Success Stories

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

Saving Grace Rescue, Inc.: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Care for Astro, a kitten from a hoarder situation who had flea-powder toxicity that lead to seizures, permanent blindness and permanent ataxia. He was also severely anemic and malnourished, severely infested with fleas and earmites, and had an upper-respiratory infection.

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

This grant allowed us to pay for his emergency care, continuing medical care, neurological consult and basic husbandry. Astro has made a near-full recovery aside from the blindness and an amusing wobble. He is a happy, loving and playful kitten who will go to his new home this weekend!

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Little Astro was rescued from a hoarding situation. He was found blind and infested with fleas. He was unable to find food in the stench and was losing weight and near death when we got him. Astro cannot see and needs a bit more time to learn to balance, but he is full of love and affection and some serious quirks. As soon as he's picked up, he goes limp in your arms. His eyes look healthy, but he is completely non-visual. Astro had two seizures in the first few weeks, but things quickly improved after he moved into his foster home.

After a much-needed flea bath, little Astro revealed his unique "abilities." Josh Norem, Astro's foster dad, combed out an insane amount of fleas. The little tabby was so grateful for the relief that he curled up in his lap, switched on his purr motor, and started catching invisible bugs in the air.

He has come far and is doing much better. He leaps around playfully every morning and is loving his new life with comfort, food and care. After getting up on the couch through the stairs, he wedges his legs snugly between the couch and the stairs just the way he likes it. Astro may be a bit trembly, but he wants his humans to know that he's just as purrfect as any other kitty with all the joy and love he can offer.

UPDATE May 21, 2017: It's been a long journey of healing. Astro was very fortunate to have an amazing foster home. Here he is going to his new home (last photo)!

Fayetteville Animal Protection Society: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

A cocker spaniel named Sadie's double total ear-canal ablation surgery

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

When owners don't seek veterinary care for ear infections (especially with spaniels), the ears can become permanently damaged. It's extremely painful for the dog and requires an expensive and intense surgery to remove the infected ear canals.

How many pets did this grant help?

One: Sadie

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

At only 5 years old, little Sadie knew nothing but neglect. Someone likely bought her as a cute puppy and had not done any research on the needs of cocker spaniels, judging by the condition of her ears. Sadie’s owners were moving to Germany and instead of the life she had known with her family, she was dumped at Cumberland County Animal Control (a local [open-admission] shelter), not knowing where she was or what she did wrong. We had saved her on April 18, 2017, and discovered shortly afterward that her ears caused her an immense amount of pain. Poor Sadie needed a total ear-canal ablation (TECA) in both ears. When owners don't seek veterinary care for ear infections (especially with spaniels), the ears can become permanently damaged. It's extremely painful for the dog and requires an expensive and intense surgery to remove the infected ear canals.

One issue with our being a private, nonprofit, no-kill animal shelter is that we receive no government or state funding, but we couldn’t turn away poor Sadie. Even with the daily pain she was suffering, she is a sweet, affectionate pup who wants nothing more than to cuddle in your lap. The Petfinder Foundation stepped in and through their Emergency Medical Grant and support from our community, Sadie received the surgery she so desperately needed and deserved. We are so proud to say that she now is in her forever home, never having to wonder again if she’s loved.

HALO Animal Rescue: Petfinder 20th Anniversary Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Treating one of our cats, Enoki, at the vet for pancreatitis, irritable bowl syndrome and giardia.

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

Enoki came to us with several medical problems and this money really helped us recoup some of the funds spent on him.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Hi, my name is Enoki and I'm 10 years old. I'm a special-needs kitty with a great personality. I was in HALO's care for seven months before finding my forever home. The staff at HALO really got to know and love me. I am curious, attentive, friendly and a loving, young-at-heart girl. I always seek people out for lots of love and am super social. I love window seats, being pet and brushed and I do tolerate baths. I am going to need to be on a special diet and may need to have regular vet visits, it turns out. While I was in HALO's care, they found out I have pancreatitis and IBS. They also treated me for giardia. The people at HALO have been really wonderful and I felt like their own. I have since found a loving forever parent to help me with my needs. I am really happy.

Hendricks County Humane Society (HCHS): Build-A-Bear Youth Humane Education Grant
What was the money or product used for?

To provide hands-on cat care workshops called Reading to the Cats for young people, intermediate through early high school (second photo), and to save the life of a dog who kept coming back to us by providing obedience training which made him no longer difficult-to-adopt.

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

This grant helped HCHS establish a reputation in the community for providing educational programming that helps young people to better understand animals and to recognize that having a pet brings with it the need to be responsible for the animal's complete care. The workshops helped socialize our adoptable cats and provided information to HCHS about which cats were good with children. This grant also helped us find a home for a dog who'd had two unsuccessful adoptions and each time he was returned, we were told that he was aggressive and too hyper.

How many pets did this grant help?

Many cats were helped because the children attending the workshop learned some things about their own personal cats as well as cats that they may have in the future. For example, they made scratching boards (third photo) and learned why cats need to scratch. They learned what is involved when a microchip is implanted in a pet and saw a microchip for the first time. In addition, the cats who were in our building at the time of the workshops benefited from the socialization they received from the children and their adopting families were provided bags, decorated by the children in the workshop, filled with cat information, toys, and treats (fourth photo).

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

Until we had our workshop, we were pretty sure that a cat named Rinny was unsociable. She would hide in her condo and peak over the edge when someone came into the room but then she would hide her head again. On the night of our Reading to the Cats workshop, Rinny perked up at the sound of the children's voices as they entered the room. She even came halfway down her condo and allowed herself to be petted (first photo). This action helped us to market Rinny as good with children. Meet Rinny: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37801744

Also, Zeus, a rottweiler/Lab (fifth photo), was adopted two times and returned both times. He was reported to be an "out-of-control dog" and "aggressive" because he jumped up on people and growled in their faces. Through our Petfinder posting, a lady contacted us and was considering adopting Zeus but was worried about his bad behavior. HCHS felt that Zeus needed obedience training and the lady agreed to a cooperative effort wherein she would take Zeus to obedience classes (sixth photo) and HCHS would pay the class fees. Before the classes concluded, the lady adopted him! She learned that if she provided Zeus with structure and firm guidance on how to behave, he was a wonderful pet. Now, finally, Zeus had a forever home.

We are grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for helping us to help animals. Lives were saved through the use of grant money.

St. Mary's Animal Welfare League: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Sampson had several teeth that were impacted that needed to be removed. Sampson was difficult to anesthetize because he suffered from a thoracic hernia when he was first brought into SMAWL. The estimate for Sampson's dental surgery and treatment plan was between $1,231-1,354. The actual cost of the surgery was $1,164. The grant money provided to SMAWL was incredibly helpful and covered almost 100% of that bill.

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

SMAWL budgets yearly for emergency procedures such as Sampson's. Paying the full bill for Sampson's surgery would have taken a large chunk from that budget and taken away from other cats that we could help in this year. However, because of the grant provided, SMAWL will be able to maintain our intake goals and help as many -- or more -- cats than we had budgeted for.

How many pets did this grant help?

One

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

My name is Sampson and I have super powers. I came from a hoarding situation with dozens of other cats until Animal Control rounded all of us up and took us away. The nice people from SMAWL chose me and some of my friends to go live at the Cat Castle. I was very skinny and I was hungry all the time but I didn’t gain weight. I went to live with a foster mom who tried to fatten me up but she noticed that I breathed really hard and after eating I often threw up. When I went to the vet for a check-up, she couldn’t hear my heart on one side. Everyone was pretty scared about that and took me to another vet for x-rays. The x-rays showed that most of my organs were in the chest cavity. My heart and lungs were on one side and my liver, spleen, stomach and some other stuff were on the other side. I was probably born with a thoracic hernia and when I was really little, my organs moved up into my chest. They stayed there and didn’t have enough room to grow normally. I was hungry all the time because there was not enough room for my stomach to get full. I couldn’t breathe right because my lungs didn’t have enough room to expand. I needed expensive surgery to fix the hernia and put everything back where it belonged.

While SMAWL looked for a way to pay for this, I started to feel much worse. I was at the hospital for evaluation when one of my lungs collapsed and I went into emergency surgery. The surgeon worked very hard to fix me. I had some tough times, but with my new foster mom, I gained weight – almost 5 lbs. – and got stronger. I had lots of tests and most of my troubles resolved over time and with medication. They tell me my liver enzymes are high, but nothing slows me down.

I’m happy, playful, loving and feeling fine. I love to play and sleep in the sun and I really love my food, but mom and my doctor say I need to be on maintenance now that I am at a healthy weight. I like to play chase and I especially love squeaky toys. I have a foster brother and we play chase every day. I take three medications every day – one pill and two liquids. I’m not really happy about that, but I mostly take my medicine well. I need to have bloodwork every six months.

I would really love a forever family. My medicine costs about $70 per month. I eat dry food and two small cans of food every day. Sometimes I eat some treats. I like tomatoes and buttered toast as special treats when mom isn’t looking.

Sampson has been with SMAWL for just over two years now. His foster mom loves him very much, but would love to see him in his own home. Meet Sampson: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/34548047

Columbia Humane Society: KONG Toy Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The donated Kongs were used to provide entertainment, fun and general enrichment for dogs while they are at the shelter.

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

The Kongs provide a great addition to our kennel enrichment program. We find Kongs are rarely donated by the public, and we operate on limited funds so we can rarely purchase any. We have used the donated Kongs as treat- and food-dispensers and also as a means of gaining the trust of more fearful dogs.

How many pets did this grant help?

Ten and counting! The donated Kongs have been used by at least 10 dogs so far and we anticipate using them for many more.

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

Hugh (first and second photos) came to CHS as a rescue from Israel and is part of our Canaan Rescue Project. He is about 2 years old and can be a little afraid when meeting new people. Kongs have been helpful in gaining his trust. Hugh loves to run and play, and licking food from his Kong is one of the things that he loves best! He is a very fun-loving guy who is going to need a family that will lead him to greatness. He gets along great with other dogs, but can be reactive on leash because he is excited to see them. He loves to run and play. He is protective of his area.

Trouble (third and fourth photos) was brought to the shelter for boarding while his family was moving and, sadly, they never came back. Trouble is about 11 or 12 years old and is no trouble at all! He has only ever been an outside dog. He loves his big, comfy bed and he really likes his treats in a Kong. He is available for adoption at: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37575975

We call Cody (fifth and sixth photos) our Big Brown Dog. He came to the shelter as a stray and is about 2 years old. He gets along well with other dogs and enjoys playing. He is also very smart, which makes giving him a good life while he's in a kennel environment a challenge. We try to do everything we can to keep him thinking, and Kongs provide a great puzzle toy. Extracting food that is frozen inside the Kong is one of his favorite pastimes, and when the Kong is almost empty, he likes to chase it around. Meet Cody: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36973913

New Beginnings Animal Sanctuary: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

New Beginnings Animal Sanctuary received $500 from the Petfinder Foundation to help with the costs of medical care for one of our shelter dogs, Paddington Bear. These funds were used to cover his sedation and surgery, the treatment afterwards and the many medications he received, including Ketofen, Polyflex (ampicillin), Clavamox and Panacur Suspension.

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

This grant helped our organization provide expensive but necessary care for one of our shelter dogs. Without this grant, it would have been difficult for our shelter to find the funds to cover his treatment and medications.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

It was a cold December morning when a couple rushed into our clinic's waiting room. They were clutching a small bundle of fur. As they handed him to our veterinary technician, we noticed how he didn't move and was barely breathing. We thought the story of Paddington Bear wasn't going to make it past the first page, but there he was, several weeks later, bouncing around the playroom with the other puppies.

The couple had told us they had found him on the side of the road. Our head veterinarian determined that he had been attacked by another dog or a large animal. His medical costs were immense. He had to be sedated for surgery and receive many different medications. Luckily, the Petfinder Foundation stepped in to cover the costs of his treatment. This was a huge relief, and in the end, Paddington pulled through.

He has now been placed with a loving family who are so grateful for the talent of our veterinarian and the Petfinder Foundation for bringing them together with their newest little boy.

Family Dog Rescue: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to pay medical expenses related to some of our dogs with medical problems.

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

The grant was very important to help fund medical care for our dogs in need.

How many pets did this grant help?

2

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

Tim (first two photos) is a true survivor! This sweet 6- to 7-year-old cattle dog mix was found in Mexico having been hit by a car and left to die in the streets. He was luckily picked up by rescuers and brought to San Francisco via Operation Santa Paws, an intake that required a strenuous drive from San Francisco to Chula Vista and back up again to save the lives of 16 dogs. Upon Tim's arrival at Family Dog Rescue, we quickly found that his right hind leg had not healed properly. He was limping, and in clear pain from the leg. Working with the vets, we found that the leg ultimately would need to be amputated, an expensive but necessary surgery to greatly improve Tim's quality of life. Soon after surgery, Tim was taken into foster by some of our great volunteers. After a few weeks of vet rechecks and therapy, they made it official, and Tim now lives happily in his forever home in San Francisco.

Miss Marshmallow's life has been full of challenges, but she still manages to be one of the best pups you'll ever meet! In November of 2016, Marshmallow (third and fourth photos) came to Family Dog Rescue along with her 4-week-old puppy Nutella from the Porterville shelter in California. She is a very sweet girl, but we quickly realized how special she really was. Her pup was quickly adopted, but Marshmallow is still fighting and looking for her forever home. Marshmallow is (mostly) deaf, and may have some slight vision impairment too. This is fairly common given her being an all-white dog with blue eyes, but it didn't seem to explain all the other things she had that were a little off. Her tongue sticks out a tiny bit at all times, and she seemed to have a persistent cough that was not responding to normal kennel-cough protocols.

After numerous vet exams, we found that she had some past head trauma that broke her jaw, as well as having coccidioidmycosis, or Valley fever, a fungal infection that colonizes the lungs and which claimed the life of another Family Dog puppy early this year. Luckily, the vets believe they caught Marshmallow's case early enough, and she was started on a course of antifungal medication. Unfortunately, the treatment for Valley fever is extremely intense and can last for months, if not the rest of the dog's life. It requires strong antifungal medication given daily, as well as regular blood panels to make sure no damage is being done to the liver as a side effect of the medication. Despite her troubles and obstacles, Marshmallow is still a very happy girl! She loves to run and play, and is still waiting for her forever home. Meet Marshmallow: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36948374

Friendship Animal Protective League: Petfinder 20th Anniversary Grant
What was the money or product used for?

It was used to treat five dogs who had sustained severe injuries. We call those dogs the Petfinder Five.

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

This grant allowed us to save the lives of five dogs who may not have received a second chance without the support of this grant.

How many pets did this grant help?

The grant helped provide vet care for five dogs. We call those dogs the Petfinder Five.

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

In November of 2016, we were informed that we were one of 25 shelters being awarded a $10,000 grant. This grant had a primary objective of saving the lives of animals who might otherwise not have had an opportunity to find forever homes. That is exactly what Friendship APL did.

PENGUIN
It all began with a little dog named Penguin (first photo). Lorain police officer and Friendship APL volunteer Rick Broz found an injured dog in the city. He had been hit by a car. His leg and pelvis were left shattered. He spent several days at Lorain Animal Hospital before being transferred to our care. We took Penguin to West Park Animal Hospital. After x-rays, we knew the leg was too far gone to save. It would require amputation, followed by a month of rehabilitation in a foster home to allow the fractured pelvis to heal.

On Feb. 25, 2017, Ashley Sims drove all the way from New Jersey to meet her sister at Friendship with her two Boston terriers in tow. She had been following Penguin’s story since his arrival. After a meet-and-greet between her and her four-legged family (second photo), Penguin was on his way home to the Garden State.

LOLA
With Penguin’s story came a series of dogs who had sustained similar injuries, either by accident or inflicted on purpose, and who all had similar issues. Next up was dog number two – Lola! Nine-month-old Lola (third photo) arrived from the Mahoning County dog pound. She was intended to be an easy adoption from an overcrowded shelter needing help. Shortly after arrival, though, our volunteers and staff noticed some swelling and tenderness in her front leg. We took her to West Park for x-rays. To our disbelief, she had been walking around on a leg that had been broken most likely weeks before she'd arrived at the Mahoning County Dog Pound. It had actually begun to heal, but in such a way as to cause much discomfort for the poor girl. The leg at this point could not be saved and once again would require the leg to be amputated. Lola officially arrived at Friendship APL on Jan. 9. She found her new home on Jan. 28.

SERENDIPITY
Coincidentally, while we were sitting in the emergency clinic with Lola, the City of Cleveland dog warden walked in with a dog who had been hit by a car (fourth photo). What was wrong with the young boxer mix? You guessed it: another broken leg! The dog would be made comfortable by the West Park staff and held for three days should an owner step forward. No owner stepped forward, and Friendship agreed to help the stray dog. Dog number three would come to be known as Serendipity, because if we had not been there with Lola, would we ever have had the opportunity to help her?

Serendipity’s injury was recent. Thanks to the work of the Cleveland Kennel and the team at West Park, her leg was able to be saved. It required the placement of plates and pins, but she would be the only dog in this story able to keep her leg. Serendipity officially arrived at Friendship APL on Feb. 1 (she arrived at West Park Animal Hospital on Jan. 9). She would find her forever home on Feb. 4.

ARROW
Next up was Arrow, an 8-month-old pit bull (fifth photo). This was a direct request from a veterinarian. This sweet boy was surrendered to the vet for euthanasia following an injury to his rear leg. After seeing the multitude of stories over the past two weeks, it made sense that the staff would reach out to us to help. Arrow arrived at Friendship APL on Jan. 14. He found a loving family on Jan. 18!

AUBREY
So that made four. The final dog in the bunch (sixth photo) was very special. We had emergency call come in concerning a puppy who had been attacked by another dog. The good Samaritan was able to rescue the dog from the attack and drive him over to Friendship APL. The little beagle mix was only 4 or 5 months old. The injury was so severe, it required immediate surgery. Their were two immediate concerns. Bite wounds are more likely to become infected, and her leg had been snapped in two. This would be the hardest decision we would have to make.

We had two choices. One: We could put pins and plates in and save her leg. Or two: We could amputate. Option one seemed like the obvious choice. However, upon further discussion with her veterinarian, this could result in multiple surgeries. Given her age, her leg would continue to grow. This could result in her having to undergo multiple surgeries over several weeks. With each surgery, there would be a risk of complication. We decided to go with option two. She would only have to spend a few weeks recovering in a foster home adjusting to life on three legs before heading to a new home. And that is exactly what happened.

Aubrey arrived at the shelter on Jan. 22. She found her Valentine on Feb. 14.

One of the strangest parts of this story is that Penguin would lose his right, rear leg. Lola would lose her right, front leg. Arrow would lose his left, rear leg. Aubrey would lose her right, front leg. That means every dog who needed surgery in January would lose a different leg (except Serendipity, who did not lose a leg at all). What are the odds of that?

On behalf of our entire staff, volunteers and the Petfinder Five, we extend our most heartfelt gratitude for helping us save their lives.

Capital Area Humane Society: Petfinder Adoption Options in Action Grant (Invitation Only)
What was the money or product used for?

Toys, treats and enrichment items for our Freedom from Boredom program.

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

Freedom from Boredom provides mental, physical and social stimulation to animals in our shelter to keep their minds and bodies busy. Enrichment keeps social, well-adjusted animals from declining in a shelter environment and helps bring out the real personality in animals who originally present as hostile, scared or unreceptive to human contact.

How many pets did this grant help?

648 during the three-month period.

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

Chance is a large pit bull rescued by our humane agents in November 2016 after he was found abandoned by his owners. Upon admission, he was scared and reactive, needing to be control-poled to be vaccinated. Thanks to the hard work of staff and volunteers in our enrichment program, we were able to uncover a very smart, playful boy who delighted in puzzle toys, games, and all types of sensory enrichment. His behavior improved and he was able to be placed up for adoption in late January of 2017 and found his forever home on April 4, 2017.

"Thank you so much to the Petfinder Foundation for providing an Adoption Options in Action grant in support of the Capital Area Humane Society’s enrichment program. We provide the highest quality of care for our animals and have raised the bar this past year by adding a formal enrichment program to provide physical, intellectual and social enrichment options for our animals. The grant enabled us to purchase enrichment items such as puzzle feeders, ball pits, bubble machines, healthy treats, scenting products and more. We want to keep wiggle-butts wiggling and introduce new experiences to animals who may have only known life at the end of a chain with little socialization. Thank you for helping our cats, dogs, rabbits and many 'other' species that we care for each year!"

Rachel D.K. Finney, CAWA
Executive Director
Capital Area Humane Society

(Third photo: Potbellied pig Little Bit enjoying his puzzle feeder and ball)