Success Stories

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

MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

medication

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

Both dogs required dental work and antibiotics to follow. This grant help pay for the medication needed to keep treating infection.

How many pets did this grant help?

2

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

Winston (first photo) was sponsored. His owner went overseas and the family watching him no longer wanted to care for him. His owner had no choice but to rehome him. Winston was in five homes before ending up in rescue. He arrived in great need of a dental and antibiotics for a UTI. Sadie (second photo) was also sponsored. Her owners passed away and no one was able to take her in. She arrived also in need of a dental.

MidAmerica Boston Terrier Rescue: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

medication

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

Helped pay for Euphrates’ medication needed after his eye was removed.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Euphrates was found as a stray. Estimated to be 10 years old. Blind and had to have one eye removed plus a dental.

West Jersey Volunteers for Animals: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

The donation was used for our medical fund to help pay towards Cody’s heartworm treatment.

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

It helped to pay towards Cody’s heartworm treatment.

How many pets did this grant help?

This donation was sent sponsoring Cody.

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

Cody was a rescue from a southern animal shelter. He came up to NJ rescued by another rescue, but ran away and spent seven months out on his own, being fed by the neighborhood residents. Cody was finally trapped and brought into our rescue, West Jersey Volunteers for Animals, and went into foster care. He was diagnosed with heartworm and was also fearful of strangers. Cody finished his treatment for heartworm in the summer of 2015, and he is doing so well in his foster home. He has come a long way. He enjoys playing with other dogs, which gives him confidence. Cody is still looking for his forever home. Because he is timid, it has been hard to find him a home. Cody is a wonderful loving dog, and we hope he will get adopted very soon. Meet Cody: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32597281

The Pet Society: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

The donation amount was $20. We bought a bag of food.

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

We fed five dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?

5

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

We were able to feed five dogs. The dog sponsored was Bella. From her Petfinder.com profile: “Bella is a small dog; she is definitely a Boston terrier but is mixed and I haven’t quite put my finger on what else. She looks almost pure Boston but is a sweet, gentle little dog. She is a calm but very sensitive dog; she may have been in a home where she was scolded a lot. She is a doll baby — a very sweet girl perfect for a single-person home or older owner who wants a companion lap dog and someone to cuddle with. She likes to play with stuffed animals. She would do well with daily walks for her exercise. She is not an active dog but is not lazy, just a snuggle bug.” Bella has been adopted!

The Nature Network, Inc.: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

We are still in urgent need! The Petfinder Foundation’s generous and deeply appreciated donation has not been used yet, as we are working hard to raise the total needed of $10,000 for the special large-animal hernia surgery for lovely Samson, a Belgian draft horse. We have raised $5,300 so far and still have $4,700 to go, needed for Samson’s surgery, aftercare, recovery and transportation to the equine hospital.

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

We have many other special-needs pets, mainly dogs, who are unadoptable and have serious medical issues: two with severe eye problems, one with an auto-immune disease, two with difficulty walking, and one small one who had a tough start in life as a now-incarcerated gang member’s mini dog and is an incurable fear biter. We also have a cat with herpes of the eye and another cat we found under a building at Cal State University Northridge starving to death with a broken pelvis and tail, who is now incontinent with a tail that was saved but hangs limp.

But Samson the Belgian draft horse is the one requiring the most funds and his surgery is becoming more urgent as time passes. He currently requires weekly vet visits for the pressure re-bandaging to keep the hernia from widening and his intestines from coming through the hole in his underbelly. We are a no-kill animal rescue and do not euthanize animals for lack of funds, so we continue to work hard in the hope of raising additional funds for Samson’s surgery.

How many pets did this grant help?

The Petfinder Foundation’s wonderful grant is in The Nature Network, Inc.’s bank account, awaiting additional funds so we can go ahead with Samson’s surgery, recovery, aftercare and transportation.

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

The Nature Network, Inc. rescued wonderful and kind gentle giant, Samson, a Belgian draft horse, from a Los Angeles County shelter after his former owner had starved and abused him. However, Samson needed lengthy hospitalization for nearly fatal sand colic as a result of eating sand and dirt to try to stay alive. Having insufficient funds for this, everything was put on our personal credit cards, which are now still full. Just when Samson’s slow and costly recovery seemed a success, he developed a hernia as a result of the complications with his intestines. The gallons of sand and dirt in Samson’s intestines (causing the colic that created gas buildup, leading to nephro-splenic displacement/entrapment) are now gone and Samson is now healthy in every way — except for his remaining hernia. Still needed is $4,700 to reach the $10,000 for Samson’s hernia surgery, aftercare, recovery and transportation to the equine hospital best equipped to deal with his special large-animal surgery. Samson is a nearly 1,800-lb., over-18-hands-tall large-size Belgian draft horse. He is a wonderful, highly intelligent, sensitive boy who has had a rough life and deserves to be saved. We here at The Nature Network would be very grateful for additional help to save Samson once and for all. Meet Samson: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/25298412/

The Gabriel Foundation: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

This grant helps The Gabriel Foundation to provide the best nutrition available to the birds in our care, which includes fresh leafy greens, vegetables, and some fruit that is a part of every bird’s daily diet.

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

Good nutrition is an important component to maintain a bird’s good health. Good bird health includes a strong immune system. Healthy, brilliant feathers; clear eyes and nares; and rosy skin on feet and legs are indicators of good health. Birds in good health are active and show interest in diet, foraging, exercise and bathing. With many birds in need of adoptive homes, it is important for adopters to understand what total bird health looks like.

How many pets did this grant help?

50 birds for one day

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

With such tasty, colorful and nutritious foods that are fed at The Gabriel Foundation, it’s easy to see why Tala, a blue and gold macaw, is eager to help herself to breakfast. Tala was a baby macaw when found lost in a Denver public park and brought to The Gabriel Foundation. She was suffering from severe dehydration and starvation. Veterinary care and an age- and species-appropriate diet helped her grow into the beautiful bird in this picture.

Wish Bone Canine Rescue: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

Behavioral training

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

Vinny had some behavioral issues that were preventing him from being adopted. The Sponsor a Pet donations we received for him allowed us to hire a trainer to work with Vinny. The trainer was able to successfully modify Vinny’s bad behaviors, making him the best companion he could become. He was then able to be adopted into a loving, experienced family who reports he is doing just great and, following the advice of the trainer, Vinny understands he is not the alpha dog in their family!

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Vinny is a 5-year-old male black and white Shih Tzu. He weighed 18 lbs. when rescued from an animal control facility where he was at risk of euthanasia due to bad behaviors. We determined he needed to go into a home experienced with dogs who have “little dog syndrome” and with no children. Even though Vinny walked well on leash, loved car rides, was potty trained and adored playing with other dogs and squeaky toys, he scared off several prospective adopters with his shows of dominance and inappropriate greetings. Once our rescue received the Sponsor a Pet donations specified as being for Vinny, we were able to hire a trainer to work with him. He was a bright boy, learned quickly what was acceptable behavior and what wasn’t and was soon able to be adopted into his forever home. He had another dog to play with and two experienced dog owners to help him stay on the right track. Vinny’s new owners report he is much loved and well-behaved.

Rescue Ridge: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

We used it for medical for a 10-year-old dog named Amy. Amy came to us overweight, with Cushing’s and diabetes. Since we have had her, we’ve had to remove a tumor on her tail and give her daily insulin injections and different medications to keep her comfortable. A wonderful woman is fostering her, but this woman has a lot of health issues so she does not drive. We deliver Amy’s medications and bring her to the vet.

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

Amy’s medications are very expensive, along with the needles. This grant allowed us to buy a machine to test Amy’s blood.

How many pets did this grant help?

Just Amy

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

Amy’s family had dementia so they brought her to a shelter. The shelter could not give Amy the medical attention that was necessary so they were going to euthanize her. We felt there was no reason to do that so we took her. Amy has been happy for over a year now. Due to all her illnesses, we can not find a permanent home for her, but do have a wonderful foster. Amy is very grateful to have a place to sleep each night and to know that she is loved.

Monty's Home: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The grant money was used for spaying and neutering surgeries for seven dogs that Monty’s Home rescued from the Pender County Shelter in Burgaw, NC (two dogs of the seven dogs were reported on in December 2015).

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

The grant provided funds to provide spaying and neutering surgeries to seven dogs Monty’s Home rescued, in order to help with the problem of overpopulation of dogs and to encourage responsible pet ownership. Monty’s Home was able to divert funds from our budget that would have gone to spaying and neutering costs and put it towards other areas of direct dog care, such as food, medication, collars, leashes, etc.

How many pets did this grant help?

7

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

Clogger (first photo) is a 5-year-old walker hound found severely underweight with numbers spray-painted on his fur, mostly likely a hunting dog who was marked and lost during a hunt. Lindy (second photo) is a 5-year-old female yellow Lab found as a stray with a leg injury, and nails that were so long that one had cut into her paw pad. Zumba (third photo) is an 11-month-old female cattle dog mix. Twist (fourth photo) is a 3-year-old male Lab who had been a stray for a long time. He was found severely malnourished and covered in fleas, with an acute skin infection and hair loss over his entire body. George (fifth photo) is a 4-year-old walker hound. Gracie (sixth photo) is a 1-year-old dachshund/Lab mix. These dogs entered Monty’s Home’s Pawsitive Partners Prison Program on Jan. 7, 2016. For eight weeks, they will be trained by inmate dog trainers in two local prisons, where they will learn basic obedience/household manners prior to adoption into qualified homes within the community.

Sonoma Humane Society: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

On Sept. 12, 2015, the Valley Fire began raging on its destructive path. Estimated to be the third worst wildfire in California’s history, it burned over 76,000 acres and destroyed over 1,900 buildings. What this catastrophe could not destroy, however, was human compassion. As residents were evacuated from their homes, they had to make quick decisions about what to grab. Many were able to gather up their four-legged family members and flee to safety. Others who couldn’t get to their homes were left wondering if their beloved pets had survived.

The thought of facing such uncertainty unprepared to care for one’s pets — or worse, not knowing their whereabouts during a crisis — resulted in an empathetic outpouring of support from animal lovers in surrounding communities. A $5,000 grant from the Petfinder Foundation’s Disaster Fund enabled the Sonoma Humane Society to: channel public support and donations to where they were needed most, mobilize at the Napa Fairgrounds evacuation site to provide support directly to victims and their pets, and to shelter and care for animals displace by the fire. We are so grateful for your generosity, which let us expand our safety net to help our Lake County neighbors in their time of need.

Sonoma Humane Society Staff Fire Relief Effort
Even though we operate in a county adjacent to where the fires raged, every single department of our organization was impacted by it. The highest expenditures for our organization during the emergency came from the hours that our staff tracked directly to the fire relief efforts. The following is a summary of the work performed.

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

Volunteer Coordination:
• Coordinated and scheduled volunteers to help at evacuation sites.
• Worked with volunteers on-site at evacuation center (Napa Fairgrounds) to help distribute pet food and supplies, and to “pet sit” so owners could go fill out paperwork or get information.
• Gathered information from other agencies on other ways we could help.
• Coordinated donation flow of supplies; scheduled and coordinated volunteers to accept and organize fire rescue donations at our campus, as well as volunteers to pick up and distribute donations to various drop-off sites.
• Corresponded with numerous agencies in our own and other counties about how we could share volunteers and resources and combine efforts to help.
• Handled large volume of incoming phone calls, emails and in-person inquiries from the community of people wanting to volunteer or foster animals. Worked with Foster Department to channel appropriate foster volunteers to them.

Marketing Department
• Fielded outpouring of social media messages offering help.
• Compiled lost and found pet information from myriad rescue groups, veterinarians and other agencies for online access, and in binder format which could be updated daily and brought to evacuation site.
• Compiled resources of different animal welfare fire relief efforts including equine needs.
• Updated our website with breaking information on specific ways public could help.

Shelter Medical
• SHS Director of Shelter Medicine worked in veterinary rescue efforts during Hurricane Katrina. She was instrumental in setting up registration and scheduling system to mobilize local veterinarians, Registered Veterinary Technicians and assistants for 24-hour support of Lake County shelters and veterinarian hospitals.
• Facilitated moving animals in need of acute medical care to our veterinary partners in our local communities.
• Organized mobile triage unit at evacuation center dispensing medical assistance, flea medications, vaccinations and nail trims for animals in-need.
• Oversaw shelter hospital intake to our shelter of stray and surrendered animals from Lake County shelters and veterinarians. Assessed condition of patients and planned medical care accordingly.

Behavior and Training
SHS Behavior and Training Director offered direct pet-related support to victims of the Valley Fire. At the evacuation site she went from tent to tent, car to car, asking people what they needed to care for their pets.
• Visited over 500 people living in tents and cars at the evacuation site to determine what they needed to care for over 400 pets; monitored throughout week.
• Identified individual needs and directed to appropriate resources.
• Distributed x-pens for families at site so that their pets could have fresh air while remaining in enclosed safety.
• Coordinated distribution of food, beds, leashes, harnesses, crates, bowls and assistance as needed to evacuees.
• Directly involved in ensuring that if pets were in need of veterinary care that they received it.
• Helped to trap and relocate cats once residents were allowed back on their properties.

Foster Care Program
• First day of fire: Responded to initial calls from people offering to foster displaced or injured animals. Coordinated with rescue groups to take in dogs in need. Made arrangements to have fosters come in for emergency orientation, fill out paperwork and pick up dogs. We were able to get dogs into foster homes that same evening.
• As fire progressed: Fielded outpouring of emails and phone calls from people wanting to foster; coordinated volunteers to aid in responding to phone messages and get more information from callers; created files to organize all the specific information we were receiving and to pair animals with best suited fosters as crisis evolved.
• Communicated with SHS staff and our partners who were at evacuation site for updates on situation. Supported new foster parents by offering a direct communication and information.
• Oversaw team member to hold emergency foster orientation for interested public to attend.

Adoption Center
• Fielded calls from concerned citizens and directed callers to appropriate resources and current efforts. Estimated 50-100 calls per day relating to the Valley Fire during the first three weeks of crisis.
• Accepted and sorted donations of pet food and supplies at our campus.
• Directed volunteers in delivering donations to evacuation sites.
• Coordinated picking up of donations.
• Accepted monetary donations and routed to SHS administration.

How many pets did this grant help?

1+

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

Lives forever changed/individual animals helped: We are so grateful for the support of the Petfinder Foundation, which enabled our team to respond quickly to the needs of our Lake County neighbors and their pets. As the Lake County community begins to rebuild their lives after this unprecedented event, we are happy to report that most of the homeless animals we took in during the Valley Fire rescues are now beginning new lives of their own in forever homes. Here are just a few of the animals we provided a fresh start for

Autumn: a sweet, sensitive 11-month-old orange tabby was transferred to us by one of our partners. She was suffering from a severe ear-mite infestation. We treated her mites and provided spay surgery. Then we helped her find a quiet home where she could thrive as the only cat. Autumn was adopted on Oct. 19, 2015.

Darwin arrived at SHS congested and sneezing. We treated him for an upper respiratory infection and ear mites. Once the handsome 3-year-old was healthy and strong enough, he was neutered and then made available for adoption. We are happy to report that Darwin found his forever home on Nov. 22, 2015.

Jeff (the kitten) was named after Jeff (the PG&E worker) who found him wandering as a stray in Middletown during the fires. The beautiful seal point kitten was just a few weeks old when he came into our care. A medical exam revealed that his lungs were clear but he was mildly dehydrated, had tummy troubles and fleas. We treated his medical issues and placed him in foster care until he was old enough to be neutered. On Oct. 27, 2015, Jeff was adopted into a loving home.

Ace: At nearly 2 years old, the handsome Pit Bull mix arrived with ear problems and tapeworms. After stabilizing in foster care for a few days, Ace was neutered and made available for adoption. Our staff was impressed by his sweet personality, and so was his adopter. The two have been inseparable since Oct. 22, 2015.