Homeward Bound WV: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

We have not used the entire amount yet. However, we have used $1,034.71 to-date. We have purchased the Good Dog in a Box education program with an additional 200 workbooks for kids. We also purchased 10 copies of the Pet Education Project book on responsible pet ownership. Finally, we purchased books for our already-established traveling library. These books will be left in the classrooms where we conduct our educational programming. These expenses will cover grades K-6. We have commissioned a graphic designer to put together a pop-up sign for our programs in grades 7-12. We have also created information sheets as handouts to include information on spay/neuter programs in our area. Finally, we have a WVU student working on two videos for grades 7-12 highlighting the importance of volunteering with animal rescue organizations, as well as fostering needy animals in our area. The signs and the videos are not yet completed, but we are happy to post the links and photos once they are (by the end of 2017 is our goal).

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

This grant has allowed us to use the money we raise directly towards the pets in our care (food and vet bills/medicine) and not on our educational endeavors. We are always challenged with having to choose between animal care and community outreach. The grant we received alleviated that pressure so we are able to do both -- and do both well! We are so excited to leave the books we have purchased in the libraries and classrooms, especially with elementary-school children, in our area!

How many pets did this grant help?

We would estimate that the money we are now spending on education with the grant would equate to roughly 25-29 cats and kittens that are now able to be saved because we have the money to do it (money we would have dedicated to education).

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

This grant has specifically helped Lemon (first photo). Lemon has irritable bowel syndrome and food allergies. He is very expensive to treat. We located a vet who specializes in food allergies in pets, but were not able to afford to get Lemon in for an appointment. Because of the grant we received, we were able to re-channel funds from our education projects into our veterinary fund, which meant Lemon could go to this specialist. As we speak, Lemon is in treatment and is doing AMAZING! After over a year of waiting, he is finally feeling better. And we have received an application from a wonderful family to adopt him as soon as he gets a clean bill of health! We would not have been able to afford Lemon's treatment if we were also funding our traveling library this year. There are always such difficult decisions to be made in animal rescue: Do we fund an expensive vet visit or do we live up to our commitment in our community through education? This year, we are able to do both thanks to the Petfinder Foundation and Build-A-Bear! Thank you! Meet Lemon: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36984843