Success Stories

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

Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

$1,000 was used for our general expense account. UPAWS is an open admission no-kill shelter in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. UPAWS is not controlled by outside sources, nor does it receive funding from outside sources. Marquette County does not provide financial support to UPAWS. UPAWS does not hold any political agenda with national organizations such as PETA or the Humane Society of the United States, nor do it receive monetary donations from them. So grants such as these are vital to the ongoing running of our open-admission shelter. We are very grateful to our wonderful community and Petfinder Foundation for awarding UPAWS this grant.

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

Food, operation of the building, vet care (this is a huge one!), adoption programs (we frequently run discount programs), staffing, education, community outreach, spay neuter programs for the community — these are just a few of the many things UPAWS uses donations and grants for — and all help our pets find loving homes.

How many pets did this grant help?

In 2013 we found homes for 1630 pets.

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

Carmel s one of many. She has a open sore that our vets have been treating for months — grants such as the Petfinder Foundation $1,000 goes toward much-needed vet care for pets such as Carmel. Here is her bio: Carmel is a pretty 5-year-old female spayed orange tabby. She was surrendered because her owner couldn’t afford her pets. She is affectionate, friendly and cuddly. She is litter box trained and nice and neat. Little Carmel has am allergy that has causes a sore boo-boo on her side but this hasn’t stopped Carmel from being the sweetest kitty at the shelter! She does wear a cone now while she has her vet prescribed meds, so she doesn’t lick her side. This darling girl is wonderful and she loves her people friends. Carmel takes her medicine like an angel, loves to be touched and enjoys the company of all those that say hello to her. This is a wonderful girl who longs for a kind soul to take the time and really meet her — you’ll see what a sweetheart she is.

LEARN more about adopting Carmel here –> http://bit.ly/MeetCarmel

Wood County Humane Society: A Shot at Life Vaccination Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Vaccinating our cats.

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

The A Shot at Life grant we were awarded helped our organization prepare cats and kittens for adoption, as well as help protect them against disease. At the direction of our veterinarian, we combined the FVRCP (gave as a first dose) with the Fel-O-Vax Lv-K IV + Calicivax (gave as the booster). This allowed us to use the FVRCP vaccines on 99 cats and kittens. The grant did free up some our funds, and this ultimately allowed us to help a few more animals this year (2013), than we did last year (2012).

How many pets did this grant help?

99 cats/kittens (one vaccine was broken on arrival).

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

Here are stories from adopters who took home cats who were helped by this grant.

Cashmere (picture one), adopted Dec. 4, 2013: “At first, Cashmere was small and very shy. When we brought her home, she was scared and hid in the smallest spaces. However, after only a few days, her curiosity got the best of her and she began playing with toys, especially her mouse toy. She loves attention and sleeps next to us when we are sitting on the couch. She also loves looking out the window. She is timid around strangers, but once she gets to know you, she is very friendly. She does the cutest things, and we love her to death.” — Ilario and Brittney

Valencia (picture two), adopted Sept. 13, 2013: “Meet Valencia. A good Samaritan brought her to the Wood County Humane Society in August 2013 after they found her on the side of a country road tied up in a plastic bag. She was approximately six weeks old and suffered head trauma and had an upper respiratory infection. The Shelter provided her with the supportive care she needed until she was old enough and well enough to be adopted out. In late August I came to the Shelter looking for a cat to join the two we already had. We have more than enough room in our home to love another animal! I was looking for a female kitten. After hearing her story and how she was found, my heart melted. I knew she was the one I wanted to give a forever home to. We brought her home in mid-September and named her Phoebe. As you can see from the photos, she quickly snuggled around her blanket, lays on the couch with her brothers wrapped up around each other, and one where her and our oldest cat Peep (who is 14) are always joined at the hip. As you can see from the photos, she is well adjusted to her new home and two brothers. I love her 🙂 or should say that Mike and I love her. She has brought so much joy to our home and to our other cats and we are very thankful for her.” — Sue

Marvel and Woody (picture three), adopted Nov. 1, 2013: “Marvel and Chip (FKA Woody) are doing well! Chip (Woody) settled in immediately and Marvel took a bit longer than we expected. He had some litter box issues that were concerning and his personality seemed to change to an introvert but he did eventually make a turn around and he is back to his super friendly self. Marvel still follows us around while he purrs and squishes his paws. He loves to be petted but isn’t much of a lap sitter. Chip is quite a character and is up to all kinds of kitten shenanigans. Both of them have learned to get along with our 2 dogs and our other cat just fine too. We are very happy that we came to the Humane Society and are glad we adopted both of them! I have attached a few pictures for you.” — The Rollo family

Harrison (picture four), adopted Sept. 2, 2013: “Back in September of 2013, we decided to get a cat. I went to the Wood County Humane Society website and found this cute little kitten called Harrison. My boyfriend and I went to the shelter to see how compatible Harrison would be with our family. He was shy and very curious but I had a feeling he would be a great playmate for our dog. When we brought him home, he was hesitant to go near the dog but soon realized that the dog didn’t like being smacked on the nose by a kitten paw. The dog was terrified of Harrison but once he got comfortable with the tiny ball of fur attacking his tail, he started playing with him instead of running away. We also noticed that Harrison was not really responding to his name so we changed it to Jack. He is a wonderful addition to our family and a great playmate for our dog. I’m glad we went to the Humane Society!” — Amanda Parker of Toledo, Ohio

Twitchy and Willy (photos five and six), adopted Nov. 29, 2013: “I got a call today requesting an update on Twitchy (who is now Rory, short for Rorschach Borealis Mittens) and Willy (who is now JJ, short for Jacka*s Junior, aka Julius ‘JJ’ Sneezer). We adopted Rory and JJ on Nov. 29, the day after Thanksgiving, so today is their 5-week anniversary at our house. We also have two older cats, so we were initially apprehensive about how the integration would go. It’s gone quite well. The kittens now own the place. We are so glad that we adopted them. They are best buddies and play with one another all the time, although they have very different personalities. Rory (the marbled kitten) is a sidekick and follows us everywhere and likes to sleep on our recliner chairs. JJ (grey kitten) is a lap kitty and wants to sit as far up on our chests as he can go and just purrs all the time. He also likes to sleep on the heater vents.” — Danielle and Todd Kuhl

Jethro (photo seven), adopted Nov. 3, 2013: “Jethro is the third rescue cat living in our household at this time and the only male. His sisters are Daisy, 4, and Lucy, 3. Jethro was a birthday present for my 9-year-old daughter Julianne. She loves cats and wanted a kitten that would be ‘hers.’ Our older cats don’t like to be picked up and are a little more shy than Jethro. Jethro gets gets to sleep every night in Julianne’s room, where he has his own litter box and toys. He gets along better with Daisy, who is a little more tolerant of his kitten energy. Lucy is starting to warm up to him a little bit, but she will still smack him out of her way if she is not in the mood to play. We are in the process of trying to teach Jethro manners, i.e. staying out of people food and staying off of the kitchen table. He is a very cuddly and loving kitty. He loves to play and climb on his cat tree. He is a well loved member of the family!”

The Gabriel Foundation: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money provided to The Gabriel Foundation by this grant was used to purchase additional ultra-high efficiency HEPA air purifiers/filters to provide extreme filtration to lessen airborne particulates that were a life threatening danger to companion parrots and related birds at The Gabriel Foundation’s aviary and adoption center during the Black Forest wildfires in Colorado in June 2013, that whose epicenter was about 30 miles from our location.

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

This grant provided lifesaving whole room air circulation and ultra-fine particulates filtration to remove airborne toxins/particulates that were a life threatening danger to our flock of nearly 900 birds. Due to the severity of the heat and fire generated winds, no fresh air could be provided to our birds while the fires raged. The five aviary and adoption center buildings are not fully air conditioned, and all fresh air vents were sealed due to the smoke danger while we determined whether or not evacuation would be necessary. Due to the ultra-efficient respiratory systems of parrots and related birds, they are highly susceptible to airborne toxins or pollutants, and death is often the outcome. These additional air purifiers provided complete air exchange and filtration to cleanse the air of particulates. Removing these life-threatening toxins from the air was critical to our flock’s lives. We added four more air filters to the dozen that were already working overtime. Without the filters made possible through this grant, it is highly probable that many birds would have lost their lives.

How many pets did this grant help?

856 parrots and other companion birds

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

Some Macaw species are highly susceptible to a form of avian asthma, much like Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in humans. When diagnosed with this condition, birds must be carefully monitored and kept safe from all airborne contaminants. Chipper, Arthur, Kona, Monet, Tillie, Zoe, Disney and Merlin are each Macaws that have COPD. In 2009, Disney and his owner were evacuated from the extreme wildfires near Boulder, Colo. During that time, the bird’s owner lost all of his belongings, his home and quickly evacuated his birds and dogs. He brought the birds to TGF for their safety and health. During the next year, Disney met and fell for Merlin, a Scarlet Macaw, and the two birds soon became fast friends. When it was time for Disney’s owner to be relocated to another home, Disney went home with him and so did Merlin, who was adopted by Disney’s owner. Fast forward a couple of years, and the owner and birds were again caught in a wildfire, this time outside of Boulder, Colorado. During the fire, the birds and owner were evacuated and the birds again came to us for care. Their owner sustained severe lung damage from smoke inhalation when he rescued his birds and dogs from his property. He was hospitalized for several months and ultimately doctors determined that his lungs were too fragile to ever live with a companion parrot again, and both birds were relinquished to TGF. This summer devastating wildfires broke out about 30 miles from our aviary and adoption center from the Black Forest wildfire. Disney, Merlin and the other birds were kept safe as a result of the safety net provided by the additional air filters. It was a frightening five days with near lock down at our aviary and adoption center as more birds were evacuated by owners or law enforcement personnel and brought to TGF for safety. The air purifiers purchased with this grant from Petfinder Foundation became an essential part of our birds’ survival.

Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

Yearly checkups including full blood work, urinalysis, fecals, dentals and vaccinations for 30 cats.

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

It allowed us to continue to provided quality medical care for the cats.

How many pets did this grant help?

30

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

This is Garfield, he is FELV+. He was being disposed of by his family because they were moving and did not want to take him with them. He had a mouth full of rotted teeth and had not been vetted. We had him neutered, his teeth taken care of, provided him his vaccinations. He is a super nice fellow. Being FELV+, he had little chance of surviving in an animal control center.

Dakin Humane Society (Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society): Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to offset the costs of a mega cat adoption event held on Nov. 30, 2014. We held our 3rd annual Black Friday $5 Felines event and adopted out more than 140 animals!

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

When we only charge $5 for an adoption for which we normally charge $95, we lose $90 in the transaction. Because we don’t change anything else about our adoption process (the cat still receives the same amount of care, the adopter still receives the same amount of care), we suffer a financial loss. While it’s a lifesaving financial loss — so many cats going home so quickly keeps cats from languishing, getting ill, or becoming depressed in the shelter environment — we are a non-profit that cannot afford to lose funding. The $1,000 from Petfinder Foundation helped to offset the more than $11,000 in lost adoption fees from the adoption event. It helped to leverage funding received from the ASPCA for this purpose.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant covered the remaining $90 adoption fee for 11 adult cats.

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

Pia is a lovely short haired gray and white 5-year-old cat. She had been languishing in our adoption centers, competing with the cute and cuddly kittens, since mid-July. Her food allergies made prospective adopters think twice. Thanks to the Black Friday $5 Felines promotion, Pia went home with a new family willing to work with her finicky habits!

Best Friends Animal Society: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

The grant from The Animal Rescue Site and Petfinder Foundation Shelter+ Challenge was used to support the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah. Specifically, this grant was used to purchase food for the 600 cats at the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary is at the heart of Best Friends Animal Society’s (BFAS) work. It is the nation’s largest no-kill safe haven for displaced, homeless or unwanted animals, and on any given day BFAS cares for over 1,700 homeless pets including dogs, cats, birds, rabbits, horses, pigs, and a variety of injured wild birds and mammals. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly to ensure that each animal is rehabilitated back to good health so they may return to the wild or to the care of a loving family. Most Sanctuary residents are ready to go to new homes after just several weeks of care. A few, who are too old or too sick, or who have suffered extra trauma, find a home and haven at the Sanctuary, and are given loving care for the rest of their lives.

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

BFAS prides itself on providing exemplary animal care to all its Sanctuary residents. Every animal who enters the Sanctuary receives an individualized plan of care that includes comprehensive medical treatment, socialization, and behavior training. This whole health approach is a tenet of BFAS’ belief that all animals deserve a chance at a forever home, and because of this level of care more than 1,000 Sanctuary animals find their forever home each year.

At Cat World, the cat animal care area at the Sanctuary, 600 cats receive loving care every day. It costs .60 cents each day to feed one cat, but this adds up quickly! BFAS used this grant to offset some of these costs; this grant funded cat food for all Cat World residents for three days. BFAS is deeply grateful for the support of The Animal Rescue Site and the Petfinder Foundation to provide these critical services.

How many pets did this grant help?

600

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

Harry, a stray kitten from a neighboring community, came to the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in 2013 after being hit by a car. When he was brought in, he was alert and responsive, but pale. Best Friends vet, Dr. Patti diagnosed a traumatic tear in his abdomen (or a “diaphragmatic hernia”), and fractures in the upper part of his rear legs.

Harry was lucky to be alive and had a tough road ahead, but Best Friends vets formulated a successful treatment plan. After several days of stabilizing at the Sanctuary clinic, Harry went into surgery. The surgery team discovered that the tear in his diaphragm muscle was large, but that there was enough muscle tissue to close the defect nicely. Harry did amazingly well during and after the surgery; he woke up purring and after a few days began to eat and wanted to play and interact. He still struggled with his slowly healing, fractured hind legs, however. Cat World’s expert caregivers helped him stand and walk so he could maintain muscle tone and flexibility, but took it very slow to let him fully heal from his hernia repair. They also wanted to see how well he did on his own and if surgery would be necessary.

Harry’s legs healed significantly after several weeks of recovery and he was immediately winning hearts as an active, spirited, and loving kitten who did not let his challenges stop him. Staff and volunteers alike fell in love with Harry’s playful antics. They weren’t alone. Shortly after Harry was cleared for adoption he was transported across the country to his wonderful new forever home, where he joined several rescue cats and a dog.

Harry has bonded both with his new person—he knows his name, follows her all over the house, and “helps” her make the bed—and the other animals in the house. When his person shakes a bag of treats, Harry flies into the room, skids across the coffee table, and lands onto the couch! He loves his new dog friend, Daisy, and is best friends with Brian, a younger kitten. They do everything together: play, eat, wrestle, and keep an eye on the neighborhood from their picture window. Harry has fully recovered, and although he doesn’t sit with his hind end underneath him, but splayed out to the side, it only adds to his unique personality. Thanks to the help of Best Friend’s dedicated vets, expert caregivers, and generous volunteers, this little kitty got the happy ever after he deserved. Harry’s new person loves him dearly and we couldn’t be more excited that Harry found his perfect forever home!

Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region : Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Medical care and equipment for a hard to place, special medical needs dog

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

The $1,000 grant enabled HSPPR to provide medical care and specialized equipment for a special needs dog.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

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

The $1,000 Orvis Operational Grant enabled HSPPR to provide medical care and specialized equipment for the care for Oso, a special needs dog. Oso was part of a special transfer program from a shelter that did not have the needed resources for his care. Oso’s hind legs became paralyzed during an accident and he now requires mobility assistance. Nothing slows Oso down and his wheelchair and other special equipment has enabled him to keep on the go. Due to the nature of his condition, Oso is part of a special, screened adoption process. Applications are currently being screened, prior to him being placed into a home. Our motto at the shelter is – “Go Oso, go!”

UPDATE as of 1/27/14: We are so happy to report that Oso went into a new home last week (1/22/14) and will even have a fellow wheelchair companion to play with. One of the pictures shows Oso meeting Shayla for the first time and the second one is of them racing in the hallways. We really couldn’t have asked for a happier outcome.

The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

It was used to cover veterinary costs to treat several dogs. We do heartworm testing, geriatric blood screen, tumor removal, dental cleanings, heartworm treatment for heartworm-positive dogs, and any other medical care the old dogs require.

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

For the fourth quarter of 2013, the quarter in which we received the grant, our medical expenses were almost $12,000. The grant helped us cover these costs.

How many pets did this grant help?

Probably 5-6 dogs. It is hard to say depending on the needs of the dogs that were treated that month.

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

In November of 2013, we brought Charlotte and Theo into the Sanctuary. Charlotte, a senior hound, and Theo, a senior Chow mix, have very sad histories. Charlotte was adopted from an inner city Cleveland, Ohio, dog pound in July 2013 by a woman from southern Ohio who did not take care of her at all. Theo was adopted from a rural Ohio pound in October 2013 by the same woman. She locked them together in an outdoor wire pen with little interaction and no vet care at all in spite of their health issues. Charlotte’s raging skin, ear, and eye infections went completely untreated and worsened dramatically. If she barked or if a fight erupted among the dogs penned together, the dogs were doused with a bucket of ice cold water. A group of dedicated women from Cleveland found out about Charlotte’s fate and put the wheels in motion to bring her back to Cleveland to the safety of The Sanctuary for Senior Dogs. When they learned that another senior dog was being mistreated along with Charlotte, they arranged to bring Theo, too.

Once Charlotte’s medical needs were met, we discovered that she was a sweet, confident, happy dog, virtually unscathed emotionally by her ordeal. Charlotte went to her forever home on December 17, where she will live happily ever after with a senior dog name Wizard and a family who loved her at first sight. Charlotte’s kennel mate Theo has shown to be not quite as emotionally resilient as Charlotte. Much more reserved and hesitant with some space-guarding issues and fear-based responses, Theo is working closely with a positive-based trainer and his foster caregiver to help him rebuild his shattered confidence. Theo also has several medical issues that are being treated before he is ready to be adopted. Heartworm positive, plagued by a persistent yeast infection, and hypothyroidism, he is responding to medication, but he has a ways to go before he is healthy enough to complete his heartworm treatment and be ready for his new forever home. But that time will come for Theo, just as it did for Charlotte, thanks to his patient foster caregiver and the financial support provided by this grant. Charlotte and Theo are pictured separately and together below.

Fayette Humane Society: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Prior to adoption, all of our rescue dogs are seen by a veterinarian, tested for heartworm, vaccinated, and spayed or neutered. We also treat them for parasites and any other ailments or injuries they have or contract while under our care. Although we charge the new owners an adoption fee, sometimes it does not cover our costs to care for and prepare the dog for adoption, particularly if there are more serious medical issues that must be treated. Thus, we rely on donations and grants to close the gap. This Operation Grant has helped us supplement our adoption fees to cover these important pre-adoption costs.

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

FHS took in 21 dogs in December and adopted 24 from our system during the month. All of them benefited from Revolution and de-wormer which we bought in bulk.

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 25.

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

A portion of these grant funds were spent to save a litter of five puppies who were left in a cardboard box outside Three Counties Animal Hospital in early December. Shortly after FHS agreed to accept them, they broke with parvo. FHS paid for two emergency vet visits, plus regular vet visits, Tamiflu, and other medications. Unfortunately, one of the puppies died on Christmas morning, but the other four recovered and have received a clean bill of health. They went on to be spayed/neutered and vaccinated, and they have all been adopted.

Basenji Rescue & Transport: Shelter Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

Milo, a 12-year-old rescue, required multiple (3) vet visits including one tumor removal.

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

The $1,000 covered most but not all of Milos immediate vet expenses.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

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

The $1,000.00 grant bestowed upon BRAT has been put to good use in the care of Milo, a senior Basenji who was in need of extensive medical treatment after having none for the prior 30 months.

Milo, a 12-year-old male Basenji, came into BRAT when his owner relocated to a residence where only one dog was allowed. Milo was the second dog in the household at the time. Milo’s first visit to the vet was for heartworm testing, updates of immunizations and a senior wellness panel. He was showing signs of arthritis, crankiness, urination inside the home and had an unknown growth on his leg.

After examining Milo, BRAT was told that he had a couple of slipped discs which were creating some arthritis and swelling which were irritating his bladder. He was given a non-steroid anti-inflammatory and another medication for incontinence. BRAT was also told he had a low heart rate and the growth was diagnosed as a grade 2 mast cell tumor.

Following negative results on the heartworm test the tumor was removed. Finally a third visit was necessary to update the balance of immunizations once the tumor was resolved and the low heart rate did not reappear on subsequent visits.

To date vet expenses for Milo have totaled $1,224.50. The last vet visit was December 10, 2013 and we are happy to advise that Milo, despite his advanced age and health issues, has found a new home.