Petfinder Foundation News

5 Steps to a Successful Pet Transfer Program

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Sailor, the dog whose story inspired the grant, with the St. Louis Cardinals’ Matt Carpenter

In 2015, the Petfinder Foundation gave St. Louis’s APA Adoption Center, formerly known as the Animal Protective Association of Missouri, a $10,000 grant to support its Pet Transfer Program, which pulls pets at risk of euthanasia from nearby urban, suburban and rural shelters and brings them to its own state-of-the-art facility, where those pets have a greater chance of being adopted.

We first learned about the program in 2014 when we received this grant report. We’d given APA a $1,000 grant to promote dog adoptions; it had applied those funds toward the Pet Transfer Program and described the program, and how it had saved a dog named Sailor, in its report.

We were impressed by APA’s spirit of cooperation with its transfer partners and its staff’s willingness to use a variety of tools to get exposure for its adoptable pets, including Facebook, Instagram, mobile adoption events, Sunday-brunch fundraisers, corporate PetCare Pride Days, Pet of the Week features on local TV programs and photo ops with St. Louis Cardinals players.

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Sheriff spent his life tied to a 1-ft. rope before he was rescued and adopted from the APA.

The Petfinder Foundation gave APA the $10,000 grant to cover the Transfer Program’s expenses for 2015, with the provisos that APA use that time to make the program self-sustaining (covering the cost of caring for transfer animals through adoption fees and other revenue generators) and that, at the end of the year, it put together a best-practices document so that other shelters could replicate the program’s success.

Here are those best practices, from APA Development Associate Stacey Switzer:

The APA Adoption Center has worked with our local animal control for a number of years, but our official Pet Transfer Program started in 2014. In 2015 we had a total of 19 partners and transferred 1,024 animals to our shelter.

Step 1: Build Trust
One major hurdle we faced from the beginning was that, while our live-release rate at the time was 91%, the APA is an open-admission shelter, not a no-kill shelter. (We currently have a live-release rate of 95% and our average length of stay is only seven days.) So when it came to adding new partners to transfer pets to us, we had to do some relationship-building.

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A former hunting dog, Tony had to learn indoor manners before he could be adopted.

The employee who founded our transfer program had to start with a door-to-door approach, talking to one person at a time. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and once we had a few key partners on board, they were able to help us spread the word. It was important to talk about our great adoption statistics and the fact that we have an average of 2,000 people walking through our Adoption Center each month. This was an eye-opener to many rescue groups whose adoptable pets are housed in foster homes. There is simply no way for those pets to get as many looks when they’re in a home as they do in our Adoption Center.

The fact that we do euthanize still made some potential partners nervous. To get over this hurdle, we offered guaranteed adoption or the option to return the pet. If for some reason an animal ends up not being an adoption candidate, we always provide our transfer partner the opportunity to take the pet back. It is rare that this happens, but the guarantee offered the security that some of our partners needed to get on board.

Some rescue groups started by transferring just one or two dogs to the APA, I think to make sure we would hold up our end of the deal. Once they saw how quickly the pets were being adopted, they started transferring more to us at a time.

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John Jay, who’d been abused, graduated from the Puppies for Parole training program.

Step 2: Make it Easy for Your Partners
Some shelters in rural areas wanted to partner with us, but transportation was an issue. We approached some volunteers who did dog-walking and in-shelter work for us to see if they would be willing to put in some drive time for us. We were pleasantly surprised by the responses! It’s important to check with the volunteers that you already have. Ours were willing to do it — they’d just never been asked.

Step 3: Transfer in Pets You Really Can Place
Time is a valuable resource, so we have to be very clear about which pets we can and cannot place for adoption. In the beginning, we would transfer pets to the APA and then do heartworm tests after they were signed in. We typically will not place a heartworm-positive dog up for adoption, so we would then contact the partner organization to come pick the dog up. This was a waste of time for both us and our partner.

To solve this problem, if we are going to pick the animals up ourselves, we will heartworm-test before we bring the animal back to the shelter. We have even provided some rural shelters with heartworm tests so they can test dogs before they bring them to us.

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Lana bounced among six homes before finding her forever family at the APA.

We also have to be very clear that we do not place animals who show any signs of aggression or have a bite history. If a pet starts to display that behavior while in our care, we will call the rescue group and give them a reasonable amount of time to pick up the animal if they want to.

Finally, when selecting the dogs we transfer in, we consider the dogs we already have available for adoption in our shelter and try to bring in dogs who will round out our population. The transfer program has really helped the APA increase the variety of adoptable dogs in our shelter. We believe this is part of the reason we saw a 47% increase in adoptions between 2014 and 2015.

Step 4: Make Good Matches
Our adoption process includes a brief interview with potential adopters, followed by a meet-and-greet with the dog or cat. At the APA, we are especially proud of our adoption counselors. They do an amazing job of helping potential adopters pick the right pet for their family. They help make sure the family is selecting a dog that is the right breed, size, and energy level for the household.

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Eddie marked everywhere, but his new family was willing to work with him.

For example, an elderly couple may not be the best fit for a 1-year-old dog who is not leashed-trained and who jumps on people. Our adoption counselors will help them choose a more-relaxed dog. In short, having a variety of breeds for potential adopters to choose from and well-trained adoption counselors are the keys to finding pets forever homes.

Step 5: Make it Pay for Itself
Grant funding is one of the reasons we can sustain the transfer program. Our adoption fees also recover some of the costs. Finally, we have found that collaboration is a wonderful thing that appeals to donors. It has been a great message for us to share with our donor base that in 2015 we gave 1,024 animals a second chance!

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Saving Pets in Flood-Ravaged Louisiana

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A litter of kittens rescued by Purrs of Hope had to be provided with a nursing mother.

Thanks to your donations to our Disaster Fund, we’ve been rushing donations to shelters and rescue groups working to save pets from the historic flooding that devastated Louisiana on August 13, 2016.

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A kitten rescued by Purrs of Hope Rescue in Hammond who lost his leg due to the flood

Purrs of Hope Rescue
We sent a $1,000 grant to Purrs of Hope Rescue in Hammond, La. “We took in 41 cats from Tangi Humane Society, a local shelter that flooded,” President Angela Bourgeois tells us. “[In total,] we have taken in 64 cats and kittens impacted by the recent flood. Our total cats are [now] over 200.”

None of the new cats had any vetting. All needed to be spayed or neutered, vaccinated, combo-tested and given basic intake care, and some were sick and required immediate treatment. Thirty of them are receiving ringworm treatment; some are on antibiotics for upper-respiratory infections.

Among the cats taken in by the organization as a result of the flooding: A litter that fell through an attic roof and needed to be provided with a nursing mother, and another litter that had been without a mother for several days. This latter group of kittens were emaciated, flea- and worm-ridden and suffering from severe upper-respiratory infections; one (pictured) was injured and had to have his leg amputated. “We want to give a huge THANK YOU to the Petfinder Foundation for awarding us a grant that will help us provide the necessary vet care to these cats and kittens,” Bourgeois says.

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Brody (left) and Roger were taken in by Zeus’ Rescues and are receiving treatment for skin conditions.

Zeus’ Rescues
Our $2,500 grant to Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans provided medical treatment for animals who came from flooded shelters in the Baton Rouge area. “This grant helped our organization when we were in a really tight spot,” Volunteer Development Director Kellie Grengs says. “We had zero funds to support the medical care of 200+ animals that our small volunteer rescue brought in over the course of two weeks. The funds allowed us to quickly get medical attention to the neediest cases.”

Among those helped were Brody and Roger (above), who, along with about six other siblings/parents/aunts/uncles, were found trapped in a flooded trailer in Denham Springs. Other dogs in kennels in the yard had drowned and died. Brody and Roger were able to stay afloat inside the trailer that they had been locked in. Both dogs are being treated for severe skin issues and other medical problems related to floodwater exposure. Although they are shy, both are now wagging their tails and eager to please. They are currently in foster care and also available for adoption, and hoarding and animal-abuse charges are pending against their former owner.

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Sebastian was in bad shape, but is now healthy, happy and adopted.

Bark And Roll Rescue Companions
We also sent a $1,500 grant to Bark And Roll Rescue Companions in Baton Rouge, which provided care for multiple animals (a kitten found in the flood, a stranded fawn who was released back to its mother after the waters receded, and seven dogs suffering from flood-related illness and injuries) and also microchipped 75 dogs and cats living with their displaced owners in the Red Cross shelter (three of those dogs have since been separated from their owners and and then reunited with them thanks to the chips).

“We were also able to spay/neuter, vaccinate and prepare six dogs to be transported to Virginia to another rescue when their foster homes were flooded,” Bark And Roll President Dana Kahn says. “This grant also provided the financial assistance to board a couple of our dogs when their foster mom’s home was under four feet of water until safe housing could be obtained.”

Among the dogs helped by the grant was Sebastian (pictured), found sick, scared and severely matted after the floods. He had abrasions to his body as well as an upper-respiratory infection that required several rounds of antibiotics. “Due to the generosity of the disaster relief grant, we were able to quickly treat his infections and place him in our adoption program,” Kahn says. “He has since found his family, who adore him, and he has blossomed into the beloved family pet he was meant to be!”

Thank you for your generous donations, which allowed adoption groups to save these lives!

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Rushing Aid to Louisiana’s Animal Flood Victims

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Zeus’ Rescue shelter director Michelle Ingram with a dog rescued from a shelter that was flooded

As catastrophic flooding has devastated Louisiana, the Petfinder Foundation is rushing funds to the organizations working to save the region’s pets. These are the shelters we’ve sent grant money to already; we continue to send funds as groups contact us.

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Bark and Roll Rescue’s adoptable dog Elphie is safe from floodwaters.

Bark and Roll Rescue Companions
The majority of the foster homes at this Baton Rouge rescue group were flooded, and some are currently under eight feet of water. The group was able to transfer some animals to a rescue in Virginia, but others are being boarded.

“We also took in four dogs and a kitten from the floods who are ill from being in the cold waters and will need ongoing care,” says founder Dana Kahn. “Our rescue has offered to provide microchips and free registration to all the pets of flood victims who have been displaced to ensure they can get their animals back if they are separated during this trying time.”

We sent Bark and Roll a $1,500 grant to help the organization cover veterinary expenses and meet its animals’ daily needs of enrichment, food and care.

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Rescutopia has been distributing pet food to residents displaced with their animals.

Rescutopia’s Happy Tails Island
Savannah Brown, founder of the Baton Rouge cat-rescue group, tells us, “All of our foster homes are flooded and all pet supplies were destroyed. We need food, blankets, towels, crates, heartworm medications, flea preventative and anything else we can get.

“We focus on the East Baton Rouge and Livingston Parish Area; both areas have been 90 percent flooded. We have taken in several homeless pets who were evacuated. All of South Louisiana is completely devastated, as a flood like this has never occurred. The flooding is worse than Katrina. Our community is devastated.”

We sent Rescutopia $1,000, which will be used to pay for food, crates, pet supplies and any medical treatment that may be required.

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A dog from a flooded shelter who has found refuge at Zeus’ Rescues in New Orleans

Zeus’ Rescues
The New Orleans shelter did not flood, but it has taken in more than 160 cats, kittens, dogs and puppies from shelters north of it that did — and many more are expected. Most of them have had minimal vaccinations and are not spayed or neutered; all will need to be altered and microchipped prior to being adopted at the reduced cost of $75 per animal.

Volunteer Kellie Grengs describes the desperate situation: “Shelter director Michelle Ingram and volunteers have driven in flood waters for the past four days to reach shelters that have taken on several feet of water. On Sunday, Aug. 14, Michelle pulled more than 60 animals from the Sorrento no-kill shelter and we expect more.

“Numerous shelters just a few miles north of us were impacted. One was overwhelmed by fast-rising flood waters and all they could do was open the kennels and let the dogs swim free so they didn’t drown. Rescue boats are in the process of saving human lives first and animals second. Michelle is on the scene pulling these animals and caring for them with a team of volunteers. Our shelter averages 400 adoptions annually; this will put a great strain on our already-limited resources, but we simply could not let these animals drown.”

We sent Zeus’ Rescues $2,500 to offset the costs of spaying and neutering the rescued pets. “Thank you so much!” Grengs says. “Last week was a whirl! We vetted 62 cats and one dog on Saturday afternoon alone and shipped 10,000 lbs. of dog/cat food and supplies to the flooded shelters. It was wild, to say the least. So many of the wonderful animals are in foster and will be getting adopted soon!”

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This pup rescued from Louisiana floodwaters is being cared for by Animal Aid for Vermilion Area in Abbeville.

Animal Aid for Vermilion Area
“Vermilion Parish and surrounding areas have been devastated by flooding,” says Roxanne Bayard, vice president of the Abbeville, La., shelter. “Many animals have drowned and waters continue to rise. We are having to evacuate homes with pets as well as the shelter to avoid animals drowning. We need to purchase crates, leashes, collars, cleaning supplies, new bedding, fans, litter, litter boxes and food. Many animals need emergency vetting due to injuries sustained in the flooding.” We sent $2,500 to help with these expenses.

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Using Technology to Save Pets’ Lives

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Batman was thrown out of a moving car.

Shelters and rescue groups are increasingly making the most of technology to save homeless pets. That’s why we’ve been giving grants designed to help them do just that. Here are a few examples of pets saved by our tech grants:

Batman
A volunteer for Community Concern for Cats in Walnut Creek, Calif., witnessed this tiny 6-month-old kitten being thrown out the window of a moving car. Once safe in the care of CC4C, he was given medical care, neutered and showered with love. Despite his rough start, he was very friendly, and was quickly adopted by an adoring couple at one of the group’s pet-store adoption sites. His adoption was expedited by one of the three wireless credit-card terminals CC4C had purchased with our technology grant. The terminals allow volunteers to spend less time processing payments and more time rescuing cats like Batman. Read more about how our grant helped cats like him.

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Donna had been chained and left for dead.

Donna
When Donna came to Mutt Scouts in San Diego, she was completely hairless and covered in sores from severe mange. She had been chained up and left for dead as a young pup. Mutt Scouts spend months nursing her back to health — but still, as a “big black dog,” she was overlooked by adopters. Then, Mutt Scouts purchased a new camera with funds from our technology grant. Donna was the first dog they photographed with it. She was soon adopted by a woman who loves her — and who says it was Donna’s smile in her online photo that caught her eye. Read about more dogs helped by our grant to Mutt Scouts.

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Mike B. had severe bite wounds all over his face.

Mike B.
Mike B., a stray cat, was suffering from serious bite wounds to his face when he was rescued by the Tree House Humane Society in Chicago. He also had lesions on his legs, a severe upper respiratory infection and a mass on his tongue, and tested positive for FIV. Shelter staff were not sure whether Mike would survive, but they gave him the medical care he needed and, miraculously, he recovered. Soon, his joyful personality emerged, and he was adopted. He now spends his time playing with his fellow FIV+ rescue cat, Chuck. Mike B. was featured in a video made with help from our technology grant, which funded equipment to help promote more special-needs cats like him. Find out more about this grant.

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Missy’s embedded chain had to be surgically removed.

Sunshine
Animal cruelty convictions and stiff penalties have historically been hard to come by in Fulton County, Ga. But thanks to equipment purchased with funds from our technology grant to LifeLine Animal Project in Atlanta, including digital cameras and GoPro video cameras, those who abuse pets like Sunshine are being brought to justice. Sunshine was found with a collar embedded so deeply in her neck, it had to be surgically removed. Field officers were able to document her condition and present the evidence at trial, and her former owner was convicted and sentenced to 60 days in jail. Sunshine recovered and has been adopted! Read her story.

Your donation today can help change more pets’ lives.

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VIDEO: You Helped Save These Lives in 2015

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.

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Saving Pets from Northern California Wildfires

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This kitten was rescued from wildfires by Sonoma Humane Society in Santa Rosa, Calif.; the lost and injured dog was saved by Wine Country Animal Lovers in Calistoga.

To date, three major wildfires raging in Northern California have burned more than 289,000 acres of land; one of them, the Valley Fire, has destroyed more than 1,250 homes. This means residents are fleeing and pets are being lost and injured.

The Petfinder Foundation is helping two organizations that are saving pets from these devastating fires: Sonoma Humane Society in Santa Rosa, Calif., and Wine Country Animal Lovers in Calistoga, Calif. Thanks to your donations, we have granted each group $5,000 in cash to cover medical, pet-care, staffing and other emergency expenses.

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Some pet supplies at Sonoma Humane Society’s evacuation-site outpost for Valley Fire victims

Sonoma Humane Society
Sonoma Humane Society has mobilized to the evacuation site at the Napa Fairgrounds in Calistoga to provide coordination, resources and medical attention for lost and injured pets. It is currently serving 500 people and a more than 400 pets with an on-site triage unit that is providing medical assistance, flea medications and vaccinations; moving animals in need of acute medical care to veterinary partners in local communities; managing an on-site depot where evacuees can pick up supplies so that they can take their pets with them; and using its adoption van to provide a quiet, comfortable place for lost animals to stay while shelter staff attempt to reunite them with their families.

Sonoma Humane Society is also taking in pets at its Santa Rosa campus from a Lake County shelter so that that shelter could make room for animals displaced by the fire. “All local shelters and vets in the fire areas are full,” says Sonoma Humane Society Director of Development Melissa Dobar. “We are placing several of our animals in foster homes to help manage our capacity as we prepare for the influx of more rescued animals. Additionally, we are actively recruiting foster volunteers and providing emergency orientations as we plan for the future needs of the fire victims.”

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This lost dog received medical care thanks to Wine Country Animal Lovers.

Wine Country Animal Lovers
Wine Country Animal Lovers is serving more than 300 animals at the Napa Fairgrounds evacuation site, with more animals arriving with their owners daily. Funds from our disaster grant will be used to pay vets in Lake County for displaced animals injured by the fire as well as pets being brought in by their owners. “We have let all of the vets in Lake County know that our organization will pay them to treat all injured animals, as few owners have the resources to do so,” says Wine Country Animal Lovers Board President Pam Ingalls. “We have asked that they discount what they comfortably can to make the funding go further and have guaranteed payment for their services.”

In addition, Wine Country Animal Lovers has removed all pets scheduled for euthanasia at the county shelter in Lakeport to make space for evacuated animals and placed them in foster care, where they will receive medical care before being put up for adoption. “We will be there as long as needed,” Ingalls says. “This will be a long haul. Not one dollar received will go other than to help Valley Fire animal victims. We are all volunteer-run.”

Thank you for helping us help these organizations save lives. Please donate here to provide additional help to pets in danger.

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Your Donations Helped These Injured Dogs!

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Carley needed emergency surgery to correct a deadly condition.

The Petfinder Foundation’s Emergency Medical Fund has helped dozens of pets suffering from the most severe injuries and illnesses as a result of abuse and neglect. For these animals, medical care is a necessity in order for them to become adoptable. Here are just a few of the pets aided by the Emergency Medical Grants you helped fund:

Carley
Tiny 4-week-old Carley (pictured above) came to Capital Area Rescue Effort (CARE) in Sandston, Va., from an open-admission shelter in South Carolina, where she was scheduled for euthanasia due to her rectal fistula, a congenital birth defect that is fatal in most cases. Not only was the condition extremely painful for her, it caused a severe urinary tract infection that was becoming septic. CARE immediately got Carley emergency surgery to correct the condition. She healed perfectly and is expected to live a normal, happy life!

Gemma

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Gemma was struck by a car and suffered two badly broken legs.

As a homeless puppy in rural Kentucky, Gemma ran across a rural road and was hit head-on by a car doing 60+ miles an hour. She ended up lodged in the grille of the car with two badly broken legs. Her rescuers discovered that the painfully skinny dog’s stomach was full of rocks because she’d been eating anything she could find. She was also infested with fleas and ticks. Without resources for expensive vet care, her rescuers in Kentucky arranged for Gemma to be flown to Cayuga Dog Rescue in Ithaca, N.Y., where she was treated by orthopedic specialists. The loving, playful girl recovered beautifully and has been adopted!

Webster

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Abandoned in the country, Webster’s legs were deformed due to starvation.

Webster was found abandoned behind a barn, living in an outside pen surrounded by six-foot-high weeds. Taken in by Bishop’s Small Dog Rescue in Wyanet, Ill., he was severely emaciated and walking on his elbows due to malnourishment and lack of exercise. His right paw was completely floppy, and X-rays revealed that the bones of his wrist had been completely pulverized. Webster has been gaining weight and getting healthy as his vets observe him to determine whether his leg will need to be amputated or whether it can be reinforced with surgically implanted plates. But one thing is for sure: He will never know hunger and abandonment again.

Rucker

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Rucker’s owner ran him over with her car and left him to suffer for two weeks.

Rucker’s owner ran over the 1-year-old pit bull mix with her car, then left him tied to a chain to suffer for two weeks. His left femur was broken in two, his left hip completely out of its socket. Our grant helped Dog Town Canine Rescue pay for the amputation of Rucker’s injured leg. He is doing great as a tripod and has been adopted into an adoring home where he has two canine companions to romp with. Dog Town Canine Rescue is working with law enforcement to assist with the prosecution of Rucker’s former owner.

Reason

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Used for breeding, Reason had her teeth pulled out so she wouldn’t bite.

Reason was rescued by M&M’s Fur-Ever Furbabies in Vass, N.C., from a life where she was used for breeding. She was starved, beaten, shoved into tiny crates for days, overbred, and had her canines shaved down and front top and bottom teeth pulled out so she couldn’t bite. Her gums were bruised, swollen, irritated and extremely painful, making it very hard for her to eat. We gave the rescue a grant to have dental surgery to correct the painful condition of Reason’s mouth so that she could eat and regain her health. She has gained 20 lbs., is starting to eat solid foods and, best of all, now has a constantly wagging tail, runs and jumps daily and displays a contagious smile every day.

Your support has meant the end of suffering for these dogs and other pets. Please consider donating to the Petfinder Foundation’s Emergency Medical Grant fund this holiday season to give the gift of a pain-free life to others like them.

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More help for shelters affected by Texas, Oklahoma floods

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Flood rescue Nieve, with severe internal injuries, was saved by Austin Pets Alive!

We’re continuing to help shelters and rescue groups recover from recent devastating floods in Texas and Oklahoma. We recently granted $10,000 to Austin Pets Alive!, which not only suffered extensive damage when it was flooded on Memorial Day, but has also been called on to take in pets from surrounding towns and counties affected by the widespread flooding in central Texas, where shelters are overcrowded with lost and rescued pets.

“We need to foster out about 80 animals normally housed in our shelter,” Grants Manager Maggie Lynch says. “As of May 29, we have taken in 140 from other counties but are being called on to take many more as flooding continues.”

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Flooded kennels at Austin Pets Alive!

Our grant will help fund repairs to APA’s shelter: Its roof failed under the torrents of rain and its ground level was flooded. The rain-damaged parts of the building must be torn out quickly, as mold develops rapidly in Austin’s climate.

Our grant will also help pay staffers, who worked nearly 200 extra hours to coordinate the fostering out of all the shelter’s animals, and cover medical intake (including vaccines, tests and microchips) and spay/neuter for pets taken in from surrounding regions.

One pet rescued from the floods just in time is Nieve (pictured above). The little dog had suffered a tear to his diaphragm, allowing his organs to migrate into his chest cavity. APA’s vets operated, and he’s now recovering in foster care.

“We’re so grateful to be able to help pets like him because we are getting such great support from foundations like yours,” says Lynch.

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Flooding outside A Doggie 4 You in Texas

Replacing Kennels, Food
We also granted $1,000 to two organizations that suffered damage to their facilities and destruction of pet food. In Pipe Creek, Texas, our grant will help A Doggie 4 You replace more than 20 bags of dog food destroyed when storm rain and wind tore through its feed room.

“Thank you so much,” says president Patricia Godkin. “We really appreciate your support. We currently have 60 dogs and it has been crazy. We are finally getting a break from the rain. You guys are lifesavers.”

And in Tulsa, Okla., we’re aiding Amore Pit Bull Rescue. Founder Misty Bilby tells us: “We have two 10′  x 10′ x 6′ dog kennels that were destroyed when trees fell on them, and we had many bags of dog food ruined due to flood water.” The grant will be a big help. “We want to thank you so much for caring for our babies,” Bilby says, “and helping us make sure they are taken care of.”

Please donate now to help us continue to help shelters and rescue groups affected by flooding in Texas and Oklahoma!

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Pets in Texas and Oklahoma Need Your Help!

With Texas and Oklahoma battling deadly floods, the Petfinder Foundation is rushing funds to animal shelters and rescue groups to help save the lives of pets in the affected regions.

Here are just a few of the ways we’re helping:

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The Humane Society of Wichita County in Texas was able to reunite this dog with his owner after floods forced local residents to evacuate.

Caring for Evacuees’ Pets
The staff of just five people at the Humane Society of Wichita County in Wichita Falls, Texas, has been working around the clock to care for the pets of families who’ve had to evacuate — and the shelter desperately needed funds to pay for staff overtime and extra utilities (the Petfinder Foundation is one of the few national organizations that gives cash grants to pay staff for overtime hours during times of disaster).

“We started taking in evacuees’ animals at 11 p.m. Wednesday night [May 20],” shelter Director Cheryl Miller tells us. “As the days went on and the city zoned more areas for flooding, we took in as many as we could house. We wanted to be here for our community if and when it needed us, so we kept the shelter open and are having to pay the staff overtime.”

H.S. Wichita County, which usually houses 70 animals, has already taken in an additional 51 dogs and cats. The shelter is strictly donor-funded, and our grant of $2,000 will help cover the costs of staff overtime and additional water and electric bills.

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Rocky is at Etosha Rescue and Adoption Center in Seguin, Texas.

Repairing Flooded Kennels
The storms and flooding in Central Texas caused major damage to Etosha Rescue & Adoption Center in Seguin, Texas. Assistant Director Julie Mitchell tells us, “Our kennels are flooded with six inches of water. Wind damage destroyed several outdoor kennels, the two main gates to the facility, windows in the main building, and a window a/c unit for the indoor dogs. We need loads of sand or gravel to raise the ground level in the outdoor kennels, tarps for shelter, mosquito spray, flea shampoo, paper towels, sheets and blankets for dry bedding, other dog supplies, a new a/c unit, and window replacements.”

With help from our $2,000 grant, the shelter “will safely rebuild the kennels for the outdoor dogs, raise the ground level so the dogs will be dry, secure the facility again with new front gates, treat all dogs for flea infestation, and provide cooling for the indoor dogs,” Mitchell says. “We hope to restore the facility to ensure safety and good living conditions for our dogs, safe from standing water, heat, and flea infestation.”

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Lucky is in the care of Horse Feathers Equine Center in Guthrie, Okla.

Feeding Hungry Horses
One surprising result of the floods has been a hardship in acquiring much-needed hay for horses. Cheri White Owl, president of Horse Feathers Equine Center in Guthrie, Okla., tells us, “Hay costs have risen due to our having to secure sources outside of our normal ones. Flooding has delayed hay cutting and production; some suppliers have lost hay due to flooding. We are having to go to higher-priced suppliers to meet our needs.”

Our grant of $1,500 will provide Horse Feathers’ rescued horses with 25 high-quality bales of hay. “This will allow us to continue feeding the horses and maintaining their body weight and health,” White Owl says, which is critical to both horses waiting to be adopted and those who are lifelong sanctuary residents.

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Charlotte lives in an outdoor kennel at Heart of Texas SPCA.

Protecting Outdoor Dogs
An outdoor-only facility, Heart of Texas SPCA in San Antonio suffered damage to its kennels from high winds and heavy rain, including broken kennel frames, ripped tarps and flooding.

Director Paula Oberle tells us, “Many of the dogs who lost their canopy coverage were standing in mud and water with nowhere to go. We did manage to bring a few inside until the water receded, but more rain is coming. We need new canopies as soon as possible.”

With our $1,000 grant, Heart of Texas “will purchase the heavy-duty canopies and set them up ASAP to protect the dogs,” Oberle says.

Keeping Momma Dogs and Puppies Safe
Missy’s Haven Canine Rescue in San Antonio received heavy winds, rain and lightning, and suffered damage to fencing used to keep the dogs contained, water damage to a food-storage building and the loss of an air-conditioning unit due to power surge. Our $2,000 grant will allow the group to “rebuild the containment area and provide a/c to our building for moms and babies,” says President Michelle Holmes.

Replacing Ruined Dog Food
The only building damaged by flooding at OK Save a Dog in Prague, Okla., was the one that stored all the food. Our $1,000 grant will help the organization purchase a month’s worth of food as well as a secure building in which to store it.

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Idella is at Tejas Rescued Pet Adoptions in San Antonio.

Boarding Pets After a Foster Home is Destroyed
A foster home housing pets for Tejas Rescued Pet Adoptions in San Antonio was severely flooded, meaning its human residents and 25 dogs and cats had to evacuate, with the pets going to a boarding facility until the damage is repaired.

“The pets’ location was flooded with four feet of water,” Director Tonette Webb says, “causing extensive damage to floors, walls and kennels. Mud is covering the floors now and all will need to be disinfected, cleaned and replaced before the pets can come back here. All adoptable pets are in a fee-based boarding facility until then. The estimate for boarding time is two weeks, depending on clean-up.”

Our $2,000 grant will help pay for the boarding as well as clean-up of the pets’ living space. “We will save our adoptable pets, safe now in boarding, and clean their kennels and replace beds and food,” Webb says.

Please donate now to help us continue to help shelters and rescue groups affected by flooding in Texas and Oklahoma!

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Three Dogs’ Pain Eased by Emergency Medical Grants

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Jessica suffered from a prolapsed uterus.

Our Emergency Medical Grants have helped ease the suffering of three more dogs in need. These are their stories.

Jessica
Hillary Shluker, director of Luv of Dogz Fund, Inc., in Scottsdale, Ariz., tells us, “We took in a boxer named Jessica who was found wandering and had a prolapsed uterus. She was emaciated and in pain. We took her in to our vet, who suspected sexual abuse. She had to have two surgeries to correct the issue.”

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Jessica (right) and her pal Ogden were adopted together.

During her recovery, Jessica bonded with another boxer in the rescue’s care, a male named Ogden. On May 18, they were adopted — together. Luv of Dogz wrote on Facebook: “Our precious pair of bonded boxers were adopted by a wonderful family today! Oggie and Jessica will get the love and attention that they deserve in their new home. Congratulations to the Williams family!”

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Hopeful was hit by a car and both her hind legs were broken.

Hopeful
Hopeful was hit by a car in West Virginia and required surgery to both her legs. Her first leg was treated in West Virginia and healed nicely, but the surgeon there could not repair the second leg and Hopeful limped. She was taken in by Sweet Dream House Rescue in Norwood, Ohio. Board President Carmen McKeehan says, “Our foster noticed that she would cry when going up stairs. Our vet, a locally well-known orthopedic surgeon, performed a delicate procedure which required taking out part of the bone and placing a pin in her second leg.”

Hopeful is currently in foster care and awaiting the removal of the pins in her leg. “She gets along great and has learned to use her three good legs,” McKeehan says. “She will be starting water therapy after the pins are removed. Hope is a survivor and an inspiration to us all at Sweet Dream House Rescue. The grant from the Petfinder Foundation made her second surgery possible and we are so grateful for your help!”

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Dixie before her surgery (left) and after, with her new brother, Ben.

Dixie Rutherford
A beagle named Dixie Rutherford was suffering from untreated glaucoma: One eye had swollen to twice its size and was extremely painful; the other had shrunken to the size of a raisin. Rescued by Beagle Rescue of Southern Maryland in Waldorf, she required surgery to remove both eyes so that her eyelids would not turn inwards, which would cause her even more pain.

BRSM volunteer Patti Jakusz tells us Dixie is now being forever fostered along with another dog, Ben Rutherford, because they’d bonded closely. Her foster mom says, “Dixie is a happy-go-lucky little sprite of a beagle! She is so happy now, all healed from surgery. She has our house and yard mapped out and is confident in her steps now. She greets me when I get home from work every day, wiggling her tiny rear! She loves her new brothers and sisters (two others are blind) and they accepted her right from the start. We love her (and Gentle Ben) soooo much!”

Thank you so much for your donations, which allow us to help shelters and rescue groups help pets like these!

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

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