Reports From This Organization

Central Missouri Humane Society: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The funds from this grant were used to purchase supplies to support dog playgroups at our shelter. The supplies we purchased were suggested by the professionals at Dogs Playing for Life and included martingale collars, long leashes, air horns, and walkie talkies. We also purchased Gentle Leader halters and basket muzzles for our high-energy dogs who can easily become overstimulated. To avoid resource-guarding, we provided our playgroups with kiddie pools instead of traditional water buckets. We provided each staff member involved in playgroups with a walkie talkie to keep our staff safe and make it easy to call for additional help in the case of an emergency.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant made such a huge difference for the pets in our care! With limited resources, we try our best to provide our animals with enrichment opportunities to keep them both physically and mentally stimulated. After attending the conference, our staff was excited for the opportunity to implement playgroups at our shelter. We had tried playgroups at our shelter before but never with more than three or four dogs at a time. The benefits of playgroups were very apparent, especially after learning more about Dogs Playing for Life at the conference. Since implementing playgroups, we have seen a huge change in our dogs! Stress in the kennels has definitely decreased and the dogs are visibly more relaxed.

Working in a shelter environment, it’s easy to have our guards up and be prepared for the worst to happen. I think that’s why we had been a little apprehensive implementing large playgroups at our shelter before. We always imagined the possibility of a large dogfight breaking out. The people at Dogs Playing for Life made a point to tell us that it’s unlikely for animals of the same species to want to hurt each other. Dogs are social beings and communicate differently than we do and it’s our job to learn how they communicate and offer them freedom and support while in playgroups.

Every dog we have introduced to playgroups has done amazing! Each dog has their own particular play style and we have learned which dogs will do well with others. This program has worked wonders for many of our dogs who were considered “dog reactive” initially. Playgroups allow us to do a much more accurate assessment of their personality and gauge whether they would do well in a home with other dogs. The public also loves watching dogs interact in playgroups and doing so helps them consider dogs they may not have previously considered. We have seen the length of stay decreased for some of our dogs and placed others who had been considered long-term residents.

How many pets did this grant help?

35

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Bailey (first photo) was a 4-month-old German shepherd dog who’d come into our care months earlier. Some kind people had saved her from a bad situation and she was severely under-socialized. For the first couple of weeks in our care, she wouldn’t let any of our staff members even touch her. We sent her to an experienced foster home, but she wouldn’t warm up to strangers coming into the house. Eventually, she came back to the shelter, where we worked with her each day to ease her stranger-danger and make her feel safe with new people.

She was one of the first dogs introduced to playgroups at our shelter and we saw a change in her immediately! She loved being around the other dogs and easily read their body language. She was tolerant and understanding and quickly became a playgroup rockstar. She also started warming up to strangers very easily when in a playgroup setting and back in her kennel. She was the first one to join the playgroup and the last one back to her kennel at the end of the day. For the first time, we saw her hold her ears up in excitement.

After 112 days in our care, Bailey was adopted just a week after first participating in playgroups. The change in her, as with many of our other animals, has been astounding. We are incredibly grateful to have received this grant and look forward to witnessing more success stories each week!

Central Missouri Humane Society: Purina New Year, New Home Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The funding received from the Petfinder Foundation allowed us to waive/reduce adoption fees for several animals in our shelter. Kitten season started early at our shelter and we quickly became overwhelmed with the amount of adult cats and kittens in our care. We also had several dogs with mild behavior or medical issues who were having a more difficult time finding the right home. This grant allowed us to host an adoption promotion where fees were reduced for both adult cats and dogs at our shelter. Almost all of our foster homes were overwhelmed with kittens who were too young for adoption and the shelter was filled with adult cats looking for homes. This grant allowed us to reduce adoption fees to $20 for cats and just $50 for dogs! A few weeks later, many of our kittens were ready to be adopted and we held another adoption promotion and reduced fees again for all cats and kittens! Spay/neuter surgery, vaccinations, microchipping, FIV/FELV testing and preventatives were all included with the reduced adoption fee.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The grant helped us to place several animals into homes and raise awareness of our shelter and all of the animals in our care. During our first adoption promotion, we were able to place 13 animals into homes: seven cats and six dogs! During the first three days of our second adoption promotion, we were able to place 14 more cats and kittens! Not only did this grant help us place animals into homes, it also helped open up space in our shelter for more animals in need. Kitten season is overwhelming each year and being able to offer adoption promotions helped moved cats and kittens out of the shelter quickly and allowed us to take in more stray, abandoned and homeless animals. The adoption promotions also helped us increase general awareness for our shelter and helped us increase our network of foster homes. Every new foster home makes a huge difference for us, especially in the spring and summer months, when space is limited. Thank you, Petfinder Foundation!!

How many pets did this grant help?

54

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

In early April, a good Samaritan came to our door to relinquish a stray he had found wandering the streets (first photo). She was a beautiful tan-and-white pit bull mix who had terribly cropped ears and appeared to have been used for breeding. When no owner came forward to claim her, we evaluated her before placing her up for adoption. She passed her evaluation with flying colors! She had an incredibly sweet disposition and was very gentle and loving with everyone she met, dogs included. And she had the best butt-wiggle ever! Her incredibly sweet personality helped us come up with the perfect name for her: Cookie Dough! Cookie Dough was not only an amazing dog but a wonderful representative of her breed. A young couple came to the shelter to look at dogs and consider taking one home to join their family. They took a few dogs outside to play before a staff member suggested they meet Cookie Dough. They immediately fell in love with her! They had no other animals at home and would be able to give Cookie Dough all the love and attention she deserved. Our staff members were thrilled to see her find such a great home and several tears of joy were shed. The adopters took her home that afternoon and were so grateful to have found her!

Central Missouri Humane Society: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Funds from this grant were used to purchase supplies and equipment for use in our Behavior Modification and Enrichment Program. We try to enrich our animals as much as possible and surround them with a sense of safety and love. We used the funds to purchase a plethora of behavioral training and enrichment supplies, including Mendota slip leads, KONG Wobbler dog toys, ADAPTIL Dog Appeasing Pheromone Diffusers and Spray, calming collars, essential oils for use in scent therapy, treat pouches, suction cup caddies, etc. All of these tools have assisted in creating a safe, low-stress environment that will help our animals stay happy and healthy while in our care.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The additional supplies and equipment we received through this grant allowed us to maintain a low-stress, stable environment where animals are encouraged to succeed. Most behavior issues, even those that seem severe, can be corrected with proper training and positive reinforcement. It is our duty as shelter workers, and as human beings, to give every animal who comes through our door the best chance possible at finding a family and continuing her journey out in the world. Mental stimulation is so important in a shelter environment and helps boost a dog’s mood and keep his mind sharp — and it can be particularly useful for those canines who are bored, frustrated or don’t enjoy being around other animals. Keeping animals enriched and stimulated while in their kennels helps to set them up for success during afternoon training sessions with our Behavior Modification Coordinator. Empowering animals through a variety of training sessions not only teaches basic manners that make dogs more adoptable but also helps build confidence and gives animals the skills necessary to succeed into the future.

Part of our Behavior Modification and Enrichment Program includes dog-appeasing pheromone therapy. Pheromones are taken in through the nasal passage of the dog to produce a calming effect on one part of the brain that is connected to the dog’s behavior and emotion. Pheromone therapy has been very effective and successful in treating phobias and stress experienced by dogs. In addition to using pheromone diffusers and sprays, we also purchased calming collars to place on animals showing signs of stress and anxiety. D.A.P. calming collars are an incredible resource in a shelter setting. By placing a calming collar on each dog coming into our shelter, we have seen a significant reduction of stress and anxiety. These collars have also helped decrease dogs’ fear-aggressive tendencies upon entering the shelter.

These resources have helped many animals in our shelter by increasing their confidence and impulse-control and decreasing their overall anxiety. We have also seen a decrease length of stay. Anxious, stressed-out dogs who are jumping up on the glass and spinning in circles in the kennels don’t show well to adopters. Even though most of these dogs won’t show those behaviors outside of the shelter, it most definitely deters some adopters from considering them. The skills our animals have gained at our shelter through this program have carried over into their new homes and increased pet-retention rates. Through positive reinforcement and these increased resources, we have decreased overall stress in the shelter and continued to showcase our animals for each of their wonderful and unique personalities!

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant has helped more than 300 animals in our care!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Jake (first photo) is a 4-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix who came into our care when his owner was moving and could no longer keep him. Jake is a wonderful boy who loves cuddling and playing with toys. He needs an active home that can provide him with the exercise and attention he needs. Jake is an incredibly sweet boy but has a lot of anxiety both in and out of the shelter. After a few days at the shelter, he began spinning circles in his cage and destroying all the blankets and toys he was given. We placed a calming collar on him and began using a pheromone spray on the items in his cage. Our Behavior Modification Coordinator took him for walks several times a day to do some one-on-one behavioral training.

He was still showing signs of anxiety, so we gave him a plethora of KONG toys and a Treatstik filled with food and training treats. Jake loved them! While he is still an anxious soul, the KONG toys and Treatstik have helped enrich him while he’s in his kennel and given him a sense of comfort and security. He is always carrying around his Treatstik and has stopped jumping up on the glass and spinning in circles. He even curls up on his bed with his KONG and Treatstik and naps during the day.

The resources provided by this grant have helped us provide Jake with some of the tools he needed to harness his anxiety and boost his confidence. Jake is currently available for adoption and can’t wait to find the perfect family for him! Meet Jake: http://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40155701

Central Missouri Humane Society: P.L.A.Y. Pet Beds Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Through this product grant, we received a shipment of designer Chill Pads from P.L.A.Y.! These Chill Pads are amazing and have benefited animals of all ages at our shelter! They fit perfectly on top of the Kuranda beds we currently use and provide a warm and cozy place for our animals to relax.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We are so grateful to have received these beds from P.LA.Y. and the Petfinder Foundation! These beds are so well-made and can be washed and sanitized easily so that many different animals can benefit from them. The shelter can be a very stressful place and creating a warm and comforting environment can make all the difference. It’s amazing to watch a scared and untrusting dog come out of her shell when given a warm bed to lie on and a little bit of love. Dogs who are less anxious and stressed-out at the shelter show better to potential adopters and may increase their chances of being adopted.

These beds are great for animals of all ages! The beds provide much-needed comfort and support for our senior animals who may have stiff joints or a bit of arthritis. The beds are also great for single puppies or litters of puppies. Some of the smaller puppies we get in aren’t big enough to climb onto the Kuranda beds, so the Chill Pads work perfectly for them. They are also great to send home with foster parents, as they fit perfectly inside of crates. Our foster parents work on crate-training with their foster animals, and the Chill Pads help make the crate a safe and inviting place. Our staff and animals love the Chill Pads are are so grateful to have received them!!

How many pets did this grant help?

Hundreds! These Chill Pads are great for so many reasons, one being that they are easy to wash and sanitize. Once an animal is adopted, we can wash the pads thoroughly and pass them along to another animal who will benefit from them!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Bae-Bae is a 13-year-old Chihuahua mix who was relinquished to our shelter by his owner after he started peeing in the house. The poor little guy was so fearful at the shelter that he tried to bite everyone who touched him. He was so anxious that he just kept pacing for the first few hours after he arrived at the shelter. We set up a cage for him with lots of toys, treats and a Chill Pad from P.L.A.Y. After adjusting to his cage, he finally curled up on his Chill Pad and went to sleep. It’s amazing to see how much a bed or blanket can change a dog’s perspective. Something so simple can provide so much comfort for an animal who has lost everything. Bae-Bae is now in a loving foster home and receiving the specialized care that he needs! [Bae-Bae is not the dog in the photo.]

Central Missouri Humane Society: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

So far, grant funds have been used to purchase a curriculum package for the No More Bullying! program we have implemented at our shelter. The curriculum package is designed for grades 3-5 and includes a 227-page facilitator’s guide with detailed lesson plans, full-color student journals, flashcard sets and a USB flash drive that includes all three grade-level materials as well as all program marketing materials. We are currently putting together Humane Care Packs to distribute to students that include educational workbooks and information, coloring books, training clickers, etc. We are also going to purchase two new donation bins that can be dropped off at schools for donation drives. We plan on bringing the bins into schools and having the kids get involved by helping us decorate them as well as educating them about the needs we have at the shelter and how the donations will impact the animals in our care. We are also working on creating a custom video to play during our classroom presentations that highlights the work we do and the services we offer to the community.
No More Bullying Curriculum Package: $600
Humane Care Packs: $300
Donation Bins: $100
Travel expenses to and from schools: $35 (so far)

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We were thrilled to receive this grant through the Petfinder Foundation and Build A Bear! We believe humane education is an incredible tool that empowers youth to be empathetic and kind to all living beings. We know there is a direct correlation between people who abuse animals and people who abuse other people, and we believe that helping foster kind and compassionate attitudes towards animals may help children develop healthy and compassionate attitudes towards people as well. We have teamed up with local elementary schools in our area to bring our No More Bullying! program into classrooms all over town! We begin by educating children in the community about responsible pet ownership and the incredible and rewarding bond between animals and people.

Educating young people in the community, we believe, can change perceptions and instill meaningful and humane values for the next generation. Not only have children gained confidence in themselves, they have also become positive role models in the community and advocates for both owned and shelter animals. Many classrooms have set up donation drives for us that have directly benefited the animals in our care. We have also had many children from our classroom visits join our Reading to Pets program. The shelter can be a very stressful place and this program helps to reduce anxiety and bring comfort to the animals while building confidence and literacy skills in children.

Many of the children involved in classroom presentations have come to the shelter with their families to view our animals, and several of them have ended up adopting a pet from us! The children involved in this program are such great advocates for the shelter and seem to really enjoy learning about what we do and how they can help. This program has also helped to change perceptions in the community and educate the public about the important work that we do and why we need their support.

How many pets did this grant help?

Countless pets! Not only did this grant help pets in our shelter, it also helped many owned pets in the community!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

During a recent classroom visit, our humane-education coordinator mentioned our Reading to Pets program and encouraged the kids to get involved. We sent home information about the program and a family came in the next week with their young son to read to our pets for the first time. He had brought with him a book from home and shyly walked into the cat room and started petting kittens. His mother shared with us that he was having a difficult time learning to read and was very self-conscious about it. He couldn’t read aloud in the classroom and became anxious if someone was listening while he was trying to read.

All of a sudden, the mother looked up and saw her son sitting on the floor in our cat colony surrounded by kittens. He was comfortably reading aloud to the kittens without stumbling over his words, and the kittens were happily lounging in his lap listening to the story. The kittens have all since been adopted and the young boy still comes in to read to our animals.

Several months ago, we received an emaciated dog who had been found living in a dark and disgusting garage with her eight puppies. She was very timid with people, but warmed up quickly in her loving foster home. Her eight puppies grew quickly and found new homes of their own. One of those puppies was adopted by our humane educator and is now about as spoiled as any dog could be! Less than a year old, Elsa is an incredibly sweet dog who gets along with everyone and loves meeting new people.

Not only is Elsa is a fantastic shelter ambassador, she is now in training to become a Classroom Companion. She will attend classroom presentations with our humane educator and interact with children in grades 3-5. In addition to being incredibly sweet and gentle, she is also a pit-bull mix, which we hope will help dispel negative stereotypes surrounding the breed. We have found that there are many children in the community who are actually fearful of dogs. Many of them have had bad experiences with dogs or have owned a dog who was “mean.” It’s a sad reality that there are many dogs in the community who are simply used for breeding or tied up outside without much interaction with their family. We hope that Elsa can change perceptions for many of the children she meets and help them realize the incredible bond that exists between people and animals.

Central Missouri Humane Society: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only) Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

The grant funding we received from the Petfinder Foundation went towards the purchase of supplies and equipment for use in our Behavior Modification and Training Program. This grant allowed us to purchase treat pouches, Mendota British slip leads, leather long lines and calming collars for animals coming into our shelter.

The Mendota slip leads are perfect for daily staff use. The short length keeps the dog close and has thicker roping than our usual slip leads for handler and dog comfort. The treat pouches are excellent for both basic clicker-training and advanced training.

The Adaptil calming collars we purchased are such an amazing resource to have for the dogs in our shelter. These collars allow our dogs to cope with the stress and fear of the shelter and help set them up for success during evaluation.

A really neat enrichment product we purchased was a Leerburg Nosework scent kit. We have been using oil samples for environmental enrichment and scent therapy. Different daily essential oils are mixed with water and applied with a spray bottle to beds, toys or other objects in the environment to provide mental stimulation. Mental stimulation is so important in a shelter environment and helps boost a dog’s mood and keep his mind sharp — and it can be particularly useful for those canines who are bored, frustrated or don’t enjoy being around other dogs.

We also purchased Omega Paw Tricky Treat Balls to help combat boredom and keep dogs mentally stimulated. Another really neat thing we purchased was a speaker system for use in our kennel area. It has been proven that psychoacoustic music lowers blood pressure, calms the nervous system and reduces anxiety, and the periodic rhythms slow down brain processes, circulation and respiration. This ultimately means less barking, fewer fearful behaviors and happier dogs!

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We are so grateful to have received this grant from the Petfinder Foundation. We understand how stressful the shelter can be for our animals and we try to enrich our dogs as much as possible and surround them with a sense of safety and love. We try to listen to our dogs and read their body language to best meet not only their physical but emotional needs. However, our resources are limited. This grant allowed us to purchase additional supplies and equipment so that we could create a low-stress, stable environment where dogs are encouraged to succeed.

Most behavior issues, even those that seem severe, can be corrected with proper training and positive reinforcement. By empowering dogs and boosting their confidence through enrichment, behavior and training, we have decreased length of stay and increased potential for adoption.

It is our duty, not only as shelter workers but as human beings, to give every animal who comes through our door the best chance possible at finding a family and continuing his or her journey out in the world. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, many of our animals are on their way to finding happy endings.

How many pets did this grant help?

350

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Brutus is an American bulldog who was relinquished to our shelter in the spring. His family was moving and was unable to take him with them. Under a year old and over 100 lbs., he was full of puppy energy and thought he would make a great lap dog. Because of his size and energy, we knew he would need an experienced and active owner who was willing to work with him. His first adopter fell in love with him and thought he was a perfect match, but soon found that he was simply too big and played too rough with their older dog. They had started training Brutus and teaching him basic manners and said that he was very smart and was catching on quickly.

We continued his training when he was returned to the shelter and made sure to provide him with extra enrichment throughout the day. His size was a bit intimidating for some potential adopters and we wanted to give him the skills to succeed at the shelter and show off his amazing personality. Brutus excelled at clicker-training and we saw an immediate change in his behavior in the kennel. He gained the ability to focus during training and wait patiently in his kennel for staff and adopters to take him outside. He especially enjoyed scent therapy sessions and playing with puzzle balls during the day. As he gained skills, we saw a decrease in his anxiety level and he began to relax in his kennel. After five long months in and out of the shelter, Brutus finally found a home that was perfect for him!

Central Missouri Humane Society: KONG Toy Grant Report

What was the money or product used for?

Our organization was so thankful to receive the KONG toy grant! We usually have around 60-70 dogs at our shelter at a time and keeping them busy and enriched is a major goal for us. The shelter can be extremely stressful at times and we are always working hard to provide a safe, low-stress, enriching environment for all of our animals. In addition to providing enrichment, the KONG toys have helped them to build the skills they need to cope with the stress and anxiety of shelter life. Building and developing those skills to cope will help them to transition to a new life outside of the shelter and set them up for success in their new homes.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The KONG toys we received have been extremely popular at our shelter and have provided countless hours of fun for our dogs and cats. Our staff members concocted a special recipe of canned food, chicken broth, treats, hot dogs and vitamin supplements which they then stuff inside each KONG and store in the freezer until ready to use. The frozen KONG toys have been amazing for use in the shelter as well as at off-site events, especially during the hot summer months. The KONG toys not only keep the animals busy and provide a delicious and healthy treat, but have also helped to reduce stress and boost confidence. We have recently implemented a training and behavior program at our shelter and the KONG toys have been perfect for our crate-training exercises and clicker-training sessions.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant has helped over 200 animals in our care! As much as the dogs love their KONG toys, the cats seem to love them too, especially the young kittens with tons of energy to play all day. Not only have the KONGs been fantastic for our active animals, they have also been a great resource for our elderly animals and those coming out of surgery that are on cage rest and need to take it easy. The KONG toys have provided comfort and fun and been the perfect resource for behavior training and modification. KONG toys are perfect for the shelter as they are easy to sanitize and extremely durable. The toys we received through this grant will continue to improve the lives of shelter animals for months to come!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

At the end of June, a stray pit bull named Shay (first photo) came into our shelter. She was nervous and full of anxiety, but had the sweetest disposition. She was adopted and reluctantly returned three weeks later due to behavior issues. After working with our behaviorist, it was determined that in addition to being a very anxious soul, Shay also had a severe storm and noise phobia. She was put on medication to help with the anxiety but the most important factor has been to manage her stress level and provide a calm environment until she is adopted. KONG toys have been AMAZING for her and we have seen a huge difference in her since we started implementing KONG toys into our management techniques. She loves to hang out in a quiet office and spend the afternoon chewing on a frozen KONG. It keeps her busy and helps her to release some of the stress she is harboring. By the time she finishes her KONG, she is ready to curl up in her bed and take a peaceful nap. She has gotten acclimated with her routine and looks forward to her daily KONGs. From Shay and all the staff here at the Central Missouri Humane Society, THANK YOU, PETFINDER FOUNDATION, for changing the lives of shelter animals everywhere! Meet Shay: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/32973141/