Fox Valley Humane Association: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The KONG toys were used for our Enrichment Program. They are continuously distributed throughout the shelter for our dogs to play with each day and to our foster families to help keep their animals at home distracted and calm while in their kennels. Our volunteers come in weekly or every other week depending on how fast the dogs in the shelters use them. The KONG toys are filled with dog food, then peanut butter on top, and wrapped in plastic and stacked in our freezers to make sure the distraction and treat last longer (fourth photo).

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

It has helped us get our Enrichment Program off the ground. We were given one other grant from the Petfinder Foundation and, thanks to this one, we were able to focus that money on other items for the program rather than toys. It also helped increase our number of available KONG toys to a place where we don't have to constantly worry about running out for the animals in our shelter and in our foster homes. The dogs in the kennel spend more time relaxing and playing with their toys than constantly barking and pacing or spinning.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant helps more than 30 pets per day.

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

Elliot (first photo) is a Basenji pup who came into our care at 10 weeks old and has recently been adopted. He was surrendered to the shelter and was placed on an extended hold due to some owner issues. While he was in our care, he had extremely high energy. To help keep him distracted and his foster family sane, Elliot was sent home with a few of the smaller KONG toys awarded to the shelter by this grant. The foster family said they were wonderful for keeping him busy and happy while he adjusted to his new home.

Hattie (second photo) is still available for adoption (meet her: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39785074). She has been with us since this fall and, before finding a foster home, she often got to sit behind the reception desk and spend time with staff members to get her out of the kennels. Hattie is very picky about her dog friends, so to keep her distracted she would be given KONG toys during busy hours to make sure she didn't bark or get stressed by the other dogs that would walk past the gate or the front desk. These toys kept her distracted and helped show families coming in how relaxed she was and how good she was when focusing her energy on something else. After two weeks, she was able to find her foster family, who still use KONG toys to help her relax.

Danny (third photo) is another one of our friends who was just adopted this past weekend! Danny had been in a foster home for the past three months while going through heartworm treatment. Since Danny was on exercise restriction and couldn't do much playing, we sent his foster family home with KONG treats, and he LOVED them! They used them almost every day as a treat or a kennel distraction to help him stay calm rather than worrying about his heart racing and hurting his treatment.