Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
The funding received is being used for potential adopters to offset Barry’s adoption fee and to purchase food, litter, and other items needed to set up a new cat, as well offsetting some of his ongoing medical costs, such as monthly depo shots for gingivitis-related ulcers in his mouth related to his FIV status.
Finding a home for a senior, FeLV- and FIV-positive cat requiring ongoing medical treatment is no easy task. Let’s face it, adopters’ largest fear is cost. Utilizing the grant, we can offer to offset these expenses, making Barry’s adoption more likely. As much as we love Barry and would allow him here furever, every adoption frees up resources, both physical and fiscal, so that we can help another needy cat.
Two: Directly, Barry, but indirectly, Barry’s replacement.
Barry is a very special boy who’s had a rough life. This senior, FeLV- and FIV-positive boy found himself at a very crowded shelter with little hope. We are grateful we were able to pull him into our program. This grant will go a long way toward offsetting the financial concerns many have associated with the prospect of adopting a senior cat. Barry has not been adopted yet, but we’re hopeful! His Petfinder page is here.
The grant funds were used for medication to provide to an adopter to reduce the barrier to adopting a senior animal with a long-term, manageable medical issue.
This grant allowed Penny, one of our longest-term residents, to be placed into a forever home by providing a year’s worth of medical care and medication for her at no cost to the adopter.
Penny was a super special girl who came to the rescue after the only person she had ever known passed away. She was clearly stressed and took quite a while to decompress, but once she did, she blossomed into one of the sweetest and most affectionate cats.
During her bloodwork, it was found that she had hyperthyroidism, a lifelong but manageable medical condition. Senior cats are always the hardest to get adopted and often live their lives out in foster care, but luckily, Penny had an amazing family reach out and express interest in her. However, they were concerned about being able to provide financially for her medical needs.
This Petfinder Foundation grant enabled us to cover her medications for a year and help these adopters say yes to making Penny a part of their forever family. She is now living the good life in her retirement home, having the run of the house, getting lots of pets and cuddles, and sleeping in her favorite spot — on the top of the cat tree by the window.
We are so happy that this girl got the happy ending that she so greatly deserved thanks to the generosity of the Petfinder Foundation.
The funds were used to upgrade our existing play yard in front of our administrative offices, converting the one play yard into a much safer dual play yard. Additionally, our outdated and dangerous shelter-side play yard gate will be upgraded.
The play yard will be completed in October 2021. Due to supply-line disruption and supply shortages caused by COVID, we had to postpone our project. We now have a signed contract with a construction vendor and a pending date. This project will help the organization by creating a safe pathway to the front door of the admin offices, as well as double the play yard capacity for the admin-office dogs. These play yards are far away from other dogs and have nice grass and good shading. Additionally, the fixed gate will keep pets and people much safer at the shelter.
The dog featured here is Snowball. He was very anxious at the shelter and selective around other dogs, so getting to spend time in the admin yard was very important to him. Whenever we brought him in from the admin play yard to the offices, he would hurl himself onto our laps even while we were trying to work. Although Snowball was adopted and returned twice within the same week (for barking!), he was quickly snatched up by the right family. The third time was the charm for Snowball!
The generous $500 Petfinder Foundation Cat Enrichment Grant was used to purchase cat enrichment items, including:
6 cat tunnels
6 small cat trees
6 scratcher poles with marble track built into the base
6 feather wand toys
70 catnip mice
30 mouse toys
24 bell toys
60 ball toys
These items were provided to 10 of our foster families to help in socializing our cats and kittens prior to their adoption to their forever homes.
CFFR is an all-foster based rescue with a network of about 60 foster families. One of each foster’s key responsibilities is to socialize our cats and kittens so that they can successfully transition to their permanent adopted homes.
Many of our cats and kittens have been abandoned or surrendered by their original owners, and oftentimes they are wary of people and hide or are afraid of being touched or held. This can be especially heartbreaking since these are innocent animals who may well have been neglected or abused, and it takes time and loving attention by our fosters to help them to begin trusting people again.
The cat enrichment items purchased through the Petfinder Foundation grant enabled our fosters to more effectively socialize our cats and kittens, thereby reducing the time it takes to socialize them prior to adoption and enabling us to foster and rehome more cats and kittens, ultimately saving more lives of these precious and innocent animals.
So far, 40 cats and kittens have benefited from the enrichment items, with 25 of those already adopted, five currently up for adoption and listed on Petfinder, and the remaining 10 not yet ready for adoption. Since many of the items purchased are durable, they will be available to help many more cats and kittens in our foster homes.
One of our fosters is a perfect example: She initially fostered a litter of four kittens who used the items (cat tree, tunnel, scratcher pole, and mice). Those kittens have been adopted and she is now fostering a second litter of three kittens who are also using those same items. We expect that our fosters will each use these items for multiple litters, as well as single adult cats, so in the end the Petfinder Foundation grant will have supported well over 100 cats and kittens!
40 cats and kittens have directly benefited from the enrichment items so far, with many more expected over the next few months.
Our fosters work hard to ensure their cats and kittens are socialized since cats and kittens that are playful and comfortable around people are adopted more quickly and have more satisfying and loving lives in their forever homes. The cat enrichment items purchased through the Petfinder Foundation grant have played an important part in socializing our foster cats and kittens, as described below by two of our fosters.
CFFR fosters Mark and Heather H. write: “We received the scratcher pole, cat tree, tunnel and toys, and a few mice from the Petfinder Foundation grant and brought them home to our 2-year-old foster mama cat, Miley, and her five kittens — Margy, Milly, Miles, Meek, and Marven (first photo).
“The kittens were initially leery of the toys, but since we showed them how they worked, they have spent hours playing with them. They love climbing up the cat tower and pouncing on each other, sleeping in the cube on the bottom, and ambushing any siblings who walk by.
“The scratcher pole is also a very fun toy, as it has large marbles that roll around in the base. The kittens will pass the balls back and forth to each other and use the top to play king of the mountain (one kitten will climb to the tippy top of the post while their siblings try to knock them down!).
“Miley, our mama cat, is 2 years old and has spent much of her adult life raising kittens (this litter is probably her second or third). She is a great mama, but she has missed out on playing and being a kitten. Due to this, we haven’t been able to engage her with toys — she just wasn’t interested. One night after we brought home the grant items, I caught her wrapped around the scratching post and she was playing with the marbles! She batted them around for a good while and her kittens even joined her. We were so happy to see her being a playful cat! The second photo shows Miley playing with the scratcher pole with her kittens.
“All of the kittens were posted on Petfinder and have been adopted into their forever homes. Miley is currently available for adoption on Petfinder. You can meet Miley here.
“Once Miley is adopted, we look forward to using the enrichment items to help socialize another litter!”
CFFR foster Jennifer D. writes: “My foster kittens loved the enrichment toys! We put the assorted toys that came with the tunnel in a box and presented it to the kittens. They sniffed them and chose their favorites to pull out, which were the mice and the balls with the feathers.
“That particular group of fosters was still pretty shy, and they were hesitant to play and interact with us or each other much, but I saw one of the kittens bat a mouse to one of the other kittens to invite her to play. I saw it with my own eyes!
“The larger toys — the scratcher pole, the tunnel, and the tree — were huge hits with both recent groups of fosters I’ve had. The marbles to chase at the base of the scratcher pole got them interested right away. They love doing surprise attacks from the other side of the pole. The tunnel has been great for a group because they can pounce on each other from several entrances, or even from the top opening (third photo). They love the crinkly sound it makes when they’re running through. They also like to hide or relax while peeping out (fourth photo).
“The tree is so soft that it has become a favorite spot (fifth and sixth photos). Of course, they like to be up high, so the top perch is very popular, but the middle perch gets a lot of use when the top one is occupied. The bottom, partially enclosed, area doubles as a private sleeping area, but it might be used even more as a position for attacking and being attacked. The two openings are great because they keep every kitten on his or her toes, deciding which way to go.
“Last but not least, you can’t go wrong with a feather wand (bottom photo)! They love it so much that they’ll attack it and carry it around during solo play, but they will happily watch it and chase it for as long as a human will dangle it and shake it, so it’s a great way to spend playtime together. It’s a good way to get the kittens to interact with each other, too. It’s funny to see all their heads bobbing at once to watch it, and then they wind up wrestling each other, so it’s a win-win. Kittens will play together no matter what, but the right toys, like these, help them socialize no matter how shy they are. Play helps them become the best adoptable kittens they can be.
“All of these kittens were posted on Petfinder and have been adopted, and I am now fostering another litter of three kittens who are reusing the same cat enrichment items!”
We used money to help purchase worming medication.
We put it towards a bottle of pyrantel to worm new pups upon intake. Thank you!
Our three newest intake pups received the pyrantel, and what relief they must be feeling getting rid of those pesky intestinal parasites.
We were able to receive compounded ponazuril, metroniazole, and vaccines to keep the rescues healthy and rid of coccidia. With a recent coccidiosis outbreak in a litter of puppies, we were able to obtain a prescription that helped treat those pups and the pups they were in a play yard with. All the pups were treated and had been given ponazuril compounded medication, which is a fast-acting medicine that kills the coccidia. Treatment was three days rather than the typical 10-day regimen. Two trays of vaccines were also purchased to vaccinate 50 pups in rescue. We thank you for helping us help the voiceless animals.
This is the remarkable story of Fallon the Fighter. She just found her forever home, and she will have a wonderful life. Her eight siblings were not as fortunate, but I’m sure they will all be watching over her as she experiences her new healthy, happy life.
On July 1, 2021, 2 Hands Saving 4 Paws Humane Society, Inc., received a plea for help from a resident within in our community. They had a litter of puppies that needed to be surrendered due to a family member being unable to care for them.
Upon viewing the initial photo we received (first photo), and the deplorable condition the pups were living in, we immediately took the puppies into rescue.
When we received the puppies, they were extremely dehydrated and infested with fleas. Their tiny bodies were bloated with worms; they had skin issues and weeping sores all over their bodies; they were lethargic, lacking a proper food source; and several had neurological issues, as evidenced by their tremors and shaking.
We immediately bathed, wormed, and settled them into our indoor quarantine area (second photo).
Over the next several days, we rushed them one by one to our veterinarian (third photo) for declining health and an overburden of intestinal parasites like nothing we’d ever seen.
The director of the organization watched them around the clock, giving them supportive care, subcutaneous fluids, vitamins, glucose, probiotics, and wet food by hand to help them gain strength. The puppies were diagnosed with several different parasites, coccidiosis, giardia, and skin infections. One by one, they started to pass away, leaving just one survivor, whom we named Fallon the Fighter.
Like her siblings, Fallon had enormous abscesses develop all over her body as a result of living in a crowded crate and sleeping in her own feces and urine. Some of the abscesses needed to be drained several times a day and have warm compresses applied to help keep them from hardening.
Unfortunately, the initial treatment for the coccidiosis and runny stool was not working.
The grant we received gave us the funds to purchase a stronger, compounded medication that immediately helped kill the coccidiosis that was ravaging Fallon’s body. We ordered and received our ponazuril overnight, along with a compounded metronidazole prescribed by our veterinarian. After the first couple of doses, we noticed an immediate change (fourth photo). Fallon was eating more, and no longer having watery, greenish stools.
Fallon the Fighter was living up to her name: She started to bloom and grow (fifth photo). She no longer weighed just a few ounces. She become playful and found her bark rather than only crying and whining. Vaccines were given every two weeks and in late August 2021, she was healthy enough to be spayed.
Just this past week, Fallon the Fighter was cleared for adoption, and we transported her to New Jersey (sixth photo), where we host adoption events monthly. This past Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, she found a wonderful forever home (last photo). We told her new dad her story and the fight she fought to thrive and survive the horrific start to her life.
We know her eight siblings will be watching over her from beyond the Rainbow Bridge and cheering her on as she gets to experience a full, healthy, happy life.
We are thrilled with this “happy tail” ending for one very special little fighter who was determined to live on.
The Emergency Medical Grant was used to pay for Rocco’s surgery to remove the cancerous mass on his hind end. He’s now not only had surgery but also follow-up radiation.
Without this grant, Rocco’s life would have been very short due to the location and rate of growth of the cancer. This grant enabled us to get him the surgery that he needed to remove the majority of the cancer. He can now look forward to years of living his best life.
Rocco came into our care with two perianal adenomas that had developed cancer. This was likely due to the fact that he had not been neutered. Now, he is both neutered and has had surgery to remove the majority of the cancer, with radiation to address what remained.
Rocco is friendly, playful, goofy, loving, and loyal. He gets along with other dogs and especially loves smaller females who are bossy and will play with him (though he does get along with others). He loves to go for walks and thinks that everyone is outside just to say hi to him. One of his favorite low-calorie treats is ice cubes. He is house trained and easy on a leash. His loves to snuggle and get kisses on his head — he is such a loving boy. He is now available for adoption! You can meet Rocco here.
The grant was used for medical care and treatment for a total of seven abandoned dogs.
One of the seven dogs helped by this grant had been shot by an unknown person (first photo). The grant helped offset some of the costs of her surgery and medical treatment.
Another had been abandoned near a local river ferry (second photo). The grant paid for his medical evaluation and shots/vaccinations.
The remaining five dogs cared for were a set of puppies abandoned on a rural county road (third photo). The grant paid for their initial puppy shot series.
All these puppies and dogs are currently being fostered and will be adopted to new families when their vaccinations and spays/neuters are completed.
Baby Girl (first and second photos) is a friendly dog who was abandoned in a rural area in the county. She was shot in the jaw with a high-powered weapon, which shattered her jaw. The gunshot fractured her mandible/jaw bone and she required two complicated surgeries to repair the extensive internal injuries.
She received a surgery called “external fixation.” She is recovering well and will go to a foster home to fully recover and then be adopted out to a new family. A big thank-you to Dr. Jerrod Johnson at Animal House, who performed the surgery, and also to Dr. Kim Lewis, who initially saw Baby Girl and provided transportation to and from the North Stewart vet clinic to and from Animal House in Clarksville, Tenn.
Baby Girl was rescued, treated, and is being fostered by a Humane Society of Dover-Stewart County volunteer while she is healing. She is expected to make a full recovery after her next surgery on her jaw. Although the vet bill is expected to exceed $800, the Bar Dog Grant helped defray at least a bit of the cost. Baby Girl is a super-sweet dog and will be adopted when she recovers from her wounds.
Kongs for kennel enhancement.
Our dogs are loving their new Kongs. We put peanut butter in them and on them and our dogs absolutely love them. The Kongs help with boredom during the evening when nobody is around to walk them.
It would be hard to determine, as the dogs come and go in our shelter often. It will certainly be in the hundreds each year.
Mahoney (first photo) is a pit bull-shepherd mix who was with us for five months. The daily KONG helped him avoid kennel boredom for his long stay with us. He looked forward to his KONG like clockwork every day. It was a joy to see him have so much fun in his kennel tossing his toy around. Mohoney has been adopted. Thank you so much for adding to our kennel enhancement program.
The Norfolk SPCA is so grateful to have received KONG toys and treats from the Petfinder Foundation; they have provided more enriching experiences for the dogs in our care as they await their new homes. Staff and volunteers take time to stuff KONGs with peanut butter, kibble, and other goodies to give to dogs in kennels. Also, the toys made for great fetch in our shelter’s agility yard, giving dogs a much-needed break and exercise outdoors.
The generous KONG toy and treat donation from Petfinder Foundation was a huge help to keep dogs occupied while they waited for their forever homes. We have had a number of long-term residents whose kennel behavior has declined over their time in our care. KONGs have been a key tool to help these long-timers keep their bodies and minds enriched while they await their new homes.
150 dogs have been helped through this grant so far.
Although our team works around the clock to ensure animals are moved into new homes as soon as possible, sometimes dogs and cats inexplicably stay in our shelter for extended periods of time. For dogs like Waylen, it can take a while longer for a loving family to come visit and take notice. We are excited to share that our longest resident Waylen finally found his new family this September, and our new KONGs donated by the Petfinder Foundation played an important role in his arrival home.
Waylen, a 3-year-old pit bull mix, arrived at the Norfolk SPCA in November 2020 from one of our shelter-transfer partners in Gloucester, VA. He was among a group of six dogs who all found their new homes within a month of arriving, but despite countless social-media appearances and adopter meetings, Waylen waited over 10 months before finally meeting his new family.
Shelters can be a very stressful experience for dogs like Waylen. After a few months passed, Waylen started having a difficult time in his kennel. Thankfully, his love of snack-stuffed KONG toys won over his over-excited behavior, helping him to remain calm and focused while fishing for kibble and peanut butter as potential adopters came in to look. His new, perfect forever family finally arrived in September 2021. Self-described “pit-bull people,” the couple had lost their former dog two years before deciding to adopt their new best friend.
The Petfinder Foundation’s generosity was essential in helping Waylen find his new family. It took nearly a year for Waylen to arrive home, but we are thankful for tools like KONGs and other activities that give long-timers like him much-needed enrichment to pass time and maintain positive behavior.