Success Stories

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

Helping Strays, the Humane Society of Monroe County: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

Our prize was used to provide the food and treats required to feed the animals in our care. A basic necessity, but greatly appreciated!!

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

It helped fill their bellies with nourishing food and reward them with yummy treats!

How many pets did this grant help?

This money fed approximately 13 dogs and 40 cats in our shelter.

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

Faulkner is the epitome of happy. He would love to have a place to bounce and run out his happiness. Faulkner is ready and willing to start obedience classes. His charming personality is ready to win over the best and find his way into a new home. He was rescued off the streets and was skin and bones. If anyone appreciates a full belly, it is him. http://bit.ly/1o1tMTE

Save a Gato, Inc: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

The $1,000 received were used to buy food.

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

As we take care of over 500 cats in the Old San Juan area, one of the biggest challenge is to have enough money to buy all the food that is needed.

How many pets did this grant help?

Around 400

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

Our organization was founded over 10 years ago as a TNR organization to help keep control of the cat colonies that exist in the most touristy area of Puerto Rico: Old San Juan. Today, we not only work with the colonies in the San Juan area, but try to promote adoption of as many of our adoptable cats as possible. When we trap the cats to sterilize or neuter them, we keep them in "Casita," Spanish for little or small house. The feral cats will go back to their colonies, where we will keep taking care of them, when they are better. The more adoptable ones are kept in "Casita" until they are big enough to be free or hopefully find their forever homes.

With so many cats under our care we spend around $400 a week to feed all of them. The money we received from this grant made that possible over a period of three weeks. We didn't have to worry and could concentrate on having more cats adopted, which eventually led us to the opportunity to help new ones.

Central PA Humane Society: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

Your generous donation of $202.50 was used to help sponsor five dogs at $40 each.

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

The Central PA Humane Society (CPHS) has an open admission policy, meaning that we take any small animal (dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, snake, ferret, etc.) that needs our shelter. We average nearly 4,500 animals each year. The CPHS receives no government or national humane society funding; all of the funds needed to operate the shelter come from community donations. The care and upkeep of the animals and physical building require a constant stream of money. Yet we try to keep the cost of adoption down as low as possible so that anyone who would like the love and companionship of our animals has the ability to adopt. Through sponsorship money, loving families can affordably adopt an animal who is hoping for his new "furever" home.

How many pets did this grant help?

Five dogs

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

Noah is a sweet dog who was found by a kind person in the Sinking Valley area of Altoona and brought to the Shelter on Dec. 20, 2013. He is an energetic Jack Russell terrier that loves to play ball and take long walks. Noah had been here at the CPHS Shelter for several weeks. Our local CBS affiliate allows us to bring a pet each week to air as "Pet of the Week" on their Friday noon newscast. Noah was the Pet of the Week on Jan. 3. When the check arrived from Petfinder Foundation in mid-January, we chose Noah as one of the sponsorship dogs because he had already been here for a month. Neither his television appearance nor the fact that he was already neutered had gotten him adopted. He had begun to show signs of stress, so we hoped that the sponsorship would give someone motivation to venture out during one of the coldest, snowiest winters in years! It worked! Stephanie and her two young boys came to see Noah. They played together in a visitation room and all went well. Their application was approved and on Feb. 3, Noah said farewell to the CPHS staff and went to his new "furever" home!

Rikki's Refuge, a division of Life Unlimited of Virginia, Inc.: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

Medical care: It enabled us to provide surgery to a resident pigeon, treatment to a resident cat, intake and preparation for adoption -- or life care if needed -- for two cats and three hound dogs.

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

Gave them needed medical care and saved their lives.

How many pets did this grant help?

7

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

Jeff the pigeon had broken his leg. It was a shattered break at the hip. Though the doctors tried, it would not heal. Amputation was required. This is a pretty special and delicate surgery on a pigeon. He came through the surgery and is doing well now. Semi-feral sanctuary resident Flower the kitty had some gastric problems that turned out to be from a hernia. She had surgery and has recovered well and is out playing with her friends and anticipating the coming spring. Yetti was tossed over our fence in a snow storm on one of the coldest days of this year. We found the poor kitty wondering around scared and lost. She's now had all the medical work necessary for adoption: spaying, vaccinations, parasite control and blood testing. She's at our adoption center.

Joseph was living in a little area under an ATM machine at our local bank. He was terrified and several people complained to the bank about the poor cat out there. The bank asked us to remove him. It took waiting up late at night with a trap set to catch him. During the cold winter months you can't just leave a trap set and come back later. We were expecting him to be feral and to join the feral colony at our sanctuary. He turned out to be quite friendly and now that he's medically all fixed up, he's ready for adoption.

We were able to save three hound dogs, Anna, Oscar and Moose -- used-up hunting hounds, no longer wanted and destined to die. After vetting, they're enjoying life at Doggy Downs at our sanctuary. Though available for adoption, being elderly and with some ongoing medical problems, they may spend the rest of their lives with us.

Every Creature Counts: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

The grant was use to remodel one of our 12 special cat cottages and complete our outside dog play areas. The cat cottages allow up to 12 cats to freely roam inside the 10x20 building with access to a fenced outside area. The outside dog play areas needed some special covering for sunscreens.

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

We have been able to start the remodel of our 12 cat cottages. The remodel will provide the cats with new shelving areas to lounge on and make it easier to clean. The dog outside play areas are now completely done. The dogs generally are in the play areas about four hours a day. The new sunscreens offer more comfort on a sunny day.

How many pets did this grant help?

Because the cat cottages are constantly in use, we really don't have a number, but it will be helping many cats for a very long time. The dog areas are used for our rescue dogs every day (weather permiting).

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

Grayson is a male Rat Terrier who was surrendered to Every Creature Counts when he was two years old along with five other small dogs. His guardian had passed away and her family was not able to take care of her pets. Grayson was a very timid dog and was scared to be in a kennel. Unfortunately, his fear manifested itself as aggression in the kennel. He would bark and bare his teeth at people approaching him. The shelter staff understood that he would be harder to place for adoption since people were concerned that he might bite them.

Grayson was content to share a large kennel at the shelter with one of his former housemates. Over the course of a year, Grayson’s dog friends were adopted, but Grayson remained. Realizing that Grayson would be lost in the kennel without his friends, a foster parent took him home to work on his socialization skills with people. She recognized that Grayson needed some extra help in this area before he could be successfully adopted.

Grayson had a dramatic positive response to living in a home environment. He was still skittish but he followed his foster mom wherever she went around the house. He loved the other dogs in his foster home and initiated play with them. Soon he was sitting next to his foster mom, letting her pet him, and letting her pick him up. He showed no signs of aggression. One day, he got brave enough to take a treat from his foster mom’s hand. That was a huge step for him and confirmed that he was learning to trust. Then he started wagging his tail and holding his tail high as his confidence continued to build every day.

The foster mom and the shelter staff determined that Grayson was now ready for adoption to the right person. His ideal home would be a quiet home with another small dog. We updated his photos on Every Creature Counts’ website and on Petfinder. Within days, the picture of our shy little dog was seen by someone who was looking for another dog for her household. Grayson’s prospective new mom, Alison, lived with her 5-year-old female Rat Terrier and 7-year-old Devon Rex cat, which was the ideal situation for Grayson. After reviewing Alison’s adoption application, we arranged a meet-and-greet so Grayson could meet Alison and the other pets in his potential new home.

The meet-and-greet went very well -- it was love at first site for his new mom! Grayson was adopted right then and there! Alison understood that Grayson needed a little extra patience and time and she was willing to provide him with everything he needed.

The first night all four family members found their places in Mom’s bed. Grayson was very comfortable cuddling with his new mom and dog sister. At 1 a.m., Grayson let Mom pick him up and he received his first of many kisses to come.

We now receive reports that Grayson continues to blossom every day. He loves his daily walks and comes when he is called. Grayson LOVES his big sister and he is trying to get his cat brother to realize that all he wants to do is play … but the cat doesn’t understand that yet. He continues to climb out of his shell and is happy, comfortable, and very much loved in his forever home.

Snow: How a Foster Home Can Make All the Difference
One cold January day, a little white ball of fur who would later be appropriately named Snow showed up on the doorstep of Every Creature Counts, a no-kill rescue organization in Fort Lupton, Colorado. She had been picked up off the streets by a local animal control agency and was in bad condition.

Snow was around a year old, was not spayed and was missing her ears. Soon, other things became apparent: She was deaf, she was sick with raging diarrhea, she was too thin and she was afraid of everyone and everything. To make matters worse, she would not eat and got very depressed at the shelter. She got the reputation of being the “mean cat” because she had been terrified to be in a cage and would bite and scratch anyone who tried to touch her. It would be a challenge to get her adopted.

Finally, a brave volunteer decided to take Snow home and foster her. Soon after arriving in her foster home, extensive fecal exams indicated that she had a rare parasite which is difficult to diagnose and difficult to treat. Snow was not easy to medicate due to her resistance to being touched. However, she quickly realized that her foster mother only wanted to help her.

After only a week, Snow began to eat and take her meds like a trooper! After seven months of various medications, special food and LOTS of love and attention, Snow grew into a beautiful, loving and playful cat who relished sitting on laps and being petted. What a transformation being in a foster home had on her! After recuperating in the dedicated care of her foster mother, Snow was adopted into a forever home and is now healthy, loving and loved, and doing wonderfully!

Snow’s guardian says that Snow brings her such joy that she smiles just thinking about her. She reports, “Snow is a very happy, healthy ball of fun who loves to be the center of attention. You would never know the difficult start she had in life. Foster parents rarely get the recognition they deserve, but thanks to their love and dedication, they change the world for those in their care and those who reap the benefits later, myself included. It’s funny that a little white ball of fluff can be so inspiring.”

Kindness Ranch Animal Sanctuary: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

Adoption event supplies and equipment

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

We were recently approved as a Petco adoption event partner. This grant helped offset all the costs and expenses for the initial setup to purchase all of our offsite event supplies and outreach materials, including wire crates, tables, designated water and food bowls, more collars and leashes and marketing materials.

How many pets did this grant help?

Ultimately, hundreds. Our first adoption event lead to the adoption of four cats, one of whom was a special-needs kitty!

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

Stretch is a special-needs kitty who has chronic UTI issues. Our vet put Stretch on a special diet of wet food only, since we free-feed at Kindness Ranch, that presented a challenge and Stretch had to be moved out of the kitty bunkhouse and in with our animal manager. It was going to take a special person to adopt Stretch who was willing to take on the extra health-care costs and feeding specific wet food for chronic UTI.

Stretch is a gorgeous, sweet and very affectionate kitty, so of course he got lots of attention and people asking about him. We were very busy that day, so people were waiting their turn to hold the kitties, ask questions and learn about the adoption process. Of course Stretch is an attention-getter with his hamming it up, and people would immediately ask about him. Unfortunately, most, as soon as they heard of the special needs, would move on to another kitty -- until the right person stopped by and fell in love with him. Jeanine, a longtime rescue mom and animal-lover, took one look at Stretch, saw how affectionate he was and immediately said she would provide him with his fur-ever home, even with his special-needs requirements! He couldn't ask for a better person to adopt him.

Bark n Rest Retirement Center, Inc. : Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

The $1,000 grant was used for vetting.

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

The grant enabled us to provide much-needed vetting for seven dogs pulled out of shelters -- vetting that gave them a second chance at life.

How many pets did this grant help?

7

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

Raven, a senior Chihuahua, was pulled out of a Ft. Worth shelter. She had severe dental disease and a uterine infection. With this grant we were able to give her the vetting she needed to have a better quality of life. Sugar Poodle was pulled from the El Paso shelter. She also had severe dental issues and cancerous tumors. With this grant we were able to remove the tumors and provide dental surgery, giving her a better quality of life. This grant also helped us with Spanky's cardiac emergency vetting, Chance's nail trim, Mr. Moose's nail trim, Sugar Bear's arthritis medication and the heart medications for Miss Minnie and Buddy -- giving these seven senior and special-needs dogs the care they deserve!

Atchison Animal Control: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

This grant allowed me to spay/neuter hard-to-adopt dogs. It couldn't have been done without the grant. Primarily pit bulls were altered. I was also able to help a kitty who had been attacked by dogs and suffered a broken front leg.

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

TREMENDOUSLY helped! Pit bulls are hard to adopt, and getting them altered to have a reduced adoption fee allowed them to be more easily adoptable.

How many pets did this grant help?

7

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

I was able to save a cat named Hettie who had been attacked by dogs in a backyard. Hettie suffered a broken front leg as a result. She was spayed and a cast was applied to her front leg at a cost of $280. She is now living happily ever after in her new home. I was also able to save Mika, female Staffordshire Bull Terrier. She was a cruelty case of neglect. She is the sweetest, gentlest soul alive. Can't wait for her happily ever after.

Black Dog Animal Rescue, Inc.: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

We used the money to subsidize adoption fees for animals adopted over the holiday season.

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

Because we were able to reduce adoption fees for pets during the holiday season, we believe more of them were adopted as a result of the discounted fees.

How many pets did this grant help?

57

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

Ellie was a young female pit bull mix who was rescued from an open-admission shelter in the late summer of 2013. It was immediately apparent once she came into foster care that Ellie was suffering from urinary incontinence at a young age. She was unresponsive to medication for it, and spaying her did not seem to help matters. Further testing revealed Ellie had a malformed bladder and would never be able to hold her urine like a normal dog. We speculated whether this was the reason she was given up by her former owners in the first place.

It's not easy to find an adoptive home for a dog like Ellie. Even when potential adopters were willing to consider her despite her breed, the incontinence was a deal-breaker. She spent many months in foster care, cheerfully sporting a very cute pink diaper.

Then, one sunshiny day in late November, Ellie finally met her match. A young woman was so smitten by Ellie's shining personality, her wagging tail, and her easygoing nature that she was willing to manage her incontinence, viewing it as a minor inconvenience in the life of this dog she so badly wanted to adopt.

Because of support from the Petfinder Foundation, Ellie's adoption fee was already reduced too at the time of this adoption, allowing her new mom to splurge a little more on treats and toys, and of course a few extra diapers for her. Ellie is now living large and happy in her forever home, and we are thrilled to have been a part of this special adoption.

Blind Cat Rescue & Sanctuary INC: Shelter+ Challenge
What was the money or product used for?

Provided full checkups with bloodwork, urinalysis, fecals, etc. for four cats.

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

Helped us continue providing quality medical care for the cats.

How many pets did this grant help?

4

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

Baron is an FELV+ cat who came to us from a hoarding situation. Thanks to lots of volunteers, he was brought to our shelter.