Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
Microchip scanner, microchips, shelter medicine and preventatives.
We were able to start microchipping our own animals instead of relying on the various brands that the spay/neuter clinics use. This has been a goal of ours since we started the rescue, but every time we have saved just enough money to start the program, we have gotten an animal with extraordinary veterinary expenses. This was a great help to our rescue and will provide extra protection for the animals we adopt through our rescue.
15 to date, with 85 more pets to come
We don’t have a specific story to tell. We are just trying to help all animals stay safe in their homes. A study of more than 7,700 stray animals at shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, whereas microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time. Cats without microchips were reunited with their owners only 1.8% of the time, whereas microchipped cats went back home 38.5% of the time (JAVMA, July 15, 2009). For microchipped animals that weren’t returned to their owners, most of the time it was due to incorrect owner information (or no owner information) in the microchip registry database.
The donated money was used to help provide ongoing care to the adoptable pets waiting for homes at our facility.
It costs our organization an average of $20 per day to care for an adoptable animal. This grant helped care for two different animals for a day.
The generous grant helps pets like Marcus receive care while they wait to find their forever homes. He is a neutered male, white and gray domestic shorthair. The shelter staff think he is about 4 years old. He weighs approximately 10 lbs. He has been at the shelter since Oct. 2, 2015. Meet Marcus: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/33492390
We have had the honor of helping numerous shelter dogs with the grant monies donated to Smiling Dog Rescue from the Petfinder Foundation, but the first call we received was so memorable (see below).
The manager of the Benson Animal Shelter in Arizona, Laurie Fivecoat, called SDR literally in tears! She had just received a sweet-as-sugar young female pit mix from a Cochise County sheriff who believed the dog had been intentionally dragged behind a car. Benson Animal Shelter did not have the resources to treat such a severe medical case and the dog’s only option was immediate euthanasia. The pain had to have been unbearable, with the dog’s toes virtually gone. Her left leg, underbelly, and anus were completely skinned. Still, Laurie couldn’t believe how gentle and kind this precious soul remained despite this atrocity, and she was determined to find her help. Smiling Dog Rescue rushed the girl to our orthopedic surgeon, where she spent weeks undergoing numerous skin grafts and rehabilitation.
Today Journey, named because of her long journey to recovery, is living the life she so deserves in her loving forever home as a pampered princess. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for making all of this possible!
The Petfinder Adoption Options in Action grant was used to purchase chemicals and cleaning supplies for our shelter, which are essential to maintain the health of the homeless dogs and cats in our care. Our cleaning and disinfecting protocols include the use of KennelSol, KOE, Trifectant, and bleach.
Each year, MEHS provides a temporary home to nearly 1,000 dogs and cats. A safe, clean shelter directly impacts the number of pet adoptions we complete. An outbreak of disease can temporarily limit the number of cats and dog intakes to the shelter, and, ultimately, limit the number of pets available for adoption.
A safe, clean facility helps all the animals in our shelter. During the three-month Adoption Options in Action grant period, 167 different dogs and cats were cared for at MEHS.
In September, MEHS officially opened Kitty City, our redesigned, newly decorated, free-roaming cat room. The cats are much more content lounging on the various pieces of furniture, perches and “ups” (high shelves). Ultimately, a cat who appears relaxed and friendly is more likely to be adopted than one huddled in the corner of a cage. Daily cleaning with the chemicals provided through the Adoption Options in Action grant means not only a more pleasant space for the cats in our care, but one that is safer for all our animals.
Grants funds were used to pay for spay/neuter, medical care, crates, training aids, special dietary needs, leashes, collars, toys and training fees.
Because pit bulls have medical issues that are more often than not a long-term issue to correct, the high cost of medical bills that are usually associated with them has limited our intakes. Also, training has not been an option because of the cost. This grant allowed us to customize a complete program for each pitty, as well as take medically needy pits that we otherwise would not have been able to take. Because of your generous grant, our pits received the medical care they needed to resolve their health issues and completed a training program that made them more adoptable.
Your grant has changed the lives of seven pit bulls. Four have completed our program successfully and found new homes, and three are still in our program resolving medical issues before moving on.
Mugsley was used as a bait dog. The only life he knew was one of pain and terror. He was never treated for any of his wounds, the chronic bilateral ear infections, or the demodectic mange that covered his body, and it goes without saying that he wasn’t neutered. When he came to us, most of his fur was gone. He had only elephant-like hide with oozing sores all over his body. His face had an open, infected gash that started by his mouth and went up around his right eye. He could barely walk because of the swelling in his feet from the infected wounds on his legs and between his toes. He showed no emotions. He did not bark, whine, wag his tail or growl. It was so sad to see the blankness in his eyes. We know we could heal the physical wounds, but could we repair the emotional damage that had been done?
Mugsley endured months of intense medical care, including a neuter, and with each passing day his sweet, loving personality became more and more apparent. It was as if he knew his previous life was a closed chapter and he had the ability to write new pages to his story. Everything was a new adventure for him. Previously knowing nothing except being attacked, he didn’t know what to do with toys or other dogs other than sit submissively and do nothing. It took a great deal of time and patience before he realized that there can be joy in the companionship of another dog. And when he finally realized what a toy was and how much fun it can be, we were over the moon to see the excitement in his face.
With Mugsley’s medical issues behind him and his successful journey thus far to becoming a real fur kid, it was time to write a new chapter in his book. We contacted the trainer and explained his past. She felt that in-house, one-to-one training would be the best place for him to start. Mugsley was eager to please and caught on quickly — so quickly that she also put him in training in a group situation to help with socialization skills. Mugsley loved going to training and it showed in his performance. We received a call from the trainer suggesting that he continue his work, and that he would be a great candidate for getting his Canine Good Citizen certification. With tears of joy, we proudly watched Mugsley receive his Canine Good Citizen certificate.
With a whole new outlook on life, it was time to find a forever family that would shower Mugsley with love every day and see him as a cherished member of the family. Mugsley shined like a star at adoptions and his story saddened people, but there was always that hint of concern about his previous skin issues and whether his past would creep back in at a later date and somehow change him. After attending numerous adoption events, he won the heart of a young girl. She told us that she was going home to talk with her family and would be back. Although there was sincerity and determination in her voice, the “I will be back” story is heard so often in the rescue world that you smile politely but don’t hold your breath.
It was as if Mugsley knew in his heart she was the one chosen for him, and from that moment forward it was as if his world collapsed when she left. He remained sweet and friendly, but the spark was gone. Two weeks went by and not a word. We were at an adoption event when Mugsley jumped up in his crate, started wagging his tail and whining. When we looked up, here she was with her family and Mugsley knew she was there for him. She smiled and said, “We are here to take Mugsley home!” We thought he was going to dislocate his hips, he was wagging his tail so fast.
The beginning of Mugsley’s life was horrific, but he has finally gotten a happy ending with a family who will love and cherish him. His success and the successes of others like him are made possible by the wonderful support of our community and through grants such as the one from the Petfinder Foundation and All-Star Rescue Dog Celebration. Through this generous grant, we were able to offer Mugsley the best medical care possible, see him through the long recovery and provide him with the skills to grow into a valuable member of someone’s family. Thank you for making miracles happen.
The grant money from the Petfinder Foundation was used to assist our dog rescue in paying for the veterinary care for the dogs we took into our rescue in August. During that month, we took in 45 dogs and our veterinary bills totaled close to $12,000.
About half of the dogs we take in are retired breeder dogs from puppy mills and they need extensive dental care as they are older and have not received any dental care during their lives. In many dogs, it is necessary to remove all of their teeth; some cause nasal fistulas and some broken jaws. These procedures are time-consuming for the vet clinics and are expensive. Our average cost for this is $350 for each dog.
This grant paid for the veterinary care of six of these dogs.
Lexie came into our rescue on July 24, 2015, from a puppy mill. Her age was estimated at 7-8 years old and she had her veterinary care done on Aug. 4. All of her teeth were extracted and she was spayed and vaccinated. She took antibiotics to cure the infections in her mouth and started to feel good and was a happy girl. At our adoption event on Aug. 8, Lexie was adopted by a wonderful woman who was lonely and needed a companion. She now reports that they are both very happy! We like to say: Who rescued whom?
We are using the funds to produce training videos. We were delayed for a bit because our selected videographers were away (fishing in Alaska), but we’ve started scripting and storyboarding as well as doing some preliminary filming. We’re in production, though it will still take some time, as the project is very intense. We are literally filming everything from the minute you think about fostering, to getting your animal, to what you do when you get him or her home, as well as training techniques and processes, as well as common issues such as resource-guarding and barking, nipping and such. This is a long-term project, but one we know will be shared with other rescue organizations. It really is a monumental undertaking, one we don’t want to do anything but a stellar job on.
The videographer has a deep investment and commitment in the organization as well, which means we’re supporting a business that also supports us, which is pretty important to us as well. We will be thrilled to announce the completion of the videos, we hope within the next three months. We are so grateful for this opportunity and we are honored that we were chosen. We will not let the foundation down with this effort.
This grant will help hundreds of animals, and more over time. That is a very general statement, we know, but being able to have videos that specifically outline every little detail of how we want fosters to manager their animals, work with training issues, and more, will help add some consistency to our foster program. We hope that these videos, when shared, will also help other organizations — perhaps especially those just starting out, seeking some kind of easy way to show fosters how to work with their animals. These videos could literally be the difference between a dog staying in a foster home — or even an adoptive one — and one who comes back to the shelter or gets deemed to have “issues.”
Many of the situations fosters deal with are simple enough that, with proper instruction and guidance, they can be solved within the home through these videos, but we believe that no matter the problem, with this kind of empowerment, foster families will be able to graduate to taking on more difficult situations in time. We believe too that, with this kind of consistency and support, fosters will trust us and communicate with us better, which will ensure deeper, longer-lasting relationships — which means more animals can be saved in time.
350 per year
One of the videos we have is about how to load an animal in the car. It is not enough to tell someone to hold onto the leash; this simply doesn’t register enough because they don’t understand the consequences of a dog getting loose, especially a really fearful one. Two dogs that we have had like this are sisters, Phoebe (first photo) and Paige (second photo) — cattle dog mixes who lived outside for the first year of their lives. They both have a vestibular condition in which their heads are cocked, and both are exceptionally skittish — screaming, pooping and peeing when you reach for them, at least at first. At one point, each has gotten away from their fosters — even very skilled ones — and we are using them as the prime example of how difficult it can be to load an animal into a car.
This video shows specifically how the animals can freak out and flail, or try and back out of the car. While a bit sad to see something simple be so hard for them, it really drives home to fosters how each animal can act — some you can expect this of them and others will surprise you. By not only keeping the leash on, attaching it to something solid in the car and making sure you have a good hold before the door opens, the video shows different ways to keep dogs from getting away when you’re just trying to get them home.
Phoebe has since been adopted and is doing great. Paige is still struggling a bit, getting better and then worse with her behavior. She will be featured in other videos too, for this very reason! We are dedicated to her indefinitely and we offer her every training option possible, as well as dog daycare, and her foster is really skilled. Paige is just a tough one, but her example — and hopefully her improvement in other videos — can help others as well with dogs that can be very trying and longer-term.
The grant helped pay for Pumpkin’s echo-cardiogram.
Helped to cover the medical expenses associated with this very sick puppy.
Pumpkin (first photo), an adorable Labrador-mix puppy, was one of the “Eight is Enough” litter that arrived in August. She had a heart murmur, needing a echo-sonogram to diagnosis it and determine any treatment options. Pumpkin was put into a foster home with a lovely family with an 11-year-old girl while she awaited the appointment with the sonogram specialist. She had her echo-cardiogram and was diagnosed with a severe heart defect that was not treatable with either surgery or medication. The doctor told us the puppy would very likely not live very long. When told this heartbreaking news, the brave 11-year-old daughter immediately turned to her parents and asked, “Can we take her back home?” Pumpkin is enjoying life in a home surrounded by a family and doing things every puppy should do: Getting cuddles on the couch and playtime with her family. Though her life will not be long, it will be loved.
The second photo is a collage of Happy Tails from the New Rochelle Humane Society.
All money helps us give care and, if needed, medical attention, including and especially if the dog needs to be spayed or neutered.
The donation received this quarter was $22.50. It helps that people are aware that we care for senior and hospice dogs. The pet sponsored was Dulce. From his Petfinder profile: “Dulce was adopted from the local pound a few years ago; then his owner left for her dream in the Peace Corps so Dulce came here to bide time and look for a new home. He is easy and great with everyone, big and small. He has an inoperable mass on his side and his legs are in rough shape, so Dulce is hospice but would love a sponsor for his supplements, and to know he has more friends than just four-legged ones!” Meet Dulce: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32511421
A BIG thank you from of all of us here at The Montgomery Humane Society. The $1,500 grant that we received was used for the purchase of items to allow us to improve our socialization and enrichment program. This last fiscal year, our organization has made these programs one our top priorities.
We have had great success with our community spay/neuter and we have shown a 40% decrease in the number of animals brought to our shelter.
Thanks to the grant, we have been making “Busy Buckets” and “Busy Bones” to add to our current play toys to keep those animals still in our facility mentally stimulated and healthy. To watch our loved ones that we care for daily play with these two items brings us such joy and certainly helps with overall adoption rates. Again, from all of us here in Montgomery, Alabama, thank you for making this all possible.
Pictured in Spincer. From his Petfinder profile: “Greetings from Spincer, your future family member! I find myself in need of a home. I was lost recently and was rescued by a wonderful shelter employee! She found me and took care of me until I got big enough to go up for adoption. Right now I have all of my vaccinations for my age, I have a microchip, and I have been neutered. I am about three months old so I am still just a baby! Why don’t you come out for a visit? I am adorable and you won’t be able to leave without me!” Meet Spincer: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/33244439