Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
The $1,000 granted by the Petfinder Foundation was used to pay the tuition for our Operations Director, Nancy O’Connor, to attend the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship training session at Longmont Humane Society from May 20-23, 2019.
This grant enabled us to send our Operations Director to learn best practices from a training and management perspective. Through daily participation in the training sessions, she learned many lessons on which practices are most beneficial to dogs in playgroups and why.
Some examples of things she learned and incorporated into our playgroups are as follows:
1. Tools to use during playgroup or any time you need to distract a dog to prevent fighting or any bad behavior.
2. Teaching dogs a door routine, which we now use consistently and also have trained our fosters and volunteers in. We use this standard process and train all handlers so that our dogs do not try to, or are not able to, run out the door when it opens.
3. We incorporated several new games learned at DPFL that really are helpful and productive in creating safe and beneficial playgroups with dogs. We have used them to show fosters how to keep dogs from going for things dropped on the floor that could potentially be dangerous to them.
4. Letting dogs play, letting them correct each other and only intervening when there is potential danger.
5. Using new tools to keep the handler and the dogs safe.
In addition to using these lessons for our own play yard, our executive director worked with the Heber City Engineering Department, Parks Department and Animal Control on a committee to renovate our new “Boneyard” dog park. Much of the design of the park (entry and exit gates, footing, stations, etc.) incorporated lessons learned at the mentorship. At the grand opening of the Boneyard dog park, where our executive director, mayor and city council members held a ribbon-cutting ceremony followed by a fun dog park event and, later, an adoption event, we held training sessions with the public to educate them on dog-park safety. The event was attended by more than 100 people and was a huge success!
This will help all the dogs in our care every year, which is approximately 900 dogs per year.
We rescued a very sweet and scared border-collie mix named Zeg from [an open-admission] shelter in Vernal, Utah. He was terrified, and we were told that he was afraid of other dogs and would just cower in his kennel. With the lessons learned from the DPFL mentorship program sponsored by the Petfinder Foundation, we worked with Zeg, first at our boarding facility in turnout groups with dogs who helped socialize him. Zeg responded initially better to those confident, playful dogs who were not a threat to him. Soon he began responding better to our handlers and prospective adopters.
When we brought him to the grand opening of our new community dog park, Zeg was a hit! He did wonderfully in large turnouts with new dogs, and played with everyone. He was befriended by a young boy at the event (first photo) and got the attention of a prospective adopter, who needed a kind, gentle and large dog who was social and could to assist her with her disability. She fell in love and adopted Zeg, and he is currently in training to become a service dog. We are so grateful to the Petfinder Foundation, which enabled us to learn these best practices and apply them to pets in our program. This type of program and educational experience is the gift that keeps on giving!
The funding provided by the Petfinder Foundation was used to promote the adoption of a dog in our care, Francis. Unfortunately, Francis has not been adopted just yet, but we have high hopes that our sweet girl will find her home very soon, thanks to the Petfinder Foundation’s assistance!
We will waive Francis’s adoption fee, which is $175, and sponsor one year of her veterinarian-recommended diet. When Francis came to us it was determined that her skin condition was due to allergies. She is required to be kept on a special diet to keep her coat healthy. Each bag of food is roughly $60, with one bag being purchased per month.
Francis came to Partners for Pets on Jan. 31, 2019, after being surrendered by her owner to St. Clair County Animal Care and Control due to her age (she’s 12) and a horrible skin condition due to allergies. Francis was passed up for several weeks at Animal Control due to her age and the way she looked. Partners saw something different. We saw a dog who needed a second chance and some special care. She is an amazing dog, with quite a lot of spunk despite her age. Although Francis has yet to find her happily ever after, we have no doubt her charming forever home is out there. Meet Francis here.
The money was used for an emergency medical procedure for a kitten named Rogue. She had a diaphragmatic hernia that needed urgent repair, or she would have died. Luckily, she made a full recovery after her procedure.
Our organization rescues more than 800 cats/kittens a year. We are begged by shelters and the public to help, often. We typically say yes to healthy, young kittens, as they are easier to place in homes. However, when situations like this happen, our intake often has to come to a halt due to finances. The support of the Petfinder Foundation to care for baby Rogue greatly helped our rescue program stay a float.
Rogue’s foster mom quickly realized something wasn’t right. The kitten was having trouble breathing and had to be rushed to emergency care and placed on oxygen. There we found that Rogue needed a lifesaving surgery to repair a diaphragmatic hernia. Not only did she need an expensive procedure, but she needed emergency care until the surgery could be performed. With the Petfinder Foundation’s support, Rogue was able to receive the care she needed, recover in her foster home, and get adopted!
Rogue and her friend Saber were adopted together. Their new owner has never had cats before, but his cousin came along to the adoption for support.
The money was used exclusively for tuition for the Dogs Playing for Life mentorship opportunity.
I was the individual who went through the mentorship, and I learned a great deal about canine behavior and playgroup theory. Play styles, proper introductions, and modification techniques are among the skills I took from the experience.
100+ so far!
Wanda was a fawn-colored bully mix and long-term resident at our facility who had been passed over so many times by visitors that she had become depressed. Staff loved her, but she was reportedly “dog-aggressive,” so her outing options were limited. After the mentorship, I decided to “test” her in a small playgroup and exercise the skills I learned. I was VERY surprised to see that not only was Wanda tolerant, but she was highly social in that setting after proper introductions. She played with other dogs for hours and came to be known as a playgroup star. She was adopted this past weekend!
For Indiana Jones’ adoption fee
The donation helped with his care until he was adopted.
Indiana Jones (first photo) was the kitten who was sponsored. He came into the shelter with his three long-haired, superhero-themed brothers on Jan. 11, 2019. As the only short-haired kitten, he was passed by and was the last kitten from his group to be adopted. His sponsorship helped draw attention to him. He was adopted on March 14, 2019: Pi day — fitting for such a sweetie pie!
The money was used to reduce adoption fees at the Mega Adoption Event in June 2019. The first of its kind in Lakeland, Florida, the Mega Adoption Event brought many local organizations together – including Polk County Animal Control, Humane Society of Polk County, and 15 for-profit veterinary clinics who not only donated time and resources to help prepare pets for adoption, but also participated in the event and helped us find homes for all these pets.
We have a rampant problem with homeless pets in Polk County, and this adoption event truly made a difference in finding homes for pets in need and making room in the shelters.
The “New Year New Home” grant was a tremendous help. Thanks to this grant – and other sponsors – we were able to lower adoption fees to $20 for a day. The Mega Adoption Event became more popular than we could have anticipated, with a line around the building hours before we opened. It is heartwarming to see so many pets find homes, and so many families find love in just one day.
Buster spent quite some time at SPCA Florida. This sweet and loving boy had to live in an office because he refused to eat without company, and being away from the adoption floor made it difficult for him to find a home. He found his purrfect match at the adoption event and his new family sent photos of him at home the same afternoon!
We made a video from the event, it doesn’t show the true impact, but it tells the story better than words:
As a finalist in the P.L.A.Y. Warm Bellies Voters’ Choice Poll, we received 10 Special Edition Chill Pads for our shelter’s cats and dogs!
The Chill Pads have helped us provide soft, comfortable places to sleep and relax for the cats and dogs in our shelter’s care. We distributed five beds to the cats and five beds to the dogs and all of the animals took to them immediately! The beds are so warm and inviting and have been giving our adoptable animals much-deserved comfort and security in their cages and kennels while they wait for beds and homes of their own.
Ten at a time (the beds are being washed and reused to help new animals as others get adopted)
One of our dogs, Paige (first photo), had been waiting for surgery on her knee. She is a large dog and our kennels are made of brick and concrete, so the Chill Pad provided her with a wonderful cushion for her joints and a sense of comfort and security when she needed it the most. Paige has not yet been adopted but just received surgery this week and is now recovering in a foster home, so her bed was able to be given to another dog in need at the shelter!
Food, litter, and medical care for the sponsored cats.
It helped to cover the cost of care of a couple of our cats in foster homes.
Jasper (first photo) was rescued from outside at 6 years of age. He had clearly fended for himself for quite a while outside and had several battle scars to prove it. He was a very friendly boy, however, so after a few months in foster care and some medical treatment, he was adopted by a nice couple in Schaumburg. They have two other cats for him to hang out with.
George (second photo) was surrendered by a volunteer when she faced insurmountable personal medical issues. After a few months in foster care, he was adopted by a great gal in Spring Grove, with a French bulldog to be his companion.
The products were used for training, dog interaction, enrichment and encouragement to play, and to stimulate dogs’ minds and ease boredom.
We are a relatively “new” rescue and do not have adequate funding, so this helped us by providing toys, training tools and interactive enrichment items to our dogs.
Gaspar came to us as an adoption failure from another rescue. He was already labeled “aggressive,” primarily due to his resource-guarding of toys and food and his adopters’ lack of understanding. Gaspar was just a dog who didn’t like to be confined and, as stress relief, he held a toy in his mouth. We gave him a Kong when he arrived here as a stress-reliever. For the first few days, he would just play on his own with the Kong, and we were patient and waited for him to come to us for interaction. Within the first week, he was coming up to us with his Kong and asking for interaction. We slowly played with him to build trust and he would enjoy the game of fetch for a while and then go on his own. He loved his Kong (size extra large). Eventually he would come up to us with his Kong and give it to us as he desired the attention. He quickly figured out that, when we play with him and his Kong, he gets lots of personal attention. We have now formed a very trusting bond with him and he readily releases his Kong and other toys on command. He is no longer a dog who resource-guards and he is available for adoption. Meet Gaspar here.
The money was used to help offset the cost of care and fees for two dogs who have since been adopted.
As a municipal shelter, every bit of support helps! Especially with animals who have extended stays, sponsoring their adoption fee can help them find their forever home more quickly.
Espresso was finally adopted on July 9 after originally coming to our organization as a stray on April 16. He waited almost three months before he found his forever home, but it was worth it!