Petfinder Foundation News

Helping Desperate Pets in a Bankrupt Detroit

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Junior was helped thanks to our grant to All About Animals Rescue.

The economic downturn has been devastating for residents of Detroit, and their pets. While residents have struggled to stay afloat — or fled the city altogether — animal control services have been drastically cut in the wake of the city’s declaration of bankruptcy in July 2013.

Thanks to our SNAP-X program, founded by animal advocate Fabiola Beracasa, a generous donation from Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. campaign, and donors like you, we’re working to help these vulnerable pets.

With Detroit Animal Control no longer adopting out pets to the public, homeless pets are dependent on the private shelters and rescue groups that pull from the shelter. We’ve given sizable cash grants to two of them: All About Animals Rescue and Michigan Humane Society.

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Mona on the day AAAR volunteers met her

All About Animals Rescue (AAAR) not only finds new homes for pets in need — it also operates the largest high-quality, high-volume, low-cost to no-cost spay/neuter and vet care operation in Michigan. AAAR has spayed or neutered more than 80,000 cats and dogs and provides free health screenings, low-cost vaccines and preventative care to more than 50,000 Detroit-area pets each year.

AAR’s volunteers also pound the pavement year-round, working with residents of some of Detroit’s lowest-income zip codes to help people keep their pets, bring chained pets into their homes and generally improve their pets’ quality of life.

The group’s founder and president, Amber Sitko, tells us about two of the dogs helped by our grant:

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Mona (left) and Junior were grateful for food, water, real collars and basic veterinary care.

“At an outreach event, we met a homeless man living in a filthy camper shell on a vacant lot. It didn’t take long to realize that he had a mental illness and a drinking problem. He had found Mona and Junior wandering the streets and was afraid someone would use them as bait dogs, so he said he chained them up on his lot.

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Mona greets an AAAR volunteer.

“Somewhere along the line, Junior was lucky enough to get a dog house. Mona had part of a wood box. Not having adequate shelter and being chained is bad enough, but he would forget to feed them and said he didn’t really have the money to get them food anyway. When he remembered, he said he’d share some of his food.

“Our first order of business was getting them watered/fed, real collars on them so chains weren’t rubbing against their necks, better shelter, and a vet call.

“It didn’t take long for Mona and Junior to find a rescue visit the highlight of their day.

“It took longer to get them to a place where they could run free and just be dogs. But they’re finally safe and happier than they’ve ever been before.”

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Junior and Mona today (pictured at right with AAAR Detroit team leader Kristen Huston): safe, happy and healthy

UPDATE: Sitko tells us, “Mona was adopted by a great guy who owns a tattoo shop. She will be going to the shop with him as soon as she’s more confident around strangers.” Junior is safely in the care of another rescue group.

Stay tuned for more stories of Detroit pets helped by our SNAP-X grant and your support. Donate now to help more pets like Mona and Junior.

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For Cats, Easing the Stress of Shelter Life

Life in a cage is stressful for shelter cats, and stress can lead to health and behavior problems that keep cats from being adopted. So we have grant programs designed to ease cats’ anxiety — both in the shelter and as they transition into their new adoptive homes.

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The Stretch and Scratch attaches to the cage wall so it doesn’t take up living space.

We grant adoption groups Stretch & Scratch cat scratchers and ACES Humaniac Cat Castles cat carriers/habitats. Both go in cats’ cages and enable them to engage in instinctive behaviors there (scratching, hiding and resting on higher ground). And both go home with the cats when they’re adopted so they have something familiar in their new surroundings.

As part of the Cats R Cool program in partnership with The Animal Rescue Site and GreaterGood.org, we’ve granted out 33,780 Cat Castles to 66 adoption groups and 40,000 Stretch & Scratch cat scratchers to 107 organizations.

Both grants have been huge hits. As Wendy Mirrotto, executive director of Kitten Krazy, Inc., in Medina, Ohio, tells us: “I LOVE these Stretch and Scratch Cat Scratchers! The cats love them, too! They are purrfect for any cage and give the cats somewhere to stretch and scratch — a very important function for a cat.”

The scratchers are especially helpful for cats who are isolated as they recover from illness or surgery, including Henrietta, who was found frozen to a pipe and had to have a leg amputated due to frostbite; Bea, who arrived at the shelter covered in burns and stab wounds; and Roadie, whose eye was dislodged from its socket and had to be surgically removed.

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Luna at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson enjoys her Cat Castle.

The scratchers also help cats adjust to foster and forever homes — and can even curb unwanted behaviors there. “One of our adopters complained about [her new] kitten scratching furniture,” says Feline Finish Line Rescue president Catherine McCulloch. “I gave her two scratchers and told her to tie them on the table legs. She said the kitten loved them and started to leave other items alone.”

The Cat Castles likewise help cats both in shelters and at home. Inside their cages, the Castles give the cats a place to hide as well as an elevated vantage point (via a “turret” on top of the box) where they can view their surroundings while feeling secure.

“These boxes are vital to the enrichment and stimulation of the cats we are caring for while they are waiting for their forever homes,” says Humane Society of Southern Arizona Associate Director of Development Morgan Rost. “The boxes/perches will remain with the cat or cats — if a bonded pair — through the duration of their time at the HSSA and will go home with each cat at the time of their adoption.”

Thanks to donors like you, shelter cats like Luna (right) can rest easy while waiting for their forever families.

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Happy World Spay Day!

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Today, Feb. 25, is World Spay Day 2014!

Happy World Spay Day! We’re working with the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International and other organizations to get the word out that spaying and neutering saves lives — and you can help!

Through the end of February, animal organizations are hosting low-cost spay/neuter events in an effort to sterilize a total of 60,000 pets, feral cats and street dogs around the world. Find a low-cost spay/neuter event near you.

You can help spread the word! Here are some easy ways to raise awareness:

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After dogs and cats, rabbits are the companion-animal species most likely to end up in U.S. shelters.

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Seven Shelter Pets Who Really Loved That Hug

Since National Hugging Day is Jan. 21, we asked our friends from shelters and rescues across the country for pictures of their adoptable pets being hugged! Our favorite photos, below, come from groups that received photography equipment grants and training through the One Picture Saves a Life program.

1. Walking shelter dogs during the winter in East Hanover, N.J., can be frigid, but Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter volunteer Kathy Wieczorek warms it up by fitting in snuggle time with Sky. The shelter saved this 2-year-old Chihuahua, who was born with one “baby eye” that’s smaller than the other, from an overcrowded shelter in the South, and now all she wants is to be in her own home. (Learn more about adopting Sky.)

Adoptable Sky is waiting at Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter in

Adoptable Sky is waiting at Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter in East Hanover, N.J.

2. Chicago Cat Rescue saved Edelweiss and her brother around Christmas, when the young kittens were wandering outside an abandoned apartment building in freezing temperatures. Foster mom and Chicago Cat Rescue founder Julie Adams says little Edelweiss loves playing with her sparkly pink toy, chasing her brother and getting as many cuddles as she can. (Learn more about adopting Edelweiss.)

Edelweiss is up for adoption at Chicago Cat Rescue.

Edelweiss, snuggling with his foster mom Julie Adams, is up for adoption at Chicago Cat Rescue.

3. After dutifully nursing her litter of puppies in foster care, Bella, a 3-year-old Beagle, is back with The Animal Foundation of Las Vegas and Henderson, Nev. Since she has finished the work of raising little ones, this small, sweet and now-spayed girl would love to relax in a home of her own. (Learn more about adopting Bella by contacting The Animal Foundation.)

Bella, an adoptable Beagle, poses with her friends from The Animal Foundation.

Bella, an adoptable Beagle, poses with her friends from The Animal Foundation in Henderson, Nev.

4. Having only three legs doesn’t slow down Huggie Bear, who’s waiting for his forever home at Victoria Trap Neuter Return in Victoria, Tex. He came to the organization with a badly mangled leg that had been caught in a car’s fan belt. Now he’s healed and is ready to begin his life with a family! (Learn about adopting Huggie Bear.)

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Huggie Bear (above with Athena) is waiting to be adopted at Victoria Trap Neuter Return in Victoria, Tex.

5. A strikingly handsome Dalmatian and Australian Cattle Dog Mix, 1-year-old Jude loves to give hugs, “hold hands” and dance! Jude’s caretakers at In the Arms of Angels in Tucson, Ariz., say this social boy adores playing with people and other dogs. Watch out come bath time — he’ll jump into the shower with you if you give him the chance! (Learn about adopting Jude.)

Jude, who is waiting at In the Arms of Angels, hugs his foster mom, Jen.

Jude, who is waiting at In the Arms of Angels in Tucson, Ariz., hugs his foster mom, Jen.

6. Not only is 10-month-old Roman agreeable with kids, dogs and other cats, his caretakers at Lifeline for Pets in Monrovia, Calif., say this handsome heart breaker likes to cuddle, too. (Learn about adopting Roman, a truly move-in ready cat!)

Roman gets plenty of loving while he waits at Lifeline for Pets in Monrovia, Calif.

Roman gets plenty of loving while he waits at Lifeline for Pets in Monrovia, Calif.

7. Seven-year-old Olive endured a rough past, and she has the scars to prove it. One of eight dogs who were transferred to the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson from a Missouri dog-fighting raid, only Olive was suspected of being used for fighting. Olive is sweet as can be with people, but she needs to be an only dog. Olive is searching for the chance to enjoy her senior years on the couch and prove to everyone that she’s a lover — not a fighter. (Learn more about adopting Olive by contacting the Humane Society of Southern Arizona.)

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Olive snuggles with Tyler, a staff member at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson.

See more shelter pets being hugged in our Facebook album!

Learn more about our One Picture Saves a Life partnership with “Underwater Dogs” photographer Seth Casteel, The Animal Rescue Site, John Paul Pet and GreaterGood.org.

Donate to support our grant programs that help homeless pets, and Orvis will double your gift!

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Top 10 Ways You Helped Homeless Pets in 2013

1. You helped us rush aid to All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga., to help dogs like Mic and others injured during a shelter break-in in which three dogs were killed. (Read more about our grant and learn about adopting Mic.)

Mic bears scars from the incident at All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga.

Mic bears scars from the crime at All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga.

2. You helped us grant $10,000 to fund a mobile adoption unit for Wright-Way Rescue in Niles, Ill., after the shelter’s facility was destroyed by a schoolbus. (Learn more.)

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No children were on board the bus at the time of the crash on Oct. 2, and miraculously, no people or animals were injured.

3. You helped us teach shelter staff and volunteers to take great pet photos, helping hard-to-place dogs like Shelby find families. (Learn more.)

4. You helped us give $26,000 to aid abused and neglected farm animals, including horses like Page. (Learn more about Page’s transformation.)

Page (Photo: Center Valley Animal Rescue)

Page, a 25-year-old thoroughbred, before and after her rescue (Photo: Center Valley Animal Rescue)

5. You helped us give shelters vaccines so they can focus their limited time and resources on finding homes for pets like Thor. (Read more about Thor’s adoption.)

You helped Thor find a home. (Photo: Cleburne Animal Shelter)

You helped Thor find a home. (Photo: Cleburne Animal Shelter)

6. You helped us rush $9,000 to shelters working to save pets like Melody from the deadly Colorado floods. (Learn more about our grant and learn about adopting Melody.)

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Melody (Photo: Longmont Humane Society)

7. You helped us give thousands to protect pets like Joey from the California Rim Fire. (Learn more.)

8. You helped us fund a trailer that helped rescuers save 367 dogs from a massive multistate dog-fighting ring. (Learn more.)

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One of the 367 dogs rescued from a multistate dog-fighting ring (Photo: ASPCA)

9. Thanks to your donations, we gave more than $50,000 in cash and product to help pets affected by the devastating Oklahoma tornado. (Learn more.)

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Chance’s grandmother broke down in tears when she discovered he was alive. (Photo: Central Oklahoma Humane Society)

10. With your help, we gave Summer Cooling Grants that not only kept pets (including donkeys!) comfortable during the summer months, but also increased adoptions by making potential adopters more comfortable at shelters. (Learn more.)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ve been sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!

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Top 10 Puppy Mill Dogs Who Found Hope in 2013

1. Charlotte, a puppy mill breeder until she was taken in by Delaware Valley Golden Retriever Rescue Inc. in Reinholds, Pa., is all smiles now. (Read Charlotte’s story.)

2. After a Wheatland, N.D., puppy mill was raided, Howie — who was dreadlocked, frightened and completely unsocialized — hid from his rescuers for 29 days. 4 Luv of Dog Rescue in Fargo was finally able to take him in, and now he is adopted and enjoying the pampered life every Bichon deserves. (Read Howie’s story.)

Howie (Photo: 4 Luv of Dog Rescue)

Howie (Photo: 4 Luv of Dog Rescue)

3. Mocha came to Boston Terrier Rescue Canada in Arnprior, Ont., in desperate need of surgery to correct her luxating patella. After extensive vetting and surgery to fix her ailing knees, she found her perfect family. (Read Mocha’s story.)

4. It seemed like 3-lb., 3-year-old Thor might never be able to walk on his own when he came to Maple Hill Farm Toy Breed Rescue in Butler, Ohio, after living his whole life behind puppy mill bars. He defied the odds by building up his leg muscles, and he is now walking on his own! (Read Thor’s story and learn about adopting him.)

5. When Zoe came to Safehaven Small Breed Rescue of Tionesta, Pa., her filthy coat was painfully matted. After she was groomed, spayed and had her teeth cleaned, she was adopted within three days. Now all this former puppy mill breeder has to do is relax! (Get Zoe’s whole story.)

6. Veronica Miller was surrendered with 27 other breeding dogs to HELP the Animals, Inc. of Richmond, Ind., when a puppy mill closed. She was frightened, filthy, and — like the other dogs — had probably never received any medical treatment. Finally, Veronica is living the good life she deserves. (Read Veronica’s story.)

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Veronica (Photo: HELP the Animals, Inc.)

7. After Kayla spent her entire six years as a puppy mill breeder, her teeth were broken or worn down to nubs from chewing on her cage bars. When she was surrendered to Animal Rescue, Inc. of Maryland Line, Md., she was so frightened that she could only sit on her bed and shake uncontrollably. With lots of love, patience and help from these lovely adopters, the Labrador Retriever is finally living the good life! (Read Kayla’s whole story.)

Kayla (Photo: Animal Rescue, Inc.)

Kayla (Photo: Animal Rescue, Inc.)

8. The volunteers at Maple Hill Farm Toy Breed Rescue in Butler, Ohio, say Angel was “a hairy mess” when she came to them from a rural Ohio puppy mill. They had to shave her so she could see, and then they had to bathe her several times to get the puppy mill stench off of her. All Angel needs now is a home of her own for the holidays. (Read Angel’s story and learn about adopting her.)

9. Lyza was a frightened girl with multiple abscesses in her mouth when she came to Coulee Region Humane Society in Onalaska, Wis. After receiving a teeth cleaning, multiple extractions and her spay surgery, she found a quiet home with wonderful people who’ve taught her that the world is not a scary place. (Read Lyza’s story.)

10. Leroy came to National Mill Dog Rescue in Colorado Springs from a Missouri mill where he had been exposed to parasites and was covered in fleas and ticks, with a bad ear infection and an eye needing surgery because of past ulcerations. Leroy was given medical care and placed with a foster family that taught him that people are worth trusting. (Read Leroy’s story.)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ll be sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Check back tomorrow for another Top 10, and thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!

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Top 10 Kittens Making ‘Adopt Me’ Faces of 2013

Here are some of our favorite kittens of 2013. All of them have found their forever homes!

1. Blinky (pictured) and her siblings Inky, Stinky, Winky, Pinky and Dinky were brought to Baltimore Animal Rescue and Care Shelter, Inc. by a kind woman who found them under her porch. One foster parent bottle fed the whole group so they could stay together, and they have all been adopted! (Read their story.)

2. Marcus and Mandy were just 1 week old when someone found them, their brothers and their mother trying to survive in an old shed near Duluth, Minn. At Warm Fuzzies Animal Rescue Inc., volunteer foster families cared for the tiny kittens until they were ready for adoption. (Read the kittens’ story.)

Marcus and Mandy (Photo: Warm Fuzzies Animal Rescue Inc.)

Marcus (left) and Mandy (Photo: Warm Fuzzies Animal Rescue Inc.)

3. Shortly after Cowboy and his siblings were born, they and their mother were dumped in a Baton Rouge, La., neighborhood and ended up at animal control. Not long after Cat Haven took them all in, handsome Cowboy found his own home! (Read their story.)

Cowboy (Photo: Cat Haven)

Cowboy (Photo: Cat Haven)

4. After Cornbread’s owners surrendered her to Iredell County Animal Services in Statesville, N.C., her soulful gaze helped her find a new home. She now lives with a family where a 2-year-old child cherishes her! (Read Cornbread’s story.)

5. Kitty City Kansas Rescue in Lenexa, Kan., says that Faith is very playful and a normal Siamese kitten in every way — with the exception of her deformed front legs, a result of inbreeding. They makes her look like a baby T-Rex when she walks, but Faith doesn’t let that slow her down — and she was adopted by a family that loves her for it! (Read Faith’s story.)

6. Could Thaddeus be any more excited to meet you? He and his seven siblings were born right after Animal Care Society in Louisville, Ky., took in his very pregnant mother. (Read his story.)

Thaddeus

Thaddeus (Photo: Animal Care Society)

7. Paws South Florida Rescue, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was able to save stray kittens including Peter, Punkin and Paul with help from a homeless man who cares for the cats living in a local park. (Read their story.)

Clockwise from let, Peter, Punkin and Paul (Photo: Paws South Florida Rescue, Inc.)

Clockwise from left: Peter, Punkin and Paul (Photo: Paws South Florida Rescue, Inc.)

8. Last summer, Adina, who was named after a song by the punk rock band Rancid, met the members of the band backstage. The buzzed-about meet-and-greet helped Motley Zoo Animal Rescue of Redmond, Wash., find a terrific home for her. (Read Adina’s story.)

Matt Freeman of Rancid and Adina (Photo: Motley Zoo Animal Rescue)

Matt Freeman of Rancid and Adina (Photo: Motley Zoo Animal Rescue)

9. When Jojo and his six siblings were abandoned behind a hardware store in Colorado Springs, an employee contacted local organization Wild Blue Animal Rescue and Sanctuary. One of Jojo’s siblings did not survive, but he and the rest of his brothers and sisters flourished, and Wild Blue found them all homes! (Read their story.)

10. Georgie, Levi, Ace and Dutch were tossed out in a wooded area of Salem County, N.J. Maddie & Friends of Salem took the kittens in, treated them for parasites and let them hone their perfectly coordinated “Adopt Me” stares. (Read their whole story.)

(Photo: Maddie & Friends)

From left: Georgie, Levi, Ace and Dutch (Photo: Maddie & Friends)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ll be sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Check back tomorrow for another Top 10, and thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!

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Top 10 Horse Comebacks of 2013

1. Vincent lost his ears when he was attacked by a pack of dogs while tethered to a tree. Rehabilitated by Triple R Equine Rescue Ranch in Greensburg, Ind., this gentle boy is now one of the stars of the group’s Unbridled Potential program, which pairs horses with at-risk youth. (Read Vincent’s story.)

2. Petey came to New England Equine Rescue North in West Newbury, Mass., emaciated and in need of shots, deworming and dental care. He has since become a barn favorite and field champion! (Read Petey’s story.)

3. Found wandering alone, severely malnourished, Lucky was taken in by Local Equine Assistance Network (L.E.A.N.) in Las Vegas. When he had returned to a healthy weight, he began to show symptoms of arthritis. Supplements have greatly helped with his pain and he’s finally ready for his own home. (Read Lucky’s story and learn more about adopting him.)

Lucky (Photo: L.E.A.N.)

Lucky (Photo: L.E.A.N.)

4. Echo was a Reserve Champion last summer, and then dumped at an auction in the fall. He caught a bug at the auction house and his health did a downward spiral. He came dangerously close to being put down, but then the miniature horse was taken in by Pipsqueak Paddocks Miniature Horse Haven Society of Chilliwack, B.C.  The group treated Echo’s sinus infection, and this brave little horse was valiant throughout the process. (Read Echo’s story.)

5. Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc. of Sylmar, Calif., took in Lakota after he had been severely abused and neglected. The group brought him back to health, but he still has a lameness issue they are working to improve. With his special diet and holistic veterinary care, Lakota has made remarkable progress and should be ready to find a permanent home within a year or two. (Read Lakota’s story.)

Lakota (Photo: Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc.)

Lakota (Photo: Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc.)

6. Page, a 25-year-old thoroughbred, gained 20 much-needed pounds in the first 24 hours after she was rescued by Center Valley Animal Rescue in Quilcene, Wash. Her health and weight have only continued to improve! (Read Page’s story.)

7. Windsong was 25 years old and in poor condition when she was taken in by Doxy’s Horse Recovery in Afton, N.Y. Through improved nutrition, dentist visits and good daily care, she blossomed into a handsome senior and was adopted to a loving home! (Read Windsong’s story.)

Windsong (Photo: Doxy's horse recovery)

Windsong (Photo: Doxy’s Horse Recovery)

8. This starving horse’s owners had never even given him a name when they decided it was time to shoot him. Thankfully, he was rescued by Amazing Grace Equine Sanctuary in Elkhart Lake, Wis., where he was named Rudy. He was so weak that he collapsed several times as he struggled to walk into the barn, but his health has since improved significantly. (Read Rudy’s story.)

9. Twenty-year-old Branch was a skinny stallion when he was dumped at animal control. He was rescued by L.E.A.N. in Las Vegas and has since been gelded and brought up to a healthy weight. He is looking for a relaxed retirement home. (Read Branch’s story and learn about adopting him.)

Branch (Photo: L.E.A.N.)

Branch (Photo: L.E.A.N.)

10. Storm was 2 years old, wild and untrained when she was surrendered to Dream Equine Therapy Center in York, S.C. She’s since been transformed into this 13-year-old girl’s well-behaved riding partner and best friend! (Read Storm’s story.)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ll be sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Check back tomorrow for another Top 10, and thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!

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Top 10 Puppies Making ‘Adopt Me’ Faces of 2013

Here are some of our favorite puppies of 2013. All of them have found their forever homes!

1. Bella was rescued when one of our staff members found her and her siblings wandering in the desert. She was fostered in our office through In the Arms of Angels Rescue of Tucson, Ariz., and this face won over the first potential adopter who crossed her path! (Read Bella’s story.)

This is the culprit who brought the Petfinder Foundation to its knees

Bella

2. Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter of East Hanover, N.J., rescued Frenchie, the very pregnant mother of these Pit Bull mix puppies, right before she was going to be euthanized. Now these puppies are making too many “Adopt Me” faces for us to handle. (Read the story of Frenchie and her puppies.)

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Frenchie’s puppies (Photo: Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter)

3. Wyndall was just 8 weeks old when he was abandoned with a deep puncture wound and a broken jaw. The Last Resort rescue in West Millford, N.J., rushed him to the animal hospital, where he made a full recovery — with a slight grinding noise when he eats the only reminder of his past mistreatment. (Read all about Wyndall.)

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Wyndall (Photo: The Last Resort)

4. These puppies were rescued from a South Carolina drainpipe, where they’d been surviving by eating animal carcasses. They were taken in by Stokes County Humane Society in Danbury, S.C., where they charmed everyone with their adorable faces and dispositions. (Read the puppies’ rescue story.)

5. Capital Area Humane Society in Lansing, Mich., took in Bailey (below) and her sister Shirley from a shelter in Arkansas. With a face like this, it’s no wonder she found a home just days after she was spayed and vaccinated. (Read Bailey’s story.)

6. Blue Mountain Humane Society of Walla Walla, Wash., took in eight Pit Bull mix puppies and their mom from a town where the breed is banned. Their “Adopt Me” faces were so effective, they found homes before they even left foster care. (Read their story.)

Anastasia,

Clockwise from top left: Anastasia, Anabelle, Apollo and Arnold (Photo: Blue Mountain Humane Society)

7. A bath at Pocatello Animal Shelter in Pocatello, Idaho, made this pup even more lovable and huggable — and with that face, this puppy didn’t have to wait long to go home. (Read this puppy’s story.)

8. Golden Retriever-mix puppies Wren, Gia, Cinnamon, Drake, Romeo, Bella, Ace, Nutmeg and Dozer were born in Kentucky and then transported to Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota in Minnetonka, Minn. Just try to resist them! (Read their rescue story.)

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Wren, Gia, Cinnamon, Drake, Romeo, Bella, Ace, Nutmeg and Dozer (Photo: Retrieve a Golden of Minnesota)

9. Adorable (below left) and her brother Imp charmed us instantly, and we weren’t the only ones. Soon after they were surrendered to the Humane Society of Elmore County in Wetumpka, Ala., they were scooped up by loving adopters who were thrilled with these sweet and healthy puppies. (Read Adorable and Imp’s story.)

Adorable (left) and Imp (Photo: The Humane Society of Elmore County)

Adorable (left) and Imp (Photo: Humane Society of Elmore County)

10. Zeus was 10 weeks old when he came to Start Over Rover in Hastings, Neb., wearing a T-shirt and a diaper. His back legs were deformed and he had constant diarrhea. His family had gotten him for free from a breeder, and realized they could not care for his special needs. Zeus was quickly adopted and had one leg amputated the following week. He likely has more surgeries ahead of him, as his gastrointestinal tract is not quite right, but he remains a happy, playful boy. (Read Zeus’ whole story.)

Zeus - start over rover

Zeus (Photo: Start Over Rover)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ll be sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Check back tomorrow for another Top 10, and thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible donation to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!

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Top 10 Shelter Dog Makeovers of 2013

1. “Fatty Patty” was an overweight 9-year-old Puggle who was heartworm positive and had a tumor the size of a baseball hanging from her back leg. The Humane Society of Clarksville-Montgomery County in Clarksville, Tenn., got her medical care and renamed her Patty Cakes and took her to the groomer’s — where she so charmed the staff, they adopted her! (Read Patty’s full story.)

2. A kind couple found Pee Wee, an 8-year-old Yorkie who was emaciated and sick, alone and scared on the side of a busy Baltimore interstate. Save A Yorkie Rescue of Sinking Spring, Pa., took Pee Wee in, cut away his painfully matted fur and got him much-needed medical and dental care. Pee Wee is now an obedience-school grad and the pride of his new family! (Read Pee Wee’s whole story.)

Pee Wee

Pee Wee (Photo: Save A Yorkie Rescue)

3. When Skye was rescued from a junkyard, she had just given birth, and two of her puppies had died inside of her. Her skin was so filthy she looked gray, her home-cropped ears were badly infected and she was hours from death. Ghetto Rescue FFoundation in Long Beach, Calif., provided her multiple needed surgeries and a “spa treatment” to help her become the healthy and shining white beauty she is today. (Read Skye’s story and learn about adopting her.)

4. Fabio was 10 months old when Little Shelter Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Huntington, N.Y., rescued him. He had never been groomed or bathed in his life and was matted and smelled awful. After being groomed and bathed, Fabio was a new dog, and best of all, he found his perfect home! (Read Fabio’s whole story.)

5. When Khleo came to The A.N.N.A. Shelter of Erie, Pa., as a stray, her tiny feet were balls of matted fur that disguised terrible, long, toenails that were also causing her pain. With her fur shaved and her nails trimmed, she is now is a happy, healthy — and adopted — girl. (Read Khleo’s whole story.)

Khleo (Photo: The ANNA Shelter)

Khleo (Photo: The A.N.N.A. Shelter)

6. When Oscar was transferred from a crowded shelter to Home for Good Dog Rescue in Summit, N.J., he was starving because he’d been kenneled with food-aggressive dogs. Home for Good helped Oscar gain the weight and confidence he needed to go home with an awesome family. (Learn more about Oscar.)

7. Marin Humane Society of Novato, Calif., took in Pierre, whose behavior assessment indicated he was smart and cooperative and would benefit from a stable, comfortable home and a caring guardian. Just two weeks after Pierre received medical attention and a full grooming treatment, he found that home! (Read Pierre’s story.)

Pierre (Photo: Marin Humane Society)

Pierre (Photo: Marin Humane Society)

8. Sarah’s owners surrendered her when she was 8 years old, overweight and suffering from cherry eye in both eyes. The Pet Rescue Center of Mission Viejo, Calif., rescued her the day she was scheduled to be euthanized. They gave her the eye surgeries, teeth extractions and full-service grooming she needed to find a home with these outstanding folks. (Read Sarah’s story.)

Sarah (Photo: The Pet Rescue Center)

Sarah (Photo: The Pet Rescue Center)

9. When Spankie was found wandering on the side of a country road, his matted fur was full of fleas and ticks, his skin was red and he was obviously miserable. Kim Acres Animal Sanctuary of Von Ormy, Tex., took him in, treated his fleas and ticks and gave him a soothing bath and haircut. He was transformed into this handsome, sweater-sporting boy, and he will be neutered and ready for adoption on Dec. 27. (Learn more about Spankie.)

10. When Texas Gulf Coast Bull Terrier Rescue of Katy, Tex., rescued Bingo, he looked very sad and smelled awful (bull terriers are prone to skin conditions in general). After a few days of TLC, Bingo was feeling “like a new man” and ready to start looking for his new family. (Read more about Bingo and learn about adopting him.)

To celebrate our tenth year of helping homeless pets, all week we’ll be sharing our favorite Success Stories from 2013. Check back tomorrow for another Top 10, and thank you for helping us save lives since 2003!

Make your year-end, tax-deductible gift to the Petfinder Foundation today to help us save more homeless pets in 2014!

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