Success Stories

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

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The grant supported PAWS' efforts to rescue, house, care for, and adopt out homeless dogs.

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

The grant enabled us to save dogs' lives and helped to ensure that we can continue doing so for dogs who need us. Every dog rescued by PAWS receives a full medical and behavioral evaluation, spay/neuter surgery, microchip, treatments for any medical conditions it may have, as well as behavior enrichment tailored to each dog's needs and length of stay.

How many pets did this grant help?

386

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

Mona was found as a stray in South Philly in July 2013, then rescued by PAWS. Despite her wonderful personality, she waited for months for a home. This energetic girl became a staff and volunteer favorite during her stay and was always eager to play fetch and go running. Mona was adopted and now lives happily in Levittown with a father and son. She seemed so proud to become a family dog, and we were proud, too! As soon as Mona left the building, we were able to rescue a new dog to fill her kennel.

Furever Friends Rescue: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

This grant was used to purchase vaccines – bordetella and four-in-ones for our dogs. We have also had three dogs vaccinated for rabies thanks to this grant. To date we have vaccinated 13 dogs with the four-in-one and bordetella vaccines we purchased with the Orvis Operational Grant. We will continue to vaccinate other dogs in need as they come into the rescue.

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

The growing elderly population in Maricopa County has fueled a desire on the part of the founders of Furever Friends Rescue to help both the individuals facing life-changing decisions and their pets. The goals of this organization are to promote animal adoption and to help reduce the number of animals euthanized in Maricopa County. Our objectives are to heighten community awareness with regard to the aging population and their needs and in addition provide homes for as many displaced pets as possible.

We have found that many of the individuals surrendering their pets are on fixed incomes and are financially incapable of keeping their pets up-to-date on their vaccines and medical care. In order to maintain the goal of our mission, we incur the costs associated with vetting the animals surrendered to us. Often that has meant dental surgery, spay/neuter and other medical issues as well as vaccinating. Having the financial wherewithal to purchase vaccines gives us the ability to help more of our target population.

How many pets did this grant help?

Thirteen so far, but we will continue to offer this valuable service to those individuals surrendering their pets to us.

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

Chase came to us when his owner could no longer care for him. She felt she had no other option than to surrender him to the county facility, where he faced the very real possibility of euthanasia. Chase needed a lot of help; his coat was matted and filthy, his nails were long and in need of trimming and he was not up-to-date on any of his vaccines. Thanks to the Orvis Operational Grant, we were able to get him current on his shots and ready to go to a new home. Chase has had some medical ups and downs during his stay with us, but he is heading to his new home shortly, where he’ll have a new dog friend as well as some kids to keep him busy. We couldn’t be happier for him and his new family.

Project POOCH, Inc.: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The generous $1,000 Orvis Operational Grant received through the Petfinder Foundation enabled us to increase our community outreach through dog-adoption events. Thanks to this support, we were able to pay for staff to transport available dogs to two adoption events in April: in Lake Oswego and Clackamas; and two adoption events in May in Raleigh Hills and Sherwood – all towns in the surrounding Portland metro area.

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

Our kennel is unique in that it is located in a youth correctional facility. This facility is about an hour away from the Portland metro area. What this means is our ability to gain exposure for our available dogs can be limited. One of the best ways for our dogs to find new homes is to be seen by the public and for the public to have a greater awareness about our program and available dogs.

By providing funding that allowed us to participate in more adoption events, we were able to extend our reach farther into the Portland metro area than we otherwise would have had been able to afford.

How many pets did this grant help?

We take in and care for about 12 dogs at any given time. Through adoption events, dogs like Toby and Luna found, after waiting quite a while, their forever homes. For each dog adopted, space is made for another dog who might otherwise be euthanized at another shelter. All of our dogs come from area shelters where they have been waiting a while to find their forever homes, or they just need the extra attention and training our program provides.

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

We’d like to share Luna’s story. Luna is a special girl and she needed just the right home. Although she is beautiful and sweet, she had some specific needs that only the right home and human could provide. Luna is a Husky. She needed a person who understood her breed. She also needed a home without small animals or female dogs. So we set out to get her and her story out into the community. She was always a big hit! We knew she would be as she’s just gorgeous and loves meeting people. Luna attended both of the adoption events in April and generated a ton of interest. I think people couldn’t believe such a beautiful and well-mannered dog could come from a rescue. By having the funding from the Orvis Operational Grant through the Petfinder Foundation, we were able to bring our dogs out into the community more often so people could interact with them more easily. This in turn helped dispel some of the negative myths people have about shelter/rescue dogs.

We’re thrilled to report that, as a result of this additional exposure, Luna found her forever and perfect home. Please enjoy the photos we uploaded of Luna with her new Husky brother, Odin. We think waiting for the right home was the right decision. The Orvis Operational Grant made this possible by allowing us to continue providing Luna and all our dogs the care and training they need and deserve, and by allowing us to staff adoption events out in the community where our dogs get the exposure they need to find their forever homes.

Meridian Valley Humane Society: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

Spay surgery

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

This grant helped this little girl transition into a new chapter of her life where she will no longer be bred and will be loved as she so deserves.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

We used the Sponsor-A-Pet money to help pay for the spay of a 10-year-old female Min Pin who had been used as a breeder and was no longer useful to the family.

Pennington County Humane Society: Cat Castles
What was the money or product used for?

Cat Castles used for environmental enhancement of cats in cages.

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

The Cat Castles were/are great in some of our cages, but are too large for most of them. We have put them out in our colony rooms and replace them once every week or so as they become scratched up, torn up, squished or otherwise made unusable.

How many pets did this grant help?

30

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

Right now we have a batch of five kittens who are mostly unsocialized. Putting the Cat Castle in their cage provides them with a place to "hide" and definitely reduces the amount of stress they showed before we put the castle into their cage. We even have a couple of more brave kittens hanging out in the parapet portion of the castle. This is very encourging and helpful in our socialization attempts for them.

Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Lollypop Farm dedicated the generous Orvis/Petfinder Foundation operational support grant to our behavior-modification program that has helped us modify problem behavior in dogs to the point that they are candidates for successful adoption.

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

In a typical year, more than 11,000 animals are admitted to the Lollypop Farm shelter; nearly two-thirds are placed in new homes, but sadly, too many must be euthanized for lack of shelter space and homes to adopt them. New strays and discarded family companions arrive continuously, yet there is not nearly enough space for them all, so their stay must be short as they await an uncertain fate. Too many of the animals who make their way to Lollypop Farm are hard to place, not only because of the numbers received, but also due to problem behavior. All too often, they are seized due to cruelty or neglect, or are surrendered by their owners due to behavioral problems and a lack of understanding surrounding their innate animal behavior. The shelter environment adds to their stress and confusion.

Stress can also weaken an animal’s immune system and make him more susceptible to contagious disease. This not only puts pets at greater risk of euthanasia, it also adds expense for the shelter in that sick animals must be confined and/or medicated. Prolonged confinement can cause further stress, loss of appetite, diminished motivation and/or depression. Desperate for attention, shelter dogs will often bounce, bark and throw themselves at the door of their kennel whenever a human comes near. Prospective owners bypass these dogs as too excitable or too difficult to handle. “A dog has less than three seconds to make an impact on someone,” states Gillian Hargrave, Lollypop Farm’s Vice President. “Some of these dogs are really nice dogs but they are so stressed they can’t really function properly anymore and can’t present themselves well to prospective adopters.”

The Behavior & Enrichment Program was developed to find a forever home for every pet. This effort has demonstrated its effectiveness in changing the behavior of its problem dogs to the point that remarkable percentages have been successfully adopted.

How many pets did this grant help?

Last year we worked with 132 dogs in this program and 94% were successfully placed.

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

Finn is a happy, bouncy shepherd mix puppy. He was surrendered to the shelter after being abandoned in someone’s front yard. During his initial behavior evaluation, he displayed moderate to severe generalized resource guarding. Our behavior and training instructor, Alyssa Boyea, took him into foster care to help teach him that it is okay to share his food and other valuable items with people. He is a little canine genius and flew through the program with ease. He has been adopted to a young couple and he is their first dog. Finn and his new family were eager to attend training classes to continue to hone his skills. Each week they come into class with new questions about how to make sure Finn is on the right track. They also have a few really cute stories to tell us about what adventures they have had with him and each week they tell us what a joy he is and how they can’t imagine their lives without him!

Dixie is a spunky, exuberant Australian cattle dog mix. She is another of our “naughty puppies.” She was brought into the shelter because her previous owner decided that having a puppy was too much responsibility. During her behavior evaluation, she displayed food-bowl guarding. One of our behavior staff took her into foster care to help teach her that is okay to share her things, and boy did she learn fast! Within a few weeks, Dixie realized that sharing her things was a pretty cool idea. Dixie has since been adopted and is currently living with a very active family of four (two adults and two children) and she also has a new doggy playmate! Dixie is doing wonderfully with her new family; they have been working really hard at continuing her training and are starting classes at Lollypop Farm soon.

A Second Chance Puppies and Kittens Rescue: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The medical care and promotional materials for the animals in our program. We are 100% volunteer and 100% foster-based, so the grant went directly to the care of the animals. We spay/neuter, microchip, and vaccinate every cat and dog before they are adopted out. We provide all supplies to our fosters, including food, litter, and toys. We also provide flyers and brochures to the public with information on how they can help us save lives by volunteering, fostering or donating to the organization.

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

As we are 100% volunteer, the grant money went directly to the medical care of our animals, helped provide them with food and supplies (cat litter) and allowed us to continue saving lives of animals in need.

How many pets did this grant help?

We have approximately 200 animals in our program and the money is applied to all of them.

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

Vinnie and Vic are English Setter mixes that were rescued from [an open-admission] shelter in Alabama along with their mother and nine siblings. Vinnie and Vic were the last two from the litter to be adopted; they came with us to an adoption event, and almost immediately they were spotted by the owner of Pawsitive Independence Service Dogs, Inc. who was also at the event. Vinnie and Vic were evaluated by the group to see if they had the traits and personalities necessary to become service dogs. They both did!! The boys were adopted by the group and are currently in training to become full-fledged service dogs who will be placed with adults and children with disabilities. We are so proud that two of our puppies are going to be helping people! Vinnie and Vic are now called Crosby and Scout and are both doing excellent work!

Milo was adopted out of a county shelter and returned two months later after being starved to half his body weight. The caregivers of the people who adopted him did not feel it was their job to feed him. Our organization rescued him and discovered that he was also diabetic. We started him on twice-daily insulin injections and a special diet of diabetic food. It took a year to get him to the point of being healthy enough for adoption! His diabetes is now in remission, and to prevent it from coming back, he sticks to a diabetic-food diet. This food is not cheap, and with this grant we were able to continue buying the food he needs to stay on the right track. Milo is an amazing kitty; with everything he was put through before we rescued him, he is one of the most loving and trusting cats we have ever had in our program. He is one of a kind and a true survivor.

Don't BULLY Me Rescue: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to provide veterinary care for two dogs, Rocky and Puddin. The vet treated Rocky for demodex mange, secondary skin infections, double ear infections, double eye infections, and several skin tags that had to be removed and sent to a lab for biopsy. Puddin had to be x-rayed for BB pellets; she needed heartworm treatment since she tested heartworm-positive and another round of vaccinations, and she will be spayed and microchipped once her heartworm treatment is completed.

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

We are dependent upon contributions, as we receive no money from state or local government. The Orvis grant came at a time that we needed assistance with veterinary care. Everyone involved with our rescue is a volunteer, and we have also been given food donations, so the money went strictly towards veterinary care.

How many pets did this grant help?

Two dogs: an English Bulldog named Rocky and an American Bully named Puddin

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

Rocky is an Olde English Bulldog whom Don't BULLY Me Rescue pulled from Williamson County Regional Animal Shelter. At that time that we brought him into our rescue, he was suffering from hair loss due to demodex mange; large, open, gaping wounds which made us think that he had been shot with some sort of weapon; double ear and eye infections; and secondary skin infections. He also had skin tags that caused us to be concerned about possible skin cancer. We immediately took Rocky to the vet and started a course of treatment that involved medication for the demodex mange, medicated shampoo to help with the healing, and medications to cure the eye and ear infections. Through it all, Rocky remained loving and good-spirited, despite having to have things put into his eyes, ears and mouth! Today, Rocky is looking marh-va-lous! He is a typical bulldog: stubborn but loyal, loving and spirited. Rocky will greet you with lots of snorts and kisses! Rocky and the DBMR team thank Orvis and the Petfinder Foundation for the wonderful grant that helped to make his life so much better!!

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

Vaccinations and microchipping

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

We are an all-volunteer organization so all money goes to help the animals. In this case, the money was used to give shots to and microchip a stray dog named Mandy.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

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

We picked up a mom dog, Mandy, and her puppy. The puppy was adopted first. Mandy was strong and desperate for love. They were given all the appropriate shots, spayed and microchipped. After giving her a little time to get adjusted, we started bringing her to adoption events on Saturdays at a PetSmart store. At first she was afraid of the slick shiny floors and the automatic doors, but then she learned to enjoy the attention. She was fostered and house trained. Mandy was adopted and is now living in her forever home.

Fayette County Humane Society: Cat Castles
What was the money or product used for?

The Cat Castles have been used to provide a safe and comfortable means of transport to their furr-ever homes following their adoptions for multiple cats and kittens.

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

Not only have the Cat Castles provided safety, they've also provided peace of mind for our employees and the adoptive pet parents. Knowing that a cat or kitten we've put so much love, time and effort into will travel securely to their furr-ever home is a great feeling. They've also helped us retain our own carriers that sometimes have been forgotten and not returned after being lent to an adopter, which results in extra costs to replace them. Cat Castles accompany our cats and kittens to off-site adoption locations as well, where they are used to help grant an adopter the ability to take their newest fur-baby home with them immediately.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far this year, the Cat Castles have helped transport over 70 cats and kittens to their new homes and will help countless more, as kitten season is just beginning.

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

One recent example of a kitten the Cat Castles helped travel safely to her new home is Mallory. Mallory was the only girl in a litter of five healthy kittens, so she struggled for everything. Her entire life she’d been in competition with her four bigger, stronger, and rougher brothers. She fought for every inch she gained and every battle she won, including the race to be adopted.

On that wonderful day, a very special young lady named Brandy came to us to find her furr-ever friend. Brandy had led a similar life growing up due to her disability. Everyday tasks that may seem simple to most were difficult for her to complete. Brandy was determined not to let anything hold her back, much like Mallory. Now living independently, Brandy was ready and able to make the commitment of a loving home to a cat or kitten.

As Brandy entered The Cattery, Mallory pushed her way to the front of the pack of kittens waiting eagerly to meet the new person coming through the door. As soon as she and Brandy met, there was an instant bond, one that will only grow stronger over time, just like Brandy and Mallory have grown stronger through their struggles.

After completing Mallory's adoption, Brandy was able to take Mallory home due to the availability of the Cat Castles. Brandy loved how the castle has multiple uses, providing Mallory with a place to play and nap for some time to come. We at the Fayette County Humane Society wish the best of luck to Brandy and Mallory as they begin their life journey together thanks in part to the Cat Castles!!