Success Stories

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

Rejection Collection Boxer Rescue: P.L.A.Y. Pet Beds
What was the money or product used for?

The P.L.A.Y. pet beds were used to provide comfortable sleeping spots for 20 rescued boxers and boxer mixes in our foster homes.

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

This grant helped our organization by providing pet beds in foster homes. This saved the rescue money and provided clean, comfortable sleeping spots that each dog could call their own. For some dogs, this was the first time they had their very own soft, clean bed.

How many pets did this grant help?

21 (two puppies shared one bed — see pics)

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

Tria (first photo) is a tripod who thoroughly enjoys a quick, comfy spot on which to rest her three legs! The P.L.A.Y. beds are great; they are lightweight and perfect to use inside the house or outside on the patio. Tria says this bed is pawsome! Tria has since found her loving forever home!

How do you calm down rambunctious, squirmy puppies (photos two through five)? Put them on a P.L.A.Y. bed! These two little male pups, Mackn and Cheez, were dumped on the doorstep of a vet clinic in Ohio along with their seven siblings at the tender age of one week old.

RCBR was contacted along with other rescues and, even though our mission is to rescue senior and special-needs boxers, we stepped up to the challenge and committed to two of the nine puppies (the other seven went to other rescues). These two little guys THRIVED and have since found their forever homes. The photos are of them snuggling on the P.L.A.Y. pet bed provided by this grant. Mackn and Cheez say THANKS!

Pasadena Humane Society: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The product is used by our behavior team to provide enrichment activities to the animals in our care.

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

This grant helped provide the animals in our care with enrichment activities that help keep their minds stimulated. Being in a shelter environment can be stressful, but the Kong gives the animals an outlet for that stress. And since Kongs are very durable, they will continue to provide hours of enrichment to the animals in our care for the rest of the year.

How many pets did this grant help?

1100

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

Meet Zoey. Zoey was surrendered to us by her owner in March. When she first came into our care, Zoey was nervous and would vocalize at the front of her kennel very loudly. In the kennel environment, Zoey was struggling with stress and anxiety. Volunteers found it difficult to handle her and she became mouthy and unruly.

Our enrichment volunteers and staff worked with Zoey to help satisfy her daily needs. One of Zoey’s favorite things to do is chew and lick. By providing Zoey will a Kong filled with treats and canned food, we were able to provide an outlet that helps her keep calm and engaged. She is now enjoying coming out of her kennel and playing with toys, including her favorite red Kong!

The behavior team and volunteers at Pasadena Humane are very appreciative of these kinds of donations and would not be able to continue to provide essential enrichment without people like you. You can meet Zoey here.

Elk County Humane Society: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

We received new Kongs for our shelter animals’ enrichment. This allowed us to replace the worn-out ones we had been using.

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

The grant allowed our shelter to continue to use Kongs as enrichment for the dogs housed in our facility. Proper enrichment ensures that dogs in shelters maintain good mental health and allows for less stress.

How many pets did this grant help?

Since we disinfect the Kongs and reuse them, any dog coming through our shelter is helped by having these new Kongs. On average, we house 10-15 dogs at a time.

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

One dog helped by the grant was Doug. He came to us through a program we have to bring dogs up from the South. Doug was with us about 45 days. He had a lot of energy, and even his long walks did not always burn that energy off.

Giving him Kongs with treats or peanut butter in them gave him activities to focus on and helped him to burn his energy by engaging his mind. Attached are two pictures of Doug at a summer library program. He accompanied shelter volunteers and board members to talk with the kids about proper care for pets.

Humane Society of Central Illinois: Capital Improvement Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Water heater replacement project. Grant funds plus funds raised by HSCI were used to replace two old water heaters. Larger water heaters were installed to provide adequate hot water for the shelter.

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

Having adequate hot water to clean and sanitize the shelter reduces the chances of spreading germs and disease. It also provides a cleaner environment so that the shelter is a place that people want to come to adopt animals.

How many pets did this grant help?

More than 800 annually

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

Hello everybody! My name is Sonny and I am a 3-year-old male cat. I am very sociable and outgoing fella who loves to talk to anyone that says hi to me. I don’t like other cats at all and I am not too fond of dogs either. I can be a little moody and want my space, especially if I’m eating.

I am waiting patiently to find just the right family to adopt me. As I am waiting, the staff at HSCI takes very good care of me. They clean my habitat every day and scrub the floor. The water they used was cold because the old water heaters could not provide enough hot water for the facility.

Thanks in part to a grant from Petfinder Foundation, we now have new water heaters that provide enough hot water for the staff to clean, which helps me stay healthy. You can meet Sonny here.

Gerda's Equine Rescue: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Money from this grant was used to purchase hay for our rescue horses.

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

This grant was a lifesaver! It allowed us to purchase much-needed hay for our horses and gave us the time we needed to fundraise for the remaining money that was used to pay for repairs caused by unexpected flash floods. Thank you!

How many pets did this grant help?

25

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

Cosmo (first and second photos) came to Gerda’s Equine Rescue in 2019 from a feedlot. He had a huge abscess in his front foot. It took more than a year for the abscess to grow out with consistent trimming and therapy boots, but his hoof has finally grown out and he is ready for adoption! Money from this grant helped pay for hay for Cosmo while he waited for his forever home, and it paid off: Cosmo has a pending adopter who is coming to see him this weekend!

Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS): Capital Improvement Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Our Petfinder Foundation Capital Improvement Grant was used to purchase new, state-of-the-art cat condos for our shelter facility, where we care for our most vulnerable rescued animals before they become available for adoption, including those who are suffering from injury or illness. Each condo in the improved cattery features proper space for stretching and lounging, a shelf for perching, separate food and litter-box spaces, and portals between cages for cats to socialize when appropriate. Our cats are already so much more comfortable!

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

Our improved cat condos offer many documented benefits for shelter cats. They reduce the cats’ stress levels, which in turn keeps them healthier, as stress is a trigger for illness. They facilitate more thorough disinfecting by shelter staff, which limits the spread of disease. The added space each cat can enjoy also makes it easier for staff and volunteers to evaluate their behavior and personalities to make quality adoptive matches.

Matchmaking is at the heart of what we do, and a low-stress environment where cats’ true selves can emerge is key to making excellent, lifetime placements. When cats are moved from our main shelter to an adoption location, they arrive less stressed and more behaviorally balanced, setting them up for immediate success in greeting and connecting with adopters.

These improvements especially benefit some of the most vulnerable cat populations we save, including stressed and shy cats, giving them a chance to relax and adjust, as well as those who are non-social with other cats.

High-quality individual condo units enable us to safely accommodate cats with communicable conditions — those whose lives depend on our capacity to rescue them — while maximizing their quality of life during their stay with us. The units also act as temporary housing for healthy cats who are waiting for space to open at one of our adoption locations, ensuring a smooth flow of adoption-ready cats through our matchmaking program. Taken together, these factors result in reduced overall lengths of stay for the cats we rescue, enabling us to save more of those who need us.

How many pets did this grant help?

Almost every cat we rescue spends time in our main shelter’s general cat-housing room at some point, so these upgraded cat condos will improve the lives of at least 2,500 cats this year alone. We expect the condos to have a long life, housing tens of thousands of stray and surrendered cats as part of our mission to make Philadelphia a no-kill city.

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

Mushu (first photo) is a sweet senior cat whom we rescued from the city shelter in order to diagnose and treat his variety of medical issues. It was clear he had a long road ahead of him as we worked to find the cause of his stomach upset and emaciation.

Due to the extensive care and monitoring Mushu needs, including surgery to remove a mass in his stomach, his stay at the shelter has been much longer than most. The upgraded cat condos make a tremendous difference in his quality of life, giving him more room to stretch, move around, and comfortably rest. In addition, having a separate space for a full-sized litter box is vital to his well-being because of his chronic joint inflammation. Mushu is finally nearing the end of his treatment and recovery, and will find a forever home soon.

Cute and cuddly Thor (second photo) came to PAWS as a stray, and he stayed in our new cat condos while we attempted to reunite him with his owner. Although that reunion turned out not to be possible, Thor charmed us with his sweet disposition, and he quickly found a loving adopter.

Life on the street and in a shelter can be stressful for cats, so being able to offer them ample space to decompress and come out of their shells at their own pace is invaluable. It offers safety, security, and comfort to cats when they need it most, and allows our staff to see who they truly are as we work to match them with ideal forever homes.

Ozarks Kat and K9: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The $1,000 awarded to us through this grant was used to send our new Animal Enrichment Technician to the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program with training in playgroups and fancy footwork, which she attended at Longmont Humane Society in Longmont, Colorado, from June 7-10, 2021.

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

This generous grant allowed us to expand the education of our employee, who in turn shares her knowledge with our entire shelter staff. This has greatly increased the adoptability of the animals in our care and significantly improves their chances for success in their new forever homes.

How many pets did this grant help?

From June 2021 to the present, this grant has helped 48 dogs.

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

Our precious lovebug, Jewel, joined us here at the shelter in January of 2021 along with her eight babies who were just 9 days old. She was found, with her newborns, in an old barn on the finder’s property. She was a good mama and all her babies found their new homes quickly. Unfortunately, after moving to our adoption floor, she did not get much interest from adopters. She was protective and she had a hard time accepting strangers or other animals.

Thankfully, due to the tools learned at the DPFL mentorship, we were able to get Jewel involved in playgroup, and she was surprisingly successful. She became our rock star in playgroup. She helped many other dogs learn the joys of playgroup and socialization.

Jewel got a lot of publicity during a visit from Scott Poore with Mission Driven, which brought her into the spotlight of hopeful adopters in the bigger city.

After Jewel had lived at the shelter for 190 days, we finally got the opportunity to transfer her to our good friends at Great Plains SPCA in Merriam, Kansas, where she quickly found her forever home in just a few days!

She now lives happily with two new canine companions, and enjoys frequent visits from her owners’ grandchildren, who all love her as much as we do!

Without the knowledge we gained through DPFL training, Jewel’s story would likely be a much different one. We are so thankful for all the good accomplished through your program!

Colorado Animal Rescue: Cat Enrichment
What was the money or product used for?

4 Bluetooth speakers
Feather wand toy
Squiggly worm wand
30 wire teaser cat toys
10 Feliway calming sprays
2 aromatherapy sets
Strategy game cat toy
2 puzzle-and-play cat toys
3 slow feeder mats
4 Fun Cat feed mat
5 slow feeders
18 harnesses and leashes

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

This grant allowed us to purchase enrichment supplies to boost our enrichment program and better the lives of the cats in our care. We were able to buy some supplies to help cats with their transitions to new homes as they get adopted, including stress-reducing pheromone sprays, nutrition supplements, and interactive prey play toys to go home with the adopted cats.

We were also able to make smart long-term purchases of items that we can use continuously over time for all the cats in our care, both now and into the future, including interactive prey play wand toys with interchangeable ends, puzzle feeders and slow feeders, portable Bluetooth speakers to provide calming sounds to cats in specialized spaces throughout the shelter, and an inventory of various-sized cat harnesses and leashes for training and enrichment.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant has already helped all the cats in our care and will continue to help countless more. Almost of the items we were able to get will be able to be used for years to come, so this grant has truly provided enrichment for an endless number of cats.

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

Sweetie (pictured) is a senior cat who has had a long stay with us. While she’s a senior in age, she acts like a kitten in energy. One way she shows this is in her enthusiasm for food and her high intelligence level. To help her live the best life she can while at the shelter, we give Sweetie her food in treat puzzles and slow feeders. This helps her eat at a healthy pace while keeping her mentally stimulated and challenged. Because of this grant, we were able to provide Sweetie with a variety of these tools to keep her life fully enriched and ensure she is always using her brain and staying healthy. You can meet Sweetie here.

The Good Shepherd Humane Society, Inc.: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to send our Animal Services Supervisor to DPFL training.

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

We have been able to safely implement a play yard program.

How many pets did this grant help?

Several dozen so far

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

Tucker was found at Inspiration Point late last August. A week after that, he was brought to Good Shepherd. Tucker is a good dog, but his behavior in the shelter had him quickly labeled “dog-aggressive.” Literally dozens of families passed on adopting him because of this; most people who come in to adopt already have at least one pet in the home.

We tried everything to promote Tucker. We made him Pet of the Week multiple times, we named him king on Mardi Gras, and we featured him whenever we could. However, the fear of his dog aggression kept him in our kennel.

Tucker spent more than 300 days in our shelter before someone was interested in him (we have an average stay of one month). When a family did adopt him, he was returned in two weeks due to family issues.

We hated to see him come back because it had taken so long to find the first home, but we loved Tucker and were committed to seeing him placed.

Soon after Tucker was returned, another homecoming took place. Terry, our Animal Services Supervisor, came back from a weeklong training in Colorado. Terry, thanks to a grant from the Petfinder Foundation, had attended a special training called Dogs Playing for Life.

This training focused on running playgroups in shelters in a safe and effective way. We were very excited about the program. However, I will admit I was surprised when Terry told me he wanted to try Tucker in the playgroup.

He wanted Tucker, big, bad Tucker, in the playgroup with a bunch of other dogs. I honestly thought Terry was crazy, but he had gone through training, had all the safety equipment, and wanted to give it a shot. So I did what all good bosses do: I pretended to have the utmost confidence in my staff while silently saying a very emphatic prayer that, hopefully, Terry knew what he was doing.

Soon I get a call on the radio: They are asking me to come out to the play yard. I was slightly worried, but when I saw what was going on, I immediately knew that starting playgroups had been the right decision. There, in the middle of a large group of dogs, just playing like there was no tomorrow, was Tucker!

Big, bad, dog-aggressive Tucker, just there in the middle of the pack having, a ball. I couldn’t believe it. In just a few minutes of playgroup, we learned more about Tucker than we had in almost a year in the shelter. Tucker is now in a foster home that we hope to make permanent.

Shelters are not a natural environment for dogs. The stress of being kennel in a loud, smelly, strange place can make even the kindest dog grumpy and mean. When you see a dog behind the door of kennel, you are not seeing that whole dog, and we mustn’t judge them solely on that.

Instituting playgroups has been an amazing step forward for the dogs in our care. Today we are going to talk with Terry about playgroups, the training, and what he hopes to see at Good Shepherd in the future.

Adopt Rescue Foster: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Kristof had an FHO performed, then went through rehab.

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

It helped by paying a portion of his surgical bill.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Kristof came to us in April with a body score of 0. He was severely emaciated and had numerous medical problems. He wasn’t healthy enough to undergo surgery for his hips right away, but after a couple of months in foster care, he put on weight, and his heart was healthy enough to have his first femoral head ostectomy (FHO). He went through months of rehab on that hip. He is currently waiting to have his second FHO.

His foster will be adopting him once he has had his second surgery and has healed.