Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
We received $1,000 from the Petfinder Foundation to be used for COVID-19 relief. We purchased $1,000 worth of food and formula to help some of the 500+ kittens our rescue has taken in during this crisis.
This grant was a huge help to St. Francis Society! With it we were able to purchase 18 lbs. of kitten formula, 564 cans of wet kitten food, and 42 lbs. of dry kitten food.
One of the kittens the Petfinder Foundation helped us provide for is Mayella. Mayella was taken into our rescue with her siblings when she was just one day old! She had a very hard time weaning from formula to kitten food, and after we consulted a specialist, it was decided Mayella would need to continue on formula until she was at least 7 weeks old while her esophagus matured. All of Mayella’s formula has been purchased through the Petfinder Foundation grant.
Mayella is still with us and not yet old enough for adoption.
Our Senior Pet Adoption Assistance grant helped us find the right home for Ella — and she didn’t need to go far to find it! Ella was initially placed in a foster home with a college-aged student at the University of Minnesota, but when the coronavirus pandemic hit and campus closed, we needed to move Ella when her foster returned to her hometown. Ella found a new foster home with a great couple who ended up falling in love with her. Ella’s adoption fee was sponsored, as well as a reactivity-focused training class and a year’s worth of meds to help with her anxiety.
This grant helped us find the right match for Ella, but not only that, Ella’s foster was so touched that she’d like to pay it forward and sponsor another harder-to-place dog’s adoption fee.
Ella, a 10-year-old pit mix, was surrendered to TCPR by her family in January 2020. Ella was adopted by the family at 1.5 years old and notes from the shelter had indicated that Ella showed some resource guarding, but the family was able to manage the behavior and prevent any escalation with the other resident dog. However, the family recently had a baby and felt they could no longer safely manage resource guarding and subsequent reactivity with the other resident dog and devote the time necessary to behavioral management.
Ultimately, it was the right decision both for the family, but also for Ella — as a senior, she shouldn’t live out the end of her life quarantined and separated from her people. In the right home, we believed Ella could live her golden years happily, as she was sweet and friendly toward people. Given her prey drive and resource guarding, she was unable to be adopted to a home with other pets, making her placement as a senior more difficult.
Ella was adopted by her foster (see details in above paragraph)! This grant not only helped Ella, but it will indirectly help another dog find their home, as the adopter would like to pay it forward and sponsor the fee for another dog in rescue!
Spay and neuter surgeries.
Houston has one of the largest homeless animal issues in the United States. It has been estimated that there are nearly 1.2 million homeless dogs and cats in the Houston metro and surrounding areas. Spay-and-neuter initiatives are few and preventing more unwanted litters is paramount to our mission. We were able to continue our mission of spay/neuter and prevent the cycle of unwanted litters in our program of cats and kittens.
Daichi and Ten were two of the kittens who were brought to us dumped in a box at a rural property — unfortunately a very common in practice in Texas. Their photo was heartbreaking, and although we were strapped financially, we could not say no to the plea for help. We received them dirty, thin, hungry and terribly sick with upper-respiratory infections. We have some wonderful and experienced medical foster moms who were able to rehabilitate the kittens. You can meet Daichi here and meet Ten here.
We received a shipment of Kong toys, which are wonderful! Depending on allergies/likes/dislikes, we fill them with peanut butter to keep them engaged and prevent boredom.
We love Kong toys, but as a nonprofit with a limited budget, we are not able to buy top-of-the-line toys like these. They are very helpful for keeping dogs from being bored, particularly if they have been here long-term. Boredom can create behavioral issues, which in turn makes it even harder for them to find homes.
It is difficult to give a definite number of pets that the grant has helped. We recycle them as needed. When one pet leaves for a new home, another pet will benefit from the Kong (after sanitizing). Since Kings are almost indestructible, it would literally be hundreds of animals being helped.
Jones is a 2-year-old American bulldog mix looking for a home with an experienced dog handler. Just look at that adorable face. We think he is very photogenic! Like many 2-year-olds, Jones sometimes has trouble focusing on one thing at a time, and is easily bored. He loves to chew, and the KONGS give him that opportunity to chew and stay focused while preventing possible behavioral issues or destructive habits. KONGS are so sturdy! Jones has yet to destroy one, although other toys were not as fortunate. You can meet him here.
To purchase individual cat scratchers for enrichment for cats in our care.
The shelter environment is stressful for the homeless animals, and cats are typically the sensitive and most likely to experience stress while in the shelter no matter how nice the shelter and staff are.
The ARL is committed to providing adequate space and enrichment for the cats in our care to exhibit natural behaviors; one of their natural behaviors is scratching. The cat scratchers provide enrichment for the cats while they are in the kennel environment and provides a familiar smell/belonging for them to take with them to their adoptive home.
Lamb came to us as an owner surrender. They suspected he was born to a feral mama and his people were unable to keep him due to lifestyle changes. He enjoyed his cat scratcher and the opportunity to exhibit normal behavior while in the shelter. I love to see the creative ways the cats use the scratchers! Lamb enjoyed working on the top of his! He is now adopted and living a wonderful life in his new home.
The money was used to purchase cat habitat platforms for our PetSmart adoption centers. We purchased 12 of them.
The Kuranda beds are able to re-used and sanitized. They also allow for more usable space in the kennels. The cats love them!
Marnie was a very shy kitty who is very cat-friendly. Since Marnie was very shy, she was in the adoption center a while before getting comfortable. She actually decided to move in with another kitty, Daisy. Since there was added space in the kennel due to the Kuranda bed, Marnie and Daisy were able to share. Marnie was adopted after she blossomed thanks to being in a bigger kennel with Daisy!
We bought cleaning supplies, including animal-shelter disinfectant, squeegees, sponges, replacement parts for our foamers, and spray bottles. We also bought food for our senior dogs and for animals with special diet requirements.
This grant helped us buy essential supplies during the global pandemic, a time when our income was significantly reduced. We were able to purchase cleaning supplies that we desperately needed to sterilize all of the kennels, cages, surgical and recovery rooms, and common areas in our facilities. It also helped us feed our dogs and cats with special dietary needs.
Dozer, a boxer mix (first photo), was adopted today after spending the past 15 months at our shelter.
Scout, an older Chow mix with a birth defect on his front paw (second photo), was also one of the first animals adopted from our shelter after statewide pandemic restrictions were lifted.
It is kitten season and we have received more than 45 kittens, most of them orphaned. Baloo (third photo) and his three littermates have all found their forever homes.
This grant helped Scout, Dozer, Baloo, and all of our animals (present and future) by providing cleaning supplies that are used to sterilize kennels, cages, surgical and recovery rooms, and other common spaces, keeping our animals safe and healthy while they waited to be adopted.
The Kong toys were given to our dogs in foster care.
The toys helped provide entertainment and stimulus to our pups, not only during playtime, but also while kenneled.
One of our favorite stories is Mystic (first photo). His foster parents reported he loved playing with his Kong toy and insisted that it be in his kennel every night at bedtime. Mystic was recently adopted and took his Kong toy with him. From his Petfinder profile: “Hi, my name is Mystic. The vet says I’m about 1 1/2 years old. Some mean people left me and four others crammed in a crate in the freezing rain outside of a business and right when we were about to give up hope of ever being warm again, the employees found us the next morning and brought us in and warmed us up.
“They called a rescue group, where we found our foster parents, and they came and got us and have nursed us back to health from malnourishment and intestinal worms. I feel so much better now! And my foster parents say I’m a really good boy and deserve my own family. I love playing with my foster siblings and learning what love is all about from my amazing foster parents. Could you be my new forever family? I promise I’ll love you unconditionally and snuggle with you!” He has been adopted.
We used this generous gift to purchase one ton of low-sugar/starch hay. This amount will feed the ponies and donkeys (the low-cal crew) for one week. This hay was first-cutting grass which was made in 2019.
As with many other nonprofits during this time of COVID, our donations are down. Hay is our biggest expense and is required for daily intake by our herd. This grant allowed us to provide hay as they needed and to be able to use other funds for routine care such as hoof trims.
This grant helped us provide for Pancho, a black standard donkey gelding we rescued in March 2020, just before COVID issues began to impact our finances. Pancho belonged to a couple in western Washington who were no longer able to provide for him. Our rescue focus is on accepting surrendered pets before the owners become desperate due to personal issues such as health, divorce, financial downturns, etc.
Resources for donkeys in this area are minimal: only Equine Aid. Our policy is to accept these animals to prevent them from going to auction or on Craigslist, where they often wind up in the slaughter pipeline through no fault of their own.
The first photo shows Pancho in the arena at Cedarbrook Vet. We take all of our animals here for quarantine. He is quite a personable guy!
The second and third photos are of our beloved volunteer, Alex Castillo, unloading the trailer full of hay just purchased for the ponies and donkeys.
The fourth photo is of the hay in the covered bay.
To feed the animals in our care at the shelter.
In early 2020, the ARL entered a partnership with Hill’s Food, Shelter & Love program to provide consistent high-quality food for the animals in our care. Once we entered into this partnership, we were able to purchase food at an extremely discounted rate: $31 will feed one cat and one dog for a month – that’s just $1 a day. Our leadership was committed to providing this consistent food source for the pets in our care (prior to that, we fed mainly donated food, which was not consistent or always high-quality) to improve and reduce stress and digestive issues. The COVID-19 Operation Grant allowed us to purchase Hill’s food to feed 65 homeless animals for one month!
Barney, an 8-year-old domestic shorthair, came to the ARL as a stray.
He was a bit shy and fearful at first, but quickly warmed up to the staff and is now enjoying life in his forever home; he was adopted on May 22! Oh, he says thank you for the Hill’s food!