Success Stories

Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.

SPCA of Westchester: Perkins Enrichment Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Bordetella vaccines and enrichment toys and products. We received $2,250 total.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We were able to purchase over 225 bordetella vaccines for our dogs, which was wonderful because we could use the money we’d normally spend on this for other needs we have at the shelter. For enrichment, we purchased a cat wheel, which gives the cats extra exercise, therefore keeping them healthier and in better shape. It also gives them something to do to enrich their time at the shelter. This will hopefully be able to help thousands of cats over the next few years! We also bought numerous toys/Kongs, dog puzzles and bones for the dogs in our care, which will keep their teeth clean and occupy some of their time when in their dog runs, therefore keeping them busy and happy!

How many pets did this grant help?

225 dogs will receive bordetella vaccines, hundreds if not thousands of cats will benefit from the cat exercise wheel, and the other dog enrichment products should hopefully be enjoyed by hundreds of dogs!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

One of our shelter dogs, Leah (first photo), has been very stressed at the shelter and losing weight due to her stress. She’s been here for over six months and has a lot of energy. We’ve been able to provide her with durable and safe toys, Kongs and dog puzzles each day in order to lower her stress and keep her occupied. We’ve seen a huge improvement in her mental health and behavior because of this! From her Petfinder profile: “We can’t stress enough how great this girl is!! This 5-year-old American bulldog mix is a sporty kinda gal who would love to find an active person or family to call her own. She can’t get enough playtime in the yard; if you’ve got a tennis ball, she’ll be a happy girl! Leah has lived in a home before, so she’s got the whole housetraining and crate-training thing down pat. Leah has also lived with children before. If you’re looking for an all-around great dog, you might just be looking for Leah. Come meet her!” Meet Leah: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32083848

UPDATE: Leah has been adopted!

Lollypop Farm, Humane Society of Greater Rochester: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

To help shelter and care for a dog in our care.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This support helped our organization provide shelter, food, veterinary care, training, and love for a dog at Lollypop Farm. This support played a valuable role in helping us provide a second chance for Gogo along with the other 10,500 pets in our care annually.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

When Gogo arrived at Lollypop Farm, she was quivering and scared. Her world had been turned upside down when her owners surrendered her due to their impending move. We were able to provide one-on-one “Bravery Boost” behavioral training for Gogo and it wasn’t long before Gogo responded to touch commands, interacting with staff members and volunteers and catching tennis balls outside. Gogo was adopted by a family who fell in love with her at first sight. Together, with your support, we excel at giving loving animals second chances.

Humane Society of Elmore County: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

The $100 sponsorship we received was used for a wonderful bulldog, Alonzo, for his adoption fee.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It helped a dog find a loving home and kind of epitomized the “pay it forward” idea for people who care for and love animals.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Alonzo was adopted to a most awesome home. His adopters are tremendous supporters of our shelter via an organization that does a major fundraising event for us every year. They were pleasantly surprised when we told them his fee had already been paid. We hear from them frequently and know that Alonzo is doing GREAT!

The first two pics were from his online adoption posting. The second two are in his home where he is obviously very loved!

Cooper's Chance Animal Rescue: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Product was used for our Pawsitive Beginnings Puppy Enrichment Program where we help abandoned, abused, and neglected puppies get a second chance by rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

KONG toys were used in rehabilitation of abused puppies by building trust through play and using toys for treat-training, mental stimulation and interaction.

How many pets did this grant help?

50 puppies ages 6 weeks to 6 months

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

This grant directly benefited the “Dumpster Five” puppies. Five little 10-week-old puppies were left in a school dumpster to die. They were rescued and placed in a loving foster home where they received one-on-one attention, playing with KONG toys, learning basic commands with peanut butter-filled KONGs as a reward, and using KONG toys as a comfort at night.

Enchantment Chihuahua Rescue Ltd.: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The Kong products were used both to fundraise for our dogs and rehabilitate.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant helped our dogs by giving them a sophistication of toy that otherwise would have been hard to come by. It helps keep the active minds occupied, and helps with crate-training or separation anxiety to make a crate environment more enticing for longer periods of time for dogs who are unused to that environment.

How many pets did this grant help?

In different ways, this grant helped many of our dogs.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Ashley is a sweet little Chihuahua girl who was found wandering the streets and remained unclaimed despite advertising. Beautiful and loving, Ashley is also very high-energy for a small dog and prone to destruction if left on her own to be bored. Ashley is usually content to play with a foster brother and explore/destroy only when her friends are tired of playing, but the grant of Kong treats offered a new outlet for her active doggie mind. Ashley is happily motivated by treats and content to work on the puzzle of a Kong rather than shred trashbags.

Pima Animal Care Center: Cat Castles
What was the money or product used for?

Last year, you made an incredibly generous grant of Cat Castles to our shelter. We are so happy to say that your generous gift is STILL making a difference in the lives of our homeless cats like Toph and Azula. Their story, as well as a photo of them in their new home hanging out next to their familiar Cat Castle, are below.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It saved us thousands of dollars on cardboard cat carriers, which we otherwise would have had to buy. That meant we had more money for medical care for injured and sick pets like Toph.

How many pets did this grant help?

We estimate this donation helped us save over 3,000 cats.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

During the middle of summer, we often take in more than a dozen mewling, orphaned kittens every single day. It was during this time that a Good Samaritan brought Toph to our back door. He was just a palm-sized, weeks-old stray, and his eyes were completely crusted shut from a painful herpes virus. Two years ago, we would never have had the staff or supplies during the height of kitten season to save an extremely sick baby animal like Toph. But because of the support we’re getting from friends like the Petfinder Foundation, in 2015 our medical team can and did.

Our doctors immediately started treating Toph with donated eye drops, and they gave him antibiotics to cure his upper-respiratory infection (it’s like a kitty cold). After six weeks of steady care, Toph’s cold was gone, but his eyes had still not improved. The medical neglect he’d suffered in his infancy meant there was no other option for us except to remove his eyes.

And because we have such a caring community that supports our work, we were able to do just that – as well as neuter him, of course, so he does not contribute to our community’s profound pet-overpopulation problem.

After Toph recovered from his surgery, our volunteers paired him with Azula, another young kitten who’d also had a rough start to her life. One of our Animal Care Officers had saved her from an apartment where she’d lived with a dozen other cats. Like many of the hundreds of pets we save each year from hoarding situations, Azula was fearful, under-socialized and going to be hard to adopt out. But it turns out she was just what Toph needed: A seeing-eye guide. And Toph was just what Azula needed: A friend – and, since they were marketed as bonded pair who must leave the shelter together – he was also her ticket to a forever home.

Roselia Sosa fell them both. Azula, she says, is slowly coming out of her shell. She really loves spending time with Sosa’s children, who are small like she is, and therefore less scary than their household’s adults. She continues to enjoy the Cat Castle that came home with her from our shelter. And as for blind Toph, he’s not only figured out how to get around Sosa’s house and onto her furniture, but he’s wiggled his way firmly into the family’s hearts.

“The kids just love him,” she tells us. “He’s so cuddly.”

Some might argue we went “too far” by saving Toph. But not Roselia Sosa.

“He is just as worthy of our help as any animal – or any person, really,” she says. “If something or someone needs help, you give it to them.”

“He is just such a sweetheart,” she adds. “I can’t imagine my life without him.”

For Paws Rescue: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

We got the Kong grant. Entertainment for the dogs in rescue

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Kong toys help keep our dogs from becoming kennel crazy. The toys give them something to focus on when we we’re not playing with them.

How many pets did this grant help?

All the dogs in our rescue have used the Kong toys daily. So an estimated 30 dogs per month.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

We had a dog named Kate who had been in rescue for 11 months when the toys came in. They gave her a new sense of purpose. She wasn’t good with other dogs so her play was very limited. The Kong toys filled with peanut butter made her smile and wag her tail.
We don’t have any pictures because she was very camera-fearful, but she loved her yummy toys!

Rescue Ridge: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

It was Kongs and we use them for the animals we have in kennels. They can take them with them when they go home.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Kongs are a lot harder to chew through. We fill them with peanut butter or unsweetened apple sauce and the dogs have a grand old time sucking it out of the Kong. It gives our fur friends something to do when we leave them and it gives the volunteers peace of mind that when we get back they won’t be chewed to pieces, so the volunteers don’t have to worry about whether the animal has swallowed anything.

How many pets did this grant help?

Probably eight medium-size guys and nine smaller guys.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Miss Wiggles was found as a stray. When her local shelter was going to put her down because Wiggles didn’t like the small cages, we took her. Our kennels are a little larger, but still Wiggles had anxiety. The Kong helps to keep her anxiety at bay. It allows her to focus on fun and food at one time. And Miss Wiggles loves both. Meet Miss Wiggles: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/33583089

All of our happy dogs would like to say thank you for this little bit of happiness.

Humane Society of Huron Valley: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

HSHV’s Humane Education Department has been fortunate to see continued growth and success through the last half of 2015. From Jan. 1–Nov. 30, 2015, we have provided education to more than 3,812 adults and youth in our community. We have provided 38 offsite presentations to local schools, groups and organizations. Onsite we have had 223 new Junior Volunteers join our team, hosted 29 birthday parties and have had 44 community groups in for tours and/or field trips. We are also fortunate that volunteers, both adult and youth, have dedicated 7,618 service hours to the humane education department this year. The community has been very supportive of our programs and 2015 is a wonderful year for humane education.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

HSHV offers a six-session Junior Volunteers program to help youth engage in and learn about volunteer opportunities at our shelter. Working alongside our Humane Educator, Volunteer Coordinator and a mentor volunteer, youth in the J.V. program attended six training sessions in which they learned about animal-welfare issues, building empathy for animals and humans and different procedures and safety precautions for working with and caring for animals. Each session consisted of a 45-minute educational session and 75 minutes of onsite volunteer time. During the educational portion, Junior Volunteers focused on animal-welfare issues in our community and will learned about ways in which they can help animals. Upon completion of all six sessions, certified Junior Volunteers had various opportunities to volunteer at HSHV in positions such as puppy socialization, cat comforting, animal enrichment, dog training, humane education and customer care.

Currently, we have 325 active Junior Volunteers and we evaluate monthly to determine our retention rate and assess whether changes need to be made to the program. The mentors and staff who assist with the Junior Volunteers program are also a part of our evaluation process through weekly meetings and discussions in which they offer feedback on the success of our Junior Volunteers.

With the help of the Petfinder Foundation grant, we have been fortunate to provide 19 youth with scholarships to participate in this program. We are so grateful to be able to provide this opportunity to families in financial need and have several
youth from our at-risk programming join our Junior Volunteer team after being awarded a scholarship. We were very happy to welcome two of the youth we work with at the Washtenaw Juvenile Detention Center to our JV team after they applied for a scholarship.

Camp PAWS is an educational and fun program that is offered at HSHV throughout the summer as well as during holiday and seasonal breaks from school. This program provides various weeks of camps that are geared towards different age groups, ranging from ages 4-11. The curriculum is tied in with educational standards and explores animal welfare and environmental ethics from a fun and hands-on approach. Through animal interactions, educational lessons, crafts, games, field trips and visits from local rescue groups, children learn how to care for and respect animals and our environment

Through past evaluations, Camp PAWS has shown to be an effective humane education program and we are fortunate that so many youth are able to attend. We do recognize that some families many not have the financial means to register their children for camp and we are happy to have had the resources to provide scholarships for many families in need. We have currently awarded 11 families a full scholarship for Camp PAWS this year. It has been a great experience to support youth who want to learn more about animals, but just do not have the financial means to do so.

How many pets did this grant help?

1+

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

With so many new programs developing and the high demand for humane education programming, our staff are almost fully consumed with running revenue generating programming here at the shelter. With the support of the Petfinder Foundation grant, we were able to increase staffing in order to continue to develop some of our most impactful programming.

One program we were able to resume due to the grant funding was our work with the Washtenaw County Juvenile Detention Center youth. We now have staff who visit the facility twice a month to provide humane education lessons and a shelter dog visit to youth ages 14-17.

We were also able to develop onsite programming for our youngest learners through our program called Little Paws Story Time. Although we previously held this program at an offsite location, with the support of the grant we were able to dedicate staff to designing and developing the program further to expand our humane education reach. After just four sessions of this program we have a consistent audience of 10-12 children, with many families returning week after week.

With the support of our staffing, we have also been able to provide additional sessions of popular programming as well as allow for more children to attend each program. We added one day sessions of Camp PAWS for the school break days and also have family evening events every other month.

Monmouth County SPCA: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

We used the money to purchase enrichment items for our dogs such as Kongs, puzzle toys, and other tough and sturdy toys. Additionally, the money went towards Natural Balance-type treats we use to stuff these toys and puzzles as well as for training dogs. We only use positive-reinforcement training methods and these treats have shown to work well with getting our dogs to respond.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Provided the dogs with something to do while they were in their digs waiting to meet adopters. These dogs have, with daily enrichment, shown to be less likely to be reactive to visitors, as they are occupied with their stuffed Kongs instead of jumping at the glass when people walk the adoption floor.

How many pets did this grant help?

More than 80. We have approximately 80 dogs in our care, with some being adopted and others coming in. These items can continue to be used, so the numbers are hard to determine and will continue to grow.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Adonis (first photo) was a very high-energy dog who was often bored and never showed well with adopters. With the purchase of the sturdy toys, he was able to work out some of his energy and not be so over-the-top with energy when meeting adopters. He has now been adopted.

Rucca (second photo) was a tough dog, as she was fearful and hard to get to come out of her shell. With daily time to work on puzzle toys she started to build bonds with the staff working with her and became less destructive. Very happy to report she was recently adopted and her new family has also decided to purchase puzzle toys and Kongs to continue her enrichment at home.

Paige (third photo) always looked so sad and bored in her dig. Daily enrichment of stuffed Kongs helps keep her busy and she has seemed less stressed. She looks forward to the distribution of enrichment items, which is now a daily event!