Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
This August we requested money to use for our Ken Shughart Junior Award winner to help honor and foster a connection with incredible young people in our community who have shown compassion for animals. As our Ken Shughart Award Banquet will happen in April 2018, we have not spent this grant money yet. Please consider this a preliminary report of what the money will be used for.
This grant helps us to connect and honor young people in our community who show compassion toward animals. We focus on the human-animal bond at all ages. Our goal is to raise awareness about our shelter to younger people so that they can be involved in supporting our animals. In April 2018, we will be using this grant to honor our 2018 Ken Shughart Junior Award recipient. Several young people who have shown care for animals will be nominated and considered for this Junior Award. It's a wonderful opportunity to get more young people involved in our shelter to care for our animals!
This money is focused on helping young people in our community. Last year, the Ken Shughart Junior Award was given to Kathryn Donovan for her outstanding service to pets in our community. Kathryn is an 11-year-old who owns a business called Kaboba Designs. She hand-makes fun, braided dog toys. Ten percent of all of her sales are donated to the Humane Society of Western Montana. With this award, we have been able to foster a relationship with Kathryn that helps us to keep her connected to our shelter. We sell her toys in our re-Tail store, and she was a featured vendor at our One Stop Shop fundraiser. This year, and in years to come, we plan to continue connecting younger people to our shelter in many ways.
To expand our Youth Humane Education Program to 50 low-income children.
Our organization and animals were helped by the community connections we made through the education program, which also brought awareness to the plight of pit bulls, senior pets and dogs with special needs.
This grant directly impacted Rosey, a 1-year-old pit bull/boxer mix who was an animal ambassador to the youth at our camps. Rosey was rescued with severe Demodex mange and required several months of care before she was finally healed and ready for adoption. Although she was so neglected, she was always friendly and loved people. She was the perfect ambassador for her breed; she brought awareness, education and advocacy with lots of puppy kisses and tail-wags! Being able to attend the youth camps keeps her socialized, especially meeting children and experiencing new places, which helps her remain healthy and adoptable, and gives her more exposure to adoptive families. Meet Rosey: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39043866
We asked for the funds to help with our teen-education program. Many of the participants are in outlying areas of the county and can't easily get to our shelter, so we either travel to them, or provide transportation when we can. We have to pay to rent that transportation to bring the kids to the shelter so they can get the hands-on experience and learn within the shelter environment.
This grant didn't directly help pets.
This grant wasn't meant to help our pets directly, but it certainly will have an effect down the road! Our teen-education program is important to so many kids each year. High-school students from all over the region participate. They have the chance to learn about animal-handling and training, and even get to interact with our vet services team. We want them to walk away with a sense of respect and empathy for animals, and for many, a strong interest in volunteering, being involved at the shelter or considering veterinary medicine for a career!
The money was used for an amputation.
The grant came at the right time. We had an adult Australian sheperd who needed an MRI, which in turn revealed that his leg would need to be amputated. This a very costly surgery.
Reggie, a 1½-year-old Australian shepherd, needed our help. Reggie was picked up by Animal Control as a stray with an injured leg. He was not able to bear any weight on his leg. We scheduled a visit with an orthopedic surgeon, who determined that he would need an MRI to see what was going on. The MRI showed that Reggie had a fragmented coronoid process, or FCP, resulting in a significant bone fragment that needed to be removed from his elbow. If this were the only culprit of Reggie's pain, it would not be a big deal; however, it was also discovered that he had a deformity in the bone, near his elbow joint, contributing to his lameness and discomfort. Unfortunately, Reggie had already developed extreme arthritis in his lame leg; so even with extensive surgery, a lengthy recovery, and a lifetime of meds, Reggie would still suffer pain throughout his life. Therefore, Reggie’s team determined that amputation would be the best plan to help him live a happy, pain-free life.
Reggie's surgery went perfectly. His transition to being a tri-paw has been seamless. Since he consistently carried the lame leg that was causing all the pain, he was already used to walking on three legs. It turns out his foster family fell in love with him and decided to adopt Reggie. He is currently living a happy life with a wonderful family and Aussie sister.
Money was used toward veterinary services.
It helped with a payment toward the balance for his orthopedic procedure.
This grant through Sponsor a Pet was put toward paying the costs of Batman's orthopedic procedures to help him be less painful and increase his comfort and mobility. From his Petfinder profile: "Holy bad breeding, Gothamites! Batman needs YOUR help! This poor baby! Batman (Mach II, formerly known as Tanner) was purchased from a breeder and then surrendered to a local shelter by his owners at just 6 months old due to an injury: limping from a very swollen right front leg. Fortunately for him, that shelter did a complete medical evaluation, including x-rays, and determined that poor Batman (known to the shelter as Tanner) had severe bilateral elbow dysplasia, growth-plate damage, bilateral hip dysplasia, and improper development of his legs attributed to malnutrition during the most important growing phases of his life. The shelter contacted rescue and together we made arrangements to get this boy into our care. Despite all of this, Batman has the sweetest disposition and does his very best to live like a normal puppy. He plays with other dogs, and greets every person he meets with enthusiasm and then melts into their arms for petting. Batman has been evaluated by an orthopedic surgeon to give him the best life possible. An infection was discovered in one of his afflicted elbows and, after being aspirated, flushed and drained, is being treated with a very long course of antibiotics. Once his infection is all clear, he will need a CT scan and arthroscopic surgery." Batman has been adopted.
The program has not yet kicked off; however, based on early indications of families interested in the program for their children, there is high demand for this education. We anticipate more young visitors and volunteers at our shelter to help us care for the animals -- and raise their awareness of humane treatment of all animals.
We anticipate it will benefit all our animals, or about 300 animals currently in our care.
This grant was for expansion of our humane-education program. We are currently in Phase 1 of the project: creation of the expanded program, finding suitable space to hold the education sessions, and marketing/raising awareness. Our goal is to kick off the first session in early 2018. To date, we have spent $423 of the $3,045 awarded. We purchased $155 worth of books to be used with the children; we spent $20 on a poster to use at events to advertise the program and we kicked off our awareness campaign on October 7 at the Kidz Expo, an annual kids' event sponsored by the Times Herald Record, the local newspaper, and attended by more than 2,000 people, mostly children and families. There, we had a poster that highlighted the humane-education program and had a sign-up sheet for those interested in the program and provided a flyer with basic information about it. More than two dozen families signed up. Since then, we've had sign-ups at our offsite adoptions and other events and have upwards of 50 families interested in the program. We have also identified several locations and guest educators to be part of the program so that we will be prepared to debut a pilot session in early 2018.
This grant was used to pay for my tuition fee to attend the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship hosted at Longmont Humane Society in Longmont, Colorado, from September 18-21.
The Dogs Playing for Life grant greatly impacted how we conduct playgroups and dog-to-dog introductions at my shelter, Ark-Valley Humane Society. My shelter had already been doing playgroups loosely based on the DPFL program prior to the mentorship. Some protocols that were already in place stayed the same, while others got fine-tuned. A priceless amount of knowledge regarding canine-to-canine language, proper human intervention for tense situations, and safety tools and their use was brought back to my shelter. The dogs in our care are now able to more freely express themselves and play with other dogs in a much safer and professionally conducted environment.
This grant was able to really help a 4-year-old female pit bull mix named Ginger who had been at Ark-Valley Humane Society for almost a whole year. Ginger underwent some treatment when she was first admitted to the shelter that required her to be on kennel rest for a good chunk of time. When she was done with treatment, Ginger was tested in "playgroups" that she ended up doing very poorly in, but that we later realized were misconducted on our behalf. These interactions made us believe Ginger would not successfully be able to go into a home with other dogs. Some time passed where multiple staff members observed Ginger showing very playful behavior towards other dogs through multiple chain-link fence barriers. We really wanted to test Ginger again with other dogs, but were unsure how to proceed most effectively.
After going to the Dogs Playing For Life Mentorship, my shelter was able to get some ideas on how to introduce Ginger to other dogs while being able to take proper safety precautions in the event of a fight. Very quickly we were able to graduate Ginger up to the point where she did not need a muzzle or need to drag a leash when playing with other dogs. After capturing some incredible videos of Ginger playing, we decided we needed to redo her marketing and make it our mission to get Ginger into a home before she hit her one-year anniversary living at the shelter.
We posted her on our Facebook multiple times, shared some videos of her playing with another male dog, and created an anti-anniversary photo. Within a couple of days, a new family came in and took her home. They previously had a dog that highly resembled our Ginger physically and behaviorally, so they were more than ready to take her as their own. We couldn't be happier for Ginger finally being adopted!
It is programs like Dogs Playing for Life that show how much a shelter can do to positively influence animals' lives inside the shelter environment and out in the real world, post-adoption. The knowledge acquired through this mentorship program has shown itself to be completely priceless. Just like the motto says, as humans, we need to see that dogs live to play, so we need to do everything we can to let them play to live!
Money was used to install two catch pens and a pass-through to connect two of our dog-exercise yards and provide safe entering/exiting for dog playgroups.
Provides a much safer way for us to manage playgroups and allows multiple playgroups for different play styles to happen at one time. Playgroups have been an amazing physical and mental release for our shelter dogs, and our staff has learned so much more about the dogs, which greatly helps them when getting adopted.
More than 100
Ruby (first and second photos) has been at our shelter since April 2017 and has had a tough time finding the right adopter. She originally displayed some unpredictable behavior around dogs, so our staff decided to see how she would do in a playgroup to get a better feel for behaviors. Staff was incredibly surprised to see that she was friendly, playful, soft and engaging in playgroups and was generally the one dog that got along with everyone. She ended up being one of the best greeter dogs here. We used this information to help potential adopters and to ultimately place her in a foster home for additional socialization and training. During her time here, though, Ruby helped to introduce multiple dogs to the fun of playgroups and assisted many dogs in coming out of their shells at our shelter. Her Petfinder page is www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38311625
Money was used to purchase pet playground equipment, toys, beds and artwork to decorate an unused room at the shelter as a featured-dog room to showcase adoptable dogs and give them some quiet time out of the kennel.
Provides an additional space for a dog to spend some quiet time out of the kennel, but also gives the public a chance to see that dog outside of the kennel and get a better feel for their personality. It's a great way to market our dogs.
We have used the room for more than 20 dogs and 10 of them have found their forever homes.
Patty Pocket came into our shelter in December 2016. She tested positive for heartworm during her medical evaluation. Due to the long-term course of treatment and need for a pet to stay quiet, we decided to use our newly updated quiet room to give Patty Pocket a place to live outside of her kennel where she could spread out, play with toys and hang out with people. She did really well for the several months that she was in our shelter, in large part due to having a large and comfortable living space (in addition to regular walks and playtime with volunteers). Additionally, placing Patty Pocket in that room meant that she was the first dog that our visitors saw when they entered our lobby, which worked well for marketing. Ultimately, this room allowed Patty Pocket to stay mentally and physically healthy while in our care and also helped her to find her forever home.
We used the grant for our Parent and Me program, allowing children to learn about animals together with a parent and preparing them to volunteer and work with the cats as a team. The money was used for educational material, staff time, volunteer shirts, name tags, and a new mascot called Cali the Calico. The mascot is ear-tipped and has been used during the children's training, for tabling events, and to educate about free-roaming cats and TNVR. Please see this video of her unveiling: youtu.be/6Wf0WdHxto0rnrn
One of the parents sent us this: "I just wanted to let you know Michael and I have really enjoyed everything you and your wonderful staff/volunteers have been teaching us these past few weeks. It’s been such a great learning experience as well as a very enjoyable activity. Everyone was so informative and courteous to us."
The grant helped us reach out to the community. The plight of pets in the U.S. today is a problem with roots deep in society, and any effort to improve the situation as a whole must start with educating the new generations. The grant helped us reach young people and their families, giving an opportunity to teach them about handling animals, empathy, and cats' instincts and needs. Now these children and and their families know more, and they can spread the knowledge to their friends, to their friends' families, and even in their schools. We hope to continue the "Parent and Me" program for years to come; each new animal advocate can make a huge difference. The pets in our care have benefited from an opportunity to get to know children, which in turn makes them more adoptable. They have gotten socialization and entertainment, and most of the parent-and-me teams will go on to volunteer, helping the cats on a regular basis.
We have an average of 140 cats in the building. During the program, some were adopted and new ones came in. I'd estimate around 200.
Athena is currently our longest-term resident. She has greatly enjoyed the visits from the children -- you can see her playing in the photo (she is the tortoiseshell cat in the foreground). The Parent and Me program and all the extra company and attention have helped her overcome some of her shyness. Meet Athena: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37249019