Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
The money was used to treat injuries on Bruno, who required wound care and a femoral head osteotomy.
The money helped OPA provide medical care to an injured dog who was pulled from a local animal shelter. Bruno would not have received care if OPA had not assisted, and a grant from the Petfinder Foundation was a huge help! Treatment helped Bruno walk and be pain-free.
When Bruno came to the Conroe Animal Shelter, it was suspected that he had been hit by a car and/or had a possible gunshot wound. Even injured and in pain, he was described by staff as a sweetie.
OPA was grateful to receive an Emergency Medical Grant from the Petfinder Foundation to help cover some of Bruno’s medical care, which included cleaning wounds on his stomach and testicles, neutering him, and fixing his broken femur.
Bruno didn’t know how to play (he had no idea what to do with a tennis ball), but he loved to be with his caretaker! His estimated birthday is August 2018. Bruno successfully recovered from injuries and rebuilt the strength in his leg. He received treatment for heartworms, but unfortunately Bruno had to be euthanized due to congestive heart failure a few months later.
Although we are distressed over this outcome for Bruno, we know that Bruno made the most of his life after entering OPA’s care. He experienced love in a foster home along with good food, treats, and play.
Cat enrichment items
We used the grant to purchase enrichment items for our cats, including cubbies for their kennels, cat grass, scratch pads, and a music player. These items are providing lots of enrichment opportunities for the cats we have waiting for adoption. The idea behind the cubbies was to give fearful kitties a place to hide, and they do work for that purpose! Having that safe spot is so important to reduce the cats’ stress levels. However, there are also plenty of kittens who prefer to use their cubbies as jungle gyms or launching boards from which to hop around their kennels. Whatever makes them happy!
The scratchers are GREAT for the kitties, both for their claws and to help them stretch their bodies. They also like to “mark” their scratching posts, so once we’ve given a cat a scratcher (we’ve been giving them to every kitty who comes in), that scratcher moves with them wherever they go in the Village to provide a sense of security and familiarity, and then it goes home with them when they get adopted! We also like to rub dry scents like catnip, lavender and chamomile onto the scratchers to provide some fun scent enrichment.
The cats LOVE the cat grass. We’ve had our shyest cats (even Freddy!) come out to check out the cat grass. We regularly spread a little in their kennels, but we also keep a cat-grass plant growing in the window in our adoption suite. I think it gives them a little something to grab their attention and help them relax during meet-and-greets, since so many of them get nervous in those situations.
Yzma was one of our most energetic kittens! She was constantly bouncing off the walls of her kennel, or trying to “door dash.” We all thought she was hilarious, so she was a favorite around here. She thought the cubby was the best thing ever — she had so much fun climbing it, bouncing off of it, or just dashing in and out of it. The scratcher was also super great for her — she loved to scratch, but I also caught her climbing it on a pretty regular basis. We rubbed lots of calming lavender on it for her too, which she seemed to love! Yzma was adopted into her forever home recently, too!
We are using the Kong toys for enrichment of dogs in foster care. As an all-volunteer organization, most of our foster dogs must spend time in crates and be crate-trained while foster parents are at work. The Kong toys will help us in crate-training these pets for greater comfort while they’re in foster care, and will also help them transition to crate-training in their forever homes.
This grant saves us the expense of purchasing these products, and offers much needed experience with toys to dogs who have been mistreated or neglected. Kongs are premium toys and the rescue often would be unable to purchase them for every dog in our care.
Jovie is a 9-month-old pup who has only been with our organization for one week. As we allow her some decompression time as well as time to acclimate to indoor living spaces, the Kong has been valuable in getting her ready for a home. She came to us at 9 months old because her former owner was unable to housetrain her. Using the Kong for crate reinforcement as well as rewarding her for good potty habits has her almost housetrained in foster care already! Jovie has not been adopted yet. Meet Jovie here.
The money was used to help pay off the emergency surgery we had to do to save Mimi and her baby.
This grant helped us save Mimis life. Without the C-section, she would have died while giving birth. We are so glad she made it out of the country and into our care so we could save her!
Mimi was rescued as part of a hoarding situation in the country. We were notified of an individual in a rural part of Texas with 40+ dogs, many of whom were pregnant, including Mimi. However, Mimi ran into complications when she went into labor. Her puppies were too big to birth naturally and we had to decide to do a lifesaving surgery for her and the puppies or euthanize them. We chose to save them. Sadly, only one puppy made it, but Mimi was an amazing momma.
Mimi is not yet adopted. She is learning some socialization with humans and how to live in a home and accept love. She has come so far and we know she will find her perfect family soon.
We were able to save a dog whom we wouldn’t have been able to if it weren’t for the grant. Due to Covid, we were receiving hardly any donations, and the grant allowed us to have him fully vetted.
It took a financial burden off of us by allowing funds to be used to replenish our dog food.
Zeus was dumped in the woods because he would not hunt. A good Samaritan found him and asked us to help, but we could not, as we had limited funds due to Covid. The grant made it possible for us to take Zeus in to rescue and fully vet him. He has been adopted into an amazing home.
The money went towards Tula’s vet bill for her emergency C-section.
The grant allowed us to cover an unexpected vet bill, which in turn allowed us to continue to take in adoptable dogs and dogs needing additional medical care beyond vaccines and sterilization surgery.
17 were directly impacted.
The grant was instrumental in helping us to care for Tula and her family. Tula was pregnant when we received her, and the x-ray showed about 13 pups. Taking in a pregnant mom does come with some expected expenses, but finding out that she needed an emergency C-section and that she would be giving birth to 16 puppies was very unexpected.
Tula gave birth naturally to 11 pups and then required an emergency C-section to deliver the remaining five pups. It was a tough surgery, but she pulled through. It became apparent that she was in no shape to care for 16 puppies. We immediately called on our incredible volunteers who bottle feed and sent half of the pups to several foster homes to be bottle-fed around the clock. Meanwhile, three pups were not doing well and our incredible vet team did everything they could, but unfortunately, we lost three sweet pups, Firestone, Dex and Harold. They are forever in our hearts.
Our organization had a nursing mom, Penny, who had just weaned her pups days before Tula gave birth, so we decided to see if she would take in the remaining half of the litter. Supermom Penny was willing and able to care for the remaining pups just like her own and took care of them until they were ready for adoption.
Our team did everything it could for this family. This grant was greatly appreciated, as we are still able to take on additional medical cases and continue taking in dogs needing homes with the assistance provided for Tula’s medical bill. The 13 surviving puppies have all been adopted into wonderful forever homes and momma Tula is available for adoption.
Veterinary care for Shinju and her multitude of medical ailments.
This grant was specifically for Shinju.
Shinju, a little senior Yorkie, came to us from Animal Control with infection pouring out of her ears. She was horribly matted and had stinky/yeasty skin, dental disease, infections in her eyes, etc. She is still under veterinary care and our care, so she has not been adopted, but the photos show her before and after. You can meet Shinju here.
The $400 received from the Petfinder Foundation was used to buy cat-enrichment items to build out a full cat-enrichment plan for our cats in the shelter. With these funds, we were able to purchase Happy Habitat play tents, kitten harnesses, target sticks and clickers, agility hoop jumps, and puzzle feeders and toys.
In order to reduce the amount of stress for our cats and kittens housed at the shelter, we implemented an enrichment plan that will provide overall enrichment to the cats and kittens in our care and provide special, targeted training and activities for cats and kittens whose enrichment needs are not met by general enrichment alone. This enrichment plan would be in addition to our current socialization and reading-to-shelter-animals programs.
Targeted populations of cats (kittens, teens and active adults, geriatric cats, and shy and unsocialized cats) also had enhanced enrichment plans that targeted the use of specific items purchased with this grant for their specific needs.
By providing enrichment activities that lower the animals’ stress levels, we are reducing our incidence of illness and helping our cats and kittens put their best paws forward when meeting and interacting with potential adopters.
This is the story of River, one smart and bored 6-month-old kitten. River is a Bengal cat who had known personality traits that made it harder for him to find his right adopter. He stayed with us for almost three weeks before being adopted.
These enrichment items came at the right time for him. Cats who are both smart and bored face special problems in the shelter environment. They require an enhanced level of enrichment activities to keep them engaged and to prevent their boredom from becoming destructive behavior.
River used the puzzle feeders and puzzle toys to keep his mind occupied by a learning activity. We also harness-trained him, so we were able to take him for walks around the main shelter building, giving him the opportunity for exploration and interacting with the people he met on his walks. The volunteers were able to use the target sticks and clickers to work with River, teaching him basic behaviors and simple tricks that kept River engaged while also increasing his chance of adoption.
Because of his breed, it was very important for River to have opportunities for both physical and mental enrichment. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation grant, we were able to offer River suitable enrichment by providing him with appropriate toys like the Kick Stix, a puzzle feeder, and a harness and leash for taking walks outside his room.
River finally did get adopted into a great home. His new adopter has already shared pictures with us and says that she believes he was just lonely in the shelter, as he now is living with many animal friends and is a great addition to their family. He even has his own Instagram page, @RiverMonster2020.
Funds received for the Cat Enrichment Grant were used to purchase a laser light, a battery-operated butterfly toy, cat balls, string/feather on a stick toys, catnip and grass, a battery operated feather on wheels, and individual cat scratch pads for the kennels.
The Cat Enrichment Grant helped nearly 350 cats with socialization among each other in playgroups, to learn trust with humans, and to provide something to keep them busy while in their individual kennels.
We are very grateful and thankful to have been awarded this grant, as it has helped make the cats’ socialization much better.
Fritz Kitty (first and second photos) was brought to us when he was merely three days old. He was placed with a pregnant cat who was releasing milk and about to pop herself. She was such a great mom and Fritz thrived with her. He hit some rough patches when an upper-respiratory infection took over, but after medications, he was on the road to recovery. He remained shy and timid for most of his stay, even with being handled on a daily basis. After he was well enough to hang out in different playgroups, the different toys that were either battery-operated or used by human hands helped Fritz to interact more with other cats, and with humans. He started coming out of his shell and asking for pets instead of running away to hide. After nearly six months at the shelter, he finally landed himself a forever home and has become a lap kitty (third photo)!
We used this grant to reduce pet adoption fees so that more of our kitties could get adopted during this time.
This grant allowed 20 cats to get adopted with a reduced adoption fee. Due to the financial challenges of COVID-19, it was helpful to allow adopters a break on their adoption fees and place 20 kitties into loving homes.
During this time, we took in a family unit of 25(!) cats — five sister cats who lived in the same home and all had babies within a few weeks of each other. Our foster homes took in the cat families and nursed them to health. Thanks to the adoption grant, we were able to offer a reduced adoption rate for 20 of these kitties and I am happy to report that all 25 have been adopted! Specifically, we had one adopter adopt one of the mom cats, Lana (first photo), and thanks to the adoption grant, she came back to adopt a second mom cat, Izi (second photo) into her family!