Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
We used the grant funds for veterinary care. 95% of our costs are from vet care. We are grateful for your support which allows us to continue our work rescuing rabbits.
The Petfinder Foundation’s $1,000 grant allowed us to rescue and provide healthcare for four rabbits: Finn, Chippie, Milo and Ellie. All of these rabbits required treatment outside of the standard physical that all AARR intakes receive. With the exception of Finn, who is still being treated, all of these rabbits were successfully treated and have been placed in rabbit-educated forever homes.
Finn (first three photos) is a Flemish giant-mix rabbit who was abandoned outside when his owners moved. When he first arrived to AARR, he was 40% below his ideal weight and 80% of his lungs were infected and inflamed (the dark spots of the CT scan in the fourth photo indicate areas of infection; the white areas indicate healthy lungs). We also suspected that Finn had dental issues which, given the sensitive nature of a rabbit’s digestive system, combined with the fact that their teeth are constantly growing, would be a life-threatening problem alone.
Long Island Bird & Exotics Veterinary Clinic confirmed that Finn had spurs on four teeth (fifth photo), an abscess in his jaw, and infection in his lungs. Fortunately, we were able to use the funds that the Petfinder Foundation grant awarded us towards his care. Finn is now living with his foster and is well on his way to recovery. He is receiving the love and care he deserves. His favorite pastime is jumping onto tables and windowsills.
Finn is currently still in foster care and is not available for adoption, as he has not fully recovered yet.
Chippie (sixth and seventh photos) is another rabbit we directed Petfinder Foundation grant funds towards. His owner called asking if we would take his rabbit, who had been sniffling for more than nine months. We took him immediately to see an exotics-educated vet who diagnosed Chippie with severe, chronic upper-respiratory infection. He was put on two antibiotics and has not only made a full recovery, but has been placed in a caring forever home where he will never be denied vet care again.
We will never deny a rabbit the vet care they require and deserve, but when the funds are in place, we are able to operate more efficiently. We are so grateful that the Petfinder Foundation gave us the opportunity to rescue these two rabbits and several others from terrible situations and provide them the chance at second lives in the homes of caring adopters.
We have large vet bills for the dogs we bring in. Grants like this are always appreciated and help us to keep doing what we do.
Trigger is a Lab mix whom a local veterinarian contacted us about. He had a leg that was broken in two different places. The owners could not afford vet care during these trying times and signed him over to be euthanized. They called us and we agreed to take him into our rescue. His leg was amputated and he is still recovering. While Trigger was in our care, a blood vessel opened, which is not uncommon for this type of surgery, and he ended up at the emergency vet. I’m happy to say he is doing well and will be adopted in the next month when totally healed. His foster mom is contemplating adopting him, as she does therapy volunteer work and he would be perfect for that.
We purchased supplies for the doggie dates and doggie pajama parties: Harnesses and leashes, water bottles with bowls for dogs, bandannas, and backpacks to hold supplies.
The grant allowed us to purchase necessary supplies so we can prepare kits in advance. We have enough to let several dogs go on dates at the same time, and we can clean everything as soon as a dog returns and re-pack to be ready for the next trip.
2020 has been a strange year for everyone, including SPCA Florida, and we had to close the facility for some time because of the COVID-19 situation. We have recently restarted the doggie dates and sleepovers, and this has, naturally, impacted our statistics. But 35 dogs still went on dates before the pandemic threw its wrench in the works.
The question “how many pets did this grant help” is difficult to answer — 35 dogs have used the supplies thus far, but many of the supplies will last for a long time and are likely help hundreds before they’re worn out.
Letty is a special-needs girl with allergies, so she needs a hypoallergenic diet. She came to SPCA Florida in August 2019 and stayed here through the holidays, through a pneumonia outbreak in the kennels, and through the COVID-19 closings. When the doggie dates and pajama pawties started again in June, Letty was eager to go on a sleepover. The family saw how well she fit into their home environment and decided to make her a permanent family member. Happily Furever After!
Cat food, cat litter, and cleaning supplies
We always struggle to make ends meet. Because of the coronavirus, we are not able to get the cat food and cat litter at a discount. We buy in bulk. It’s hard to even find cat food and litter. We also have a horrible time getting cleaning supplies and the cost of everything has just gone up so much. With your help we were able to get cat food, cat litter and cleaning supplies.
The food and litter we got with the grant help all the cats, but they especially helped a malnourished mama cat and her two kittens. We are very happy that we were able to get them all adopted together.
We received a donation of KONG toys that have been used to entertain dogs in our care while they wait for homes.
Among the KONG toys were a number that were grey, with thicker walls than the regular ones. Our shelter crew found them extremely durable, which is fantastic for heavy chewers and in a shelter environment. The downside is that the reinforced wall allows less space for filling, so the toy doesn’t keep dogs occupied for as long. They feel $15-20 would be a fair retail price since they do not get destroyed, even by eager and large dogs in a shelter environment.
The KONG toys came at just the right time and made a huge difference for both the dog kennel staff and the dogs. We started the year with an outbreak of pneumonia in the dog kennels, so we had to close them for visitors and adoptions while treating all the dogs, keeping them in quarantine, and doing a deep cleaning to get rid of the infection. This meant several weeks of bored, high-energy dogs who could only have toys and items that withstand regular disinfection. Right after this was over and we prepared to open came the COVID-19 crisis and we had to close the entire facility to the public. Saying that the KONGs were life-saving may be an exaggeration, but they were certainly sanity-saving.
For the next question, I don’t have the correct answer since the KONGS are still in use and will be for a long time. They’re cleaned and used over and over again. 🙂
Charley (first three photos) spent a total of 949 days in shelters, 279 of these with SPCA Florida. He was with us through both the pneumonia outbreak and COVID-19 closing. Before all that happened, he was quite popular on doggie dates and sleepovers, but never found his Happily Forever After. Just like all dogs, Charley loves getting a filled Kong to entertain him.
Charley’s story has an interesting twist: He was featured in a Dogs on Zoom event sponsored by Pedigree. The person adopting him had lost all her dogs to old age during a span of just a few months — the oldest had been over 17. She saw Charley and knew that he was the dog for her. I think his extended wait in shelters was to find just the right person. He filled the hole in her heart, and she gave him the perfect home he so needed and deserved.
Vet bill for a pittie named Diesel to have him neutered and the masses on his body removed
During Covid shutdowns, the dogs we pulled from shelters did not get fixed or receive all their vaccinations before they were sent to us.
Diesel was saved from a shelter in Maryland where breed-specific legislation is enforced. The pits there do not make it out alive unless a rescue pulls them. Dogs who are older or have medical issues are especially in danger of being put down, as the shelter does not offer medical care beyond the basic vaccines.
We pulled Diesel knowing that he had masses on his body that would need a biopsy and probably removal before adoption. The extra medical need made him a less-desirable pull for other rescues. He was also not neutered, which was an additional expense we had to consider. Due to the additional Covid expenses we have had for almost every dog we have pulled over the past few months, a grant like this helped us pull Diesel despite his additional medical concerns.
We used this grant to pay for a portion of Diesel’s vet bill to have him neutered and the masses removed from his body. Shortly after his surgery Diesel, was adopted into a home with two fur and two human siblings.
Purchase of 10 bags of dog food
The COVID-19 grant of $250 helped offset the drop in donations as well as adoptions once a stay-at-home order was issued. It provided the dogs with several weeks of premium dog food while they waited for the rescue to be able to reopen for adoptions.
Marissa came to the rescue starved and neglected in February of this year. Then the pandemic hit and the rescue had to close. Now that we were allowed to reopen and Marissa had gained her weight, she was adopted to her forever home this past weekend. At right are two pictures of when she came in and two after she gained her weight, and her adoption picture.
Funds were used to purchase the following supplies that enabled us to place 80% of our shelter pets in foster care during the stay-at-home order: crates, food, formula, bottles, heating pads and medication.
They grant enabled our shelter to continue to accept stray animals during the stay-at-home order. We were able to place them into foster homes instead of keeping them at the shelter or leaving them on the streets.
Crosby, a declawed extra-large cat weighing in at 21.4 lbs., was brought to a local vet to be euthanized because of a “behavioral issue.” He originally lived a happy life with another cat, but one day his owner brought home a dog. Upon the dog’s arrival, Crosby stopped using his litter box, and the owner rehomed Crosby. His new owners were tolerating Crosby’s behavior at first and tried medication (Prozac) to help relax him. After only a few doses without success, Crosby was brought back to the vet with a euthanasia request.
He was given a thorough exam, including blood work and a urinalysis, which determined Crosby was in good health. The vet concluded his behavior was not because of an underlying medical issue, but most likely due to the recent stress/changes in his life. The vet refused to euthanize a healthy cat, and they called our shelter to ask if we could help find Crosby a new home during the pandemic.
Because of the COVID-19 Relief Grant from the Petfinder Foundation, we were able to boost our foster supplies to give Crosby a second chance at life, literally. Crosby found his forever home through his foster parent and is now living a life as grand as he is (and is happy to share his home with a canine friend AND use his litter box like a champ!).
We used Petfinder Foundation grant monies to purchase agility equipment and toys that can be enjoyed over and over, and are sturdy and washable, to enrich our dogs’ exercise time.
Outside time is so vitally important to our dogs mentally, emotionally and physically, and the equipment purchased is making their play moments even more positive. Since we have no shaded areas in the dog areas, we installed canopies in the corners of the play yards. On hot and sunny days, the dogs can enjoy the outside longer since they are not in constant direct sunlight and have shade available for them to relax under. The agility equipment also encourages potential adopters to interact and spend more time with our dogs. We want our dogs’ stays at MAC&S to be a loving and stimulating. The agility items will help keep them upbeat, active and more engaging to potential adopters.
Beretta is a very active German shepherd who has had an extended stay at the shelter. He came in as a neglect case and is waiting for a court date to determine if he can be returned to the owner or be placed on our adoption floor. Beretta is so smart. Until we had the agility equipment, he didn’t have much to play with on his own in our exercise yards. He was frustrated and full of energy in his kennel. Now he can discover the different activities available to him. He is happier and more mentally stimulated.
The grant money was used for medical services we provide to our dogs. Every dog who arrives from out of state requires a Connecticut health certificate verifying that the dog is healthy. Each dog is seen by a veterinarian who checks the dog for overall health and wellness. Such services require that Dog Star retain supplies such as flea, tick, and heartworm preventatives in addition to frequently needed medications, such as those for ear and skin infections and various antibiotics.
Without grants like this one, Dog Star would have to significantly reduce the number of dogs we are able to take into rescue each year; needless to say, this would be detrimental to our shelter partners in the South from whom many of our dogs are rescued, and the negative effects would cascade out.
We assume a deeply discounted average of $100 per hour for our veterinarian’s time. We can see at least four dogs per hour, so at a minimum, this grant helped eight dogs.
Prior to his transport to Connecticut, McClain had been heartworm-positive and was treated, but also suffered from severe skin issues. In addition, he had infections in both eyes and both ears that required treatment. Upon his arrival, he was evaluated by a local veterinarian and testing was performed on a suspicious lump on his foot. Unfortunately, the news wasn’t positive. The lump was revealed to be a mast-cell tumor. Surgeons removed the tumor as well as part of McClain’s foot and, miraculously, he is now cancer-free. Luckily, a similar lump on his back turned out to be benign. As if that wasn’t enough, McClain began to have grand mal seizures in his Connecticut foster home. With a new diagnosis of epilepsy, he was started on medications to control the seizures.
With support from Dog Star’s medical coordinator, Sue Zeppa, his adoption coordinator, Hayley Haspeslagh, and his wonderful foster mom, Nicole Aronson, McClain’s story does have a happy ending. Or in his case, a new beginning!
McClain’s new mom, Kelly, fell in love with McClain despite his imperfections. “Every dog comes with hidden issues. McClain comes with a clear warning label. No need to wonder what problems might arise,” said Kelly. McClain is now thriving in his forever home. He’s described as a big lovebug who loves playing with his dog friends and has settled into the life he has always deserved.
Our veterinarian, who recognized these and other concerns upon examining McClain, recommended a course of action that included various medications which soon resulted in a much happier McClain. Unfortunately, our vet also took note of a growth on McClain’s foot that she thought we should biopsy. After we gave McClain a week to adjust to foster care — and to see how he’d respond to the meds the vet prescribed him — he came back to see the vet for that biopsy, which eventually revealed this suspicious growth to be a mast-cell tumor.
Because “once a Dog Star, always a Dog Star,” we were dedicated to not only finding McClain the perfect home, but also ensuring his health care was prioritized. Without grants such as this that support our veterinary services, McClain’s growth might have gone unnoticed. Instead, we were able to help guide McClain to a brighter life. McClain was adopted this past week and everyone involved could not be happier!