. As we grow, we are able to support more dogs and their journeys to forever homes every day. Each field trip is special, as it’s an opportunity for dogs to not only get out of the shelter, but to make a connection. It’s challenging to pinpoint one specific story because each dog matters. Since we are located in Hawaii, our field-trip participants are often only visiting our island. We often hear the same lament: “Oh, I wish I could bring him/her home!” We’re proud to say that we can make that happen! Like for senior dog Boogie (first photo), who went on a field trip with a couple on their honeymoon, and ended up being the missing piece in their life. He was adopted and traveled home with them all the way to Boston.
Or for Ehu (second photo), everyone’s favorite shelter pup, who was a docile senior lady diagnosed with advanced arthritis. Ehu went on a low-key field trip with a couple from Alaska and they just couldn’t part with her. She made the long trek home to Alaska and is now learning how to pee in the snow with her new pack of rescue dogs.
And locally, we have been using our field-trip program as a means to advocate for the dogs who really need a break. It allows us to get to know them better, snap photos, and involve the community in rallying for the dogs who really need a chance. We’ve developed our Field Trip All Stars list, which means that our dogs with the longest length of stay are a priority for getting out. It has opened up a whole new world for us and our dogs.
The money provided helped us purchase enrichment items such as fun feeders, puzzle games, treat balls, sensory toys and treats and bully sticks to use with those items. We also used the money to provide Adopt Me leashes, collars, and shirts for our foster dogs to wear while out in public.
We were able to provide six swim-therapy sessions and 12 daycare sessions for socialization, and purchase five social-media ads. We also purchased bandanas, bows, and bubbles for pictures.
Lastly, part of the money went to purchase a pet-management program to help us stay organized and up-to-date and make rescue easier.
The Adoption Options in Action Grant helped us utilize the tools we learned from the seminar. Using the props we bought, social-media tips we learned, and the ads purchased, we were able to gain more exposure for our rescue dogs. In turn, that helped us gain more followers and supporters for our rescue itself. Two of our disabled dogs had swim therapy sessions included with their adoptions as an incentive to encourage adoption. Daycare has helped socialize the dogs and helped us to learn more about their behaviors to include in their bios. The fun feeders, puzzle balls, treat holders, bully sticks, and treats helped us keep the dogs happy and mentally stimulated while in our care, thus reducing destructive behaviors. The Adopt Me collars, leashes, and shirts helped the dogs get noticed while out in public with their fosters. It has opened the conversation about rescue and what exactly a foster-based rescue is to people who never heard about it before. The biggest help has been having a pet-management software to help us streamline the rescue process. It keeps us organized and is a huge time saver. We wouldn’t have been able to do all of this without the grant and especially without the Adoption Options seminar.
In total, the grant has helped us help 36 dogs. Since October we’ve had 14 adoptions and are currently caring for 11 dogs and 11 puppies.
The dogs most helped by the grant were two of our most difficult to receive interest. One was an adult large-breed dog, Jersey (first and second photos), and the other was our disabled and longest-stay (over a year) foster dog, Rocket (third and fourth photos). Jersey was found in 2018 as a stray in an orchard. She was quickly adopted then returned a year later. Upon being returned, she had no adoption interest and was suddenly without a foster home after a change in circumstance. Unable to find a foster home, we had to resort to boarding her. Jersey excelled the two months she was at boarding, yet we still had no one interested in her. With the grant’s help, we were able to promote her with the use of social-media ads. She was able to secure a first-time foster family who immediately adopted her after the first night!
Rocket was rescued, along with several other dogs, from an extreme hoarding case in Wasco, CA. He was only six weeks old when we found him. Rocket suffered severe nerve damage from a dog attacking him when he was only days old. He’s had physical therapy, specialist consultations, and surgeries to try and help him. It was concluded that he’d always be disabled, with extremely limited use of his back legs. After the grant, we put more effort into using pictures and posts to spread awareness about Rocket. We used the bandanas and bows for his pictures and videos. A rambunctious young pup, he was able to channel some of his energy into using the puzzle balls and fun feeders we bought with the grant. Knowing a disabled dog can be more expensive, we included four swim-therapy sessions with his adoption to encourage a successful transition. After a year and a half in our rescue, he too was adopted by his foster family.
Salty (fifth photo) was also helped greatly by the Adoption Options grant. He’s able to attend daycare regularly to help keep him socialized with new people and dogs. While in foster care, Salty has kept up with his training using the new treats and has stayed mentally stimulated using the puzzle toys and fun feeders. Salty has also become quite the model, wearing the bandanas and different props. He has gained a following of his own with the help of social-media ads. Unfortunately, we’ve still had little adoption interest in Salty. He’s another one of our adult large breed dogs and currently our longest foster dog. Meet Salty here.
Enrichment/mental stimulation for rescued, adoptable dogs and puppies
The Kong toys were distributed to dogs and puppies in our foster homes. The toys provided the dogs with hours of play, stimulation and exercise — both physical and mental. We are a small rescue and it is not in our budget to provide toys to foster dogs/pups. We depend on donations of toys or on the generosity of our foster families to provide such “luxuries.” The Kong toys were presented to the dogs/puppies just before Christmas, as a sort of gift to them. All of them were sent to their forever homes with “their” toy — something familiar to them to help them feel a bit of comfort in their first days with a new family.
We received 10 Kong toys of varying sizes. Eight of the toys went to individual dogs and the two tiny Kongs went to a litter of five puppies. So this grant effectively helped 13 dogs/puppies in our care.
This grant helped Diamond (first photo), an 8-month-old Cane Corso mix puppy who came to us with Demodex mange and cherry eye. She was a sweet, sweet girl who thrived in foster with two boxer “brothers.” After recuperating from the mange, she was neutered and had her cherry eye fixed. She has since been adopted and is loving her new family.
Webby (second photo) was pulled from a high-[intake] shelter in Philadelphia. At a year old, it was evident that he’d had little socialization and was dog-selective. Webby is doing well in his foster home, loves his Kong toy and is available for adoption. You can meet him here.
With your generous grant, we were able to fund Kane’s extensive medical needs and get him healthy and happy.
We rescued Kane from Broward County Animal Care in July 2019 after he was confiscated from his owner, who kept him outside, tied to a tree with insufficient food or shelter, for years. He was in terrible shape and had clearly been neglected with no medical care. When we took him on, he was full of tumors and needed a lot of medical care, including more than $1,000 a month in medications.
With this treatment, Kane made great progress and settled in to be a happy boy. His mobility improved, he started to play again, his pain was reduced and he became very goofy and funny with his foster and other dogs.
But then he started to decline in November. He lost his appetite and his quality of life diminished significantly. He had been through so much, his poor old body just gave out and he passed on Dec. 18, 2019.
While we were all devastated at his loss, we were so happy that, after years of neglect and suffering, he was able to know love and feel safe and happy for his last six months.
Rescuing complicated senior cases is often heartbreaking, but we know that, with your help, we were able to give Kane comfort and joy even for just a short time. He was loved and we miss him.
Thank you for helping us help Kane.
The grant funds were used for senior animal adoption assistance, including costs associated with needed medication and/or special food for seniors with medical conditions.
Potential adopters may be wary of adopting an older animal because of known, and unknown, medical issues and the cost of treatment. Relieving some of the financial burden of caring for the animal removes barriers to adoption!
Pina Colada is a beautiful senior girl of approximately 9-10 years who came in as a stray. She is extremely sweet and affectionate. Medical diagnostics indicated hyperthyroidism along with severe digestion issues. Different treatments and food trials were introduced and she started doing well on a combination of prednisolone (a steroid) and Felimazole to treat her overactive thyroid. She was also successful with a new food called Science Diet GI Biome and canned food, Proplan EN. The cost of her medication and special diet for one year is $785, which we are sponsoring for her adopter. On Jan. 2, 2020, Pina Colada was adopted! We are so happy she found a loving home and we are grateful we can support her adopter by helping with the costs of her care.
The money granted was used to open a new adoption center at PetSmart. We were able to purchase all the necessary supplies needed. We purchases beds, blankets, scratchers, cleaning supplies, toys, litter, food and many more items.
We were able to save 10 additional lives with the new adoption center. It will allow us to place many more adult cats for adoption.
10, and many more to come
Tahiti was an adult who had been waiting for her forever home for a long time. She came to us with a litter of kittens in July. She was a super mom to her babies, and once they found their forever homes, it was her turn. Thanks to the new adoption center, her new mom was able to see her and fall in love. Tahiti was finally adopted on Dec. 17. Having a new adoption center where the public can come and view adult cats is a must to find their forever homes.