Success Stories

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

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!!

Pima Animal Care Center: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The Petfinder Foundation generously donated 300 KONG toys to help Pima Animal Care keep our dogs happy, healthy and entertained while they wait with us for new adoptive families.

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

Shelter life can be scary for pets who’ve been displaced from their families and the comforts of home. As our community’s only open-admission shelter, we take in nearly 24,000 homeless pets a year, and they are all housed at our aging, noisy campus that was built in the 1960s. Treat time, volunteer snuggles and enrichment toys like the KONGs generously donated by the Petfinder Foundation help our temporary residents block out the noise and feel safe. By helping us keep our dogs healthy, entertained and happy, the Petfinder Foundation is ensuring we can save more of their lives than ever before.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant has helped thousands of our homeless dogs.

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

The first family of Finley, a 5-year-old Chihuahua/Italian Greyhound mix (first photo), said they were surrendering him to us because he was not getting along with their other dogs and young child. After Finley was evaluated by our staff and cleared for adoption into a child-free family, he waited 10 days to be noticed. During that time, the enrichment activity that Finley received from the granted KONG toys meant he was relaxed, happy and ready when his adopter – who also happens to be one of our volunteers — finally walked by. The volunteer went home and told his wife, Carole (she’s also a volunteer), that he’d found a promising new member of their family. Carole brought their other dog in to meet Finley and found it was the right fit! “It was the perfect match for us, because he’s a lap dog,” Carole said. “He’s starting to open up. You can tell he’s really starting to relax into the pack and find his place.”

Picture 2: Brought to us as a stray, 7-year-old Curly Sue came to our shelter with an emaciated body, overgrown nails and tangled coat. Our volunteers rallied around this sweet senior to get her groomed, up to a healthy weight and in foster care. A peanut butter-filled KONG toy is helping Curly Sue get the caloric boost and mental stimulation she needs while she waits for her forever home.

Pictures 3 and 4: Surrendered to us last December, Donnie instantly became a staff and volunteer favorite because of his fun-loving disposition and big, goofy grin. He waited at our shelter for a full five months, and the stimulation and stress relief he received from your granted KONG toys helped this 2-year-old Pit Bull mix stay emotionally and physically healthy during his time with us. Donnie loves children, and on May 2, he was finally adopted into a family with three kids who will treasure their new best friend!

Pets & People Humane Society: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

Health care for disabled puppy, Taffy

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

Help to cover the costs of surgery and follow-up care for puppy.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

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

Taffy is an adorable boy. He is sweet and friendly and just wants to play with everyone! He is a happy little guy in spite of his handicap — he was born with an abnormality and is unable to extend his left front foot. After surgery to release the tendons, he wears a special boot his foster mom got him to help strengthen his foot. Unfortunately, as he grows, his left leg will always be shorter than his right. He is doing great on his house training and has recently found a forever home that will continue with his “physical therapy.”

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

The donation was used toward medical for a stray dog, Zoey, who had 11 puppies. One died and then Zoey had to be treated for a mammary tumor and heartworm.

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

The donation helped to pay the medical bill for Zoey.

How many pets did this grant help?

It helped one dog, Zoey.

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

The donation was used toward medical for a stray dog, Zoey, who had 11 puppies and had to be treated for a mammary tumor and heartworm. Zoey is the consummate Labrador, sweet, laid-back and lovable. She gets along with everyone and everything. She was a fantastic mom, which shows her nurturing nature. All her pups were adopted so it’s Zoeys turn. Come see wonderful Miss Zoey: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/29097879/

Feline Finish Line Rescue: Cat Castles
What was the money or product used for?

Cat castles were used for our rescue cats and adoptions.

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

Provided a secure area for them to feel safe. It provided a great balcony view on top and a cozy hideaway on the bottom. The cats that are admitted and must be quarantined for a short period don’t mind the cage as much because they have their castle. Our adopters enjoyed using it for a carrier to take their new family members home and to set up as a secure area in their cat’s new environment. We greatly appreciated this grant, it helped all phases of our rescue and adoptions.

How many pets did this grant help?

60

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

One of our cats, Blinky, was having difficulty finding a comfortable place because he is blind. That did not stop him from finding his way to the top of the Castle. I think the Cat Castle helped him find his comfort zone. It does not matter if the feline is an adult cat or kitten, they love their Castles.

McKinley County Humane Society: Stretch and Scratch Cat Scratchers
What was the money or product used for?

The cat scratchers are a big hit with our shelter cats! The cats LOVE them and take advantage of this unique product designed especially for the needs of shelter cats. They provide mental stimulation and promote exercise in our cat population.

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

The cat scratchers are enjoyed daily by the shelter cats and kittens. They relieve boredom and stress for these confined kitties. The scratchers take the place of trees and grass that free-roaming cats would use in the natural world and the various cat-scratching devices that some pet owners have in their homes for their cats. They were easy to install in each cage and are made of recyclable, environmentally-friendly materials.

We cannot THANK YOU (PETFINDER FOUNDATION) ENOUGH for this fabulous opportunity for our shelter cats, who experience so much stress being in a high-intake shelter in rural New Mexico.

How many pets did this grant help?

500 cats and kittens as of this date. Many more will be benefitting ongoing.

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

Lucky was a Siamese-type cat who came in with a head wound (probably from fighting other tom cats). We got him vaccinated, neutered, and treated his wound. It took awhile, but we finally got him transferred to a high-adoption-rate shelter in Colorado this week. The cat scratcher in his cage helped him pass the time while he waited.