Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
Grant funds were used to purchase enrichment items, toys and treats for our shelter pets to reduce stress and anxiety, helping them to get adopted faster.
The grant helped us to purchase enrichment items to engage our shelter pets for training, reduce stress and anxiety, and help build trust; this helps the pet to be adoptable faster and transition into a new home more easily.
Barkley was surrendered to the shelter after his family moved and couldn’t take him with them. Barkley was devastated, scared and confused when we rescued him and brought him to safety in a loving foster home. The poor guy was shut down, refused even the yummiest of treats and wouldn’t eat regular food. His foster mom began to gain his trust slowly by offering him a Nobbly Wobbly toy stuffed with peanut butter (first photo), which he loved. After a few days, she was able to hand-feed him, and soon he was standing with the rest of the pack eating his kibble, confident and happy. He was adopted by a great family, and he still enjoys peanut-butter stuffing!
This grant was used to cover tuition for our Director of Lifesaving Programs, Meaghan Colville, to attend the DPFL Mentorship Program at Longmont Humane Society in May of 2019.
Participating in the DPFL Mentorship Program helped reinforce the notion that Clermont Animal CARE is a progressive shelter committed to implementing best-practice lifesaving programs to enrich the lives of the animals in our care. The addition of the DPFL playgroup program added an important level of enrichment for dogs at the shelter, while simultaneously offering an exciting new, rewarding and advanced-level opportunity for volunteers to engage with the shelter and our animals.
The benefit to our dogs has been immeasurable. Affording them the opportunity to engage in natural dog behavior, learn appropriate dog-to-dog interactions, burn energy and get consistent out-of-cage time has increased the quality of life in the shelter and allowed staff, volunteers and adopters to better know each dog as an individual.
Our commitment to best practices, shelter enrichment, and continuous improvement continues to elevate our status as a regional leader, which helps as we seek other opportunities of funding support, ultimately benefiting the pets in our care.
Approximately 75 dogs at our shelter, to date, have been helped by this Petfinder Foundation grant. Additionally, to help launch programs at two large municipal shelters in surrounding counties, we recently trained their staff and volunteers, offering guidance on basic playgroup techniques learned in the class. Given how short-staffed we’ve been, a big challenge for us has been getting the program up and running following Meaghan’s trip to Longmont. We’ve recently hired a Dog Program Manager, however (whom we are hoping to send to a future training!), and have been able to increase our frequency. We also just hired a Volunteer Manager in the past week, so this will help us pull together, train, monitor and manage a dedicated group of volunteers to assist with this enrichment program. Our total dog intake since Meaghan attended training is approximately 400 dogs, and 75 dogs represents about ⅕ of our dog intake during the period June through today. About half of those dogs weren’t eligible for playgroups as they were either on stray hold or another hold (such as medical, behavioral or animal control), were in boarding, or were transferred, adopted or returned-to-owner during their first week, prior to being considered a playgroup candidate. Of our eligible dogs, about half participated in playgroups, some more frequently than others. Participation in the hands-on session most definitely helped propel our program forward and although not as regularly as we would like, we are eagerly anticipating increasing the numbers of dogs benefitting from playgroups. The addition of the Volunteer Manager and Dog Program Manager on staff allows us to begin some focused training and mentorship programs for playgroup volunteers, which will accelerate our implementation and rollout of a more consistent program.
Loki (first photo) was surrendered to us as a dog with a bite history. He bit a repair man in his home where he lived with another small dog. We were told that he was difficult, resource-guarded around people, and didn’t get along with big dogs. When Loki was presented as a candidate for playgroups, staff and volunteers were hesitant and initially declined to let him participate, feeling it was too risky. What if he didn’t like the other dogs, as his owner had said? What if he redirected onto a person if they had to break up a fight? Loki was a tough sell until Meaghan encouraged staff to give him a try.
Getting into playgroups is the best thing that ever happened to Loki! He showed us that he enjoys being around other dogs and does great with people. Through playgroups, we’ve been able to get to know his true personality. He is still awaiting a forever home. You can find Loki’s Petfinder profile here.
We received the XL Extreme Kongs.
We stuff/freeze the Kongs to give to our dogs after the shelter closes for the day. This grant was VERY helpful, as the XL Extreme Kongs are the most expensive. We wash/sterilize them daily after use and they last a long time. Giving the dogs the filled Kongs settles them down and keeps them busy for a few hours when they are alone.
Boss is a nervous dog when he is not with people. He is also a tough chewer and can only have the XL Extreme Kong. Boss is still up for adoption. From his Petfinder profile: “Boss is an adorable mix with a gorgeous chocolate coat. He is a young boy, probably under a year old. He is currently working with a trainer here at the shelter on his basic commands. He is sweet, gentle, and walks well on a leash. Boss is neutered and up-to-date on vaccinations.” You can meet Boss here.
The Kong toys were used to enrich the lives of dogs in our shelter.
The dogs in our care greatly benefited from the extra enrichment provided by the Kongs. When dogs were given Kongs, the noise and stress levels in the kennel runs dropped drastically as the dogs worked to get the treats and peanut butter from the Kongs. We are now using these items as part of a regular enrichment program to provide ongoing mental stimulation for the dogs.
Since receiving the Kongs, we have had 284 dogs in our care, all of whom have benefited from the additional enrichment.
Jasmine was a very small terrier mix puppy who came into our shelter as a transfer from a municipal shelter partner. She was transferred in with her sibling, who was twice the size she was. We were concerned about her due to her size difference from her sibling and worried that she may have had an underlying medical condition. We sent Jasmine to foster care while she got bigger and was treated for GI issues. She underwent extensive medical testing with us, including bloodwork, full body x-rays, and numerous veterinary exams. We were thrilled to learn that she was fully healthy and just needed some extra time away from her sibling to gain weight and flourish into an adorable, active puppy. When she returned to the shelter from foster care, she was kenneled alone, as her sibling had already been adopted. We were able to provide her with a Kong toy to help occupy her time and ease her transition back into the shelter. Her comfort in her kennel helped showcase her to potential adopters and she has since found her forever family.
The Kong toys got some heavy usage by the dogs in our shelter. Some dogs waiting for adoption played with/chewed on the toys and others who needed behavior modification played with the toys during behavior sessions — the behaviorists used the toys as rewards for the dogs when they behaved as expected.
The Kong toys helped tremendously. We rely heavily on donations so we can provide veterinary care, shelter, and food, and meet other needs the pets in our care have. Toys are a huge need and the Kong toys filled that need. They are so durable that we were able to clean and reuse them for many dogs.
Dakota was a rescue. He, along with another dog, were removed from a Dallas apartment in early March. The dogs were found confined to separate crates inside of the unit. Both crates were covered with dried feces. Neither of the dogs had access to food or water, and both appeared to be severely underweight.
Dakota was emaciated and covered in urine and feces. Once he was with us, he received constant care. We were pretty worried about him during those first few days. Our veterinarians and veterinary technicians worked for weeks to restore Dakota back to health, and when he was medically ready, the behaviorists took over.
He had major trust issues and was afraid of people. The behaviorists worked with Dakota using Kong toys and other items to get Dakota to trust humans. With the help of the staff and the Kong toys, Dakota became a happy, healthy dog. He’s lovable, sweet, and super-smart too. He knows sit, down, shake and he loves his toys! Dakota has found his forever home, as has the dog he was rescued with.
The Haven caregivers utilize the Kongs daily to help reduce stress in our canine residents who are visiting The Haven until they are ready for a new loving home. Each Kong is stuffed with layers of goodies before being frozen for 24 hours. Each morning at 11 a.m., volunteers and our small staff distribute these frozen treats to our canine residents, who are happily awaiting this special tidbit. Additionally, by decreasing stress and improving the quality of life for a Haven adoptable dog, the animal’s length of stay will decrease.
These Kongs have helped reduce the stress of our canine residents who visit the shelter until they are healthy and ready for adoption. Our adoptable canines are showing behaviors that indicate calmness, trust, and happiness. This resonates with potential adopters and helps reduce their length of stay by getting them responsible, caring homes for the rest of their lives.
From June 1, 2019, until Sept. 30, 2019, these Kongs have changed the lives of 40 canines.
Annamae is a beautiful, 5-year-old, free-spirit hound mix who was found wandering the streets in search of her next meal. Thankfully, an animal control officer picked her up and brought her to the animal control shelter. While there, she hopefully waited for months for her owner to reclaim her. Annamae’s life was changed when we met her and transferred her to The Haven.
When she arrived at The Haven, our caregivers quickly got to work providing Annamae with medical care, nutritious food, and lots of love. However, we noticed that Annamae was also suffering from extreme stress, and that being confined in a small area for too long caused her to spin in circles.
Our caregivers gathered and discussed Annamae’s behavior-modification plans with the team. The plan included daily walks, playgroups, enrichment toys, and a frozen Kong layered with treats. When Annamae received her first stuffed, frozen Kong, she was curious about this sizable red object. She sniffed and sniffed before making short, quick licks. Suddenly she was all over it! The caregivers noticed a calmness in her behavior, and she stopped spinning in circles. Her enrichment plan was revised to include two Kongs a day.
Annamae soon began to get some interest from potential adopters. It was clear that these Kongs helped reduce her stress and provide hours of positive mental stimulation. The visitors no longer looked the other way like they did when they would see her spinning in circles.
The Kongs changed her behavior so much that we are excited to share that Annamae was recently adopted. Her adopter visited the shelter and met Annamae relaxing on her bed, enjoying her Kong. After a meet-and-greet and information about the Kong, the adopter took her home to foster her and to see how she would acclimate to his house. Just three days after taking Annamae into his life and home, the adopter returned to finalize the adoption. He said, “Annamae is doing well, and I could not imagine my life without her.” It was a great day for our sweet Annamae, whose life with us went from hopeless, to hopeful, to infinite happiness.
To keep the dogs and puppies occupied to prevent boredom in the shelter and during events.
The Kong toys helped many of our dogs and puppies by providing them with a distraction from where they were and what was going on around them. Several dogs spent hours playing with the Kongs after managing to work the treats out. A lot of dogs that we impound have never had toys, so they have no idea what to do with them, are scared of the ones that squeak or just aren’t interested. The Kongs with treats inside gave them something to work for while realizing this was something they could chew on, throw around and have fun with. Unfortunately, there have been no local events that we were able to attend since we received the grant, but we have one coming in October and will definitely have the Kongs with us for the dogs. We do not have any pet stores or local retailers that hold events in our county.
We have three dogs whom the Kongs are helping greatly with adjusting to shelter life: Bella, Sheila, and Sammi. Bella (first photo) was surrendered when her owner became too sick to care for her. Her owner stated that Bella needs a home where she can be the only pet, since she becomes very jealous of her human and doesn’t like to share food or treats. Since she has specific needs, it makes it more difficult for us to find her a home. She has been with us for almost a month now. Bella loves to play and chew. Her Kong toys have provided her with a durable toy that can stand up to her chewing, along with something to keep her mind occupied while she tries to work the treats out. As we wait for Bella’s new owner to come take her home, we know we can keep her busy and content by giving her a treat-filled Kong. Meet Bella here.
Sheila and Sammi were brought to the shelter on May 20th of this year. They were being held as evidence after their owner was arrested for failing to provide them with proper care. Both were underweight. They were recently officially surrendered to the shelter and we have been trying to place with a rescue group out of the area. They are not listed on any adoption sites for this reason. They have spent countless hours with their Kong toys, working at getting the treats and peanut butter out of the centers and chewing on them. We believe that having these toys has prevented them from ending up with the behavior issues that can be seen in long-term shelter residents: pacing, circling, cage-aggression and excessive barking or crying. The Kongs have definitely been a lifesaver for Sammi and Sheila.
The KONG toys were used to provide enrichment for high-drive dogs waiting for their forever homes.
This grant helped improve the behavior and mental health, and thus the adoptability, of countless dogs in our care. Usually the late summer months are the most difficult for adoptions, but with the Petfinder Foundation’s help, we actually did better than usual when it came to adopting out adult and senior (7+ years) dogs.
It’s hard to pinpoint but potentially hundreds.
While KONG toys are most popular with high-mouth-drive dogs, Kohda was simply too big and strong for a lot of the toys at our shelter. KONGs filled with peanut butter were a saving grace because he had a habit of busting through almost everything else we gave him. Fortunately, the grant arrived just weeks after he first came to us, so KONG toys became a reliable way to keep him mentally stimulated. Our staff almost immediately noticed a difference in his behavior once he could have a peanut-butter KONG every day. Meet Kohda here.
Funds are being used to market Daphne as a horse available for adoption. Once an adopter is found, the funds will be used to cover Daphne’s adoption fee ($100), transportation, and food for up to one year from her adoption date.
This grant is helping get the word out about senior horses like Daphne who are available for adoption.
Daphne arrived at DEFHR in 2013 from Howard County, MD. She was with us for eight months before being adopted. She would still be with her owner if her owner hadn’t died this year. DEFHR’s policy is to welcome back rescue horses when the adopter can no longer care for them. Daphne is currently over 30 years old and needs two to three feedings a day (Triple Crown Senior) to maintain her health. She also has issues with her feet which will require extra farrier attention, and has no teeth, which means she will need two dental visits each year as opposed to one, and the additional cost of grain in the winter.
From her Petfinder profile: “Daphne is one sweet, older mare (15.2 HH) looking for her new forever home. Daphne is being offered as a companion only through the Guardian Program at Days End. ‘I am an older, sweet mare looking for a new home since my previous adopter passed away. It is a sad time for me, but I love all my new friends at Days End Farm. I am looking for a new family to love me, groom me and laugh and my really droopy bottom lip! No ladies, I haven’t have any work done — this is all-natural. I have great ground manners and love people.” Meet Daphne here.
Once an adopter is found, Daphne will be moved to her forever home thanks to this grant, thus freeing up a spot for another rescue horse in need.
The grant was a gift of 20 P.L.A.Y beds. These beds were put to great use providing cool, comfortable sleep spots for dogs in our care. The majority of beds went to dogs in our long-term care and sanctuary program, Save Our Seniors.
The grant was very beneficial to our older residents, providing comfortable and cool beds. Summers in South Carolina are hot, even with A/C, and a soft, cool surface during the summer is greatly appreciated by our dogs.
These beds primarily went to our long-term Save Our Seniors (SOS) residents. The majority of our SOS dogs will live out their lives at Carolina Poodle Rescue. However, there are a couple of cuties who are up for adoption:
Gizmo (first photo) came to Carolina Poodle Rescue in March of 2018 through no fault of his own. His owner was ill and could no longer care for this sweet boy. Gizmo was heartworm-positive when he came into our care and had to be treated before becoming available for adoption. Gizmo has a cataract in his left eye and a pronounced underbite, but this just adds to his charm when paired with his amazing personality. Gizmo is a snugglebug, and an adopter who is willing to rub his belly and let him cuddle is at the top of his list. Gizmo is a young-at-heart senior dog with a lot of love and life left to enjoy. He is in our foster facility in Rocky Mount, N.C., while we work to find his forever home. Meet Gizmo here.
Another sweet boy who will be up for adoption as soon as we can resolve his allergies is Lucas. Lucas is an owner-surrender who came to CPR Sept. 15, 2019. Lucas was surrendered to a shelter in North Carolina by his owners. Heartworm-positive and covered in scabs from an allergy, Lucas was a “hot mess” when we picked him up to get him to CPR. The second and third photos are before-and-after pictures of Lucas to show how far he has come in just a couple of weeks. Lucas got his bed in our medical facility, as it is gentle on his tender skin and he is showing no adverse reactions to the material. Lucas is having his heartworm treated while we figure out his allergy issues. He is also getting lots of cuddles and rubs, as he is a very sweet and shy young man. Lucas gives the best hugs, climbing up to your shoulder to snuggle against your neck. As soon as he is medically cleared, Lucas will be up for adoption.
These are just two of the amazing dogs who benefited from this very generous grant. Carolina Poodle Rescue was honored to be selected and we look forward to participating again.