Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
Grant funds paid the tuition for Destiny Bennett to attend the Dogs Playing for Life mentorship in Longmont, Colorado.
Destiny Bennett gained a great deal of knowledge on how to implement playgroups through the mentorship. Though an animal-care tech when she attended, Destiny was promoted to kennel manager within two weeks of her return to the shelter. Destiny described the experience as having completely changed her perspective on caring for dogs in a shelter. Not only did she learn how to conduct playgroups, she also learned that, through playgroups, we can save more animals by getting a better assessment of barrier reactions and dog-dog interactions. Prior to attending, behavioral assessments of dog aggression were performed only with leashed dogs. Dogs showing aggression during these assessments were often euthanized. Based on the training, assessment of dog aggression can be done safely without barriers giving a skewed perspective on the dog's true behavior. Destiny is teaching the staff and volunteers to look beyond the barrier frustration to see the dog's true personality. We now place these dogs on the adoption floor, and convey information about barrier-based behavior to potential adopters and encourage them to meet the dog outside the kennel.
Learning how to safely conduct playgroups has, of course, given us the ability to get dogs out for socialization and exercise. This has reduced stress and barking in the kennels, improving conditions for all the dogs and making the kennels more appealing for potential adopters to linger. Playgroups have kept dogs from getting kennel-stressed during extended stays.
Destiny’s experience during the mentorship gave her the skills to better know the shelter dogs and facilitate meet-and-greets with potential adopters’ current dogs. Thus we have discouraged several problematic matches, with the confidence that our dog could safely and sanely wait for the right home – and we recognized a good match when that family arrived.
Beyond these dog-specific skills, Destiny’s participation has given her additional leadership skills, taught her better teamwork skills with strangers including communicating as a leader, offered her the chance to experience another animal shelter and spend time among dog trainers. Playgroups have provided a better setting for teaching dog behavior to staff, building volunteer involvement, and improving the public’s perception of shelter care. Destiny’s mentorship has been a catalyst for tremendous improvement at Saving Grace. We are very grateful, and have renewed energy for continuing our efforts.
Directly, at least 50 dogs have benefited thus far. This number continues to grow as playgroups continue, and the indirect benefits to other dogs are innumerable.
Artemis was surrendered by her owner in a basket muzzle. Her owner stated that she couldn't digest food properly and would eat anything without the muzzle. Without vet records supporting this claim, we evaluated the emaciated dog and started her on a re-feeding regimen. During this slow process, Artemis was able to go out to play. For the young husky/saluki mix, exercise and socialization were vital to keeping her happy and socialized. Though she was extremely stressed when she first arrived, Artemis's behavior improved during her stay, as did her health. After almost six weeks in our care, Artemis was declared ready for adoption. Today, in fact, was her adoption day! Artemis had a very successful meet-and-greet with two senior dachshunds. They were less than excited about meeting such a large, bouncy dog, but Artemis had learned a great deal in playgroups and respected their rebuff. She turned her playful attentions to the humans, and a match was made! Thank you for the training to implement playgroups, which gave our staff (and our dogs) the skills to save lives like Artemis's. Her Petfinder profile: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40357299
We used the grant money to get eight adoptable dogs spayed/neutered.
Grant funds helped us make our dogs more adoptable by allowing us to get eight dogs spayed and neutered prior to adoption. Dogs who have already been fixed are always easier to find homes for because they involve less expense for the adopter, who would otherwise be required to pay for their new dog to be fixed. Additionally, adopters prefer to adopt animals who have already been fixed because they have fewer behavioral problems, such as inappropriate elimination and aggression. Of the eight dogs whom we got fixed with this grant money, five have already been adopted.
Jax is a 13-year-old pit-bull mix we pulled from a neighboring shelter. The shelter we took Jax from was very full and didn't think they would be able to find a home for him because of his age. In addition to being 13, Jax was also deaf and had never been neutered. Despite these strikes against him, Jax was a real sweetheart who deserved a second chance. After Jax came to our shelter, we noticed that he wasn't getting much interest. Generally, older dogs are harder to place, but it is especially difficult to adopt out a senior dog who hasn't been fixed. We decided to use the Petfinder Foundation grant funds to get Jax neutered and increase his chance of adoption. Sure enough, Jax was adopted a few weeks after being neutered! We would like to thank the Petfinder Foundation for helping Jax find his forever home! I am including pictures of Jax in the shelter and after he was adopted.
We received the Warm Bellies grant of P.L.A.Y. Chill Pads. They were used for the dogs in our shelter to lie on and snuggle with!
By providing comfort for the dogs in our care. Thank you!
Jonah, an older dog in our care (first photo), was diagnosed with some health issues that indicated that he might not have a lot of time left. Although his body was failing, Jonah had a lot of personality and LOVED to share, so we looked for a hospice foster home for him. While he waited at the shelter, he spent time in a staff member’s office and Jonah was quite comfortable on the cot with a Chill Pad on top!
We fed the shelter pets in our care using this donated food.
The donated food is of higher quality than what we routinely purchase for our cats and dogs. The animals benefited by eating great food and the shelter benefited by saving thousands of dollars on pet food purchases. That money could instead be used to save more animals and paying for spay/neuter, vaccines and vet exams for many more cats and dogs.
At any one time, 14 dogs and 60 cats were fed using Jet.com donations.
Frankie is only one cat who enjoyed the great food from Jet.com. In his picture, he is so excited about mealtime that he is singing (well, that's what we would like to imagine!).
The money was used to add large play areas and security entries for the dogs to get much-needed exercise and to socialize.
We don't have many volunteers and we really like to take all the dogs out twice a day while we clean the kennels. By having the play yards, we can put them in there and they can get the exercise they need, and we don't have to walk all of them with little manpower. This also allows us space to let potential adopters come and see how the dogs are outside of the shelter.
Everyone! We currently have 35 dogs who use it.
Little Midge came into the shelter and was oh, so scared. By letting her go into the large play yards, this has allowed her room to let us work with her and play and learn how to have fun. It also allows her to be with other dogs and also learn from them. She has become so much more socialized thanks to being able to be a real dog versus in a small kennel where she can't run, play or have fun!
The Sponsor a Pet grant allowed the adoption fee for Lando and Roxanne to be sponsored, helping this senior pair find their forever home!
This grant helped by allowing us to waive the adoption fee for a bonded pair of seniors in our care, Lando and Roxanne. These were two difficult-to-adopt dogs because of their size and their age (and the fact that they were bonded), but the sponsorship allowed their adopter to not have to worry about paying the adoption fee as well as for the monthly preventatives and food for two large dogs.
Lando and Roxanne are a bonded pair of senior boxers who came into our care this summer. They were surrendered due to a couple splitting up. They had lived with the couple their entire lives. They sat on our waiting list for nearly two months, as it was hard to find a foster home able and willing to take on two large senior dogs at once. Once we were able to find a foster home for Lando and Roxanne, we learned how sweet and wonderful they were, and we couldn't wait to find their forever home.
From their Petfinder profile: "Have you ever met someone you couldn't live without? Someone who completes you? Your right-hand (or -paw) man? Hi, I'm Roxanne and this is Lando. We are 7½-year-old boxers. We are both laid-back and as sweet as can be. We love attention and will follow you around the house. Lando and I are both house-trained. I will go in the crate no problem, but he has to be a drama queen about going in his. Our foster has tested us with other dogs and cats. We passed with gold stars! We have not been kid-tested, but can be if you have little humans around. Our ideal home would be with someone who will give us love and lots of attention. We are kind of big babies. We can't wait to become part of your family and shower you with love!"
It took nearly six months, but thanks in part to a Sponsor a Pet grant from the Petfinder Foundation, we were able to place them with a loving family! The Sponsor a Pet grant helped us to find a home for Lando and Roxanne because we were able to waive their adoption fee. One senior dog can be costly, let alone two, so providing their new family with the gift of a waived adoption fee was significant in completing their adoption. Thanks to sponsor Melissa Knoch and the Petfinder Foundation for making the Sponsor a Pet grant possible for these two!
The money from the Sponsor a Pet program was used to pay for the vetting and transport of Benelli up to D.C. She is currently in a wonderful foster home and is very grateful for your support.
This grant helped us to rescue Benelli and her two siblings from [an open-admission] shelter in South Carolina and bring them up to D.C., where they are currently looking for forever families of their very own.
Medical care for Harold
It helped offset the cost of Harold's neuter.
This donation helped offset the basic medical care for Harold, a terrier mix who has since been adopted.
We purchased new dog beds, a variety of toys for small to XL dogs, and a few warm sweaters for smaller dogs who did not have any. Many of our beds had been worn out or torn up. We found a selection of comfortable beds and three sweaters/coats for the smaller dogs at Ross Dress for Less, which has a good discounted pet section. For the larger dogs, we found some orthopedic foam beds for under $20 each at Coscto. We purchased four of them for less than $100! These particular beds are for dogs with arthritis or amputations. We also found great toys both at Costco and online, ranging from great prices for Nylabones at Costco to rope toys of various types and sizes through Amazon and eBay. Now all the dogs have comfortable and clean beds, warm winter wear, and lots of toys to play with!!
We have 31 dogs on-site, mostly senior and special-needs animals -- whether blind, toothless, three-legged or suffering with chronic illnesses such as cancer or valley fever. Our dogs now have enough beds, winter wear and toys to play with thanks to this Orvis grant!!
Henry (first photo) is a double-merle ("lethal white") cattle dog. He blind in his right eye and, according to the veterinarians at Eye Care for Animals in Tucson, has approximately 10% vision in his left -- but will go completely blind as he gets older. Nonetheless, as a 2-year-old, he is high-activity and playful. This grant bought Henry new toys. Rope toys are his absolute favorites, but he enjoys stuffed squeaky toys as well! Henry has been on Petfinder for quite a while with his very best friend, Adi, a 3-year-old, three-legged cattle dog. They play tug-of-war together with their new toys. We are hoping they will find a home together, as they are incredibly bonded. Here is a brief video of Henry playing with a new rope toy: www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PIO7vYSwhs. The second photo shows Adi shortly after her leg amputation; you can see WHY we needed some new beds!
Meet Henry: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38579585
Our organization took is more than 45 hoarder dogs. The $45 we received via the program was used for their spay/neuter surgeries.
Coco was traumatized and very fearful after being removed from a hoarder situation. She was fostered by our founder until she was socialized and no longer fearful. After being spayed, she was adopted to a great home. Our founder has several dogs who are well-behaved and have a calming affect on dogs brought into her home. Coco was with the founder for a couple of months and adjusted beautifully and is very happy with her new family.