Posts Tagged: ASPCA

Working Together to Help Animals During Disaster

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Helping Save 367 Dogs from Fighting Ring

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

When 367 dogs were rescued from a multistate dog-fighting ring last month, a Petfinder Foundation-funded truck and trailer helped the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), the Humane Society of the United States, the ASPCA and other agencies save their lives.

“We couldn’t have done it without that equipment,” Shannon Walajtys, IFAW’s animal rescue program manager for disaster response, tells us.

The Petfinder Foundation granted the truck and trailer to IFAW in 2007, just after Hurricane Katrina struck.

IFAW Animal Rescue Officer Jennifer Gardner says the truck proved essential when HSUS asked IFAW to travel from Cape Cod, Mass., to Georgia to assist with the dog-fighting bust.

“The truck was one of three animal-rescue rigs that were integral in our support of HSUS,” Gardner says.


The rescued dogs had been subjected to extreme heat without fresh water or food. (Photo: ASPCA)

The truck and 36-foot trailer were loaded with field equipment and also offered a refuge for first responders. “It was that go-to vehicle that had the first-aid kits, the coolers with water and Gatorade, the fruits and vegetables we brought for responders. It was the place for people to take a five-minute break when they needed to after being on the crime scene,” Walajtys says.

Walajtys says the 367 seized dogs have been moved to temporary shelters and that IFAW will continue to assist HSUS and the ASPCA as needed on the case. Meanwhile, the Petfinder Foundation’s truck and trailer have moved on to their next assignment with IFAW.

“It’s been demobilized and sent to Mississippi,” Gardner says, “so it can be ready and staged during the hurricane season.”


The Petfinder Foundation truck is ready for its next lifesaving IFAW assignment. (Photo: IFAW)


A Big Thank You to the ASPCA

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ASPCA Throughout the year, the ASPCA recognizes employees’ exceptional contributions to the ASPCA and its mission. Each honoree receives a gift certificate redeemable for a grant to their favorite animal welfare organization from the ASPCA Grants Department. In 2012 the Petfinder Foundation was selected by an ASPCA employee to receive their honorary $500 grant for general operating purposes.

We are very grateful to the ASPCA for their support in furthering our mission to help ensure that no adoptable pet is euthanized for lack of a good home!

Puppy Mill Survivors Headed for Home at Last

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Puppy Mill Survivor checked by vets

After being rescued from a Rowan County, KY, puppy mill, this dog was checked by veterinarians.

After more than a year of healing care and thanks to financial support from the Petfinder Foundation, 118 small-breed puppy mill survivors rescued from horrific conditions in Rowan County, KY, are finally ready to join families.

“Enrichment supplies for dogs traumatized from living in a puppy mill are extremely important in training them to trust people and ready them for adoption,” Tim Rickey, vice president of the ASPCA’s Field Investigations and Response Team, said. “Without your generous support, we could not have provided much-needed socialization and positive reinforcement to the dogs we rescued.”

After the APSCA seized the dogs in October 2011, the Pefinder Foundation provided them with a $1,000 disaster-relief grant to help with the dogs’ rehabilitation and recovery. The rescued dogs included Chihuahua, Dachshund, papillon, miniature pinscher and poodle mixes. Several of the dogs were pregnant, and some were only a few weeks old. All were badly neglected: Many of them were covered in mold and matted fur, and they were suffering from infections, dental disease and other health problems. They were kept in cramped, filthy cages.

“We used the grant to pay for treats, toys and staff/responder time socializing the dogs,” Rickey said.

Rescued Rowan County puppy.

One of the rescued Rowan County puppies.

After the dogs spent more than a year in recovery, the owner of the puppy mill pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor animal cruelty and one kennel violation.

“Since the case has come to a close,” Rickey said, “we could finally make the dogs available for adoption.”

The dogs were all transferred to partner shelters, and Rickey reported their outcome couldn’t be better: “Most of the dogs were snapped up almost instantly and are now enjoying loving homes!”

To learn about applying for a disaster-relief grant, visit here.