Success Stories

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

Boone County Animal Care: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

Sponsored adoption fees for cats in the care of Boone County Animal Care for six months or longer.

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

This grant provided additional exposure for a handful of cats who were previously overlooked for adoption. The sponsored adoption fee was an additional way to highlight these cats.

How many pets did this grant help?

8

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

Slinky came to Boone County Animal Care (BCAC) from a city animal-control facility that does not practice trap-neuter-return. She was considered feral and was going to be euthanized simply because she wasn’t social. Within 24 hours of arriving at a BCAC foster home, she went into premature labor and lost all of her babies. It was soon discovered during an emergency surgery that she had an infected, necrotic uterus. She would have died without the surgery and was quite sick during her monthlong recovery period. She was scared, couldn’t be handled, and didn’t eat well during this time. Her foster mom diligently nursed her back to health during this challenging time. She then lived in a garage until a permanent barn home could be identified.

Through yet another twist of fate, a promising barn home fell through, so Slinky was still in foster care when she got sick and nearly died a second time. In this case, her urine was as thick as syrup because she had so many urinary crystals. After a few more weeks of medicine, fluids, and prescription food, she started feeling better and finally decided to trust people. She tested positive for FIV, and it was now apparent that her placement into a permanent home would require a special person willing to accommodate these two health conditions: FIV and urinary crystals.

Following Slinky’s second near-death experience, she began to blossom in her own way. She “asks” for her special prescription food, which she eats in her kennel. She sometimes searches for a nice, warm lap to sit in, but she mostly just hangs out in the room with her foster mom. She’s not a fan of being picked up, but she occasionally demands attention or rubs up against her foster mom’s legs for petting. She fits in well with the other animals in her foster home.

Slinky was available for adoption for more than a year before her foster mom decided to make her a permanent member of the family. Slinky had been through so many experiences with her foster family and was slow to adjust to change, so it seemed like the best outcome for her. The sponsored adoption fee made possible by a Petfinder Foundation Adoption Options grant was the extra incentive needed for the foster mom to make her decision. Slinky is now enjoying her life in a loving, nurturing home!

2nd Chance Animal Rescue of Richmond: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The KONG toys are used to help keep the dogs at the rescue mentally and physically active while they are in their kennels. We use them as treats after they have been out on their walks. We have also used them to help keep them busy if they cannot go outside for long due to the bad weather.

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

This grant of KONG toys has really helped the dogs be more approachable to people who come in to look at them. They seem calmer and happier and not as jumpy.

How many pets did this grant help?

15 dogs so far

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

Joe (first photo) was a shepherd-mix dog whom we rescued from a local [open-admission] shelter. He was with us for a couple of months before he was adopted but was soon brought back due to not working well with the family. After he was returned to us we noticed he started becoming more and more anxious and started spinning. We tried different interactive toys, but after five minutes, he was done with them and back to spinning. After we received this grant we gave him the biggest KONG toy and stuffed it with treats, and later froze peanut butter and even chicken broth in it. He LOVED it! It would keep him busy for a while and he really slowed down on his spinning. Because of this, he had a better kennel presence and was adopted by an amazing family. He is the king of the house and has several acres to run and play. This grant truly gave him a 2nd Chance at a better life.

Jelly's Place: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

We received a shipment of Kong toys. They were given to the dogs to provide hours or entertainment.

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

Our dogs are in kennels and dog runs during the day. Aside from being walked by volunteers, they require playtime and entertainment to keep their minds active and healthy. The Kongs were given to the dogs at our shelter.

How many pets did this grant help?

20

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

Mia is a very sweet and friendly gray-and-white female pit bull terrier around 3 years old. She is crate-trained, spayed, microchipped, playful, and she gets along well with other dogs and kids. She loves belly rubs and showing you her belly. She loved playing with the Kongs, and started a collection of her own. She likes to throw them in the air and then catch them. Mia has been adopted to a loving family.

Cooper's Chance Animal Rescue: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

KONG product was used for our Pawsitive Beginnings Puppy Rehab program to help our abandoned puppies socialize, train and build confidence to be adoptable. We use them as interactive toys and training treats.

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

The KONG toys help us to interact with scared puppies, gain their trust and help them to be confident, and eventually adoptable!

How many pets did this grant help?

25

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

Riley was rescued from an abandoned building. All alone, and only 12 weeks old, she was frightened and confused. Her first weeks of life were spent on her own, terrified of people, so we worked for several weeks to gain her trust. Using a peanut butter-stuffed KONG as a training tool, she learned to trust and would eventually take the KONG from our hand. We are happy to report that she has been adopted, and her favorite toy is still a KONG!

Have A Heart Pet Shelter: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

To construct a "catio" to improve the quality of life for shelter cats currently under our care.

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

The catio allows the shelter cats to move from inside the shelter to the outdoors where they may enjoy the sun and lounge in the safety of an enclosure. It took a little time to teach the cats how to utilize the cat door, but they have all adapted very nicely. The ability to do so greatly decreases the animals' stress, thus making them more adoptable. It is so enjoyable to drive up to the shelter and see the cats outside having fun.

How many pets did this grant help?

Between 12 and 24 over the course of a typical month.

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

Cheddar (first photo), Kitty, Angel, and Baby are four beautiful cats who were surrendered to the shelter when their owners, an elderly couple, passed away within a few days of each other. These cats had known only the safety of their home and had been able to move freely in and out at their discretion. After finding themselves in a shelter, it took a little time for them to realize they were safe and nothing bad was going to happen to them. The girls learned to utilize the cat door and began freely roaming inside the cattery and out into the catio. Baby was quickly adopted and the other three will surely be adopted soon due to their wonderful temperaments and social behavior. Meet Cheddar: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/41077154

The Humane Society and Animal Rescue of Muskegon County: Senior Pet Adoption Grants
What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to provide heartworm treatment for a senior cattle dog named Maggie. It also paid for her adoption fee.

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

This grant helped us provide the care Maggie needed and find her a loving forever home, regardless of her age and the condition in which she entered our shelter.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

We want to thank the Petfinder Foundation for supporting our senior Maggie with a grant to cover all of her heartworm treatment AND her adoption fee. Maggie was part of our hurricane-relief efforts and traveled a long way to find her safe place with us. She and other homeless pets were pulled from Texas shelters in order to make room for dogs stuck in the destruction and devastation left behind from Hurricane Harvey. Maggie was under-socialized and heartworm-positive upon her intake in September 2017. Since then, she has undergone treatment for her condition and has been living with one of our loving fosters while she waited for the right family to adopt her. The Petfinder Foundation saw her potential and granted her the chance at a new life. She had a rough start, but she got the love and care she deserved thanks to the support of the Petfinder Foundation. She has been adopted.

Valley Animal Haven: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

We use the donation of KONG toys in our kennels on a daily basis.

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

This donation has made a tremendous difference in the lives of our shelter animals. We have found that providing them with durable toys that can also be used as enrichment tools with treats or peanut butter has an immeasurable impact on the behavior of animals who are housed in kennels. The KONG toys provide them with hours of mental stimulation and enjoyment which, in turn, helps alleviate the amount of stress that comes with living in a shelter environment. We especially appreciate the durability of KONG toys, as they hold up under constant use much better than any other brand that we have tried.

How many pets did this grant help?

We thoroughly disinfect and sanitize all toys daily. Since the KONG toys are virtually indestructible, they can provide stimulation and exercise for literally hundreds of animals in our care.

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

Upon receipt of the shipment of toys provided through the grant, we presented Duncan with one of the large toys. He was thrilled and played with it non-stop for hours. He is a large, and very strong, dog and was able to demolish the first two that we gave him but he has calmed down now and enjoys playing with his KONG toys rather than destroying them. They have made an incredible difference in Duncan and have helped provide an outlet for his high energy. He looks forward to his clean, freshly treat-filled toy every morning after his breakfast. Meet Duncan: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40851375

Bottle Babies Rescue: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Kongs (and Kong cat toys) were distributed to our foster families who are taking care of our puppies, dogs, kittens, and cats in their homes for entertainment and enrichment. They were also utilized in crates during rescue and transport from the South to our state's rescue, to aid in relieving some of the stress caused by transport.

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

Being an in-home foster organization, it's important to us to keep our rescue babies entertained, enriched, and occupied. One of our goals is to be able to adopt out mentally stimulated and trainable puppies to our adopters. A stimulated puppy/kitten is well-rounded and more easily trainable, which, in the long run, helps to ensure FOREVER placement in their new homes. Thank you again, KONG and Petfinder Foundation, for helping us help our babies!

How many pets did this grant help?

40+

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

"Our foster dogs use the new Kongs all the time. The pups have very sharp teeth and love to chew. The Kong toys keep them occupied and can stand against their strong mouths! We had bones and other chewies for them too, but they were messy, and not healthy for them to have. That's one of my favorite things about Kongs: They do not come apart and leave little bits everywhere. The dogs are always so excited when they see us reaching for the Kongs in the cupboard." -- Brooke, Bottle Babies Rescue foster mom

"Kongs are great for crate training. So strong, I don't have to worry about my foster pups chewing them apart. Pop a treat inside and keep them interested longer. Kongs distract my teething puppies from chewing on 'non-chewable' items/things. So glad these were donated to our rescue puppies -- they LOVE them!" -- Michelle, Bottle Babies Rescue foster mom

San Antonio Pets Alive!: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

San Antonio Pets Alive! used the funds generously donated by the Petfinder Foundation to provide treatment for Charlie, a dog rescued from the euthanasia list at the San Antonio city shelter. The cost to SAPA! of saving any dog from euthanasia is at least $150. Charlie’s special medical needs meant that his care cost much more. The Petfinder Foundation grant allowed SAPA! to consult with an outside specialist. At this clinic, Charlie received x-rays and blood tests and underwent an in-depth physical exam. This cost $544. It was determined that Charlie would need heartworm treatment, medication to reduce arthritis inflammation, pain medication, and a special diet. Charlie was placed with a medical foster who additionally provided physical and hydrotherapy. Over the next several months, Charlie’s cost of care was an additional $1,000.

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

SAPA! is grateful to the Petfinder Foundation because the support allowed us to give Charlie every possible chance at rehabilitation. We know we did everything we could for Charlie, thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, and Charlie's suffering was eased during his last months of life. He also was very loved and cared for, which is important to any animal's overall health. If Charlie could, he would thank you all in a big way for what you were able to help him accomplish and for the love he received.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Poor Charlie was surrendered by his owner, and was also a victim of chronic neglect at his owner's hands. Charlie suffered from severe obesity, untreated parasites, and painful arthritis that made any movement difficult. Many times, people think of neglectful animal ownership leading to an animal not being fed, but it can be just as neglectful to overfeed until an animal is suffering. Charlie showed us that neglect can have many faces.

Soon after his rescue, Charlie underwent diagnostic testing that showed he had various health problems, and SAPA! set to work to help him get better. After quickly finding placement with a devoted medical-specialist foster, Charlie was put on a careful diet and exercise plan. The goal was to help Charlie feel better and move better, which would help him lose weight. The program had to be slow because of Charlie's cholesterol and health problems that put his heart at risk. Charlie also received arthritis medications to make the exercise process easier.

Over the next few months, Charlie, already a senior at over 6 years old, was making slow and steady improvement. However, Charlie's medical interventions were sadly started too late in his life, and his neglectful past had already started to make permanent changes to his health. He passed away of a suspected heart attack not quite a year after his rescue.

Fox Valley Humane Association: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The funds for this grant were used to help restart our enrichment program. The shelter had one a few years ago and we have worked hard to try and bring it back. The money was used for items in the shelter and for foster homes to help keep our animals happy and healthy while waiting to be adopted. We have seen the most success with our heartworm-positive dogs who have long stays with us. These dogs are given KONG toys and puzzles purchased with the grant to help keep them engaged and active without raising their heart rates.

In the shelter we have been able to purchase a large number of KONG toys that get filled by volunteers and staff daily/weekly, then get passed out to animals who have a hard time keeping calm in their kennels or are known for destroying all other toys. With this grant, we were also able to purchase radios for every cat room and kennel which play calming music made for animals on repeat.

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

This grant helped lower the number of animals we have in our care with stress, especially with our heartworm-positive dogs and those who are kept here for long periods of time due to medical needs or holds. Our organization was able to bring in toys and treats that work to keep the animals not only calm and distracted, but happy and constantly learning. The puzzles are slowly being brought into play by getting our volunteers more involved with our animals, giving them time to play together and get them out of the kennel for more than their typical walks or outside playtime. Our fosters saw an increase in playfulness and lower incidents of kennel stress or breaking out of designated areas while they were away from the house.

How many pets did this grant help?

So far we have helped 10 animals in foster and more than 100 in the shelter with the different methods of care.

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

Tyson (first and second photos) is a 1-year-old terrier/boxer/mastiff mix who was in the shelter for over a month (November) while starting his heartworm treatment. Tyson was not good in the kennel setting and was constantly spinning, pacing, and trying to break out of his kennel, hurting himself once in the process. The stress was hurting his treatment progress and his heart rate was constantly high. Staff tried for just under a month to find a foster to house him while he finished the last two months of his treatment. Tyson was not good in any confined space and could not be kenneled; he had severe separation anxiety, he was not good with cats, and he could be picky with his dog friends.

After spending all that time searching, we were unable to find a foster home that could take care of him and cater to his needs, so a staff member brought him home. Tyson had a hard time adjusting at first, but would come to work with the staff member every day. During the day, if Tyson was left alone in the office, he would begin to stress out and would break out of the office; he became known for opening doors and wandering into meeting rooms or education rooms down the hall in search of his foster. To help with this, each day Tyson was given a KONG toy filled with treats and frozen peanut butter and left in the office alone for 30 minutes to get him used to being separated.

Once he could handle that, he was placed into one of the kennels during the work day with a KONG toy and soothing music to get him used to being in a confined space; after two months of work, he was able to be in there safely for overnight visits when the staff member was out of town. In the home setting, they used the KONG toys and soothing music to get him used to being in a traditional kennel; unfortunately he was only able to last one hour in that type of kennel.

By the time Tyson was placed for adoption, he was finally able to be left alone in a room of a house gated off for about four hours! After Tyson's treatment had finished, he was placed for adoption, and two weeks later he found an amazing forever home! Due to his needs, the search took a lot of work, but he found a home where his new mom stayed at home all day long and would take him on car trips to the city. There are two great kids in the family and a huge back yard that he can spend time running around during the summer while Dad is working on the yard.

Tyson was the first dog to go through the program and we used him as the tester for many of our new ideas. He did an amazing job and encouraged us to try so many new things after we saw his success!

Since Tyson, we have seen success with Hattie and Danny as well -- two dogs in our foster program who couldn't stand the confined space of our kennels. Danny is currently in foster while going through heartworm treatment and will be available within the next month or so.

Hattie (third photo) came to us near the end of the summer and went through heartworm treatment in the shelter. Hattie went up for adoption in October and still hasn't had anyone interested in adopting her. She was placed in foster to get her out of the kennel atmosphere and to make sure she was happy while waiting for her new family. Meet her: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39785074