Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
General animal care and veterinary expenses.
This grant helps us pay for medical procedures (like spay/neuter) as well as necessary supplies for operation, such as cat litter, food, cleaning supplies, etc.
Last year a senior dog named Harley arrived at our shelter. His owner had passed away, and the family who had inherited the dog rapidly noticed he was very ill. They rushed him to the vet, where he was diagnosed with a dangerous and painful condition: urinary crystals. Unfortunately, they could not pay to fix little Harley up. The vet took him on and fixed him up, but knew that he would need to remain on a prescription diet to keep the crystals from reoccurring. The vet, having a good relationship with our shelter, passed Harley along to us, knowing we would find him a great home where he could get the care (and love) he so needed. Harley was with us from late September to early January before he found his forever home. While he was at our shelter, we had his urine retested to make sure he was doing well, and (of course) bought several bags of his expensive prescription food! Harley did have someone donate towards his care via his Petfinder Sponsor a Pet, which helped us purchase his prescription food and keep him healthy!
Thank you for the gift of Thundershirts in different sizes and genders for our shelter dogs to help them with anxiety while they are guests in our shelter and during a recent summer thunderstorm.
West Columbia Gorge Humane Society is a no-kill rescue shelter that also takes in dogs from the Washougal and Camas, WA, animal-control agency. We have several very long-term dogs who are waiting for adoption. We recently created a dog enrichment program to help all of our dogs better cope with shelter life and make them more adoptable.
We have an amazing dog-shelter manager and volunteer crew who participate in our active enrichment program to help the dogs who are waiting for their adoptive homes, yet our dogs are still living under stress in a shelter environment. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation grant, Thundershirts are now part of our Shelter Dog Enrichment program to help our dogs feel more secure and calm while they are guests in our shelter when a situation arises where they need extra comforting. Plus we frequently have small dogs staying with us who are often especially fearful and scared living in a shelter, so we really appreciate having the smaller Thundershirts. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation and Thundershirt, for this gift!
Three dogs so far
We have a 4-year-old pittie boy named Inspector who has been living at the shelter for over a year waiting for a home, and he is very anxious and excitable living in a shelter environment. He recently had a tibial plateau-leveling osteotomy (TPLO) surgery to repair an ACL tear in his leg, so we were very thankful to receive a Thundershirt to help him remain calm while his leg was healing. He now is in a wonderful foster home to get a break from shelter life.
We have a little guy named Bud who stayed in our shelter until a foster home could be found for him; he was very fearful and nervous in his kennel, so he got to wear a tiny Thundershirt to help him feel more safe and secure until he went into foster care.
We recently had a brief summer lightening- and thunderstorm in our area which caused Arlo, a Yorkie mix, to be very scared. Our shelter manager put a mini-Thundershirt on him and he did seem to calm down a bit. As we approach winter in the Northwest, we will have more opportunities to use our Thundershirts during storms.
We used the Thundershirts for our new dogs from the pounds that were scared.
It helped to make our anxious dogs feel safe and secure.
Five and counting!
We had a dog named The Motown Swing Dancer. She was a 4-month-old Great Dane mix who was found all alone. She was super nervous coming into our rescue and we used the Thundershirt on her when she was left alone in her crate when her foster mom was at work and at adoption events and it made her feel safe and secure. She also used it in her foster home when she would sleep in her crate at night and her foster mom was also able to get a good night sleep without her crying every few hours. Thank you, Thundershirt!
We received a donation of various sizes of Thundershirts. The Thundershirts are being used and will continue to be used on the rescues in our facility. When we adopt an individual who is in need of a Thundershirt we send it home with them. We have sent home two already.
We have used Thundershirts in the past and were grateful to receive this grant because we know from past experience that they work. We have dogs here that as soon as they see the sky clouding up they go straight to where their Thundershirts are hung and they ask for them. We have used Thundershirts in many different cases; here are a few examples of how we have used them: Fear of riding in a car — put on a Thundershirt and enjoy the ride! Fear of boat rides — put on a Thundershirt and they become old salts! Fear of other dogs or fear of strangers — put on a Thundershirt and the meet-and-greet becomes, “I want to adopt this one!” Of course we bring out the Thundershirt during a storm or for the July 4th fireworks or for hunting season and all the gunfire — our rescue is a 60-acre plot in a farming community; there is lots of hunting and lost Beagles. We use Thundershirts every time we see unusually nervous behaviors. Our breed rescue is for Border Collies and they tend to be neurotic so putting on a Thundershirt tones it down and makes them much more comfortable and focused. I love it because there are no drugs needed and no side effects to achieve the desired effects of calmness. I advise and encourage all of our adopters to use a Thundershirt.
So far 19 have been helped here directly plus two Thundershirts sent home with the adopters. Updates on those adopted states that the Thundershirt is working to end the stressful situations. They are using them when visitors come to call.
Sky was an owner turn-in due to fear biting. When he came in he bit several of the workers here. Sky had a problem that needed fixed. For most people, Sky would have been a candidate to euthanize. But ISBCR is a no-kill shelter and that is against our rescue policy. After observation and rehab with behavior modification, Sky was doing much better, but he was still noise- and pressure-sensitive and became fearful when the world created too much energy. Like many herding dogs, Sky wants only calmness and order in his world. Sky’s fear would build up until he was in such a state that he used his mouth “full of teeth” every time the “energy level” got too intense. Whether with other dogs or people, he would bite when excited and he would break skin, which is dangerous. So the director decided to try a Thundershirt to see what results might be obtained. To everyone’s surprise — including Sky himself — his Thundershirt became his security blanket and he could function and handle stress much better. Sky is still here at the rescue, still rehabbing and still relying on his Thundershirt to get him through those stressful situations that were once looked upon as hopeless. A simple gray Thundershirt gave Sky a new paw on life and the hope he needed.
Shasta’s family wanted her to enjoy rides on the pontoon because they were wanting to buy one but were afraid that Shasta would never be able to find her “sea paws.” We pulled out a Thundershirt and said, “Let’s try this.” With Shasta, Thundershirt and camera in hand, off we went to the lake to test our idea. Once again, Thundershirt to the rescue! Now the family has to buy a pontoon because Shasta has become an old salt and she loves feeling the wind behind her ears and the security of her Thundershirt — and it fits perfectly right under her life jacket.
We received the generous grant of 30 Thundershirts of various sizes. These “shirts” allow us to help acclimate our breeder-surrender dogs to life in the real world. These puppy-mill survivors are often frightened and have had no interaction with people or the sounds of normal life. Putting a Thundershirt on these dogs seems to give them a feeling of security and helps with their shaking/nervous behavior. We have also used Thundershirts on abused dogs with the same positive results, as well as on hunting dogs who fail to hunt because of their fear of loud noises.
Receiving Thundershirts allows us to help more frightened animals and to give them a sense of security. Sadly, we do not always have time to physically hold each animal on a daily basis. Feeling safe and secure is beneficial for the well-being of every animal and crucial in having an animal adopted into a loving home.
10 and counting.
Bobbin came to us as a puppy-mill survivor and beyond fearful. We immediately placed her in a Thundershirt and though she was still frightened, we noticed an improvement in her quite quickly. Over the next few weeks, Bobbin became more of the amazing dog she was always meant to be.
Pirretti is an older German Shorthair who is petrified of any loud noise. Pirretti was found dumped near the shelter and we believe it was because he is a hunting dog PETRIFIED of loud noises. This handsome dog is now in a wonderful forever home and they are continuing to help his fear of loud noises by the use of his Thundershirt.
The products, Thundershirts, were used on dogs that had anxiety issues that are within our rescue’s foster program. Often when a dog is pulled from the animal shelter they are extremely stressed and some have developed anxiety issues because of the stress that can be temporary or at times permanent conditions.
We have used the Thundershirts to help rehabilitate shelter animals so that they can find loving permanent homes in the community.
Between June 26 and Aug. 15, 2014, we have used the donated Thundershirts on eight of the dogs in our foster program.
When my foster dog Lacy (first photo) came to me, she had been living outside without a dog house. We were having a lot of bad weather, especially thunderstorms and rain, and she was living in that. Lacy was so scared, and in the beginning she would not go outside even if it was only sprinkling. During thunderstorms, Lacy would be found trembling under tables. Now Lacy has made some improvement. She wears her Thundershirt often, especially during storms. She gets really excited when she sees it and seems to enjoy how it feels. She still gets scared during storms, but the Thundershirt seems to help her be less scared. Lacy is not cowering under tables, trembling, which is a nice improvement considering how much different her life is compared to a year ago.
We had a severe thunderstorm tonight for the first time since we got Sonic, a Whippet (not pictured), a Thundershirt. After pacing the room for a couple of minutes like he usually does, he finally laid down. He would still look up whenever thunder boomed. Another couple of minutes later and he was sleeping soundly, passed out. It was amazing! Thank you so much for the donation!
We received 10 Thundershirts to use on dogs in our rescue. They will be used for variety of “issues” along the way.
Thundershirts are a crucial part in helping some of the dogs who come into our rescue. Bully breeds tend to have higher anxiety and can be helped so much by Thundershirts. By receiving this donation, we are able to use funds otherwise spent on these for dogs’ care and enrichment.
So far, just one, but it will help more as dogs come into the rescue. Most of the dogs we had when we received the Thundershirts have been with us for a while and could not benefit from these. But new dogs certainly will.
Ruger came to use as an abuse case. He is a very nervous dog and not a fan of being left alone. I used the Thundershirt to help Ruger deal with his crate- and separation-anxiety issues. It helped enable him to feel a little bit more snug and secure in the crate when he was left alone. Ruger was just adopted and his new owners got him a Thundershirt after hearing about the benefits of it through the foster parent.
The Thundershirts are being given to adopted dogs who live with some sort of anxiety. The adopters were instructed on how and when to use the Thundershirts for the dogs they adopted.
This grant helped our adoptable dogs find comfort as they adjusted to their new home life, and potentially lowering our adoption return rate by limiting destructive or anxious behavior.
So far, this grant has helped five dogs. We plan to use the remaining Thundershirts in the same way.
L.G. and B.G. (short for Little Girl and Big girl, respectively) were found wandering the streets together and were brought to us in January 2014. These Shepherd mixes were very timid and both had some form of anxiety, with Little Girl also having thunderstorm anxiety. Perhaps because it took them a while to warm up to people due to their timidness, both girls waited about six months before finding forever homes who were willing to work with them through their anxiety issues. B.G.’s new parents use the Thundershirt often and have told us how much it has helped B.G.’s anxiety. L.G. is also comforted by wearing the Thundershirt. We are so grateful for the help that the Thundershirts have given these great dogs and their new families!
Many of the dogs who are brought to the shelter are very frightened and anxious. We used the Thundershirts to lessen their stress and anxiety.
We are a totally non-funded, volunteer group, so money is tight. We could not afford to purchase Thundershirts for our anxious, stressed-out dogs, so the grant of the shirts was VERY HELPFUL.
Several of the dogs use the shirts periodically. On the 4th of July, they were all in use. Thunder storms are times when we also use them.
Poor Hoover was a total mess when he came to the shelter. He had been caged with another dog who constantly beat up on him. His first few weeks at the shelter were rough — he bit everyone, and would attack without any provocation any dog that happened to get close to him. Our vets thought that there was little hope of rehabilitating him, but we had faith. The first time he wore his Thundershirt was the first time that he seemed to relax. He is still very fearful, but every day shows progress. He loves to take walks, and he will interact with two other little dogs now in their small activity yard. He still doesn’t play, but he also doesn’t attack or snarl at them. He naps with his Thundershirt on because he seems to be able to relax better. It has been a true lifesaver for precious little Hoover. To know him is to love him.
We used the money to purchase supplies to repair some of the concrete fixtures in our kennel area. We also purchased concrete sealant to be applied this fall.
Without these repairs we could possibly fail our state inspection and take the chance of being closed down. These repairs are very important to the shelter itself but also to the health of the animals. Large cracks in the foundation can lead to build up of bacteria which could cause illness.
The repairs were in all three dog kennel buildings; thus they affect over 60 dogs on a daily basis.
We are the only shelter for our county so if we weren’t able to make the needed repairs, we would face closing and that would affect over 3,000 animals a year. So it helps all of our pets — stray, owned and those left behind. We depend on donations to keep our 29-year-old building functional. Below are just some of the faces this grant has helped!