Petfinder Foundation News

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.)

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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.)

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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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Download “Give” to Help Pets!

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Malea and her beloved adopted dog, Oscar.

Check out a special guest post from recording artist Malea McGuinness — then learn how you can help animals while treating yourself this holiday season!

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”―Mahatma Gandhi

This quote was relevant when it was first said and is just as relevant now. We are evolving, but perhaps not as quickly as we could be.

Animals have always had a deep place in my heart, even during times in my life when I was unable to have pets. Maybe in some ways I have identified with rescue animals because I myself needed to be rescued early in my life.

When I made my transition from Broadway actress to singer/songwriter, I started volunteering at The Amanda Foundation, a rescue group in Los Angeles. This is really where I was exposed to all the animals who came in from shelters, puppy mills, dog fighting, etc. I learned how important it was to spay and neuter, as The Amanda Foundation was one of the first rescues I knew of to have its own spay/neuter truck. I also learned about the importance of tagging and microchipping your pets. [Learn more about why Petfinder believes all pets should wear collars and tags.] I also learned that one person can make a difference, and I was so fulfilled seeing animals go off to their forever homes, knowing that, in a small way, we volunteers had helped them on their way.

When I became busier with my touring schedule, I started working with different animal foundations and societies around the country. My experiences showed me that I could best help by raising money and awareness for this cause, by doing my music and being an animal advocate.

My latest song, “Give,” has to do with the season of giving. It reminds me of this time of year five years ago, when a dog named Oscar came into The Amanda Foundation just as we were closing, right before everyone was going home for the holidays. He was 10 years old, a Pit Bull mix with a brindle coat, and his owners didn’t want him anymore — he was too old for them, they said. He was crying and I tried to console him by taking some warm blankets out of the dryer and wrapping him up and putting him in my lap. We just hung out there in his kennel until I had to go home. I adopted Oscar a few months later. He had a special talent: He could make anyone — even the most vehement anti-dog person — a dog lover.

There’s so much to be grateful for this holiday season — it’s been an eventful year for me, giving birth to my daughter Grace a few months ago. We as humans have the power to help so many who need our help. I wrote this song, “Give,” while on my “Save A Life Adopt A Pet” tour last year. While traveling across the country I had the pleasure of meeting many inspiring people who give whatever they can to help animals. And like I say in the song, “We’re all in this together.”

–Malea McGuinness

Want an extra way to help pets? Download Malea McGuinness’s song “Give” below and she’ll donate $1 per download to the Petfinder Foundation through Dec. 30, 2013.

Learn more about Malea:

www.maleamusic.com

www.facebook.com/maleamusic

www.twitter.com/maleamcguinness

Top 10 Reasons to Give to the Petfinder Foundation this Holiday Season

One of the easiest ways to help pets in need this holiday season is to donate to the Petfinder Foundation to help homeless pets like Brandy (pictured). Here are 10 reasons to give:

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Brandy was adopted from California’s Santa Maria Valley Humane Society.

1. It’s a great gift for your favorite pet-lover. Donate in honor of a loved one and we’ll send her or him a beautiful holiday card with a personal letter announcing your gift.

2. You’ll get a free calendar. Gift $50 or more and we’ll send you a certificate redeemable for a free personalized 12-month calendar from Shutterfly.com!

3. You can memorialize a beloved pet. Give in memory of a pet and we’ll send you a charm customized with your pet’s name by our friends at Fuzzy Nation. You can also send us a photo and some remembrances to post to our Pet Memorial Wall.

4. Your gift will help the pets in the greatest need. We offer aid to shelters and rescue groups during times of crisis or disaster. Recently, we helped the survivors of a deadly shelter break-in and a shelter that was hit by a schoolbus.

5. Our partners help your donation go further. Each year since 2012, our friends at Orvis have matched your donations up to $30,000. We’re also able to help thousands of pets in need thanks to cash and product grants from our partners at the Animal Rescue Site, Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, John Paul Pet, Bissell, Petco, Wahl, KONG, Thundershirt and more.

6. We help pets put their best faces forward. We teach shelter staff and volunteers skills that help pets find homes. Our One Picture Saves a Life program, in which we train shelter workers to take professional-quality pet photos to post online, has saved countless pets like Brandy (read Brandy’s story here).

7. Your donation will go toward pets, not fundraising. Over 90% of every dollar we spend goes toward programs that help homeless pets — not toward advertising or other fundraising or administrative expenses. Check out our blog post, “When You Give to Us, Where Does Your Money Go?”, for more info.

8. We have good grades! We have the highest possible ratings from the top independent charity watchdog groups: Charity Navigator, GuideStar and the Better Business Bureau. And we post all our financial documents to our website. Visit our Financials section if you’d like to learn more.

9. We won’t sell your contact information. You know how after you give to some charities, you immediately start getting phone calls and junk mail from dozens of similar organizations, all asking for money? That won’t happen when you give to us. You can read our privacy policy here.

10. You can meet the pets your donation is helping. We ask the shelters and rescue groups we help to tell the stories of the pets whose lives are impacted by our grants. You can read these stories in the adoption groups’ own words, and see pictures of the pets, in our Success Stories section.

However you decide to help homeless pets, all of us at the Petfinder Foundation would like to wish you and your (two- and four-legged) family a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!

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