Petfinder Foundation News

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:


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!

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!



After Dogs Die in Georgia Shelter Break-In, We’re Helping Survivors (WARNING: Graphic)

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

Mic still has scars from the deadly break-in at All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga.

Thanks to your help, we’ve sent a $2,000 emergency grant to All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga., to help cover medical expenses for the dogs who were injured during a deadly break-in on Oct. 16. That night, an intruder let 40 dogs out of their kennels; three dogs were killed, more than a dozen were severely injured, and all the survivors are traumatized.

“[The grant] really will help,” says AAAR founder and director Mary Crawford.

Mic before the deadly break-in (above left) and immediately after (above right). Photo credit: AAAR

Mic, a “smart and fun boy,” before the Oct. 16 break-in (left) and immediately after

The two staffers who arrived at the shelter the morning of Oct. 17 were met with a chaotic and frightening scene, volunteer Kathy Brantley tells us: “All these dogs were bleeding to death; they were in shock, their faces were swollen.”

Fred and Wilma (Photo: AAAR)

Fred (left) and Wilma are a bonded pair.

The staffers called for help and scrambled to put the loose dogs back in their kennels. Working with shelter volunteers, they took the badly injured dogs to veterinarians across the city and scoured the neighborhood to find the four dogs who had been released onto the street. All the lost dogs were found, including Fred and Wilma (pictured), former strays who returned to the shelter on their own.

The three dogs – Butler, Flapjack and Jack — who died as a result of injuries they sustained during the break-in were all gentle dogs not known for fighting, Crawford and Brantley tell us. Butler only had three legs and didn’t stand a chance when the frenzied scene erupted, Brantley says.

Last month, police arrested a woman in connection with the incident. Crystal Gale Fessler has been charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals, probation violation and criminal trespass, but her motives, and whether she acted alone or with a partner, remain unknown, Crawford says.

AAAR typically houses about 70 dogs, most of them pulled from nearby Macon Animal Control. Although the property is surrounded by a 10-ft. fence topped with barbed wire, the person or people who broke in likely slipped through a small gap between the fence and barbed wire, Crawford says. The shelter’s perimeter has since been secured, and security cameras have been installed.

Crawford and Brantley say they are still looking for homes for several of the surviving dogs, including Fred, Wilma, Mic and Lionel, who suffered a large wound on his neck during the break-in.

Lionel is healing and ready for a home. (Photo: AAAR)

Lionel, who nearly starved to death before AAAR rescued him, is recovering from his new injuries and ready for a home.

Meanwhile, the shelter is working to cover the dogs’ vet bills. Your support of the Petfinder Foundation is helping AAAR pay for this lifesaving care.

Donate now to help us help more pets like these.


A Heartwarming Holiday Puppy Tale


Looking for a heartwarming holiday story that celebrates the power of pets to change our lives? Check out Home for Christmas: A Golden Christmas 3. Donate $50 or more and we’ll send you a DVD copy of this heartwarming story about love, loss, hope … and how a puppy can turn even the most unlikely Scrooge into a true believer. (You can also buy the movie here.)

The DVD’s distributor, Gaiam, is a proud supporter of the Petfinder Foundation’s work on behalf of homeless pets across North America. We are so grateful to Gaiam for their generosity.



Send Holiday Cards that Help Homeless Pets!

shutterfly_homepageThis holiday season, order custom cards and gifts AND help save the lives of homeless pets, thanks to our partnership with Just visit our new Shutterfly homepage and start shopping — 10% of your purchase price will be donated to the Petfinder Foundation to help us help pets in need.

You can customize any card or gift with photos that feature your pets, but Shutterfly also has some designs that highlight the special role our furry family members play in our lives. Here are our favorites (click on any of the photos below and, if you order prints, 10% of your purchase price will be donated to the Petfinder Foundation).

Happy Pawlidays

Feliz Naughty Dog

Wrapped Bone

Purrrfect Holiday

Purrrfect Memories

Bright Paw Lights



‘One Picture’ Helps Senior Gal Find a Loving Home


Shelby’s profile pic after HSSA staff attended our workshop

Our One Picture Saves a Life program, which includes photography training and camera and photo-editing software grants, is helping shelter pets find homes, one photo at a time. A great example is Shelby, a senior gal who found herself at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona in Tucson.

The shelter’s public relations coordinator (and One Picture Saves a Life workshop attendee), Sara Gromley, tells us Shelby’s story:

“Shelby is just one of the hundreds of pets you’ve helped at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, thanks to the One Picture Saves a Life program. As a 10-year-old stray Shepherd mix with age-related ailments (including a heart murmur and worn teeth) as well as slight separation anxiety, Shelby had a very difficult time finding a home.

“She waited at the shelter for a month without any interest from potential adopters. Then I took a photo capturing her sweet demeanor and warm personality. The photo received more than 7,000 views on Facebook, was sent to our media partners, and captured the attention of a very nice lady who came in to meet Shelby. It was love at first sight! Now Shelby is enjoying the cozy retirement she’s always deserved — all thanks to a single picture.

“We’re so grateful for the One Picture Saves a Life program. I never considered myself a photographer, but I receive weekly compliments from adopters who came in specifically because of photos they came across. The impact this program is making for shelters across the country is nothing short of astounding!”

Learn more about our One Picture Saves a Life program, which is made possible thanks to our partners The Animal Rescue Site,, John Paul: Pet and Underwater Dogs photographer Seth Casteel.


Shelby’s photo before the One Picture Saves a Life workshop and grant

Get MONOPOLY’s New Cat Token and Help Homeless Pets


Purchase a MONOPOLY game with the new Cat token from by Nov. 30 and $1 will go to the Petfinder Foundation to help pets in need.

Just in time for your holiday shopping, Hasbro has announced the newest MONOPOLY token – the Cat! And for every MONOPOLY game purchased from through Nov. 30, the company will donate $1 to the Petfinder Foundation — up to $10,000 — so we can help shelters and rescue groups save more homeless pets.

The Cat was chosen to be MONOPOLY’s newest token after a public online vote in which the feline beat out a helicopter, diamond ring, robot and guitar. The Cat joins the game’s other beloved pet token, the Dog, and in honor of the Cat token joining the MONOPOLY family, is launching a scavenger hunt with amazing prizes!


The Cat joins the Dog token.

To play, simply search to find the adoptable-pet profiles for the Cat and Dog tokens, where you’ll also find your entry for a chance to win. The grand prize for the Adopt a Token sweepstakes is a life-size replica of the Cat token, a $250 gift card for you and a $250 gift card for the adoption group of your choice. (Learn more about the scavenger hunt here.)

And if you want to get your holiday shopping done early AND help homeless pets, you can purchase a MONOPOLY game from and know that $1 will help us help pets in need.

Get MONOPOLY’s new Cat token and help homeless pets!



Two Sisters, Formerly Feral, Are Reunited and Loved

The Humane Society of Independence County in Batesville, Ark., snagged a $1,000 as a regional winner in last year’s Animal Rescue Site Shelter+ Challenge. The shelter’s Sue Augustus sends us this report:

“Thank you so very much for all that you do to help those of us in animal rescue try to make a difference. A special thanks to The Animal Rescue Site for their generous support of these contests over the past several years! What a great way to increase support from all our communities, AND make a difference in so many pet’s lives!

I am attaching a couple of pictures of some of our more recent challenging and successful adoptions. Both stories are so very heartwarming and truly let us know that we can make a difference!

Arbor came to our shelter in June 2011 along with her three sisters, Zinfandel, Fluff and Miller. They had been found abandoned way out in the country and were quite wild and unsocialized. It took many volunteers many months to get these sweet girls to a point where they were adoptable. All found wonderful loving homes except for Arbor. 

Arbor continued to flourish in our shelter, but just never find her forever family. Then, in December, Zinfandel’s family (they had renamed her Blanche) contacted us and said they were wanting to adopt Arbor and reunite her with her sister. Oh what a happy day for everyone at our shelter, and for the two sisters! Arbor is seen in this picture, snuggled up with her sister Blanche.

The comments from their family: “The sisters are happy to be together! They love running and playing in the backyard. They snuggle when they sleep. Arbor (who will remain Arbor because she knows her name and that’s what we’ve called her for the last eight months!) is so very different from Blanche. Much more people-oriented, braver, and sillier! She loves to play! Thank you for allowing us to bring these two beautiful girls into our lives!” 

We just LOVED this Happy Tail!

Shades came to us in June 2009 with his sister, Flicker. They had been fostered for a short period of time before we could get them into our shelter. They were about four months old. Flicker found her home after living at our shelter for almost a year and a half, but Shades had to wait. He was one of our longest residents, but in November of 2012 a miracle walked in. David and Tina took their time in deciding on their new best friend and trucking companion.  Shades ultimately was adopted by David and Tina, and he immediately took to the highways with them in their 18-wheeler, traveling back and forth from Arkansas to California!

For the next several weeks, pictures were posted of Shades on his “Excellent Adventure” on our Facebook page. What a most wonderful and heartwarming story for all our staff, volunteers and supporters!



SNAP-X Grant Helps Puppy Mill Survivor Find Her Home

Our SNAP-X grant helped Hannah, a puppy mill survivor, find a loving home.

Our SNAP-X grant helped Hannah, a puppy mill survivor, find a loving home.

We’ve received another update from Maple Hill Farm Toy Breed Rescue in Butler, Ohio, about how our SNAP-X grant helped save Hannah, a 5-year-old Chihuahua, from a puppy mill where she had lived without attention, love and vet care.

President Dawn Porter told us back in May that she was having Hannah spayed and fully vetted with the grant funds. Now Porter says:

“Here is another dog adopted on Sunday thanks to the grant allowing her adoption fee to be lower.

“Hannah found the perfect home with a senior gentleman who needed another dog to love. She was a very fearful one that needed just the right home!”

Our SNAP-X helped pay for Hannah's spay surgery and find her a home.

Our SNAP-X grant helped pay for Hannah‘s spay surgery and find her a home.

Learn more about Maple Hill Farm Toy Breed Rescue’s work with puppy mill survivors.

Donate to help us save more dogs like Hannah.



R.O.A.R. to Save Stray Puppies from Lives of Fear


Give to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12 and have double the impact for homeless dogs like Bonnie.

You’ll help save twice as many stray puppies like Bonnie (pictured) from lives filled with danger and fear when you donate to us through Global Giving from through Nov. 12.

During that time only, Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. is matching donations to the Petfinder Foundation dollar-for-dollar (learn more about the campaign here). That means your gift will help save more homeless pets like Bonnie, whom the Humane Society of McCormick County in McCormick, S.C., recently took in.

Volunteer Judy Haywood tells us how our grant helped the group pay for exams and vaccinations for 29 dogs and cats. It also fully funded the cost of health exams, spay/neuter surgeries and vaccinations for Bonnie and her siblings Tucker, Hooch, Bootsie and Bart:

“In March, we trapped a litter of five dogs. They were all shy of people and other dogs and were about 4 months old. Two were taken into foster homes to help socialize them with people and dogs. The remaining three eventually overcame some of their shyness with the help of another friendly dog at the pens and some very patient volunteers. Two of the three puppies at the pens went through six weeks of training at PetSmart that dramatically helped their social skills and confidence. They are still waiting to be adopted but they are now spayed/neutered, up-to-date on their shots, and healthy.”

Bart (left) and Hooch

Bart (left) and Hooch

Judy continues: “We are an all-volunteer group that does not receive any public money, so we constantly have to fundraise in order to keep picking up and adopting out dogs and cats in our county. This money was very appreciated.”

Bonnie, her siblings and many other pets across North America have been helped by our Shelter+ Challenge by The Animal Rescue Site grant program, supported by and your generous donations.

Donate to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12 to double your impact!


R.O.A.R. to Vaccinate Mother Cats and Their Kittens

Give to us through Global Giving from 10/14-11/12 and have double the impact for homeless mother cats like Tina and her kittens

Give to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12 and have double the impact for homeless mother cats like Tina and her kittens.

When you donate to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12, you’ll help vaccinate twice as many mother cats and kittens like Tina, Theodore and Talia (pictured) so they can stay healthy while they wait to be adopted.

Through Nov. 12, Animal Planet’s R.O.A.R. is matching donations to the Petfinder Foundation dollar-for-dollar (learn more about the campaign here). That means your gift will have double the impact for homeless pets like Tina, who was pregnant when the Animal Care Society of Louisville, Ky., took her in.

Fundraising and Events Coordinator Virginia Hottinger tells how our vaccination grant helped:



“Since receiving this generous grant, we have adopted out 24 cats and kittens. We also brought in a very pregnant cat whom we named Tina. The same day that Tina came in to the shelter, she went home with one of our wonderful fosters. Two days later, Tina gave birth to a large litter of eight kittens. There are four boys and four girls, named: Tulip, Telulah, Talia, Tilly, Theodore, Thaddeus, Thatcher and Thayer.

“Because we had your grant of FVRCP vaccinations, Tina has received both of her FVRCP shots, has been spayed, and is now living comfortably at the shelter until she goes to her furever home. She actually has an approved application on her, but because we don’t adopt out black cats in October (because of Halloween), she will go home on Nov. 1.

“Tina’s kittens have received all three FVRCP shots and are at the shelter ready for adoption. They are happy, playful, healthy kittens ready to find their furever homes. Thatcher has an application on him and he will hopefully be going home soon.

“We genuinely appreciate the gift of this grant and for everything the Petfinder Foundation does for the animal community. Thank you.”

Tina and her kittens have been helped by our A Shot at Life vaccination grant program, supported by Boehringer Ingelheim Vetmedica, Inc., The Animal Rescue Site, and your generous donations.

Donate to us through Global Giving through Nov. 12 to double your impact!