Success Stories

Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.

Lost Our Home Pet Foundation, dba Lost Our Home Pet Rescue: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

To provide enrichment opportunities for our shelter dogs

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The Kong toys were used as part of our Enrichment Program to keep our dogs healthy, happy and emotionally sound until they are adopted.
• The Kongs engage our dogs’ attention and help create a more stimulating environment for them
• They direct their energy towards something positive by using them in training exercises
• We create a longer-lasting source of entertainment by layering the insides of the Kongs with peanut butter and dry dog food and freezing them (a great summer treat!)
• They keep our dogs mentally engaged and diverted them into some important quiet time
• They give the dogs an opportunity to play and chew, which has decreased their stress levels and increased their chances of adoption and success in a new home.

The Kongs are such a big hit with the dogs that a volunteer bought and donated a new freezer just for keeping a large supply of frozen Kong treats.

How many pets did this grant help?

32 and counting with every new dog we take in

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Harley (first photo), a beautiful, loving 3.5-year-old cattle dog/pit bull mix, was brought to Lost Our Home Pet Rescue in March 2016 by a kind soul who noticed him wandering the streets near us. Harley had been microchipped but the chip had not been registered, so we had no way of contacting his owner. While Harley received daily interaction with humans and regular physical stimulation, it wasn’t long before we began to notice some shelter deterioration.

Soon after the Kongs arrived, we noticed Harley’s stress level decreasing as he played with the Kongs. He was thrilled with his new toys! His playful behavior got him noticed by a foster in June who is “super in love” with him and will more than likely adopt him. We made sure that Harley’s favorite Kong toys went with him to the foster’s home.

Here is a great video clip that was shared on our social media of Harley taking all the Kong toys out of the box and putting them on his bed: https://www.facebook.com/lostourhome/videos/1199035270121155/

Moo (second photo) was adopted about three weeks after the Kongs arrived. From her Petfinder profile: "I'm one spunky puppy who is only two months into my adventure in this fun world! I think people and toys are super fun. I probably spend about 50% of my time being a silly puppy and the other 50% of my time passed out like I've never slept a day in my life. My new family needs to know that I will need training, but I'm a smart girl who's eager to learn I promise! Please come play with me today and maybe even think about adopting me while you're at it?"

Another success story is the entire shelter! It’s always quiet during Kong playtime, even when people are walking through. This is a testament to how engaged the dogs are with the Kongs and how much they love their frozen Kong treats.

Your generous donation of Kong toys have made Harley’s and all the dogs' lives in our shelter brighter and less stressful. Thank you!

Ionia County Animal Shelter: Purina and Amazon Treats for the Holidays
What was the money or product used for?

We used the Beggin' Strips three different ways:rnrn1. We used them as treats for working with the dogs while they were staying here at the shelter.rn2. We gave a bag of treats with each dog when they were adopted and went to their new home.rn3. We keep a bag in the Animal Control Vehicle to help entice running-at-large dogs so that we can safely catch them and bring them to the shelter.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It helps give the dogs positive reinforcement for good behavior and it makes them feel more like they are in a home while they are staying here until they find their new forever homes. The only treats we get for the animals are by donation, so this was a huge help to us and we like giving little things to the new owners when they go home with their new pet.

How many pets did this grant help?

170 dogs

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Harding came to our shelter as a stray. He arrived here on Jan. 22, 2016. He was a boxer/terrier mix and was about 65 lbs. We held him for his stray hold period and then got him his medical evaluation so we could adopt him out. He was here for quite a while even though he was super sweet, but because of his breed mix it was harder for him to get adopted. Harding loved his Beggin' Strip treats. When adopters would come, we would give them a handful so they could ask him to do his commands, and he would do anything for those treats. He finally won the heart of a really nice family with kids and was adopted on March 24. We have already received a great update on him, and he is adjusting well in his new home and with his new human brother, as you can see by the photo!

Nebraska No Kill Canine Rescue: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

The money was used for Koko's medical expenses. He takes anti-seizure medication daily as well as seasonal allergy medications. Because he is on anti-seizure meds, he requires occasional testing to check the levels in his bloodstream.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The grant helped us to pay for the vet care that Koko needs to stay healthy. At 13 years old, he takes more frequent trips to the vet than most of our other dogs and he eats a prescription diet food.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Koko was surrendered because his owner could no longer care for him. After putting him in foster care, we found that he was suffering from seizures. By our treating him with an anti-seizure medication, Koko's whole world became better! He had kept to himself before and seemed lost. After correcting his seizures, he is much more outgoing and LOVES exploring the yard. He also enjoys as much attention from people as he can get now. When he came to us, he was quiet and seemed confused, but now he is noticeably happy and much more feisty. Meet Koko: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/30701689

Perry County Humane Society: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

To give our dogs something to keep them occupied while we aren't with them.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

It gave us toys we couldn't afford for our dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?

10

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Orie came in in pretty bad shape and didn't know how to act when we first got her. She has come a long way; she didn't even know how to play with toys, and when she would, she would shred them, but she can't destroy the Kongs. They are great for our dogs.

Pictured is Jobe, "a very sweet guy who loves to run and play. He loves kids, plays well with dogs and loves to ride." Meet Jobe: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/34875551

Olive Branch Animal Rescue and Refuge, Inc.: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

We received a box of Kong toys. We used these toys for interactive play with staff, volunteers, and prospective adopters. Some of the dogs do get bored in their kennels. The Kong toys are wonderful to help alleviate their boredom. We also have a couple of senior dogs who have trouble with some toys due to dental issues and they love the toys with a bit of peanut butter for them to lick.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

Our kennel has an attached one-acre play yard for the dogs. They take turns throughout the day in the yard. The Kong toys are great for everyone to play with the dogs. The variety of toys we received was wonderful. We have dogs of all different ages and abilities, and all of them are able to enjoy playing with them or working for the hidden treat. Staff and volunteers are able to have a good interaction with the dogs. We really love the fact that prospective adopters are able to have a much more productive interaction with the dogs through play. It really lets the adopters see more of their unique personalities while playing with them. Our dogs get excited when they see the Kong toys and it does make for a better experience for everyone. The Kong toys have really helped with socialization of the dogs: They see a toy and smell a treat and their curiosity is piqued. A curious dog is much easier to socialize. Our goal is to find as many of our animals loving, safe forever homes as possible, and the interaction of the dogs with the Kong toys gives us good insight as to how to best match a dog and family for a successful adoption.

How many pets did this grant help?

Every dog who has passed through our facility since we received this grant has been positively affected by the Kong product grant.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

We have a dog named Romeo (first photo) who came to us from county law enforcement in December. He and two other dogs were chained to metal junk behind a house that should have been condemned years ago. All three were starved, neglected, and, we suspect, abused. When law enforcement became involved only two dogs were left; the third had frozen to death. Romeo and Reggie were thin and flea-infested, and both had terrible double ear infections. Reggie was adopted pretty quickly. Romeo is a Staffordshire terrier mix. With the negative reputation these dogs have gotten, we were having trouble finding him his forever home. He is the sweetest dog I have ever met. Using the Kong toys for interactive play with adopters, families are able to see how he interacts with their children and get a better idea of how he will behave in a more relaxed setting.

Romeo has a pending adoption. The family has been approved and they have been visiting Romeo so they can all get to know each other, and after a few more visits, he will be fostering with them. We are very excited about this adoption! Romeo has been through so much in his two short years. The adopter is a former police k-9 unit and will be a wonderful influence on Romeo.

K9 Paw Print Rescue: Dogly Do Good Grant
What was the money or product used for?

This money went towards the veterinary bills for our medical dogs. These dogs are in need of medical care beyond the routine vaccinations, spay/neuter, kennel-cough treatment, etc.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

K9PPR strives to rescue as many dogs in need of extra medical care as possible. We are known for pulling abuse cases, parvo pups, dogs in need of surgeries and those with many other conditions. Many of these dogs are overlooked at the shelters due to the projected expense of their care. We believe that medical dogs deserve a chance at life and a fresh start, and this grant boosted our continuously-depleted medical fund, allowing us take on more medical dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?

We were able to help five dogs with this grant!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Coco/Mistletoe is an adorable senior bichon/poodle mix who was dumped at the shelter at age 14 by her owner. The reason given: "Illness." She was suffering from a severe bronchial infection, collapsing trachea, dislocated hip and was desperately overweight. Her condition was extremely dire and her cough was unbearable to hear. She was scheduled to be put to sleep the day we pulled her and we were able to save her in the nick of time. Her condition was completely treatable with extensive rounds of antibiotic therapy, bronchodilators, physical therapy and the loving care of her foster family. We are happy to report that Coco was adopted by a wonderful family and relative of one of our coordinators and is now completely spoiled and loved.

Humane Society of Loudoun County: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The Humane Society of Loudoun County (VA) received $140 worth of Kong dog toys from the Petfinder Foundation, which were immediately put into play by our awesome foster dogs!

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The Humane Society of Loudoun County is dedicated to implementing the 11 components of the No-Kill Equation -- Partnerships, Volunteers, Foster Care, TNR, Pet Retention, Adoption, Community Involvement, Medical & Behavioral Rehabilitation, Spay/Neuter, Lost & Found, and Compassion -- to save 90% or more of the homeless pets in our community. Having a supply of dog-friendly toys available to our volunteers makes the transition easier for newly arriving dogs: HSLC often intakes dogs from troubled Southern Virginia shelters. The dogs arrive tired, hungry and uncertain, but once they are greeted with a kind word, dinner and their very own toys, they are able to relax and display their true personalities.

How many pets did this grant help?

8

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Meet Khaleesi. She's a friendly girl with lots of energy! Very sweet and playful. She has lots of love to give and she's still waiting for her forever home. As a pit bull terrier mix, she can look intimidating to some people. The Kong toys allow us to showcase Lesi as the playful pup she actually is. Thank you for supporting our volunteers and their lucky foster dogs through this Kong toy grant! Meet Khaleesi: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/34749135

Southwest Ohio Doberman Rescue: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money that the Southwest Ohio Doberman Rescue received from the Orvis grant was used to start a Training Fund in conjunction with the newly forming Training Program. A separate fund, void of other rescue operational cost such as vet care, food, etc., was created in an effort to help dogs become more adoptable as well as keep dogs in homes that are at risk of being surrendered due to behavior issues.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

They grant allowed Dobermans with special behavioral needs to receive vital training/behavior modification, much like dogs with special medical needs receiving vet care. This helped our organization by making them more adoptable and helping the adoptions to be more successful. Addressing behavior problems soon allows for faster placement into forever homes, which opens resource for other dogs in need.

How many pets did this grant help?

One dog received training through this grant.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

The Orvis grant was used to help Hank through a board-and-train session. It seems that Hank was possibly a victim of poor puppy parenting. When came to our rescue, volunteers tried several times to introduce him to other dogs, without success. He was not outwardly aggressive, but just didn’t seem to understand proper doggy conduct. It’s possible that he was never properly socialized with other dogs, leaving him behind the curve. With funding through the Orvis Grant, we were able to send him to a board-and-train program where they worked on gradual introductions and socialization with other dogs. He's still a work in progress, but we're hopeful this training will make him more adoptable and increase his chances of finding a forever home. Meet Hank: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/35051362

Pitiful Paws Rescue: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The grant that we were awarded was used to build an adoption yard/play yard for our little facility. It is 75 feet long and 35 feet wide. We use this yard for potential adopters and pets to have a safe place for meet-and-greets.

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

This grant helped my organization so very much! This new adoption and play yard is AMAZING for meet-and-greets with potential adopters, a wonderful place to have one-on-one play time with each of our animals, as well as one-on-one and group training in a safe environment.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant has helped over 30 animals so far.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Shelby is an English mastiff who came to us from a puppy mill after being bred over and over. She was part of a court case for months until finally her owners surrendered her and her unborn babies. She was severely emaciated and very sick. She had 11 babies but sadly within the next two weeks all of her babies passed away due to fading-puppy syndrome brought on by canine herpes. Shelby became very ill about a week after the puppies were born and had to have emergency surgery to save her life after having a severely infected uterus. She was very depressed without her babies now as well. She recovered slowly and was very shy with new people and other dogs.

This play yard has given her an amazing area for us to work with her, introduce her to new people and animals, as well as to work on training with her. She is so much larger than our other dogs and loves having the extra space to roam in our play yard! She has come a long way and every day she is making progress!

Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The grant that our Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter received last year has done wonders in supporting and improving our existing humane-education programs. It was very touch-and-go and shoe-string budgeting before, but now we feel like we really are solid in these programs. Our youth volunteers and other youngsters who take part in these activities such as After School Animal Advocates and summer Critter Camp feel so much more welcomed and official now!

While we still are using a multipurpose room and two very small back rooms in our Cottage Shop thrift store for many of our activities, the grant has allowed us to decorate with education posters, have locking cabinets for our materials, clicker-training tools, a small but growing library, our own volunteer aprons and name tags, certificates of gratitude and achievement, a screen, projector, speakers, white boards, and cork boards, art materials, and so much more!

We’ve been able to host speakers from other specialty rescues and many animal professionals, too, and have been inspired by the wide range of work that they do!

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

We have helped shy and fearful dogs blossom through our clicker training, promoted pets with posters and mini-biographies, done many small shelter-help projects, and are so excited about ways to do more! With the support of the grant, we continue to move forward in integrating more youth volunteers. The path that we set up is from After School Advocates, to assisting with younger humane-education groups such as summer camp, on to fully fledged Youth Volunteers!

How many pets did this grant help?

Any of the pets that came in contact with our Animal Advocates, Youth Volunteers, and Critter Campers are better socialized and easier to adopt from the information we learn from their interactions!

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

A number of the families of the students have adopted pets from our shelter and they have brought in other adoptions through friends and family members, too! We learn details about how different pets will do interacting with children of different ages as well, which is very helpful with placement of these pets The one who stands out most for me, though, is not one who was a direct adoption but a dog who was seriously boosted in adoptability through clicker-training with the Animal Advocates.

The dog's name was China. She is a soft-eyed, soulful black dog. When she came to us, she was what we call a "pancake dog," which means that she was so frightened that she literally could not stand-up; she laid flat on the ground, only moving her eyes to follow people in a hopeful but lost way.

I did some in-kennel assessments and found that, with gentle and persistent positive reinforcement work with clicker-training, she slowly began lifting her head and finally would move around some, even exiting and entering the kennel. She was very hesitant to start but gained in confidence with repetition and patience.

We moved her into a very quiet area of the shelter, the back isolation kennels. There, the Animal Advocate kids worked the magic they had been learning with clicker-training. First they trained each other to do tasks, then they worked with clicker-savvy dogs, and finally on to helping the shelter dogs! The taught China "touch" (reaching out and touching hands with her nose), how to go in and out of the kennel on cue -- as that was very scary to her at first -- and to play the Treat and Retreat game to boost her confidence.

She was always a beautiful dog, but through their help she became a beautiful, adopted dog! Just this week she came in with her person, who was taking a dog body-language workshop here at the shelter!