Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
We used our grant money to buy the following cat enrichment items: catnip toys, cat trees, wand toys, cat tunnels, turbo scratchers, freeze-dried minnow treats and a heated cat bed.
This grant helped ACT V Rescue & Rehabilitation by providing additional funds to purchase important enrichment items for our cats in foster care. Because we received these additional funds, we are able to send favorite wand toys with our cats to their adoptive homes. In doing this, our volunteers have an opportunity to coach adoptive homes on how important play is for indoor cats. Our cats will benefit from this engagement with their new owners in different ways. Cats who engage more frequently with their owners will become more social overall, which increases the likelihood of them remaining in their adoptive homes. Cats who receive enrichment and are given a chance to participate in instinctual play will be happier and display fewer undesirable behaviors.
The items purchased with scratching surfaces allow us to provide appropriate choices for our cats to scratch. Teaching and reinforcing these appropriate choices benefits our adoptive homes, as scratching furniture (or other inappropriate surfaces) is often an undesirable cat behavior. Our adoption contract requires adopters to agree to a strict “no declaw” policy, and we want to help set families up for success.
Cat tunnels provide a place for our cats and kittens to hide and stalk each other during play. Hiding, stalking and pouncing are instinctual cat behaviors (related to hunting prey). We posted a great video of this on our Facebook page (the Petfinder Foundation was tagged). Tunnels also provide a place to have some privacy and rest, something that is important for cats who like to have a quiet space to retreat at times.
The freeze-dried minnow treats have been used to make vet visits less stressful.
Since receiving this grant, we have provided foster homes with enrichment items for 30 cats.
Penny (first four photos) is a 1-year-old female dilute tortie. Her mom was a pregnant barn cat who came into rescue through another organization. Once her kittens were born, it was obvious that two of them had serious health issues. In May of 2019, ACT V Rescue & Rehabilitation was asked to help, and the two sick kittens were transferred into our care. Since then, we have been unable to find a medical diagnosis for Penny. She has seen multiple ophthalmologists and a dermatologist; had skin biopsies, x-rays, and urine, blood and stool tests; been on multiple medication trials for her skin/eyes/ears; and been on food trials.
While we have made some progress, she continues to struggle with the same symptoms: flaky skin, coarse coat, eye drainage and ear debris build-up. She grooms as she should, but is unable to keep herself clean. This means she needs frequent eye cleanings and baths, something that is hard for a cat to have regularly. Because traditional medical interventions alone did not resolve Penny’s symptoms, and her health and quality of life are important to us, we decided to use an integrative medical approach.
Penny’s current treatment regimen includes having her eyes wiped out every one to two days, monthly baths and ear cleanings, and monthly acupuncture sessions (second photo), including both a traditional medical check-up and a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) assessment. Her medications are a low-dose steroid, TCM herbs, an anti-anxiety medication and a probiotic.
Penny has been in her foster home for more than a year. Her favorite things in life are sparkle balls, freeze-dried minnows (third photo), her dachshund foster sister, and her heated bed (fourth photo).
Penny enjoys her acupuncture visits. The vet staff take great care to make sure Penny’s vet visits are positive, since she goes so often. At these visits, we give her time to play with her sparkle balls and lots of freeze-dried minnows. At home, she uses her heated bed almost daily. We got this bed for her so she would have a warm place to dry off after baths, which she loves to do. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation grant, we had funds to stock up on Penny’s favorite treats and toys and we also bought her heated cat bed.
The staff at Penny’s vet clinic love her personality and look forward to her visits. Penny’s foster family describe her as sweet, funny and adorable. We hope that someday a family will come forward who is willing to take on Penny’s chronic medical issues. Until then, we are committed to giving her the best we can. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for helping us do that!
Grant was for pet beds.
They loved lounging and sleeping on the beds and are very comfortable.
At one time or another, all in our care.
Since the beds were used by all, it’s hard to pin down one particular cat. The cat in the first picture is Rose, who was the oldest cat at the shelter. She was approximately 9 years old and had several medical issues. It was very important that she had a comfortable place to relax, and she loved the beds we were granted. Rose got her Christmas miracle when one of our volunteers, the lady pictured with her, decided she was going to adopt Rose. So Rose got to spend her very first Christmas in a loving home. Thank you for all you guys do to help. Happy New Year to all of you, and I know Rose is going to love starting the New Year in a home of her own.
We received a 2019 KONG Toy Grant and used the Kongs to provide enrichment and entertainment for the adoptable dogs in our care.
This grant of Kongs has been especially useful for dogs who are temporarily housed at our small facility, The Haven Hut. We are primarily a foster-based rescue, but The Hut is used for short-term housing in that gap between when a dog needs rescue from a shelter and when a foster home is available. Dogs typically spend a few days to a couple weeks at The Hut, and Kongs allow them have something special of their own to play with (and get treats of frozen peanut butter to snack on) outside of the shifts when volunteers are there to play, walk, and cuddle with them.
We have also provided some of the Kongs to our fosters with puppies who need to learn what is appropriate to chew (including Perdita, the black mixed-breed puppy in the second photo; she has been adopted!), and fosters with heavy chewers so that our adoptables have special items to keep them safely entertained while they adapt to home life and prepare for adoption.
25 (so far)
Celeste (first photo) is a 6-year-old pittie mix who is quite intelligent and thrives when she has something to keep her busy and engaged. She loves to work her brain with toys more than almost anything, and is very happy to spend some time with her Kong (especially when it’s filled with treats like peanut butter!). Because Celeste is a heavy chewer, Kongs are great for her as she gets mental stimulation while she figures out how to get her tasty snacks, and has long-lasting fun chewing something that holds up to her chomping. Celeste is still available for adoption, and her ideal home is one with a family (no young children, please) who will keep her active and mentally stimulated so she can use her energy in positive ways!
We used our generous cat enrichment grant from the Petfinder Foundation to purchase a kitty running wheel and new cat trees for cats to play, climb and hide in.
While they are living at the cafe and waiting for a forever home, we know that it is so important for the kitties to have enrichment for their mental and physical health. Our kitties love to play with our customers and volunteers and love to run around and play with each other, but we are always looking out for new and creative ways to enrich their bodies and minds. Our kitties are housed in a cage-free community area and the more socialized, playful and interactive they are, the more likely they are to catch someone’s eye and get adopted!
Since we set up the kitty running wheel, one of our adoptable kitties, Marley (first and second photos), was the first to figure it out and LOVES running around and around chasing toys or treats. He is a sweet boy with a LOT of energy and the running wheel is a great way for him to play, interact with people and burn off some energy. When you live with 50+ cats, it can sometimes be overwhelming, but Marley has been able to stand out to customers and volunteers when he “shows off” by running on the cat wheel. Marley is still looking for a forever home. You can meet him here.
The product was used to provide enrichment for the more than 200 dogs in our care at any given time.
KONG products give anxious dogs a less destructive outlet for their natural chewing instinct in reaction to the anxiety they may be experiencing due to abandonment or the shelter environment. An outlet for anxiety and excess energy like the KONG products provide helps animals to be more easily adoptable.
Dudley (first photo) is a very sweet and loyal boy who was surrendered by his owner to the shelter. Sadly, he was not thriving in the shelter environment. He was very timid at first, but once he gets to know you he is very sweet and loving. The Kong toys provided staff a way to connect with Dudley. Thanks to a post on our Facebook page featuring this adorable picture of Dudley enjoying a peanut-butter stuffed KONG, he was fostered for the holidays and we are hoping it turns into a permanent placement.
Grant funds were used for our kitten Phossy, who underwent lifesaving surgery to amputate her shattered leg and to correct the bite trauma to her face.
This grant enabled Paws for Life to afford special lifesaving veterinary care for Phossy in order for her to become adoptable. Financial support like this grant allows us to save more lives and provide needed medical care for homeless pets awaiting adoption.
In July, Phossy came to Paws for Life after she managed to find her way into a trap and was taken to Animal Control. After some x-rays to determine the cause of her limping, we found that she had a shattered leg that needed to be amputated, as well as nose and lip trauma. Phossy’s leg amputation surgery went really well and she’s doing just fine. She has been happier and more mobile without her shattered leg. Her nose cartilage was destroyed due to a previous bad injury and her nasal passage had healed poorly, closing off the airway on one side. For a period of time, she had a stent placed in, and then surgery was done to repair the area (it may need more correction). She struggled with a very bad URI for a while but recovered. Although her foster mom had fostered dozens of cats and kittens before with Paws for Life, Phossy had a special place in her heart from the moment she came to her. After seeing Phossy through several rounds of antibiotics, an amputation, two nasal surgeries to reconstruct her nose, and lots of socialization, her foster mom realized she would never be leaving, and today Phossy enjoys her life at home socializing other kittens. She has been renamed Shrimp.
Funds were used to waive the $75 adoption fee for 8-year-old dachshund mix Sara. In addition, the funds covered the dental exam, cleaning and extractions that Sara needed ($250). Her new owners also received gift cards for Petco ($352) that they can put towards purchasing healthy food for Sara.
Sara is an adorable dog with a grey muzzle and big brown eyes. She was desperately in need of a second chance. The 8-year-old dachshund was transferred to Rancho Coastal Humane Society because her elderly owner was no longer able to care for her. Sara arrived very overweight at 21 lbs; her ideal body weight is just 13-14 lbs. This extra weight is bad for Sara; her ability to get around and play is compromised. In meeting with prospective adopters for Sara, the endorsement of the benefits of a senior pet, as well as the support of the Petfinder Foundation and Purina One in Sara’s adoption and care, were very helpful.
Sara was adopted by an experienced dachshund owner who immediately fell in love with her. Sara’s new family is committed to taking her for lots of walks and playtime in their backyard. The new owners are home all day, which is great. Sara will even have a new brother, a 2-year-old Lab/shepherd mix, with whom she gets along great. Sara’s new family is committed to feeding Sara an appropriate diet to help her slim down. They will be consulting with their vet after getting settled. Sara had already lost a few pounds since arriving at RCHS, and no doubt she will be down to her goal weight in no time in her new home.
Enrichment activity for the dogs during socialization and physical exercise
We learned about recipes to try inside of the KONG from the KONG website. The pets got to explore new flavors to enhance the taste and get some great mental and olfactory stimulation, too.
Four instantly when we received the items and about 12 more since the grant was received.
Harley (first and second photos) is a physically active dog with lots of energy, so between volunteer shifts, he would get a KONG to entertain him while he waited for his next walk or training of the day. From his Petfinder profile: “Harley is a sweet and loving boy who is full of energy. He loves chasing around tennis balls and swimming.
Harley is positive for microfilaria but thankfully is negative for heartworm. Since he has microfilaria, there will be some ongoing medical treatment needed, however, ROAR will be helping with those costs!” Meet Harley here.
The Kongs were used to enrich the lives of the dogs while they are staying in our shelter. They were integrated into our daily enrichment schedule.
The Kongs are used on a daily basis to help the mental and physical health of the animals in our care. Boredom and stress can take their toll on any shelter dog. With the help of these Kongs, we were able to integrate play and fun into their daily routine. This helps break up their day between walks and makes for a happier, healthier dog!
All the dogs who have entered our shelter since we received the Kongs — 233 in total
Stasha was a young black-and-white puppy whose littermates were all adopted. Spending her days alone in a kennel, she was getting rather nervous and shaky. When we gave her a Kong, she lit up. She spent two hours nosing and playing with the Kong, all the while wagging her tail. Stasha was adopted three days later, but during her stay, the happiest we saw her was when we presented her with her daily Kong.
We received Kong-brand toys to help engage our foster kitties!
The toys helped our foster kitties to learn positive play habits, and get them noticed by adopters too when they would play with the toys at events.
Spike (first photo) loves catnip toys! His cute photos and videos helped him to find his adopter. He was adopted! Spicy (other photos) also has loved the Kong toys. She came to us as a semiferal kitty with an ear tip, and she’s still learning to play and interact with humans. She hasn’t been adopted yet, but she sure is cute and absolutely loves the toys that we were given with the grant!