Valley Animal Haven: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

We used the funds to purchase all-weather covers for our large exercise yard and both of our meet-and-greet yards. When we originally applied for the grant, we were quoted a price from a website that was recommended to us, but with the generous $2,900 grant, we began a much more extensive search in an attempt to make the money stretch as far as possible. We found a carport company that was able to cover all of our yards for $3,500. We financed the remaining amount that was needed for the projects and now we have beautiful covers on our meet-and-greet pens and our exercise yard.

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

These covers have already been a tremendous benefit to the animals at our facility. Our weekly training class is utilizing our exercise yard with our shelter dogs. This class was not possible until the cover was put up, as the trainers and dogs had to be out in the blistering heat or pouring rain. This grant helped us solve that problem. Now the dogs receive the training that they desperately need to make them more highly adoptable.

Our trainers are actually students from our local continuation high school. Our training program is curricular in nature, which means the students must have good school attendance and maintain a GPA of at least 2.0 to participate in our program. Our training program has given these students an incentive to stay in school and keep their grades up if they want to participate in our academy. We just completed our first 8-week training session and we are thrilled to say that we had six students fully complete the program, and two of them had perfect attendance.

The seemingly simple addition of a cover over our exercise yard had made an immeasurable difference in the lives of our dogs and has had a positive impact on the youth in our community. There are already 13 students registered to participate in our next training session (beginning Nov. 16, 2017).

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant will potentially impact the lives of every dog that passes through our shelter. The covers over the exercise yard and meet-and-greet pens allow potential adopters to visit our adoptable pets in all types of weather. This one-on-one time between adopter and dog has resulted in fewer animals being returned to our shelter after adoption.

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

We recently took in a litter of six 6-month-old golden retriever/cattle dog mix puppies. These puppies were all lacking in social skills and had no leash experience. Our exercise yard was the perfect setting for our trainers to work with this litter of puppies. The puppies felt more at ease in the training since they were able to remain in close proximity to each other while still having enough room to move around and absorb their lessons. Our student trainers are really enjoying having a cover on this exercise yard, as they can now have cover from the sun and the rain to do their classes. The puppies quickly excelled in their training class and all but one have already found loving families. Their adopters were very impressed at the pups' skills. This was all directly attributable to the fact that our student trainers now have a proper place to conduct classes.