Stephens County Humane Society purchased new Petco folding crates with our grant money. Many of our existing crates were bent, starting to show signs of rust, had broken or missing bottoms and were rapidly becoming unusable. We were definitely in need of new crates, and were delighted when our grant request was approved.
Because of a company-wide sale going on at Petco at the time of purchase, we were able to order two more crates than originally planned, for a total of seven medium, seven large and five extra-large Petco premium, two-door crates!
The crates we were able to purchase with this grant have helped in so many ways! First and foremost, we have been able to supply new crates to our families taking dogs home as part of our foster-to-adopt (sleepover) program. The crates are returned to us at the time of adoption or when the dog is returned because the family decided not to adopt. Previously, all we had to offer were old crates with missing or broken trays, bent doors, etc. Offering new crates provides better security for the dog, looks much better and is representative of the image Stephens County Humane Society wants to portray.
A second way in which we have been helped has been in our foster program. As of this writing, we have four crates out with puppies in temporary foster programs. It is much safer for young, vulnerable puppies to be in foster homes until after their second booster shot and for us to be able to send a large crate so the puppies have plenty of room to play, sleep and begin puppy-pad training is key to the success of our puppy foster program.
A third use for these crates has been at on-site adoptions. These crates are so lovely, it gives our on-site adoptions the professional appearance we are seeking to assure our potential adopters that we are a legitimate animal-welfare rescue and shelter. And having the additional crates means our on-sites can include more dogs and/or we can have more than one on-site scheduled at a time.
Lastly, we use one of the new crates in our office for dogs who need a little extra TLC. We had a young pup who came to us with a fractured rear leg. He was our office companion for several weeks, kenneled in one of our new Petco crates. In another situation, we had an adult male who developed a severe infection following neuter surgery. He also spent several days in the office, where we could keep him calm and give him the care he needed while he healed. (This boy – Rigsby – is in one of the included pictures.) Yet one more example is Bettie Jo. This young pup (included in the pictures submitted with this report) was adopted and returned after the family realized they could not give her the care she needed. She came back severely malnourished, with a dull, brittle coat. Bettie Jo was kenneled in the office, where we could give her personal care, monitor her food intake, keep her warm and get her back on the road to health. These are just a few examples of this valuable purpose for our new crates. (See the story below about Jack for yet another example.)
Because we used the grant for crates that have multiple and repeated uses, determining a specific number of pets helped is difficult. A conservative estimate of animals helped is 50-75 from the date we received the grant up to the date of this report. And, of course, as outlined above, the crates continue to help us in a myriad of ways.
We recently had a little Jack Russell terrier at the shelter named Jack. He came to us as an owner-surrender, covered in fleas and in questionable mental health. It was obvious that Jack had been treated with a heavy hand because of his tendency to cower and be just a little hand-shy.
For three mornings in a row, while housed in our kennels, he was nervous and snappy and very difficult for staff and volunteers to deal with. So we set him up in the office, in one of our new Petco crates, with a blanket and a pet bed and let him live in the office, closing the crate at night.
What a difference! Throughout the day, he would routinely “put himself to bed” in the crate and take a nap, and we could see his confidence rising, knowing he had his own safe “den” to run to. He became more open and trusting and the snappiness completely disappeared.
Jack was adopted into a great, dog-experienced home the day after his neuter surgery. As a result of his time as our office dog, we were able to share a lot of information about him that will, hopefully, ensure his success with his new family. And we emphasized the need for Jack to have a crate where he could feel secure and have a safe place of his own to go.