Success Stories

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

Parkers Rainbow Bridge Animal Rescue: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

For emergency medical surgery

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

It allowed our rescue to provide emergency surgery to remove an oral tumor on one of our elderly rescues.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

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

Max is a 17-year-old French bulldog who found himself needing rescue in a local [open-intake] shelter when his elderly owner was admitted to the hospital and subsequent long-term rehab. Max was taken to our private veterinarian upon release from the local shelter and was found to have a very large oral tumor that was affecting his ability to eat food. The large tumor was removed during emergency surgery, which resulted in Max being able to eat comfortably again. He is now placed in a hospice foster home where he is being spoiled daily and even has a rescue fursister, Foxy, to go on daily walks with. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for helping our rescue with the grant to help Max.

Far Fetched Dog Rescue: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The funds from this grant were used for several tumor removals for our 7-year-old basset hound, Franklin.

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

This grant was able to pay for the surgery necessary to allow Franklin to live a normal, happy life.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

This grant was used to provide surgery for Franklin. There aren’t many words to describe what kind of a life Franklin has likely had, but we do know that he had spent many years as a victim of neglect. He was covered in masses, one of which was so heavy and infected, that we needed to have it removed immediately. Several masses were very large and made it difficult for Franklin to even walk. We were able to have these masses removed and tested for cancer. Although one did come back malignant, we were able to find a family who will love him for the rest of his days.

Franklin has found a home to spend forever, no matter how much time he has left. Franklin was in horrendous shape when he came to us, but we all believed he deserved a chance. Franklin is right at home with his new forever foster family, and it’s like he’s lived there his whole life! We couldn’t be happier for this little guy and we are so glad we took the chance for him!!

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society: P.L.A.Y. Pet Beds
What was the money or product used for?

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society accepted 77 dogs and cats from Ventura County Animal Services, Santa Barbara County Animal Services and Rancho Cucamonga Animal Services so that those agencies had the capacity for immediate front-line fire-evacuation needs. The animals accepted at our shelter were already available for adoption or had completed their stray-hold period before the fire emergency, so no evacuated animals were separated from their human families who may have been looking for them.

The catnip toys and lush, wonderful beds were used in our enrichment program to help the cats and dogs transferred to our organization become comfortable in their temporary environment, so those animals could eventually find homes. We were able to post super-cute photos and stories to Facebook showing the newly arrived dogs and cats playing with their toys and snuggling on their beds.

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

The Santa Maria Valley Humane Society is a vibrant and exciting organization that exists to rescue, shelter, heal, place, and train dogs and cats while engaging our Central California Coastal communities through education and advocacy to end animal homelessness. Through our state-of-the art Edwin & Jeanne Woods Animal Care Complex, the professional staff and volunteers of the Santa Maria Valley Humane Society have placed 13,370 homeless dogs and cats into new and loving homes and our highly-skilled veterinarians have helped and healed an additional 36,712 dogs and cats.

Our signature Open Paw manners and skills training for shelter pets is a model program that helps to prepare shelter pets for their new homes. Every pet has interactions with 20 people per day, we use toys and food puzzles for mental stimulation, and every cat and dog has a den or warm, cozy bed. We have demonstrated that, by familiarizing pets with people and creating a model environment, our adoptable animals are calm, present in a positive light to shelter visitors, and are adopted more quickly.

The bed grant from P.L.A.Y. enabled us to meet our enrichment goals and provide the very best care for the evacuated animals. The selection of items was perfect and every item has been used. In fact, most of the beds are now being used by new canine residents!

How many pets did this grant help?

77

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

When Santa Maria Valley Humane Society accepted dozens of animals from shelters in the Woolsey Fire-affected area, our partners at the Petfinder Foundation and P.L.A.Y. stepped up to help with emergency grant funds and lots of cozy dog and cat beds. The Humane Society received a total of 77 dogs and cats who had been at Ventura County Animal Services, Santa Barbara County Animal Services and other area animal-rescue organizations. Those pets were transported to Santa Maria to free up space for pets who were in need of evacuation from the fire. Here you can see several transferred dogs and cats enjoying their comfy new beds. From top to bottom: Ronan, Sachi and Harry. All of them have since been adopted.

Santa Maria Valley Humane Society: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The Disaster Grant from the Petfinder Foundation was used to provide food, shelter, and veterinary care for dogs and cats who were evacuated as a result of the Woolsey Fire in November 2018. Because of the grant funds, Santa Maria Valley Humane Society was able to accept 77 animals from our partner shelters, making room for animals on the front lines of the disaster.

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

The Woolsey Fire was a destructive wildfire that burned in California’s Los Angeles and Ventura Counties. The fire ignited on Nov. 8, 2018, and burned 96,949 acres of land. The fire destroyed 1,643 structures, killed three people, and prompted the evacuation of more than 295,000 people.

When Central Coast communities of California are facing a disaster, animal shelters network to provide swift response to the demand to care for evacuated pets. Because of the grant funds, we were able to accept 77 dogs and cats who were already in-care at partner shelters to allow those shelters to accept evacuated pets. In turn, we were able to spay or neuter, vaccinate, and provide medical care to the transferred pets and find those animals homes.

How many pets did this grant help?

77

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

Awesome follow-up stories from the Woolsey Fire evacuations (Nov. 13-30, 2018):
1. Say hello to Bella, formerly Luna (first photo)! Bella was transferred to Santa Maria Valley Humane Society in mid-November from Ventura County Animal Services so they could make room for animals being evacuated due to the Woolsey Fire. Bella had a short three-day stay with us before she found her new family. Now, a few months after being in her new home, this is what her family has to say:

“Bella has been settling in wonderfully! We’ve been on many adventures together, including enjoying the ocean at Avila Dog Beach, hiking on the Bob Jones Trail, socializing at Woof Pac Park, and many more. We even entered her in Santa’s Doggie Parade in Avila before Christmas! Bella didn’t win, but she looked beautiful in her festive collar. She loves waking up and giving us morning kisses every day. We can’t imagine our life without Bella!”

2. Harley, formerly Harvey Dent (second photo), a 3-year-old pit bull, was an owner-surrender to Santa Barbara County Animal Services. After not being able to find a home for three months, Harley was transferred to Santa Maria Valley Humane Society due to the Woolsey Fire evacuations. Within two weeks, Harley found his match! Now, a month later, this is what his new family has to say:

“I’ve been having the time of my life with Harley. He’s been the best pup; he’s sweet, affectionate, athletic, mellow, polite, loving of all people and other dogs, and a ton of fun. I live alone and work from home so I wanted a buddy I could hang out with all the time and I couldn’t have asked for a better partner in crime. Previously, I was living with and taking care of my mother, who was sick and passed away eight months ago, so it has been a very hard season of life for me, but having Harley has brought me so much joy and comfort. I’m so thankful I found Harley when I did, and I may have needed him even more than he needed me. He’s such a light in my life.

“We go for tons of walks, hikes, doggie playdates, runs, dog beach outings, and he’s becoming a local celebrity in downtown San Luis Obispo because he’s so sweet and handsome. I’m extremely thankful to SMVHS for all you do to give pups good homes, and I hope my story brings you joy. Very grateful for your team and for my boy, Harley!”

3. Meet Dexter, formerly Deputy (third photo)! Dexter was an owner-surrender to Santa Barbara County Animal Services and he was later transferred to Santa Maria Valley Humane Society to make room for evacuated animals. Combined, he spent nearly six months searching for his perfect match, but they finally came for him! Now, several months later, this is what his family has to say: “It’s as if Deputy was in our family for years after a day in our house. He sits in the recliner with us every time we get in it.

“We renamed him Dexter, as my wife had a dream we named a pound dog Dexter the night before I picked him up. Funny part was, it was a surprise to my wife that I was adopting him. Bottom line: He is a great addition to our family and a great companion for our other dog.”

The LAST animal in our shelter relocated from the Woolsey Fire evacuations is a a cat named Esperanza (fourth photo). From her Petfinder profile: “Esperanza, our diva cat, is sweet and sour. She is very independent and does not require much attention. For the most part, Esperanza just likes to do her own thing. Some of the things she enjoys are long naps, big fluffy bedding, catnip, and wet food and feather toys. Boy does she like her wet food. Esperanza is one of the chubbiest kitties that we have. When she plays, she will waddle across her room and stand on her hind legs to catch the toy. It is definitely a sight to see. Come out and meet this big sassy kitty. Maybe she can have some catnip so you can really see how funny she can get.” You can meet her here.

Black Dog Animal Rescue, Inc.: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money granted by the Petfinder Foundation was used to pay for extensive surgery to repair injuries to the mouth of a geriatric hound who was stray and got his muzzle stuck in a can. By the time he was brought into the shelter, the wounds were severely infected and required a hefty surgery and some moderate aftercare.

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

This grant not only allowed this senior dog the opportunity to have a pain-free existence, but it allowed for additional funds to be utilized for other animals in need by helping with the urgent expenses associated with Trapper’s surgery.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Trapper is elderly coonhound who was in foster care with us four years ago when he followed his nose to some far-off place and disappeared entirely. Then, out of the blue, he was picked up as a stray and found at the Cheyenne Animal Shelter. He’d been seriously injured by what appeared to be the result of getting a can stuck around his top jaw. Trapper’s nose and lips were saved after an extensive surgery and recovery from infection. Soon afterwards, we also received an emergency medical grant from the Petfinder Foundation to assist with the costs of Trapper’s surgery and recovery.

As you can see in photos of him, he’ll have scars forever, but he’s very much on the mend. Trapper is a shy boy, but he comes alive around his trusted foster family, enjoys basking in the sun, and routinely takes all the toys from the toy basket and leaves them lying about the house.

Trapper is now available for adoption and is looking for a forever home! This boy is a true survivor. Wondering how he came by his name? When he was first found in Rawlins all those years ago, the big guy was caught in a leg hold trap laid by a hunter looking to catch a coyote or similar fur-bearing animal. Trapper has the scar on his foot to show for that misadventure. He’s had quite the life, but we’re sure he’s ready to settle down now. Meet Trapper here.

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

The money received acts as a care sponsorship, helping us provide vaccinations, needed surgery and other medical care, testing and preventatives as well as the general cost of care from day to day.

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

It allowed us to focus our other funds on the animals in our care as well as work towards improving the existing tools.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

This grant helped us with one of the longer stays in our shelter. Hancock was in our care from October 2018 until January 2019. We had to add training and behavior to his care in addition to some extra needed medical care. Hancock has since been adopted, but this grant allowed us provide care without the worry of cost!

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

To purchase 100 microchips from the Michelson Found Animals Foundation, Inc.

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

These will give the adopted animals a greater chance of being returned to their owners if they go missing.

How many pets did this grant help?

100 total

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

Jaeger came to the shelter on Nov. 30, 2018, and was with us for two months. On Jan. 28, 2019, he was adopted to a loving family. Thanks to the Adoptions Options in Action grant, we were able to provide him with a free microchip that was registered to his new adopted family as well as to our shelter.

Surfcat Cafe and Adoptions: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Medical bills and home care for burns from the Woolsey Fire

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

This grant made it possible for Surfcat to provide a safe haven for and treat cats belonging to those who had lost everything in the fire. We also still have three unclaimed fire monkeys whom we are caring for until we can find them forever homes. Being able to help these fire kitties has made Surfcat a household name in our community. We are so grateful for your help.

How many pets did this grant help?

At this point we have helped 10 cats recover from this fire and we are still helping to find and reunite Woolsey Fire cats today.

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

Saucy was one of many cats left behind as the massive flames raged closer. It was over a week after the fire before authorities allowed us up to search for survivors. We found more than 50 deceased cats at this particular property nestled in the rolling hills of Malibu California. Saucy was found hiding inside a lamppost with third-degree burns on her paws, face, legs and head. Search and rescue rushed her out of the burn zone and met us at the closest veterinary E.R., where she was placed on oxygen and given some time to adjust (first photo). About a week later, Surfcat was able to bring Saucy home. She is now looking for her forever home (second photo).

She has no interest in going past the front door. Soft cozy blankets are her thing now. She loves to play with people way better then cats, although it would be nice for her to stay together with her pal Koda. If you love purrs, toys and laps, then she’s your gal! Meet Saucy here.

Koda was rescued by Animal Control and brought to Little Angels Project, a nonprofit animal clinic located nearby the fire zone. He too had burns over his face, head, and feet (third photo). He spent about a month in treatment before being transferred to Surfcat to continue home-care. Koda is still undergoing medical care on his feet and is looking for his forever home (fourth photo). He’s still a bit nervous but he loves to be loved on and play with humans and fellow felines. Meet Koda here.

Albert (fifth photo) was pulled from the rubble the same day Saucy was and taken to the same E.R. After he was released, we realized that he had an infection in one of his paws (sixth photo). After being transferred to Little Angels and spending an additional month in critical care, Albert came home to Surfcat. He is still undergoing foot treatments and will be available for adoption soon.

Valley Animal Haven: Senior Pet Adoption Grants
What was the money or product used for?

The grant was utilized to provide much-needed dental procedures for Lionel, a senior cat at our facility. He spent two months at our Office Administrator’s house as a foster and he is now back at our facility, ready for adoption!

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

This grant assisted us in providing care for one of our animals who needed significant dental work. The grant improved Lionel’s quality of life significantly.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Lionel came to our rescue from a sad situation. He also had significant dental issues and required extensive dental work. This grant provided Lionel with the dental work he needed. He had eight teeth extracted and he is feeling much better now! He is still young at heart and enjoys nap time the most. Although his dental work exceeded the quote we initially received, we were able to provide the care he desperately needed through this grant.

Lionel is still looking for his fur-ever family. Meet him here.

Friends with Four Paws: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

The funds allowed us to purchase a high-quality camera with multiple lenses and equipment for a portable photography studio with lights and a backdrop.

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

This grant helps our organization put our adoptable pets out on our Petfinder website in the best possible way and give them the extra little bit to look their best.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far, this grant has helped at least 80 dogs find their home!

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

This grant has specifically helped a little guy by the name of Dan to quickly find his home! With our new equipment, we were able to get good-quality photos of him and upload them to Petfinder, and within just a few hours the application came in that would put Dan and his new family together.