Success Stories

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

Adopt-A-Dog, Inc.: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Kennel Enrichment:

Mirror - $24.99. Placed outside of kennel runs to give the dogs a new visual, instead of the concrete wall in front of their kennel door.
Unbreakoball - $18.67. Given to our more aggressive chewers who cannot be given normal dog toys. It's a boredom buster and can be stuffed with food to keep the dogs engaged for hours in their kennels.
Auggie Octopus Hut Play Tent - $17.00. Placed in kennel runs to give the dogs a new environment to explore to make their kennel runs more exciting.
KingCamp Camping Chair - $48.28. Used in kennel runs to give the dogs a chance to get off of the concrete to sit somewhere more comfortable.
AM/FM Radio - $24.99. Provides our dogs with calming music so they can hear something other than the barking of other dogs.
Paint - $100. Used to make the kennel runs more calming, rather than the white walls that were there before.
Fooblers (x2) - $55.78. Toy designed to let out small portions of food every 15 minutes throughout the day, which allows our dogs to stay entertained for hours!

Enrichment Yard Project:

Tire Structures
- Screws and Bolts - $23.94

Different Materials to Explore
- Sand - $63.92
- Bark Chips - $13.94
- Hay - $12.00

Zip Line
- 100 ft Steel Galvanized Wire - $7.61. Where treats and toys can be hung for dogs to play with in the yards.
- Mooring Rings (x2) - $10.82. Used to secure the wire to the trees to create the zip line.

Play Structure
- Wood - $247.40. Used to build the play structure and underground tunnel
- Scoop Slide - $88.99. Installed in the play structure to give our dogs a new experience to explore.

Pool
- 150 Gallon Stock Tank - $246.99. Installed as a larger pool in the yard so the dogs would actually be able to swim in it.

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

An animal shelter is meant to be a temporary stop on an animal’s way to a forever home. Most shelters are not built for long-term stays or with the supplies needed to maintain an animal’s quality of life while in the shelter environment, because their length of stay is expected to be short. However, what happens to those dogs who, for one reason or another, get overlooked for adoption? Some of these dogs wait a few more days than other dogs to find their perfect match, but most are more likely to stay in shelters for weeks or months.

These dogs who must wait months typically begin to lose their sanity in one way or another. They may show obsessive behaviors such as licking the fencing, pacing, or spinning in circles. Others might demonstrate self-harming behaviors such as chewing on paws obsessively or trying to escape and injuring themselves in the process. Others just shut down in the stressful environment and can no longer connect with people who come to see them. None of these behaviors make a dog more adoptable, and instead increase their time in the shelter by making them less desirable to potential adopters.

At Adopt-A-Dog, our goal is to provide the highest quality of life possible to our animals, whether they need to stay with us for a few days or a few months prior to finding the happily-ever-after they deserve. We do everything in our power to stave off this kennel insanity that other shelter environments may not be able to avoid. We do so by increasing the mental stimulation of our animals and by providing them with enrichment. We keep our animal numbers manageable so that each dog is able to get individualized training, socialization, and enrichment specifically tailored to their needs. These programs keep our dogs happy and engaged while they stay with us, and this, in turn, makes them much more adoptable.

We are so grateful that the Petfinder Foundation and The Orvis Company have seen the potential with our program and graciously given us a grant to help us continue to save the lives and minds of our kennel dogs while they wait for loving homes. A lot of thought has been put into potential uses for the generous grant, and we have decided to put the donation towards amplifying the effects of our enrichment program.

Our enrichment program involves two parts: in-kennel and out-of-kennel enrichment. Part of our grant was used to increase our in-kennel enrichment, making life less stressful for our dogs while they are in our kennels. While our dogs do get out of their kennel runs three to four times a day for out-of-kennel enrichment, they still spend an average of 22 hours a day isolated in these kennel runs. We have found that the best way to provide in-kennel enrichment is to appeal to the five senses of our dogs to keep them mentally engaged, and also relaxed. The majority of the grant, however, is being put towards a project to increase our dogs’ out-of-kennel enrichment.

We are blessed at our shelter to have two large exercise yards. They are big enough for our dogs to run around with other dog friends, and for them to engage with volunteers and staff members in games and socialization. Dogs who stay with us for only a few weeks thoroughly enjoy exploring our yards, however, when dogs need to stay with us for extended periods of time, these yards quickly lose their excitement and our dogs become bored. Our goal is to use the majority of our grant to construct a creative, fun, and exciting space for our dogs to explore, where they will never lose their zest for life. This enrichment yard will keep them engaged and exploring every time they come out of their kennels, so that they can remain adoptable, and even learn new behaviors to increase their adoptability. The enrichment yard has several sections: a pool for the dogs to swim in, a tunnel to run through, a play structure to climb, a zip line where toys and food can be dangled and played with, tires filled with different materials to explore, and tire structures to play on/in.

How many pets did this grant help?

100+

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

Winston is one of our longer-term residents. He is an adult pit bull mix who takes a long time to warm up to new people. We knew when we met him that he would take quite some time to find the right home, but we knew he would be worth the effort to find him that family. He entered a training program and we began to see steady improvement. After a few months of training, Winston was officially ready to be adopted, and now it is just a waiting game. He is ready for his family but we must wait for a family to be ready for him. This may take a few more weeks, months or, unfortunately, maybe even years. In that time we want to guarantee that he is still mentally sound and ready for adoption even after living in a shelter environment. The new enrichment yard has been amazing for him! Every day outside is now a new adventure. He dives in the tunnels, chases the toys from the zip line, and explores the different surfaces (his favorite is the hay!). He is pictured in the first photo enjoying his new favorite spot in the yard. Instead of being bored during his outdoor time, he now runs, plays and explores, which will keep his mind fresh for months to come so he will still be adoptable when his family finally finds him!

Tampa (second photo) arrived at Adopt-A-Dog as a 3-month-old puppy with kennel cough. Once he was done with his quarantine and treatment and finally healthy, he was 4 months old and no longer as desired by adopters. He was now a larger, mouthier puppy who needed an experienced owner. Growing up in a shelter is incredibly detrimental to a puppy's development. They don't learn the behaviors necessary for a home as quickly, and they are more difficult to house train. Tampa was quickly becoming more energetic and needed to be kept busy in his kennel run in addition to his normal hour of exercise a day. We got him enrichment toys, which kept him busy and entertained all day long, so that when his perfect home came along, he was able to meet them calmly, rather than overstimulated. His new family was so impressed by his behavior when they met him, even after he had been at our shelter for three months, that they took him home that day! The third photo is Tampa with his new dad.

Panda was found in an abandoned building in a crate and terrified after having been there for some time. When she came to our shelter, she was very scared of the world. Normally we would socialize our dogs by bringing them to new locations and having them meet people at events. Panda, however, was just too shut-down to enjoy going off-property. Having the enrichment yard gave Panda a chance to explore new things on safe ground. She was initially scared of all the new materials, but each day she came out of her shell more and more until she had enough confidence to finally go off-property. Now Panda can go on adventures to the beach, and when her forever family finds her, she will be ready to go home with them with confidence! The fourth photo is of Panda playing in the yard.

Burbank Animal Shelter: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

The donation was applied directly towards the adoption fees of Beverly and Wagner. We hope that the reduced adoption fees will help bring attention to these animals and get them adopted into good homes.

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

The grant helps our animals have reduced adoption fees thanks to the donors.

How many pets did this grant help?

2

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

Sponsor a Pet donations were applied directly towards the adoption fees of Beverly and Wagner. Beverly has been at the shelter since January. She is a very independent cat who will need an owner willing to spend time with her. She is a sweet girl but can be moody. She came in as a stray and is approximately 4 years old. She can be a bit of a diva at times and needs an experienced cat owner who is willing to deal with her attitude and know when to leave her be.

Wagner is a wiry-haired, cream border terrier mix with a signature underbite. Wagner is bonded with another dog name Katie. Both are a bit shy at first, but will open up in a tender, new home. Older kids and experienced dog owners are much appreciated. Wagner came in as a stray and is approximately 7 years old. It would be great to home Wagner and Katie together, but if not they must be adopted to a home with another dog. They can NOT be the only dog in the household. Wagner will need basic training and housetraining. He loves going on walks.

Meet Beverly: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/31367634/
Meet Wagner: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/30810058/
Meet Katie: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/30810059/

Recycled Poms Houston: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

Medical treatment

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

The donation of $90 went to the medical expenses of one dog named Almond.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Almond was rescued from a shelter. He was in such bad shape, we weren't sure he was a pom. It has taken a few months, but he is now neutered, current on shots, free of heartworms and microchipped and ready to find a new home. The photos are the before-and-after pictures of Recycled Poms' Almond and his wonderful transformation.

Meet Almond: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/30189491/

Pima Animal Care Center: Cat Castles
What was the money or product used for?

Last August, the Petfinder Foundation generously granted us 4,500 Cat Castles, valued at $8,145.

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

This amazing donation has helped us save the lives of thousands of kittens and cats! Not only are we able to use the Cat Castles as enrichment items for our kenneled cats, they serve as carriers for our cats and kittens who are adopted, too. Because cardboard cat carriers are something we always have to purchase, this donation saved us a great deal of money that we were able to put toward our cats' critical medical care.

By saving our shelter from spending thousands of dollars on cardboard cat carriers, this grant helped us have more desperately needed funds available for pets in medical need. And no pet was more in need than Gracie, who came to us shot through with an arrow.

How many pets did this grant help?

By the time all the Cat Castles are used, they will have helped more than 4,500 cats!

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

Last December, a Good Samaritan found a horribly injured 2-year-old tabby wandering through her neighborhood. Knowing we were the only shelter in our community that could be counted on to take her in, she rushed Gracie to us. Our medical team performed immediate emergency surgery to remove the arrow, which had narrowly missed Gracie's spine. After the surgery, we gave Gracie the pain medications and antibiotics she needed to heal, and we sent her to a foster home for further recovery. Still, we did not know if Gracie would make it, since her injuries were so significant.

Amazingly, Gracie survived her horrible ordeal and went on to be adopted by a fantastic woman named Kate. Kate tells us Gracie now lives a spoiled indoor life, and that she even sleeps on her bed at night!

Your donation of Cat Castles helped us have the funds we needed to treat and save Gracie -- who is now aptly known as Lucky. Thank you so much, Petfinder Foundation, for all your amazing support of Pima County's pets!

Capital Area Rescue Effort (CARE): Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Surgical expenses for Delaney

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

This grant helped pay for part of the surgical expenses for a dog named Delaney. The total cost of the surgery was close to $3,000.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

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

Delaney, a young German Shepard, was on the verge of euthanasia in a county animal shelter in another state. He had a dislocated elbow and could not support any weight on one of his front legs. Therefore, he was considered unadoptable. CARE found out about Delaney and organized a series of individuals to transport Delaney from the county shelter. Now safe with CARE, Delaney was evaluated by a specialist. Delaney's dislocated elbow had gone so long without treatment that extensive surgery would be required to fix his leg. Post-surgical rehab would also be needed, since his muscles had atrophied. Delaney is now in the process of recovering from his surgery. Once he is ready, Delaney will be available for adoption by an appropriate, loving family.

Iroquois County Animal Rescue: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

Special food

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

We have to run our shelter on a very tight budget, subsisting mainly on donations. Every dollar is so crucial to our survival as an organization. There are many months when we have to do without essential items, like paper towels and garbage bags. The money we receive from the Petfinder Foundation helps us to meet more of our basic needs.

How many pets did this grant help?

One specifically, but all of them!

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

In February, we took in a kitten named Patches who was in much pain due to two golf-ball-sized bladder stones! After her operation, we were told that she would need to be on a special diet for the rest of her life. Her food is not cheap, and we are grateful to the Sponsor A Pet program for helping us provide for her needs.

Poor, poor Patches. By just three months of age she has already endured three surgeries. She came in for a rectal prolapse; we rushed her to the vet for immediately and she had surgery to repair it. Then, two weeks later, it prolapsed again and she went in for her second surgery. Just a few days after that, she was found to have two large bladder stones. In she went for surgery number three to remove the bladder stones. She is so sweet and cuddly; all Patches wants is love. We recommend that she stay on a Science Diet c/d food for the remainder of her life to prevent the formation of bladder stones in her future. Other than that, she is perfectly playful and healthy! Can you turn Patches' luck around and finally give her the home she will need? Meet Patches: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/31536123/

Animal Protective Association of Missouri: Pet Transfer Program
What was the money or product used for?

**NOTE: This grant was made possible in part by a donation from Beggin’.**

The money provided funds to be used in our Pet Transfer Program.

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

It funded medication, vaccinations, utilities and salaries related to the care of transferred pets.

How many pets did this grant help?

101

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

When Lana, a Chihuahua mix, came to the APA, it was her sixth residence, and she wasn’t even 1 year old. She had been bustled around from home to home until our friends at All New Hope Rescue transferred her to us, hoping we could help her finally find her forever family. With a face like Lana’s, we knew it wouldn’t be hard, but we didn’t realize what a special match she would be for one extra special family.

Emily Nienhuis has a heart of gold. Over the past 15 years, she has been a foster mom to 24 children. She has legally adopted four daughters and is in the process of adopting two more little girls. With a heart that big, it’s no wonder Emily was also interested in adopting a shelter pet!

When Emily and her daughter Evelyn came to the APA looking for a furry family companion, they were originally interested in adopting a rabbit. While we did have a bunny, his personality wasn’t well-suited to a home with six children. Our adoption counselor Robert recommended that, if they were open to adopting a dog, they visit with Lana. Her laid-back, tolerant personality made her a good candidate for a home with lots of hands to give lots of love.

As soon as they met her, Emily and Evelyn fell in love! They couldn’t resist Lana’s charm and her snuggly ways and were eager to take her home to introduce her to the rest of the family. During the adoption, Emily asked if we knew any background information on Lana. As a matter of fact, we had a ton of information on Lana’s background; she had come to the APA with a binder full of paperwork from all the places she had been. Emily was amazed by the coincidence: Children entering foster homes bring their Life Books with them. These books help tell their life stories and experiences until they find a family to call their own. What a perfect match for Lana and the girls!

Today Emily says that Lana has been a wonderful addition to their family. She’s a social butterfly who loves playing with all her new human sisters, and she’s brought a healing presence to their home. Children in foster homes sometimes come from traumatic situations, and Lana’s sweet, buoyant spirit has been a comfort and a joy to her daughters. Every night she and Evelyn snuggle on the couch together until they both fall asleep, safe and sound in their forever home. We couldn’t ask for a more perfect ending to this happy tail!

OAR: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

Bridging the gap on kitten vetting versus adoption fee.

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

We are now in what we call "Kitten Purricane Season." We offer a two-for-one adoption fee that many adopters of kittens accept. When we receive financial support, we can afford to take in more kittens from at-risk situations. We fully vet them, including deworming, combo test, vaccinations, spay/neuter and microchipping, so support from the Petfinder Foundation makes the difference to kittens like the Pizza Boys.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant pays for the vetting of our four pizza boy kittens.

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

The "Pizza Boys" -- kittens Domino (pictured), Donato, Jet and Marco -- were born to a feral mom cat in rural Kentucky. The individual who TNR'ed the mom has fixed more than 20 ferals at the spay/neuter clinic associated with our shelter. She drove over 60 miles one way, twice in one day, to get the mother cat fixed and then, the very next morning, repeated the trip to get the kittens assessed. We think she is great for her tireless work fixing ferals.

Laura's Hope Rescue: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

Our building fund

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

This will help us provide a more pleasant place for our pets to stay.

How many pets did this grant help?

There are usually 10-20 dogs in our care at any one time.

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

We will be using this money to update our current building and/or upgrade to a new building. Our dogs are currently housed in a garage-type building. We use propane heat and the circulation is poor. We hope to upgrade this building or build a new one to house dogs like Bella: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/31821737/.

Cedar Bend Humane Society: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

The money received from this grant will offset the costs of food, shelter, and medical care needed by the homeless animals in our care. The Cedar Bend Humane Society practices an open-admissions policy, meaning we never turn away a homeless animal, even if it is need of substantial medical care. At the moment we are treating three dogs who came into our shelter with heartworms. In addition to the medical costs required to prepare these dogs for adoption (outlined in the next section), these three dogs must undergo a series of treatments to eradicate the existing heartworms, and also to prevent them in the future. The cost to treat an individual shelter animal for heartworms is approximately $175 per month. Follow-up treatments are approximately $120 per month. Thanks to generous donations from organizations like the Petfinder Foundation, we are able cover these costs more effectively, and to continue practicing our open-admissions policy, never turning away an animal in need.

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

Every animal in our care is tested, vaccinated, microchipped, and spayed/neutered before being placed up for adoption. The cost of preparing one dog for adoption is as follows:
Spay/neuter: $50
Rabies: $1.50
Microchip and registration: $16
Distemper: $4
Flea/tick treatment: $5
De-wormer: $5
Heartworm test: $8
TOTAL: $89.50

The cost of preparing one cat for adoption is as follows:
Spay/neuter: $30
Microchip and registration: $16
Rabies: $1.50
Distemper: $4
Flea/tick treatment: $5
De-wormer: $5
Feline leukemia test: $10
TOTAL: $71.50

The $90 granted to CBHS through the Petfinder Foundation was able to fully prepare one cat or one dog for adoption, getting them one step closer to finding their "fur-ever" home! Any remaining funds are added to the general operations budget, to be allocated toward the next animal in need.

How many pets did this grant help?

This money makes it possible for one dog or one cat to be fully prepared for adoption (tested, vaccinated, spayed/neutered, microchipped).

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

Joey (first photo), Nacho and Six are the three dogs currently undergoing treatment for heartworms. Six was brought to us by a family member after her owner passed away. Joey and Nacho came to us thanks to the rescue efforts of the ASPCA. We are happy to report that both Six and Nacho have found foster homes to live in as they undergo their treatment, and, once treated, will be fully adopted by their foster families.

Meet Joey: https://www.petfinder.com/petdetail/31973828/