Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
The Kincade Fire broke out on Oct. 23, 2019, and burned 77,758 acres in Sonoma County, Calif., over the subsequent two weeks. There were widespread power outages and nearly 200,000 people were evacuated. Berkeley Humane transported 14 shelter animals from Marin Humane to our shelter in Berkeley to free up space in Marin for evacuated animals. The animals transported were 13 cats (Asha, Biscotti, Empress, Gordon, Huckleberry, Jasper, Julie, Marty McFly, Poppy, Prudence, Puff, Sierra, and Terra) and one dog (Chandler). These animals included a blind cat, a cat with an undetermined crystalized mass, multiple cats with skin conditions, and a dog with a mass, dental disease, and skin disease. By transporting these animals, we freed up space at Marin Humane for evacuated animals.
Seven of the cats and the dog were seniors and, as such, required more intensive care. Funding from the Petfinder Foundation was used to provide medical care and boarding for these pets until they were adopted. Fortunately, all pets have been adopted.
This grant provided vital resources to allow us to support Marin Humane as they were serving evacuees by providing boarding for their animals. This grant defrayed the costs of transporting 14 animals to our shelter, out of harm’s way from the Kincade Fire.
We didn’t know how long Chandler had been a stray before arriving at Marin Humane and then being transported to our hospital; all we knew was that this sweet senior dog had significant medical needs and needed a second chance at a new life — and we were determined to make that happen.
If you say any kind word to Chandler, his squinty smile takes over his entire face and you can’t help but smile back! He is an adorable big ball of love, but this sweet disposition masked his severe skin condition, advanced dental disease and, most concerning, a mass on his abdomen that required urgent surgery. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, Chandler received the surgeries he needed, and after he recovered, he was adopted by a loving family. They renamed him Churro, and report that he loves meeting new dogs and cuddling with his family.
Kongs were filled with treats and peanut butter and used for enrichment and positive-reinforcement training. We also used these as a positive kennel experiences.
The dogs were able to spend time out of their kennels in the enrichment area enjoying treat-filled Kongs.
20 and still helping
Heath came to us very shy and scared of everyone. After spending time in our enrichment area with volunteers feeding him treat-filled Kongs, he as learned to trust again. He is now usually found in a volunteer’s lap. He is still available for adoption but we have numerous applications on him. You can meet him here.
Product used to help enrich the lives of dogs in our care.
Kong toys help our animals stay entertained while they are waiting for adoption.
Sheila has been stuck in her kennel while she recovers from extensive surgery. Her stuffed Kongs help keep her occupied while she’s on limited exercise. You can meet Sheila here.
Veterinary expenses to repair a broken leg in a puppy to make her adoptable. The veterinarian suggested that this leg was probably broken some time ago and never repaired correctly.
Our organization has a mission to get all animals in the best shape to be adoptable even if this requires substantial veterinary expenses. The Petfinder Foundation grant helped us with the reimbursement of Hazel’s surgery so we could continue to invest in our animals’ needs.
The puppy (Hazel) came into our shelter with her brother. One of our volunteer dog walkers noticed her brother received a lot of attention from potential adopters while Hazel hopped about on three legs and was overlooked. Hazel had surgery on her leg on Dec. 25, 2019, was spayed on Jan. 3, 2020, and was immediately fostered out to her fairy godmother/dog walker and then adopted on Jan. 5, 2020. Her new family at once relished Hazel’s loving personality when she came into their home.
Enrichment time for dogs during decompression, stressful times, or times of crate rest to help keep their minds going.
We absolutely saw a difference in the dogs we had for long time, especially when we began practicing leaving the house for adoption events. They were much more mentally stimulated and calmer when we arrived home, or when we were home and they had to be crated during the day. This is a great asset during heartworm treatment and for seniors or puppies who have different gums. All of our foster families let us know that it was a great tool for them to have. This was especially useful during the decompression period.
This grant actually helped more than the dogs we had, but now we are definitely low (especially with the dogs destroying them after a while). I would say the grant helped 15-30 dogs.
The Kong grant allowed Pippin to learn to have more calming and positive associations with the crate. He once would be super frantic in his crate, and the mental enrichment that his frozen Kongs gave him is unmatched with any other item we have tried. He is now pending adoption. Fingers crossed. You can meet him here.
We used our Kong donation for the animals that reside at our sanctuary property.
We found the products to be extremely useful, especially during the cold months in Minnesota. The drop in temperatures makes it difficult for our dogs to get a lot of outdoor exercise; therefore, we have to find more creative ways to stimulate them mentally and keep them occupied.
Lil Lady is a wonderful dog in our care who was rescued from a shelter after she was hit by a car and abandoned. Due to the trauma, she required an additional surgery to repair her eyelid so she would have the ability to close her eye. Unfortunately, this has left her with a unique appearance, which tends to leave her overlooked. She has been with us for a longer period of time so she now is spending her time at our sanctuary property where she can enjoy her life until her special day comes along! You can meet her here.
The KONGs helped the rescues healing from surgeries and medical procedures at the foundation.
It gives the epileptic dog Belle something to do while she is in her postictal state after a seizure. It gives Snow White and Aurora something to do while Snow recovers from her bilateral TPLO surgery and Aurora from her ACL lateral suture surgery.
Snow White (first photo) needed to have a bilateral TPLO surgery, vulvoplasty surgery, and luxating-patella surgery — all on the same day, in one marathon surgery session. This surgery was hard on her body. We thank KONG for sending us toys to help keep Snow’s mind happy and healthy during her long eight-plus weeks of bed rest while her body heals. You can meet Snow White here.
Grant funds were used to purchase supplies to make flirt-toy poles for the foster dogs in our care. Funds were also used to purchase harnesses needed for the dogs to be on-leash during flirt-pole activities. Our foster dogs benefit from behavior training with flirt poles before they can be adoptable.
Volunteers were organized to help make the flirt poles from donated and purchased supplies. All poles and harnesses can be used for future foster dogs in the rescue. We made more than 30 poles, which will benefit hundreds of dogs, as we will reuse them for years.
We know that the mental stimulation and exercise using flirt poles can provide much-needed enrichment for many of our dogs awaiting adoption. Many of the dogs we pull from [open-intake] shelters are high-energy and highly reactive. During the cold winter months in Michigan, these flirt poles can be utilized indoors to exercise dogs when they’re not able to go outside in extreme temperatures. Both long outdoor poles and short indoor poles are used for the dogs. They are a great training tool for our behavior-challenged dogs who need to work on impulse control, manage energy levels, and practice training commands both on-leash and off-leash. This training tool will help hundreds of dogs to be more adoptable!
30 current foster dogs and many future dogs
Rosa (pictured) is a sweet, fun 3-year-old dog who loves to be rewarded for learning new things. She is eager to train with the new flirt poles, especially with a plush, soft toy at the end of the rope! She is available for adoption through Paws for Life Rescue and you can learn more about her here.
Our dogs in foster homes
The dogs loved the Kong toys.
We had a shepherd-mix puppy. He was getting in trouble by chewing on everything in his foster home. We gave him Kong toys and he loved them. He would lie down and chew on his toys instead of getting into trouble. When he was adopted, he took his toys with him.
The Kong dog toys have been used for kennel enrichment. This has been especially helpful with the bad weather we have been experiencing, including rain and snow, making walking the dogs more difficult. The toys have also been helpful due to a lower-than-average number of volunteers due to COVID-19. The Kong toys help prevent boredom and stress with the dogs.
The grant has helped provide every dog a Kong toy to play with and to help prevent boredom in their kennels. The toys can be thoroughly washed and reused when one dog gets adopted and another dog is brought into our adoption program.
So far more than 40 dogs have benefited, but by the end of 2020 it will be hundreds, as the toys can be used by countless dogs.
One specific dog whom the Kong toy grant helped was Love, a 1-year-old black Lab mix. Love barked continuously in her kennel from stress. Even though Love received several walks a day, she quickly became bored after her walks and would bark nonstop in her kennel. When we gave Love a Kong toy filled with peanut butter or Easy Cheese, Love was quiet during the time she licked the Kong and for a period of time after. Love was adopted within a week of our adding Kong toys to her daily routine.