Success Stories

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

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

Through the generous funding from the Build-A-Bear Humane Education Grant from the Petfinder Foundation, our shelter was able to accomplish a great deal. We were able to continue providing programming to children at a residential facility. Anderson Animal Shelter was able to increase the reach of humane-education programs by providing more school visits free of charge to schools in our community. Because of the support of this grant, we were able to increase the amount of programming we provide to children who attend Title 1 schools. Supplies for our various programs, such as our camps and classes, were also able to be purchased. Crucial office supplies were purchased to support the operations of the humane-education department.

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

This grant helped our organization and the pets in our care in a variety of ways. By increasing our reach in the community, messages of responsible pet ownership were able to be shared with many people, both firsthand and secondhand. This can only help by decreasing pet returns and unwanted litters in the long run. The programming we were able to provide at the residential facility for children in need also included socializing puppies. This resulted in puppies who became well-rounded and acclimated to children during their critical socialization period.

How many pets did this grant help?

It is impossible to quantify. This year the shelter is on track to complete close to 5,000 adoptions, which is a considerable increase from the prior year. By reaching well over 5,000 children in the community, we estimate that many thousands of pets were helped by this grant either directly or indirectly.

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

Tara (first photo) was the last of her littermates to get adopted. While her brothers and sisters enjoyed their forever homes, Tara waited in the shelter for someone to adopt her. While she was waiting, Tara accompanied the humane education manager on a school visit. While the humane education manager was checking out at the front office at the school, a parent arrived to pick up her sick child. As it so often seems, everything happens for a reason. This mother fell instantly head-over-heels in love with Tara and adopted her the same day. Now Tara lives a comfortable life with her new family, which includes several adoring children.

Animal House Rescue & Grooming: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

The funds were used to equip the new adoption-counseling room in our adoption-center building to perform adoptable-pet meet-and-greets and process adoptions away from the main lobby area. We purchased two refurbished computers so that our animal-care staff can utilize both when there are multiple adoptions (one inside the adoption-counseling room and one outside on the patio). The products purchased include an acrylic wall-mount display and bulletin board for adoption literature and resources for new adopters, two refurbished computers, storage bin, stacking chairs, side tables, copy paper, HP printer (for printing adoption paperwork), slip leads, dog toys, hand sanitizer, wall mount for SONOS speakers (playing shelter-appropriate music for clients and dogs), anti-fatigue mats, mobile stand-up desk/computer work station, and HP ink cartridges.

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

Animal House Rescue & Grooming relocated to a new permanent home in September of 2017. We have not previously had an indoor adoption-counseling room where potential adopters could meet and spend time with shelter dogs and then have the adoption processed in the same location. Adoptions were processed in the lobby, where general foot traffic was coming and going and the dog or puppy being adopted had to be put back in a kennel while the processing took place. The Adoption Options grant has allowed us to purchase all the supplies necessary to equip this room for meet-and-greets and process adoptions, allowing the new family to stay with the dog or puppy and complete all paperwork. It also allows us to promote a positive space dedicated to meet-and-greets where individuals and families are given privacy and not interrupted.

How many pets did this grant help?

Between Sept. 25 and Dec. 1, 2017, the Adoption Counseling Room has facilitated 111 meet-and-greets and adoptions.

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

Monroe is a handsome and fluffy 6-year-old border collie mix who came to Animal House in August 2017. He is a soulful boy with expressive eyes who can be shy and nervous at first (and in his kennel), but who warms up when outside his kennel meeting people and going for walks. He enjoyed running and playing and gets along well with other dogs. When his interested family came to see him, our animal-care staff was quick to suggest a meet-and-greet in the adoption-counseling room so they could see how great Monroe really was. After a few minutes of sniffing and exploring, he did great! They had plenty of room to spend time getting to know him, playing, petting and giving him treats. It didn't take long for them to fall in love and make the decision to adopt Monroe! We truly believe that having this dedicated indoor, quiet space gave Monroe, a shy dog, the change to shine and for his family to choose to adopt him! Monroe was adopted on October 31, 2017.

Kokomo Humane Society: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

Scholarship for the Dogs Playing For Life mentorship program at Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, TX.

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

This program allows dogs to act like dogs should. They get the social interaction and enrichment they need but normally wouldn't get in a shelter environment. We also learned quite a lot about dog behavior that will allow us to work with dogs who previously would not have been adoptable. The staff also loves either leading or just watching playgroups, so I think this program even helps with the morale of the shelter.

How many pets did this grant help?

I would say 20-25 since returning from Austin, with more being added every day.

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

Liberty (the white dog in the photo) was found as a stray wandering out in the county. When she first came to us, she was terrified and spent her first few days here hiding in her kennel. We introduced her to the playgroups when she became available for adoption. She was apprehensive at first, but as she watched the other dogs running and having fun, she began to come out of her shell. It was wonderful to watch her go from hiding behind our legs to running up to other dogs to get them to play with her. Meet her: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40050711

Brookhaven Animal Rescue League: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

See below.

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

We strongly believe that by teaching our children empathy and kindness to animals, we can work towards a generation of people who do not see pets as disposable, which is the current mindset for many people in our state today.

How many pets did this grant help?

Countless

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

The money was used to expand our humane-education program. BARL purchased Kind News magazine subscriptions for 2,200 second and third graders in Copiah, Franklin and Lincoln Counties. The students will receive five issues of the magazine during the school year. Kind News teaches kids to care for animals. Engaging articles, colorful illustrations, activities and games inspire readers to explore the relationship between people and animals and develop the knowledge and skills necessary for empathy. In addition, BARL purchased seven animal-themed books for each of the 10 school libraries. The books focused on pet care, pet adoption and kindness towards animals. The last $50 of the grant was used to purchase items for us to give to students when we speak to school groups and to use at our Kids Camp (animal pencils, stickers, etc.). While this grant did not focus on a specific pet, we believe it will benefit many pets. Attached are pictures of the books we gave to the schools, and one school representative receiving the books.

Felines & Canines: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Cats rescued from the 2017 hurricanes.

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

This grant afforded us the funds needed to provide our rescued hurricane cats with the vetting necessary to be healthy and ready for adoption.

How many pets did this grant help?

Approximately 40 cats

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

Gizmo arrived at Felines & Canines from an overcrowded intake facility just outside of Houston, Texas, five days after Hurricane Harvey struck. Our focus at Felines & Canines was to help empty out the intake facilities clogged with animals that were already considered "city property" -- meaning owner-surrenders or animals brought in pre-hurricane who were off of their stray hold -- in order to open up kennels for all the family pets who were displaced during the hurricane. Like nearly all of the cats who arrived at our shelter, Gizmo needed testing, vaccinations, neutering, treatment for an upper-respiratory infection, a microchip, and a good flea treatment! He was adopted within 48 hours of being placed on our adoption floor!

Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PSPCA): Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The Pennsylvania SPCA is so grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for enabling another successful year of its Humane Education Program, which is at the core of our mission to prevent animal cruelty and neglect and to build compassion and tolerance in the community. The Humane Education Program spent the $3,045 Youth Humane Education Grant as follows:

$980.00 - Transportation mini grants to six Philadelphia classes who did not have the funding to visit the shelter.
$698.99 - Surface Pro 4 tablet for use in classroom setting.
$150.00 - Professional development seminar: Teaching for a Positive Future by the Institute for Humane Education.
$325.00 - Microchip scanner for classroom demonstrations.
$350.75 - Supplies for student groups to make enrichment activities for shelter animals, e.g. sisal rope for cat scratchers, fleece for blankets, and special syringes without needles for vaccination demonstrations.
$479.88 - Hotspot/Vpak access for use with tablet.
$60.41 - Keyboard accessory for use with tablet.
Total: $3,045.03

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

The Petfinder Foundation Humane Education Grant has helped the PSPCA bring free, quality humane education to 413 students ages 6-14 since August. By reaching out to schoolchildren, the PSPCA seeks to reduce future animal cruelty and foster a new generation of animal advocates.

How many pets did this grant help?

This grant enables humane education that will prevent pets from suffering from cruelty and abuse in the future.

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

For the second year in a row, the PSPCA partnered with the third-grade classes at Inquiry Charter in the Belmont neighborhood of Philadelphia. Thanks to the funding provided by the Petfinder Foundation, the PSPCA was able to bring all of the third graders to its main shelter in North Philadelphia. The students toured the shelter, met animals and heard their stories, learned how to care for a variety of animals (bunnies, horses, dogs, and cats), and made enrichment toys to benefit the shelter animals. Through these hands-on projects, students learned how to create stronger bonds with their own pets and how they can help the homeless animals of Pennsylvania.

The Petfinder Foundation grant also enabled the PSPCA to build a new partnership with ninth-grade classes at Furness High School in South Philadelphia. Throughout October and November, the Humane Education Program led a series of lessons on topics including “understanding animal cruelty” and “building healthy bonds with our pets.” During these lessons, the students defined animal cruelty through discussion and an exploration of the Pennsylvania animal-cruelty codes. A Humane Law Enforcement Officer visited their classes to talk about how he applies the animal-cruelty code on the job. Finally, students learned to identify when pets are anxious and fearful. This partnership will continue through the school year with four shelter visits over the next few months and two new ninth-grade groups starting in January.

Arizona Humane Society: Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

This grant was used to purchase program supplies for our humane-education programs, including trolley carts and habitat enhancements for the education pets that we bring into classrooms through our Compassion in the Classroom program. These include small mammals, rabbits and reptiles. Additional funds supported overall humane-education operational costs, including ongoing program expenses such as our educators' time working with youth.

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

This has allowed us to better serve more youth in our community through our humane-education programs. By purchasing key supplies and supporting educator costs, we were able to provide youth with a unique learning experiences that uses animals to enhance learning in the classroom and at our shelter.

How many pets did this grant help?

This humane-education grant helped 28,502 youth in the past year learn about how to be kind to animals through our youth humane-education programs. We estimate that youth and families who engage in our programs also go on to practice responsible pet ownership and adopt AHS shelter pets.

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

This year, AHS expanded several of its education initiatives, including Reading Fur Fun (RFF), a literacy-based program aimed at improving children’s reading proficiency while providing shelter pets with enriching socialization. To increase program reach and help more pets in need, AHS hosted a collaborative Reading Fur Fun program with Stand for Children Arizona (SFCA), a nonprofit dedicated to educating parents, teachers and community members to advocate for children’s academic success.

Through RFF, youth and their parents, the majority of whom spoke only Spanish, engaged in literacy-based activities covering topics such as spaying/neutering, responsible pet ownership, compassion toward animals, and pet adoption. Families engaged with shelter pets and learned about the various ways pets come into the care of AHS. During these lessons, families and youth gained the skills and knowledge to advocate for pets in their community, many of which reside in AHS’ target zip codes for pet homelessness and neglect.

During the RFF program, children prepared stuffed Kong toys for shelter pets who would later lend their floppy ears to the avid readers. Shelter dogs sat patiently next to their young visitors while enjoying treats, a good story and, most importantly, affection. One such pet was Lady, a German shepherd mix rescued from a cruel home who had been awaiting her forever home since the end of September.

Found locked in a chain-link cage, underweight and with severely overgrown nails, Lady was denied the proper care and compassion she deserved from her former owners. While shy at first, Lady blossomed into an active, playful, and loving girl who enjoyed nothing more than some good belly rubs and giving sloppy kisses. Upon the arrival of her visitor, Lady immediately put her "listening ears" on and became emerged in stories of fantasy, adventure, and friendship. The affectionate and happy young pup has since been adopted by a wonderful family.

Lady, like many other shelter pets yearning for love, thoroughly enjoyed the attentiveness, warmth, and smiles she received from the young animal lovers. Simultaneously, the children gained a new appreciation for reading and furry friends in need.

Animal Ark Rescue: Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to attend a Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship at Austin Pets Alive!

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

Our dogs are happier, less stressed, more social, and more adoptable because of playgroup.

How many pets did this grant help?

167 dogs at this time

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

Jess is a playgroup ROCK STAR! Jess was able to be moved from the shelter into a foster home quickly because she was very social with other dogs. She was adopted within a few short weeks of being placed into foster. Unfortunately, Jess wasn't a good fit for her new adopters. She found her way back to Animal Ark Rescue, where she helped to introduce countless dogs to the joys of playgroup. (That includes dogs like Chess, the black Lab mix pictured with Jess in the photo. Chess is a very shy boy when it comes to humans, but he loves playgroup.) Jess was adopted last weekend during our Black Friday adoption special. She was adopted quickly because she was very social and playful. Playgroup rock stars like Jess tend to be adopted very quickly and have a decreased length of stay at the shelter.

SPCA of Southwest Michigan: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

It was used to purchase the DVD and book "Train to Adopt" and to purchase interactive toys for both the dogs and cats.

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

This grant has only just begun helping the dogs and cats. Our senior volunteer, Theresa Kausrud, has taken on learning the principles of the program and has now just started to teach the other volunteers what do to and how to do it. The interactive toys will help ease the stress that dogs and cats feel when coming to the shelter. It will make it a happier and healthier place for them until they get adopted.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far we have concentrated on three dogs: Sundae, who was just adopted; Ralph Jackson, who has a pending adoption; and Aluhua, who is working on confidence.

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

We have been working with Aluhua since the beginning of November. She came in very shy and was not very confident. With our senior volunteer, Theresa Kausrud, working through the Train to Adopt program with her, she is not more confident and has very good manners. She is ready for her family. The photos show her before and after. From her Petfinder profile: "Meet Aluhua! She loves, loves, loves to play tug-of-war and to chase balls. She doesn't return the ball, just chases it. She is a friendly dog with a pretty calm disposition. She also was very calm when another dog came running at her, so she would probably be okay with another dog. Because she likes to run and play, she could use a home with a fenced yard where she can chase balls and play tug-of-war." Meet her: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38923261

Etosha Rescue and Adoption Center: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Kennel repair for damage caused by hurricane Harvey to replace 50' pen fence, rebuild one pen shelter and repair three pen shelters. Break out of cost:

50' roll 6' chain-link fencing $92.59
4 8' wooden fence poles $108.42
14 sheets corrugated tin $178.15
6 bags of Quikrete 60lb bags $24.95
10 2x4's $49.22
3 9x12' tarps $78.98
Siding for dog shelter wall replacement $300
Total material cost $832.31
Labor cost (debris removal and disposal) $480
Labor cost to replace 50' of fence, rebuild dog pen shelter structure and replace tarps on three kennels $1376.81
Total cost of repairs made: $2689.12

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

Winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Harvey lifted a large metal carport and dropped it on one of our kennel fences and dog shelters and destroyed seven pen shelters. We were able to replace the fencing and repair the roofing/siding on the shelter which houses Mugs, a very handsome chocolate Lab who was residing there, and to replace the tarped roofs on three of the seven damaged pen shelters.

How many pets did this grant help?

Over the course of one year, these four pens will house approximately 40 dogs while they await adoption. Without the use of these pens, we would have to turn away animals in need.

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

Mugs is a beautiful chocolate Lab mix. He came to us malnourished, with a severe ear infection. We have nursed him back to health and he is now a very healthy boy. He has been neutered and is heartworm-negative, current on his shots and ready for his forever home. The Petfinder Foundation grant we received allowed us to rebuild his pen and shelter after Hurricane Harvey's outer winds lifted a large metal carport and dropped it on the pen to his fence and his shelter. Thankfully, Mugs was not injured and now has his pen and shelter intact!