Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
To better the lives of the dogs and cats in the shelter.
Helped us update animal housing.
X-Man is a great dane/lab mix. Big guy. With funds we were able to increase his yard and give him a better place to run and play.
Hello! We are the Chico Cat Coalition, a no-kill, volunteer-run cat shelter in the northern California town of Chico, California. We have a shelter that houses approximately 60 cats. Prior to the receipt of the Bissell Pet Foundation grant, our shelter was one large room -- a former warehouse of approximately 1,000 square feet that was converted with cyclone fencing into a cat shelter. We also have a great outdoor fenced-in area. The money we received from the Bissell Pet Foundation grant was used for fencing and materials to divide our shelter into two fenced-off areas -- one for the feral, unadoptable cats, and one for the cats that are adoptable and need an area where they can be shown to potential adopters.
In our shelter, we have approximately 30 feral cats that we will be caring for for the rest of their lives (we no longer take in feral cats, but we did at one point and are still caring for those cats), and 30 adoptable cats. The adoptable cats that have been in our care for a long time, we noticed, were becoming less friendly and less adoptable. They found areas to hide among the feral cats and in corners of the shelter. When a potential adopter who saw the cat on Petfinder would come to visit, the cats would find it very easy to hide, leading to fewer adoptions for these adoptable cats, who we found becoming more and more feral.
With the money received from the Bissell Pet Foundation grant, we were able to purchase cyclone fencing and materials needed to fence off a portion of the shelter where we can house these adoptable cats, along with their own outdoor area. These cats will get more daily exposure to humans via our volunteers (we have two volunteer shifts daily who feed and socialize the cats), and in time, will become more used to people, more friendly, and will find their forever homes!
Duffy is a cat who has been with us since he was a kitten. He is an orange tabby who came to us along with his brother Murphy when they were both about eight weeks old. As kittens, they were playful, friendly, and loved people. Murphy quickly found a forever home as a kitten, but for some reason, Duffy was overlooked and not adopted. As he grew older, he became less accepting of humans; he would hide from even his favorite volunteers, and no treats could lure him from his hiding places so that he could be shown to potential adopters. We could see that we were in danger of ending up with another feral cat in our shelter -- we didn't want that to happen to Duffy!
When our adoptable-cat room was finished, thanks to the Bissell Pet Foundation grant, Duffy was moved into the area and, with fewer hiding places and a smaller area in which to navigate, he was exposed twice a day to lots of love, attention, and treats from volunteers. He quickly remembered how great humans are, and we saw signs of him returning to his old friendly self. We all held our breath when we got a call from someone saying that she had seen Duffy's pictures on Petfinder and she wanted to come meet him. We told her all about Duffy -- that he's very shy, but such a sweet cat, and that having a forever home would make all the difference for him.
Duffy's potential adopter came to meet him, and thanks to our adoption room, was able to sit on the floor, put out some treats, and happily Duffy approached her for some attention! She was still apprehensive about the adoption, and asked if she could temporarily foster Duffy until she decided whether or not he was the right cat for her home. Of course! Two weeks ago, we got the call that we had been waiting for -- she had decided to permanently adopt Duffy and make him part of her family. The long-time Chico Cat Coalition volunteers were thrilled! We had seen Duffy as an adorable kitten, watched him regress to near-feral status, then make a comeback with the addition of our adoptable cat room.
This amazing change would not have happened without the Bissell Pet Foundation grant money. We could not be more grateful. THANK YOU, Bissell, for what you have done for our shelter -- our cats, kittens, and volunteers appreciate it so much!
Attached are pictures of the indoor adoptable cat room, the outdoor adoptable cat area, and a picture of Duffy in the bathtub in his new home.
We have six 20x10 cat cottages that were built in 2008/2009. We are currently remodeling each of the cottages. The grant was used to remodel one of the cat cottages.
The purpose of the remodel is to cover the painted walls with a plastic panel. This panel helps reduce the wear and tear on the walls; it also increases the ease of cleaning. The pictures include before-and-after shots.
A cottage can house up to 12 cats at one time. These cats are either waiting for adoption or taking a break from an adoption center. Since the cottages are in constant use, that will help a number of cats into the future.
Paulina is a polydactyl cat with more toes than the average cat. She came to us with six young kittens and was an excellent mother. After her kittens were grown and adopted, Paulina was ready to find her own forever home. She is calm and gentle, and loves to play too! She was featured in our email newsletter and captured the heart of a lady named Molly. Molly came and spent time with Paulina in one of the remodeled cat cottages. We are happy to say that Paulina left that day with Molly and will be her constant companion.
To purchase and install two interior doors/door frames to replace old doors that were badly deteriorated. Pictures show the doors installed and awaiting their final coat of paint before the hardware is installed.
One door, located at the entrance to the older kennels, no longer had a good door frame, and could not be kept closed. Because of this, the barking in the older part of the building could be heard in the rest of the building, creating stress for the cats just down the hall. The other door, located at the entrance to the main kennel and right outside the cat-adoption room, hung so crooked it scraped the floor whenever it was opened or closed, making an awful screeching noise, which was stressful for both the animals and the staff. It also banged very hard, and that was just as stressful to hear: screech - bang all day long. The new doors swing silently, and don't create a loud bang when they close -- ahhhhhhhhhhhh!
Every single animal in our shelter!
All of the cats in the adoptable cat room are experiencing a much more stress-free stay at the shelter now that they do not have to hear the constant screeching and banging of the kennel door right outside their room. In addition, the doors will now shut quietly and, because of the seal, will keep out much of the barking when closed. Even the dogs, such as Peaches (pictured), will not have to hear all the screeching and banging, which was quite stressful to everyone, including the staff.
Meet Peaches: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/29040566/
The funding was used to renovate the entrance to our animal shelter, which was in dire need of repair. Volunteers had constructed this structure 15 years ago and drainage off the roof had not been properly channeled so that severe rot had set in around the door and at the corners of the structure. These mistakes were corrected in our renovation project.
We are very pleased with the improvements made to our building that were made possible by your generous grant. The public now enters our shelter through a neat and structurally sound entrance. This structure also serves as a safeguard to prevent our cats living in one of the group housing rooms from escaping out the front door. Without renovation of the entrance, it was likely that cats may have found their way out through the rotted exterior walls and we are relieved that this is no longer a threat to their safety.
On average, 120 dogs and cats each year.
The grant was used to renovate the entrance to our animal shelter, which was in dire need of repair. The public now enters our shelter through a neat and structurally sound entrance. This structure also serves as a safeguard to prevent our cats living in one of the group housing rooms from escaping out the front door. The entrance way will allow potential adopters the chance to meet dogs like Stormie and cats like Milton.
Meet Stormie: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/13692339/
Meet Milton: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/14743474/
The grant funds were used to purchase two outdoor kennel runs for the dogs in quarantine.
This grant allows us to provide a safe and contained outdoor space for the dogs that are in our quarantine area. Quarantined dogs were only able to go outside on short walks to a designated area to relieve themselves, and outdoor time was very limited. The purchase of these kennels will enrich the experience of our quarantined dogs for years to come.
Isabella has been in our care since late July. Her owner was unable to afford her veterinary care and as a result she was signed over to us. She has been in quarantine since she arrived and most likely will remain there until the end of September. The outdoor time that she will now be able to have will be invaluable to her general well-being.
The donation was used to provide a course of vaccinations for one of the homeless animals in our care.
This grant subsidized a course of vaccinations for one of the homeless animals in our care.
Onyx is an approximately 1-year old male pit mix who came into our shelter as a stray. The Petfinder Foundation Sponsor a Pet grant helped us provide a full course of vaccinations for Onyx to get him ready for his adoptive home.
Product taste-testing on cats
We were able to give our rescue cats nutritious treats
Our greatest special-needs cat, Baby Darwin, really enjoyed these treats. He is our hero cat, attacked by a baby raccoon when he was just 6 weeks old. Darwin's entire head was reconstructed and his whole scalp is a skin graft. He cannot close the eye he has but is medicated daily. He is our inspiration!
Thank you for making his day brighter! :)
Thundershirts are being used for shy/timid dogs in foster homes. Will begin using them in the shelter once the weather cools.
We now have a good supply of shirts to give to our scared and/or high-anxiety dogs when they go into foster homes.
Currently five; however, we are using them "as needed" and will continue to use them.
Autumn came to us from a hoarder situation where she lived inside a small trailer with 25 other dogs. She never went outside and lived most of her life inside very cramped conditions without any exposure to the outside world. She is literally afraid of the everything; the world outside is just too big and scary for her to handle. Every new person, place or thing frightens her. Autumn is currently living with a foster family and two other rescue dogs. She is progressing; however, it has been a slow process. Her foster family shared that they saw an immediate improvement in her anxiety level when they used the Thundershirt. It has enabled her to remain calmer and she is becoming more and more open to new experiences. Autumn not only uses her shirt for thunderstorms but basic everyday things like going for a walk, experiencing new places or things and meeting new people. She is certainly benefiting from having her Thundershirt and will continue to use it regularly.
The money was used for one of our biggest expenses, pet food!
The grant helped with our pet-food bill; money saved in that area helps us pay for other expenses, such as veterinary bills or other shelter expenses.
We currently care for 200 dogs and cats at any given time; the grant money has helped them all.
HAPPY TAIL! Ryker is one of the puppies that were born to Annie, a full-term pregnant dog who was rescued by Four Paws Rescue. Rykder was eventually adopted into a loving family, as were all of his siblings. Ryker's family reports he is a happy, healthy, energetic puppy who fits well into their clan. He will soon be trained to be a therapy dog! What a handsome boy he is!