Madison County Pet Shelter, Inc.: Pedigree Operational Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The Pedigree Foundation 2012 operational grant helped us buy dog food, vaccinate 10 dogs for rabies, and sterilize 14 dogs for low-income customers.

10 adoptions by senior citizens, $55 each
10 rabies shots, $9 each
4 dogs sterilized for low-income households, $65 each
dry dog food (Pedigree) and wet dog food (Iams), $100

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

The Pedigree Foundation 2012 operational grant helped us continue to give abandoned dogs food, safety, and health. The Madison County Pet Shelter is a 501(c)(3) in a poor, rural Arkansas county where the long-engrained cultural attitude toward pets as possessions first and companions second means that our base of support is limited. The county government, which had been giving the shelter $1,000 monthly, cut its funding to $500 monthly in January 2013 because of its decreased tax revenue.

Though we had planned to use the Pedigree Foundation money for dog food, we received two unexpected gifts that changed those plans: In December 2012, three grade-school classes conducted a fundraiser from which they gave our shelter $1,000, and a local bank was so impressed with the children’s work that they gave us a $500 Walmart gift card. In March 2013, another local bank’s employees selected our shelter as that quarter’s recipient of their ongoing Jeans-on-Friday fundraiser. They gave us $1,920.

We had purchased $100 of dog food (Pedigree and Iams) during late 2012 then decided to use the Pedigree Foundation balance to support more adoptions and vaccinations through our adoption-support account, which subsidizes the cost of adoptions for qualified adopters.

How many pets did this grant help?

40 dogs, for a short while, with food; then 24 dogs with sterilization and vaccinations: The first $100 of this grant paid for dog food and so supported all the dogs in our care, or approximately 40 animals, for a while. The balance of our 2012 Pedigree Foundation operational grant was diverted to our adoption-support program after receipt of the two unexpected grants described above.

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

Rickie was found near death and brought to the MCPS in March 2013. His left eye was badly damaged, he could barely walk, and his weight was so low that his hip joints were starkly evident. Caren, the shelter’s manager, took him home with her each evening for nine weeks and nursed him back to health and a good weight.

Recently, Holden, a 5-year-old boy with autism spectrum disorder, came to the shelter with his grandma and 5-year-old cousin. The boys always want to visit our shelter to see the animals when they visit their grandma. When Holden sat on the shelter floor, Rickie came right to him and stayed with Holden until he left. Holden had always been a bit leery of dogs, his grandma said, but never showed anxiety with this one. “Some dogs really seem to understand children’s needs,” she said.

Over the next several days, Holden kept talking to his Grandma Sue about Rickie. Except Holden knew Rickie’s real name: Fergus. Sue said she had read a story to Holden when he was two about a dog named Fergus, and once Holden saw Rickie, he talked non-stop about Fergus.

Of course, Holden adopted Fergus, and Grandma Sue reports that Fergus and Holden are fast friends. She said that Fergus took to his new home immediately and noted that her grandson’s ability to interact with others is improving.

We are too small and under-funded to be a no-kill facility but do not euthanize arbitrarily at X number of days. We work hard to place animals, and the Pedigree Foundation’s operational grant for 2012 helped in that effort. Holden and Fergus are deeply grateful.
We made another seemingly fated match recently—this one between a four-foot tall female brindle wolf hybrid named Baby and James, an 18-year-old man who suffers from Lionitis (craniodiaphyseal dysplasia). These two took to each other like magnets. Baby, is hard to control on a leash for everyone but James. Now Baby sticks to James’s side, and the two have become inseparable.

By the way, Caren, shelter manager, kept tabs on Baby after adoption and learned they were feeding her Old Roy, and Baby wasn’t doing so well. Caren told the family to feed her Pedigree, and during a follow up conversation learned that Baby is thriving and will now eat only Pedigree!

Caren has learned the hard way that penny wise is pound foolish when it comes to dog food and she spreads that message. We are grateful to the Pedigree Foundation for the operational funds that helped us keep our charges healthy in 2012.
Blondie, a Great Pyrenees mixed maybe with some setter, came to the home of Denise in rural Madison County, Ark., in April 2013 with no traceable clues. But Blondie (a he, not a she) had been so well-trained and was so well-behaved that we think he might have been a service or therapy dog. When a person touched him lightly, he would stop and stay by that person’s side. Denise was heart
broken to take him to the shelter but she could not keep him. Our shelter manager found a loving home for this beautiful courteous dog, an outcome supported by the Pedigree Foundation’s generosity.
Elijah was about 10 years old and blind when someone dumped him in the rural community of Wesley. He wandered into a lady’s house and literally bumped into her porch. She brought him to us.

Our shelter manager was able to place Elijah with a big-hearted couple who took Elijah to Tulsa, Okla., for cataract surgery. They have really embraced Elijah. Here’s a recent email:

--- On Fri, 6/21/13, Frank … wrote:

From: Frank …
Subject: Elijah Update
To: "caren sharp"
Date: Friday, June 21, 2013, 8:58 AM

Just wanted to send you a quick update on Elijah. He's doing very well. His eyesight seems to be pretty good. He has a little trouble seeing things up close, but he follows us around the backyard and likes to look out the windows in the car.

I'm attaching a couple of photos for you. We took him to the groomer yesterday for a summer cut. We didn't think he could get any cuter, but we were wrong!


Thank you, Pedigree Foundation!