Success Stories

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

Santa Ynez Valley Humane Society: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

The Cat Chow Building Better Lives Grant was used to discount adoptions on cats that had been looking for homes for longer than 30 days. The money was specifically used to help with routine medical care and daily sheltering that is normally covered by the adoption fee.

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

The Cat Chow grant helped our organization by significantly increasing the number of adoptions we had, specifically adoptions of harder-to-place cats. From December through March, we found homes for 26 cats. In the same period the prior year, we found homes for 13 cats, so the grant effectively doubled our adoptions. In addition, we made friends with community members who may be back to adopt in the future or donate to keep the adoptions increasing!

How many pets did this grant help?

26

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

Every spring we start to get reports of litters of kittens that need homes — in our county shelter, in our neighbors’ backyards, and rescued by dedicated groups of volunteers from barns and farms. Catalyst for Cats and ResQcats have always been dear friends of ours, and this year was no different. During the summer, Catalyst for Cats rescued two very sick kittens and a fantastic foster family nursed them back to health. They had calicivirus, a nasty cold that can be treated, but the kitten can remain a carrier for the rest of his life. Catalyst for Cats reached out to our humane society to help place the kittens, as we frequently do. Tim and Tami (first photo) arrived healthy, active, and sweet as can be. However, we had to find a special home that would keep them indoors all the time and away from unvaccinated cats. The challenge was on. With help from the Petfinder Cat Chow Building Better Lives Grant, a fantastic couple finally fell in love. Without our community of cat lovers, Tim and Tami would never have the happy ending they are now enjoying. We could not continue to save lives without your partnership.

Rose (second photo) was a beautiful flower who was quite misunderstood. She was born at our shelter in 2009, adopted to a family, and returned shortly before her first birthday for biting when overstimulated. She lived in our community cat room until she started several scuffles and was kicked out to live in the clinic. There she lived for several years until our staff decided to take a second chance on her. We brought her into the cat room, and although she sprayed and sometimes hissed, she remained content and was actually able to be shown for adoption. We weren’t sure if Rose’s forever home was with the Humane Society, but we kept the faith that someone would see past her thorns and take her home. Morgan did just that. She contacted us looking for a cat that might need some extra help. Morgan grew up with cats, but has worked at a dog-only shelter since college and hasn’t had much experience, but wanted to help. Rose went home and we crossed our fingers, and she bloomed. Rose loves sitting at Morgan’s boyfriend’s feet while he cooks and does chores, and enjoys sunning herself in the backyard. She is truly one lucky kitty thanks to Cat Chow Building Better Lives!

Mending Hearts Rescue: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

I am excited to tell you how the grant has allowed our rescue to make a difference in our community for homeless cats. In just two short winter months (December and January), our rescue accepted 64 stray or owner-surrendered cats and kittens into foster homes. All were able to receive complete veterinarian care, which included SpayNeuter, Microchip, vaccinations, worming, nail trims, Felv testing and any additional care they may have needed to be healthy.

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

Of the 64 cats and kittens we have taken into foster care through Mending Hearts Rescue, 28 have been adopted to homes and families. We could never had taken on this amount of cats and kittens without the grant funds. We used the funds to subsidize adoptions and pay veterinarian fees for these cats/kittens.

How many pets did this grant help?

64

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

We had one adult female cat whom we named Snowie. She came to us after her owner passed away and she was put outside in the winter weather. A nice concerned neighbor finally earned her trust enough to get her inside and they called our rescue. She is a Long Haired Domestic with beautiful pure white hair. Well, not so beautiful when we received her. She was partially shaved from having fleas and matting. She was extremely shy and wanted to hide all the time. Her foster home provided her a cat shelter of 600 sq. feet where she could begin to feel safe and secure, yet come out and explore when she was ready to do so. After a few weeks, she allowed her foster mom to pet her and hold her. As her coat grew back in, she was groomed regularly and given all the attention she learned to yearn for. After three months in her foster home, an application to adopt a cat came into the rescue. Snowie had her first meet-and-greet with her potential new family; it went so well, she found her new family and a place to call home! It was the perfect home for Snowie, one that was willing to let her adjust and earn her trust too. It is stories like Snowie’s that keep us volunteers hopeful and thankful that we can and do make a difference.

I have attached a picture of Snowie when she was first brought to our rescue in the carrier — no blankets, shaved and scared. What a thrill it was for all of us at the rescue to see her transformation which led to her adoption. The grant helped our rescue to provide her all the care and grooming, food and toys she needed to grow into the beautiful cat she is today. Thank you so much for supporting rescues and shelters with your grants; they truly do make a difference — a difference to the rescue organizations like ours that are solely dependent on donations, and to the animals we are able to say YES to when that phone call comes in to us.

Humane Society of Greenwood: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

A fee-waived adoption offer for cats began Feb. 1, 2015, called “Freezing Cat Adoption Fees,” which tied into the winter weather very nicely. Our agency shared the exciting news of the grant award and adoption promotion on our website, Facebook page, local newspaper, radio stations, and online newspaper.

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

The offer was very successful as we ran low on healthy, adoptable cats through most of the period. There was an actual “demand” for cats! This sort of offer would be really helpful during the spring and summer months when cat/kitten intake is so high in open-intake shelters. We would be able to move cats/kittens out quicker, keep them healthy, and shorten the length-of-stay. The small revenue stream from adoption fees does go right back into the operational costs of the county shelter that we manage.

How many pets did this grant help?

37 cats and kittens have been adopted at no charge funded by the $1,000 Purina grant!

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

Dolly (first photo) was originally adopted from the Greenwood Shelter in 2008, but returned in 2015 for behavioral problems that arose as the family added four dogs to the household in a few short years. It can be challenging for pets to get adopted more than once from a shelter, but thankfully she was adopted again by very quickly by a wonderful couple.

Anna (second photo) and her three siblings were born to a stray cat and brought to the shelter at the tender age of six weeks. All four, named after characters from “Frozen,” went into a foster home until they were old enough to return to the Adoption Center. Anna’s three littermates were all quickly adopted, but she was left on her own for another two weeks before being adopted to her new little boy.

Vegas (third photo) and Phoenix (fourth photo) were found as strays together and, since they favored each other so much, we surmised they were brothers. Vegas’ adopter, from Columbus, Ga., found him on Petfinder and drove to Greenwood, S.C. to adopt him! (Phoenix was adopted by another family.)

Cheboygan County Humane Society: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

The money that your grant provide to us was used to help reduce and waive adoption fees for the cats here at the shelter. Due to the decreased adoption fees, we were able to help get many cats placed into forever homes.

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

This grant helped our organization increase the adoption of our cats at a slow time of year. The grant also helped increase the awareness in our community of the wonderful cats here at the shelter that need forever homes.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant help us place 25 cats into their new forever homes.

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

Lilly is an orange tabby cat who had come into our shelter back in October of 2014 after she was left outside with no food and water for days. Her old owners had left her with several pigs and a horse for company, but all the animals were left to fend for themselves as winter started to draw into the area. The animals were rescued by Animal Control, at which time Lily was brought into the shelter for care. Lily continued to be in our care until a women fell in love with her lively spirit and wanted to take Lily to a forever home. The women explained that her daughter had been asking for a cat for years but they had never found one that had spoken to the family until now. Lily went home with the family, where she now lives with a little girl who loves her and cares for her every day. The two of them play together and chase each other around the house. Lily will often curl up to listen to Mom read a book to both her little girl and herself. Lily gets food and water all the time and a nice warm bed to sleep in every night. When she is left alone in the house she gets to run freely to play and her loving family comes home every day to hold her and love her. Lily is very thankful that she was able to go home with this family because they seem to complete each other’s lives.

Friends For Life Cat Rescue, Inc: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

To assist families to adopt two cats at the same time. This grant paid for the second adoption.

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

This grant allowed us to adopt more cat/kittens out and we were able to take more into our foster care.

How many pets did this grant help?

12

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

This couple adopted a kitten from us about three months ago – he was about 6 months old at the time. His name was Timmy and they fell in love with him immediately. They renamed him Bentley. I received a call from them recently and she had to tell me the sad news that he was diagnosed with cancer. All of sudden he seem to be losing some weight, so they took him to the vet and he was not producing any red blood cells. They promptly took him to the emergency vet clinic and they suggested he have blood transfusions. After the blood transfusions, his red blood cell count did go up, but not to where it should be. They wanted to give him a day at the clinic to determine next steps. At that time he was still eating some and purring at them. By the next day he was completely down and between the clinic vet and the family they decided that there wasn’t anything they could do for him so they had to put him to sleep. They were devastated, of course! But she said after about two weeks of missing him and grieving, they felt that Bentley would want them to rescue another kitty. Well, they came in and fell in love with our two little manx mixes. But with all of the steep medical bills from Bentley, they felt that paying the adoption fee for both of them right now would be just a little bit too much. Well, I had grant money left for one more adoption and I told her about it and said think about it and let me know when I get there to do the adoption if you want both of them. Of course they decided that Bentley wouldn’t want the brother and sister to be separated, so they took home both of them last evening. There were lots of sad tears and happy tears going around last evening. They updated me today that they were adjusting well to their new home and she was quite glad they brought both home with them. They slept together last night in bed with them.

Fabulous Felines NWA, Inc.: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

Helped cover adoption fees for deserving cats and people.

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

It lowered their adoption fees so senior citizens and lower-income potential adopters could afford to get an already spayed or neutered cat or kitten who was tested, vaccinated and microchipped.

How many pets did this grant help?

15

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

Our first full adoption fee was given to Lynn, a 65-year-old who pet-sits for a living. She fell in love with Pookie, a 3-year-old declawed cat who was so extremely shy she wouldn’t come out or eat. Lynn worked daily at my house for two weeks, finally getting Pookie to come out, crawl in her lap, and lie on her back for belly rubs. She won’t even come out for anyone else. Pookie was taken in when her elderly owner fell and could no longer keep her, so she felt very comfortable with Lynn. Lynn had just lost her other cats and moved to a retirement community where they only allow one pet who has to be declawed, so Pookie fit the bill of providing company for her. Her adoption fee had been $100, as four-paw-declawed cats seem to be in demand. (We rescue them but don’t allow our cats to be declawed.) We had updated all her vaccinations, dewormed and microchipped her, given her flea medication and tested her for feline aids and leukemia. 12/20/14

Duchess, a four-paw-declawed cat, and her buddy, Prince, a longhaired front-declawed cat, were thrown outside in the coldest part of the winter for a week before Fabulous Felines NWA heard of their plight and rescued them. Their owner had a life-threatening allergic reaction when her landlord sprayed pesticides in her home without alerting her first. She went to the hospital, and her friend, who knew nothing of cats, started feeding them outside on the back deck where there was a large bag of crunchies and many open empty cans of cat food lying around. He had no idea this would attract predators, and two declawed cats had no means of defense. Their owner was reluctant to even touch the cats because she was convinced the pesticide was still on their fur, and just wanted them gone! Efforts to get Animal Control to come pick them up failed, but she finally heard about Fabulous Felines NWA and emailed asking someone to come pick them up. The cats’ only shelter had been under the deck during low 20’s and high-teens temperatures after being indoor cats all their lives.

Duchess and Prince, who had to be trapped he was so scared, were so thrilled to come inside to a warm bathroom to recover, they were purring and rolling all over in happiness! Prince was so easygoing, he let the Duchess eat all the food that week, and it took a while — and a lot of fresh-cooked chicken — to get his appetite back. He went on to his forever home first.

When Duchess was recovered, she went to PetSmart, where Nancy fell in love with her. Nancy was one year in remission from cancer, and was getting a doctor’s order for a therapy cat. Duchess just loves a lap to lie on, so she will be a great comfort to Nancy and love being queen of her new home! We thought Nancy was a great candidate for receiving a donation from Purina for most of Duchess’s adoption fee.

Rhett Butler was kicked out of his home through no fault of his own. The man just didn’t want a cat anymore and a friend took Rhett in briefly until they could get him into our Fabulous Felines NWA foster home. Rhett has the sweetest personality and loves people and to be with them. We thought he was ready for PetSmart and to find a new home right away as he was so loving. Unfortunately he quit eating, had to be taken home, and taken to a vet. He ran up $180 worth of vet bills testing him and trying to get him to eat again. Perhaps he was just upset at the changes in his life. Cats will do this. But eventually he came out of it, started eating again, and was adopted into a wonderful family. We donated $100 out of the Purina fund to help out with his vet bill so we wouldn’t have to charge his new family his past bills. As a follow-up to the story, the new owner was in a bad automobile accident, breaking a leg and arm shortly after Rhett’s adoption. Rhett took over being her cuddle buddy in bed, helping her recover.

Happy Tales Ranch and Rescue: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

Offset costs to get cats ready for adoption: FIV/FeLV tests, chips, spay and neuter.

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

We lowered adoption costs with your help. This grant money means a lot to our rescue and makes a big impact. Thank you!!!

How many pets did this grant help?

Adopted nine in one month. Other blood tests done and six spay and neuters.

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

Oliver is a 7-year-old front declawed male who was found as a stray and not claimed. We rescued him and a gentleman (age 80) gave him a forever home. Reports are, they are bonded buddies. The first picture is of Oliver relaxing in his new home.

Sage had a rough start, with frostbitten ears and a medical scare. She is healthy and now in a super home. She has the best personality, loving and laid-back. A Happy Tale for Sage and her family. Photo no. 2 is of Sage and no. 3 is of her and part of her new family.

Jade (fourth photo) is a petite 1-year-old. She was a stray sitting in Animal Control with ringworm. Her ringworm was treated, and good nutrition and lots of love made her a healthy cat. Her friendly personality, green eyes and love of being held made her a favorite. Her new family was thrilled when they got to take her home.

Thank you for helping us make a difference.

Pet Helpers, Inc: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

To provide free cat and kitten adoptions

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

Gave an added incentive to people to adopt a fully vetted pet at no cost

How many pets did this grant help?

20

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

Ace (first photo) came to Pet Helpers as a small kitten with his littermates. They had multiple ongoing health issues which made it necessary to keep them a little longer, but the family got a healthy pet and Ace got a great home! Hillary (second photo) was adopted by a wonderful, loving family after coming to Pet Helpers sick and emaciated. Once she was healthy enough, we spayed her so she could join her new family. Mia (third photo) came to Pet Helpers two years ago as a semi-feral mom with a litter of kittens. Her kittens found homes immediately, but it took a lot of work to make Mia social and adoptable. Finally, two years later, she found her person.

Animal Protective Association of Missouri: Pet Transfer Program
What was the money or product used for?

Pet Transfer Program

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

This grant paid for medication, supplies, utilities and salaries for the animals in the APA’s Pet Transfer Program.

How many pets did this grant help?

76 dogs were brought in through this program in February

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

Tony the Foxhound mix was transferred to the APA Adoption Center by our humane friends in Texas County, Missouri. This 5-year-old American Foxhound mix had clearly spent his life outdoors as a hunting dog. He had a slit in one of his ears that was likely from ear notching, a way some hunters identify dogs in their own pack.

Tony wasn’t exactly what you could consider “well-mannered.” If he smelled something interesting, nothing kept him from standing on his long back legs to go check it out. He simply followed his whims (and hound nose) wherever they took him, even if it meant knocking over a coffee maker with a full pot of coffee in it! He didn’t mean harm by his mischievous behavior; he just didn’t know how to behave indoors.

We thought that rather than try to force Tony to acclimate so quickly, we would give him some transition time to get used to being indoors. The APA has large visiting rooms in its front lobby, which are encased in glass and look out onto the traffic on the road and in the parking lot. Tony spent a lot of time in there just watching people go by and being close to the outdoors again. One day not too long after we began putting Tony in the visiting room, a family walked by that doggy in the window and saw a special pup who needed guidance but had plenty of love and affection to share. They adopted Tony!

Now this former hunting dog is learning the ins and outs of home life with an excellent family who decided it wasn’t too late to teach an adult dog new tricks.

Katz 4 Keeps, Inc.: Cat Chow Building Better Lives
What was the money or product used for?

Free or reduced-fee adoptions.

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

We screen our applicants well and visitors always feel comfortable when visiting our facility. We used the grant in several areas: (1) To suggest adopting two kittens versus one, and had success with wonderful families; (2) We had visitors we felt comfortable suggesting adopt an adult cat as their new family member, and (3) In a situation where we felt the reduced fee was a compliment to the individual or family for adopting an abandoned, unwanted, but “worthy” feline. In all cases, we mentioned the grant only after we were certain they were going to adopt, as we didn’t want the “no fee or reduced fee” to be the reason for adopting. The adoptive families were thrilled to learn they had been “chosen” as recipients of the grant’s benefit. The grant was a plus in sibling/littermate adoptions and, most importantly, adoptions of our adult cats.

How many pets did this grant help?

Fourteen (15 including Art, who was adopted with a littermate; the adopting family paid his fee)

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

GeGe (now Gigi) was the best. GeGe and her mother and twp siblings were surrendered to K4K when their drug-dependent owner lost her home and could no longer keep them. GeGe’s quiet and aloof personality may have been the reason she wasn’t adopted sooner. She was active, as our cats have out-of-cage play twice daily, but just didn’t “click” with that “special person” — until Jodi and her three children visited. One of our teenage socializers had suggested that Jodi “focus” on GeGe, which she and her family did … and they loved her! It was very exciting to all volunteers working that weekend. GeGe is doing very well in her new home with her wonderful, loving (and patient) new family. We miss her, but are thrilled for her. Our mission is complete relative to GeGe and others who benefited from this grant. GeGe was born Feb. 23, 2006, and joined Katz 4 Keeps Jan. 27, 2012.