Posts Categorized: Grants

Working Together to Help Animals During Disaster

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This dog was rescued by Central Oklahoma Humane Society with a fractured leg after a tornado struck that region in 2013.

This post, by Claire Sterling, originally appeared on the ASPCA Professional website. Read it here.

In the world of grantmaking, it’s common knowledge that applying for funding is hard work — and if you’re doing that work multiple times to reach a number of funders, all while scrambling to help animals who have been affected by a tornado, wildfire or severe flood, it can be downright overwhelming.

With this in mind, a group of funders have worked together to ease the burden of the grant application process for animal welfare organizations that either have been directly affected by a disaster or have been appointed by their local authorities to provide assistance to other organizations. The ASPCA, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the Petfinder Foundation and (for major disasters affecting Colorado) the Animal Assistance Foundation have just teamed up to form a single application and collaborative review process to streamline funding during a disaster.

These funders will collectively consider requests for funding that are submitted via a centralized portal at for specific major disasters. Particular disasters for which the application portal is available will be determined on a case-by-case basis at the discretion of the individual organizations participating in this funding collaboration. Eligible disasters must be significant enough to warrant a state-of-emergency declaration.

Information regarding specific disasters for which funding will be available will be posted via a Request for Proposals (RFP) on the “Funding Opportunities” page on (Please note that while applications submitted through the centralized portal will be reviewed by a group of funders, each funder who provides support will make its own grant to the applying organization and will issue its own grant contract and reporting requirements.)

Since participating funders can opt in and out of the collaborative, the makeup of the review committee will shift depending on the circumstances and on the affected geographic region(s). Over time, we expect to grow the group of funders to include other animal welfare grantmakers and, ideally, also community and family foundations serving disaster-affected regions.

We will all be learning as we go; this is a relatively unprecedented development not only in animal welfare, but also in the broader field of philanthropy. The concept of collaborative funding is nothing new, but rarely is it directly tied to a joint review of grant requests submitted via a single application form representing the interests of multiple funders. In this case, shared concern for applicants’ limited time — particularly when responding to a disaster — is the primary driver of our collaborative effort.

In the spirit of preparing for the worst but hoping for the best, our greatest desire for this funding collaborative is that disasters calling for its use are few and far between. And in the spirit of an ounce of prevention being worth a pound of cure, we strongly encourage organizations to do everything possible to make themselves and their facilities as disaster-proof as possible. As a starting point, please be sure to check out the ASPCA’s Disaster Response Resources page for further information.

With that, we wish you a healthy, happy, disaster-free 2015.

Guest blogger Claire Sterling is Director, Grant Strategies at the ASPCA. Having previously done foundation fundraising for six years at the Foundation Center, her personal blog, The Lion’s Share, provides philanthropy-related resources for organizations that better the lives of animals.



New Emergency Medical Grants Help Two Puppies

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Harley has pneumonia. Our grant to the Pepper Foundation will help cover his medical bills.

The Petfinder Foundation has recently begun accepting applications for new Emergency Medical grants, designed to help shelters and rescue groups care for pets who need urgent veterinary care in order to become adoptable. These grants can cover the costs of emergency surgery, dental work and other treatments, up to $1,000. (If you are with a member adoption group and have a pet who qualifies, apply for an Emergency Medical grant here.)

Two puppies are the first recipients of Emergency Medical grants. One is Fergus (pictured below), a young American Staffordshire Terrier in the care of ABRA, Inc. (All Breed Rescue Angels) in Crown Point, Ind. Our $1,000 grant to ABRA will cover the cost of surgery to treat Fergus’s broken leg.


With our grant, ABRA, Inc. can pay for surgery for Fergus.

As just a 3-month-old puppy, Fergus found himself at a local animal control shelter with a fractured femur. He spent five days in a cage with this untreated injury before ABRA pulled him, and rushed him to a vet to have pins inserted into the broken hind leg. Fergus has healed beautifully and ABRA reports he’s “truly a sweetheart [who] loves other dogs and everyone he meets.”

As for the Emergency Medical grant, it’s a big help to ABRA. “This is fantastic news that couldn’t have come at a better time,” the group’s Christy McKee tells us. “I can’t tell you how grateful we are!” Want to adopt Fergus? Meet him here.

We also awarded a $1,000 grant to the Pepper Foundation in Studio City, Calif., to help with the care of Harley, a young spaniel-Chihuahua mix pulled from a busy shelter who came down with kennel cough that turned into pneumonia.

Harley is currently in the hospital, but his rescuers are confident he’ll be better soon and ready for his forever home. The grant is a big help. “Thank you so much!” Pepper Foundation president Julie Chadwick says. “This took so much of our resources that I was just so worried about things and how we were going to pay for Harley. He is so young and otherwise a healthy dog and so adoptable. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for helping him.” Want to adopt Harley? Meet him here.

Donate now to help more pets like these and Orvis will MATCH your gift!



VIDEO: See the Lives Your Donations Have Saved

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We asked the shelters and rescue groups that received grants from the Petfinder Foundation this year to send us their favorite rescued-pet transformations.

The response was overwhelming. These are just a few of the hundreds we received.

Many of these images are graphic. But these are the realities that animal rescuers face on a daily basis. Thank you to the pet rescuers who work around the clock to save these vulnerable pets.

Your donation today can help change more pets’ lives.



Helping Dogs Rescued from Georgia Puppy Mill

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One of the rescued dogs with her adopter

When 359 dogs were seized from what authorities called deplorable conditions at Heavenly Kennels near Cumming, Ga., in July, the Petfinder Foundation was there to help. We rushed a $3,000 disaster grant to Cherokee County Animal Shelter in Canton, Ga., to help offset the cost of caring for the dogs, all of whom urgently needed medical care.

Veterinarian Dr. Michael Good, who assisted with the rescue, described the dogs’ living conditions to Atlanta’s WGCL-TV: “Almost every cage had feces in it. They’re designed that when they urinate, and I guess when they mash it down enough, it will fall through the grates.”

The cages’ wire floors caused the dogs tremendous pain. “I saw dogs sleeping in food bowls so they could get off the wire screen,” Good said. “Imagine living your whole life on something like that. It’s got to have an effect on your ligaments and your joints.”

Celebrity dog trainer and animal activist Victoria Stillwell was also present during the raid. “It’s absolutely disgusting, the conditions these animals are living in,” she told WGCL. “They are suffering physically, but they’re also suffering emotionally.”

Cherokee County Animal Shelter Director Susan Garcia told us the animals had been neglected of basic veterinary care for many years. “We have purchased vaccines, flea treatment, microchips and medication for this group of dogs that exceeds $10,000. We hope to improve the dental quality for some of the adult dogs. They are most vulnerable as many of them are pregnant or nursing puppies. Many of dogs in this case suffer from internal parasites, while most also suffer from bacterial infections and all are suffering from ear infections as well.”

The situation nearly overwhelmed the shelter, Garcia said: “Although our building is able to house the animals, we have a small staff that is unable to do the sheer amount of cleaning involved alone. We are relying on our volunteers, supporters and the community at large to keep us going through this situation.”

Ultimately, the cost of caring for the dogs exceeded $100,000, Garcia told the Cherokee Tribune in September. But there was good news: The kennel’s owners agreed to surrender the dogs to the shelter, and every one has been adopted.

The shelter held an adoption event on Aug. 23, and members of the community turned out in droves, Rescue Event Coordinator Lori Kekel told us. “Forty people stayed overnight” before the event to make sure they’d be able to adopt one of the dogs, and hundreds more lined up around the block that day.

The Petfinder Foundation grant helped produce this happy ending. “We could not have been as successful in this emergency situation without the help of our partners,” Kekel said.



Improving Shelters Helps Pets for Years to Come

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Scruffy was adopted thanks to our grant to Misfits, Mutts and Meows in Oklahoma.

Our cash grants are often used to provide immediate care for individual pets: Medical treatment, food, etc. But we encourage shelters to use the funds to improve their physical facilities in ways that will benefit countless pets for years to come.

Thanks to your donations and a generous gift from Mohawk Flooring, many shelters made these permanent improvements. Here are a few examples:


The new outdoor play yards

Upgrades to a Transport Van and Kennels
Misfits, Mutts and Meows in Crescent, Okla., upgraded its transport van and made repairs to its kennels and exercise yard.

The van upgrades include soundproofing insulation and circulating fans. These improvements “have allowed a safer, more comfortable place for the animals that are being transported to adoption events or into our rescue,” shelter president Joy Williams tells us. “The van is now easier to heat and cool and is much more soundproof. We are now capable of transporting eight dogs in individual cages, with cats in carriers on the floor.”


The upgraded transport van

MM&M also purchased wood, connectors and welding supplies to repair donated Priefert kennels and a back exercise yard fence. With these supplies, shelter staff are building outdoor play runs to allow for deeper cleaning of the indoor dog runs. The runs will allow 22 dogs to play outside at one time while ensuring they are safely separated.

The van improvements are already making a difference. “This past weekend we had an adoption event in a town 45 minutes away,” Williams says. “We took six dogs and five cats. We were able to transport all our tables and fundraising items, as well as show cages, to the event. Of the pets we took, we had a pair of kitties adopted, Chips and Squeeker, and one dog named Scruffy. Having the capability to transport everything we need for our different events in one vehicle makes our day much easier.” Read the grant report.

Buying Dog Beds
Something as small as getting caged dogs up off the hard concrete floor can make a big difference. That’s why Doberman & Rottweiler Rescue in Paris, Ill., used our grant to purchase high-quality raised dog beds.


A once-starved Dobie enjoys his bed

“We know these dog beds will help with the quality of life the dogs have while in our care,” rescue director Karen White tells us. “We get older, large-breed dogs in who have some hardship getting up off concrete floors, and this will help them feel better while in our care. The kennel staff love them due to the fact that they cut down on laundry costs, and in the time it saves them, they can play more with the dogs. We feel the dogs are much happier when off the floor and feel better. We are very pleased with the beds thus far and think they are a great addition to our facility.”

The beds are much appreciated by all the dogs at the rescue, including the doberman pictured here, “a starvation case we took in,” White says. “He was skin and bones when brought to our shelter from Animal Control. He had to gain 20 lbs. before the vet would neuter him. He is now in his new home doing wonderfully, and the new owner bought a bed for him like he had at our facility because he loved that bed. We all feel he had never had anything but the ground to sleep on and he loved the bed we provided him.”


Tok was an abuse case

The Rottweiler pictured, Tok, was also an abuse case. “He was terrified of people when we took him in,” White says. “We gave him a bed and for a couple of weeks he would crawl under it and hide, but with time he learned that no one was there to harm him and he started coming out of his shell and started lying on his bed and not under it!” Another dog, Ursula, a miniature pinscher, was a puppy-mill rescue who’d spent her entire life in a wire cage. She loved the bed and would crawl right under her blankets and fall asleep.

Says White, “We all feel the dogs had more in the short time they were with us than they did their entire life prior to coming to us.” Read the grant report.

Repairing Kennels to Save a Shelter
Carteret County Humane Society in Newport, N.C., used our grant funds to purchase supplies to repair concrete fixtures in the kennel area, as well as concrete sealant to be applied this fall.


Maggie’s shelter faced closure.

The repairs were critically important. “Without these repairs we could possibly fail our state inspection and take the chance of being closed down,” shelter director Candace Christopherson tells us. “These repairs are very important to the shelter itself but also to the health of the animals. Large cracks in the foundation can lead to build-up of bacteria, which could cause illness. The repairs were in all three dog kennel buildings; thus they affect over 60 dogs on a daily basis.”

CCHS is the only shelter for its county, so if it hadn’t been able to make the needed repairs to its 29-year-old building, it could have closed down, which would have affected more than 3,000 animals a year. Pictured is Maggie, just one of the homeless pets the grant helped. Read the grant report.


A litter enjoys the new puppy lot.

Building a Lot Just for Puppies
Forgotten Angels Animal Rescue in Chuckey, Tenn., used the funds to build a puppy lot for new litters when they arrive at the shelter. With the grant money, staff purchased fencing and a gate, solar-powered outdoor lights, a new Weed Eater and a Gator wagon to help at feeding time.

“It helped us to have a safe place for puppies so they can have room to run and play,” shelter director Polly Rogers tells us. “This way the puppies are happier despite the shots and worming, etc. — all the mean stuff that puppies have to go through when they are taken away from Mom and getting ready to be adopted.” The lot is now on its fourth litter of puppies, so it’s helped 36 pups so far.

All the puppies love the yard, but one in particular who has benefited from it is a blind puppy (the white pup with black spots in the photo at right) who no longer has to stay in a crate. “She now knows where the fence is and runs and plays with her littermates,” Rogers says. Read the grant report.



A Rescue Vehicle Is Hit by a Drunk Driver

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The animal-rescue vehicle purchased by Alaska’s Extended Life Animal Sanctuary

Thanks to your donations, when the animal-rescue vehicle used by Alaska’s Extended Life Animal Sanctuary in Nikiski was totaled by a drunk driver, the Petfinder Foundation was able to help.

AELAS founder Tim Colbath tells us, “On Jan. 9, our primary pet transport vehicle was hit and totaled by a drunk driver.” Colbath himself received a broken leg and other injuries, but made a full recovery. Unfortunately, the organization’s Chevy Suburban was beyond repair.


Buddy, who was rescued by AELAS

“The accident impacted our ability to transport pets,” Colbath says. “My 2001 Dodge pickup can only handle the transport of four cats at a time. Even with a cap on the back, it is too cold and rough for animals to be transported nine months a year here in Alaska.”

The Petfinder Foundation awarded AELAS an $8,000 disaster grant. Together with a smaller payment from the drunk driver’s insurance company, AELAS was able to purchase a 2004 GMC Yukon XL.

The new vehicle plays a critical role in AELAS’s rescue work: The organization serves all of south central Alaska, and often transports animals 200-300 miles to the sanctuary.

One such long-distance rescue was Buddy, who was shot by a passerby while he was relaxing in his own yard. Buddy’s owners didn’t have the means to get him treatment, so AELAS volunteers drove 100+ miles to Homer to pick him up.

They rushed him straight to their vet, where Buddy underwent surgery to remove the bullet that had been lodged in his bone for — as Colbath learned — six days. Despite his ordeal, Buddy is a happy, friendly boy who is ready for a safe and loving home. Read the story of Buddy’s rescue or meet Buddy here.

With its new truck, AELAS will be able to continue rescuing pets like Buddy. “I want to thank each and every member of the Petfinder Foundation for helping us get this rig,” Colbath says. “This 2004 GMC Yukon XL is absolutely perfect for the pet transporting we do every day, weekly to Anchorage and back. We service two of the three Southcentral Alaska PETCO stores, and the cats and dogs love the ride now!”



For Shelter Dogs, Happiness Saves Lives

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Smiley on his dog bed

Happy, healthy dogs are more likely to get adopted. When shelter dogs are physically comfortable, feel safe and secure, and are not crazed with boredom, they show their true personalities and charm potential adopters.

That’s why many of our grants are designed to improve shelter dogs’ quality of life. A bed, a toy and even a good shampoo can make all the difference.

Smiley, a 9-year-old blind Pit Bull, has been at the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts in Brockton for quite some time. Thanks to our grant, he and other dogs there sleep on cozy P.L.A.Y. beds. “There is nothing Smiley likes better than going out for long walks,” shelter director Kim Heise says. “But having a nice, soft, comfy P.L.A.Y. bed to snuggle up on in his kennel makes having to come back a little easier.” Read Smiley’s story.


Finley with his KONG

We granted 300 KONG toys to Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson — great news for dogs like Finley, a 5-year-old Italian Greyhound mix. “Shelter life can be scary for pets,” PACC Development Director Karen Hollish tells us. “The enrichment activity that Finley received from the granted KONG toys meant he was relaxed, happy and ready when his adopter finally walked by.” Read Finley’s story.


Suzy before (top) and after

Adoption groups receiving our grants of Wahl grooming products tell us the mild shampoos are a blessing to their dogs, many of whom come into their care with painful skin conditions and smelling terrible. Suzy had spent her seven years living outdoors when she arrived at Houndhaven in Minneola, FL, and her coat was in poor shape. After a regimen that included Wahl baths, Suzy blossomed — and was adopted. Read Suzy’s story.

Thank you for your support, which makes stories like these possible. Donate to improve quality of life for more shelter dogs.




Our New Rescue Van Will Save Lives in Detroit!

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MHS_van_collage2Here’s a sneak peak at the new animal-rescue van purchased with our $40,000 grant to the Michigan Humane Society! With this van, MHS will be able to save thousands of Detroit animals from cruelty and neglect.

“Thank you for the time you took to help MHS with this and for the significant donation that made this possible,” says MHS Vice President of Development Marta Diffen. “Animals in the city are counting on us and we are truly grateful!”

The vehicle will enable MHS cruelty investigators to save more pets like Zeva, a German shepherd puppy found wandering the streets of Detroit so emaciated and weak that she was walking on her wrists — her paws were not strong enough to support her body.

Zeva was treated at MHS’s Detroit Center for Animal Care, then fostered — and ultimately adopted — by MHS Chief Cruelty Investigator Debby MacDonald. See Zeva’s amazing transformation in the video below.

Donate now to help more pets like Zeva.



Happy Ending for Detroit Puppy With Two Broken Legs

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Thanks to a Petfinder Foundation grant, the Michigan Humane Society has purchased a new rescue van to save abused and injured animals in the beleaguered city.

“This generous gift from the Petfinder Foundation will travel thousands of miles each year to rescue animals in need,” says MHS’s Interim President and CEO, David A. Williams. “The Petfinder Foundation will help us save the very lives we may then re-home using the most widely recognized website that has placed millions of animals, We are grateful for such a great partner. The support is vital and very much appreciated.”


At this Detroit home, Flutter fell from the second-floor porch onto the concrete patio below.

The $40,000 grant, part of our SNAP-X Detroit project, will mean more help for abused and injured animals like Flutter, a puppy rescued after falling from a second-floor porch.

Flutter’s owner called the MHS Rescue Department the day after the 4-month-old German shepherd mix fell off the porch.

Once at the shelter, it was clear that Flutter was in terrible pain and could not put weight on either of her front legs. X-rays confirmed that she had broken both legs.

Vets outfitted her with two pretty pink casts, and she went into a foster home — with Stacey Bean, the rescue driver who’d saved her! A few months later, after Flutter had made a full recovery, her story was featured on the local news, and she was immediately adopted by Esther Martinez, who’d already adopted two dogs from MHS. “She was just adorable, and I loved her from the moment I saw her,” Martinez told MHS. Watch a video on Flutter’s adoption.

Donate now to help more pets like Flutter.



In Detroit, a Former Outside Dog Finds a Place on the Couch

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Our SNAP-X Detroit grant program continues to save the lives of the city’s most at-risk pets. As part of the effort, we gave a $10,000 grant to All About Animals Rescue, which operates in some of Detroit’s lowest-income zip codes.

AAAR forges relationships with area pet owners — many of whom keep their dogs outside — providing pet food, veterinary care and supplies such as collars and straw to improve the dogs’ quality of life, all while educating the owners in an effort to get them to bring their pets indoors. If they refuse, AAAR offers to rehome the dogs.

Spenser was one such outside dog. AAAR founder Amber Sitko tells us Spenser’s story in pictures:


The handsome boy on the couch is Spenser. He used to be known as Scarface. His owner disappeared and the owners’ roommates allowed Spenser to stay, but life didn’t get any better for him.



This is where Spenser lived. The roommates weren’t so interested in feeding Spenser, so he had daily rescue visits until a foster home could be found.



Finally, AAAR found Spenser a loving foster home, where he had a playmate! Sadly, he also tested positive for heartworm.



Spencer’s foster mom agreed to continue fostering him until after treatment. During that time, she fell in love with him and decided to adopt him! He tested negative last month too, so all good things with Spencer!


Donate now to help more pets like Spenser.