Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
Funds from this grant were used to purchase supplies and equipment for use in our Behavior Modification and Enrichment Program. We try to enrich our animals as much as possible and surround them with a sense of safety and love. We used the funds to purchase a plethora of behavioral training and enrichment supplies, including Mendota slip leads, KONG Wobbler dog toys, ADAPTIL Dog Appeasing Pheromone Diffusers and Spray, calming collars, essential oils for use in scent therapy, treat pouches, suction cup caddies, etc. All of these tools have assisted in creating a safe, low-stress environment that will help our animals stay happy and healthy while in our care.
The additional supplies and equipment we received through this grant allowed us to maintain a low-stress, stable environment where animals are encouraged to succeed. Most behavior issues, even those that seem severe, can be corrected with proper training and positive reinforcement. It is our duty as shelter workers, and as human beings, to give every animal who comes through our door the best chance possible at finding a family and continuing her journey out in the world. Mental stimulation is so important in a shelter environment and helps boost a dog’s mood and keep his mind sharp — and it can be particularly useful for those canines who are bored, frustrated or don’t enjoy being around other animals. Keeping animals enriched and stimulated while in their kennels helps to set them up for success during afternoon training sessions with our Behavior Modification Coordinator. Empowering animals through a variety of training sessions not only teaches basic manners that make dogs more adoptable but also helps build confidence and gives animals the skills necessary to succeed into the future.
Part of our Behavior Modification and Enrichment Program includes dog-appeasing pheromone therapy. Pheromones are taken in through the nasal passage of the dog to produce a calming effect on one part of the brain that is connected to the dog’s behavior and emotion. Pheromone therapy has been very effective and successful in treating phobias and stress experienced by dogs. In addition to using pheromone diffusers and sprays, we also purchased calming collars to place on animals showing signs of stress and anxiety. D.A.P. calming collars are an incredible resource in a shelter setting. By placing a calming collar on each dog coming into our shelter, we have seen a significant reduction of stress and anxiety. These collars have also helped decrease dogs' fear-aggressive tendencies upon entering the shelter.
These resources have helped many animals in our shelter by increasing their confidence and impulse-control and decreasing their overall anxiety. We have also seen a decrease length of stay. Anxious, stressed-out dogs who are jumping up on the glass and spinning in circles in the kennels don’t show well to adopters. Even though most of these dogs won’t show those behaviors outside of the shelter, it most definitely deters some adopters from considering them. The skills our animals have gained at our shelter through this program have carried over into their new homes and increased pet-retention rates. Through positive reinforcement and these increased resources, we have decreased overall stress in the shelter and continued to showcase our animals for each of their wonderful and unique personalities!
This grant has helped more than 300 animals in our care!
Jake (first photo) is a 4-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier mix who came into our care when his owner was moving and could no longer keep him. Jake is a wonderful boy who loves cuddling and playing with toys. He needs an active home that can provide him with the exercise and attention he needs. Jake is an incredibly sweet boy but has a lot of anxiety both in and out of the shelter. After a few days at the shelter, he began spinning circles in his cage and destroying all the blankets and toys he was given. We placed a calming collar on him and began using a pheromone spray on the items in his cage. Our Behavior Modification Coordinator took him for walks several times a day to do some one-on-one behavioral training.
He was still showing signs of anxiety, so we gave him a plethora of KONG toys and a Treatstik filled with food and training treats. Jake loved them! While he is still an anxious soul, the KONG toys and Treatstik have helped enrich him while he's in his kennel and given him a sense of comfort and security. He is always carrying around his Treatstik and has stopped jumping up on the glass and spinning in circles. He even curls up on his bed with his KONG and Treatstik and naps during the day.
The resources provided by this grant have helped us provide Jake with some of the tools he needed to harness his anxiety and boost his confidence. Jake is currently available for adoption and can't wait to find the perfect family for him! Meet Jake: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/40155701
With the grant money we purchased bubble machines, Ripple Rugs, Neko Flies wands, HexBugs, Shelter Dens, Scratch E Rubs, and Cat E Shack carrier and loungers. We think the mental well-being of our felines is just as important as their physical well-being.
The Petfinder Foundation grant allowed us to help the cats in our care since we never would have been able to spend the extra funds on purchasing some of these products -- especially all at once. All new cats who enter the shelter get a Cat E Shack carrier or lounger and this helps them feel safe at the shelter. We used to have cats lying in their litter boxes to feel safe and that was so sad to see. Our more playful cats are definitely enjoying the toys and the Ripple Rug. It is great for the cats mental well-being to help them burn extra energy and be entertained while living at the animal shelter. Some of the cats are afraid of the bubble machine, but some love to play with the bubbles or just watch them fall through the air.
50 and counting. New cats are now getting to enjoy these enrichment items as well.
One of our shelter cats, Desirae, was adopted as a kitten and returned to us recently due to family allergy issues. You could see the fear in Desirae's eyes (first photo), and she would hide under a blanket to find comfort. As soon as we gave her a Cat E Shack lounger, you see her start to relax. She rubs and marks it to make it her own (second photo) and now the look in her eyes is one of contentment rather than fear (third photo). This beautiful girl is available for adoption: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39721255
The Emergency Medical Fund money was used to repair an oral-nasal fistula (a hole in the gum) for a rescued dog name Tulip.
This grant helped pay for necessary surgery so that Tulip could go on to find a loving adoptive home.
Tulip was rescued by Mutts in a Rut Rescue from Cleveland Animal Control. She was picked up as a stray in horrible condition. She was missing most of her fur. It was determined that she had ringworm. And she was found to have an oral-nasal fistula -- a hole in her gum where a tooth had been. Thanks to the Petfinder Foundation, the fistula was repaired. She grew back her fur and it was determined that she is actually a Sheltie! She was adopted five months after she was rescued by a loving family who adores her.
These funds were used to help cover the cost of our adoption fee for those wanting to bring home the cats they connected with at our adoption center during this two-week time frame.
This grant helped bring attention to the existence and location of our adoption center, helped bring newcomers through our doors, and helped more of our cats find their forever families.
This grant helped 19 cats and kittens find their forever families.
A couple who adopted Jean and Kelsey (now named Pulpo and Ceviche) shared the following updates with us from each kitty (corresponding pictures are attached). They could not be happier in their new home! Pulpo (first photo): Unwinding after a rough day testing out surfaces to see which one is most comfortable to nap on. I was hired for this job a few months ago. Apparently, they saw my skills when they visited Animal House and decided to bring me on full-time. The pay is good: food, snacks, cuddles, toys. It's a nice gig. Sometimes, I even play my favorite game, Killer Bunnies, with my peeps.
Ceviche (second photo): Is this thing on? It's on? Oh, hi, Animal House! I'm Ceviche. Remember me? You can see here behind me my favorite part of my new home. STAIRS! SEE?! STAIRS!! These things are great! You can run up them and then after you've done that, you can run down them. Or you can just stand on them like I'm doing here to get a bird's-eye view of the room. I do it to search for my favorite toy mouse. We call him blue mouse. Wait, there he is. Gotta go!
The Build-A-Bear Humane Education Grant helped Heartland Rescue Ranch educate hundreds of children in Bay County. We used the funding mainly to host field trips and family-fun days where children could have fun while learning. We were able to bring out 150 girls who attend Girls, Inc., a lower-income daycare-type program. We had a day for families that are caring for and have adopted children from the foster-care system. One day we hosted a group from Bethel Village, a drug-rehab facility for women. These women were able to spend the day with their children at the rescue.
We also purchased supplies that will continue to help our education programs: visual aides; a costume for our mascot, Henry the Heartland hound; books; etc.
We were also able to put together a booklet that I have wanted to do for a long time, as well as a one-page sheet of pet life-expectancy timelines. The booklet I would love to share with other rescues -- just some fun tidbits about various pets, but the main thing we want to teach children is that pets are not disposable; they are a lifetime commitment.
Oui Lee, an injured Chihuahua who had an older fracture that had to be repaired. The total cost of surgery was $1,874.74.
Friends of Michigan Animals Rescue (FMAR) is a no-kill, nonprofit shelter in Belleville, MI. We are state-licensed but not state- or government-funded. FMAR raises every dollar to support the shelter and for the care of our shelter dogs and cats. Major surgeries are less common and are usually over our budget. The Emergency Medical Grant helped tremendously by covering over half the cost of Oui Lee's orthopedic surgery.
Oui Lee (lovingly nicknamed Wheels) came to our shelter in July of 2017. He was originally a rescue dog from Atlanta, GA. When he was approximately 4 months old, he was caught in the wheel of a wheelchair, which fractured his right rear leg. He was treated in Georgia; however, once he was transferred to us, we were aware that something was not right. We had him evaluated by our orthopedic surgeon, who found that surgery was necessary but could not be completed until Oui Lee was at least one year of age. Wheels stayed at our shelter until ready for surgery, which was done in October of 2017. He had a medial collateral ligament repair, a tibial tuberosity transposition, and patella luxation. He had physical therapy and water therapy for six weeks after surgery to improve movement and muscle tone. It has been three months since his surgery and he is doing wonderful; the vet expects him to make a full recovery as long as he is walked daily to keep that leg mobile and improving.
Oui Lee was adopted by a retired woman who walks/runs daily and was a perfect match for Wheels. Thank you again, Petfinder Foundation, for your support of shelter dogs and cats!
The money was used for the care of a kitten, Frank, who has been with us since June 20, 2017.
It helped support Frank.
We used the grant to sponsor the adoption fees of Frank (first photo) and his friend Carl (with Frank in the second photo). Additional funds from the grant were used to cover Frank's medical costs. From Frank's Petfinder profile: "I am a fun kitten who loves to chase my kitten friends. I'm a vocal boy who likes to play and cuddle. My special trick is that I can fall asleep while sitting up!"
Meet Frank: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38897128
Meet Carl: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38895152
For the veterinary care of Lula, a special-needs Affenpinscher.
This grant was specifically for Lula, a special-needs Affenpinscher surrendered to our rescue. She had neurological problems which caused behavioral issues, but it took quite a while before the vet was able to find the issue. Once it was found, the vet was able to then figure out a course of medication and we were better equipped to deal with the behavioral issues and network her to adopters experienced in handling dogs of this nature.
Lula finally found her furever home, as evidenced by the third photo. When we received an application from Dawn and Ian, they were approved to adopt. We made sure they knew everything about Lula before they traveled from Southern Louisiana to meet her. Melva (their light-colored dog) and Lula acted like they had been BFFs for years. Dawn and Ian have adopted dogs with behavior issues before and were willing to give Lula a forever home even though she has her quirks. It was happy ending for one quirky little girl.
Medical care/surgeries for Bella (hernia repair and spay) and Buddy (leg amputation.) Of the $693, $482.73 went to paying for Bella's surgery, with the remaining $210.27 going toward Buddy's leg amputation.
The grant enabled us to move forward with two surgeries which were immediately needed, and alleviate the suffering for these two animals.
Due to their need for extreme medical care, neither dog will be listed for adoption until they are fully healed. Bella (first photo) arrived in December 2016 from the euthanasia list at Maricopa Animal Control. Her two hernias were so severe that it was difficult to find a surgeon in southern Arizona willing to operate on her. We found a surgeon, Dr. Brett Cordes, in north Scottsdale, who performed the first of her surgeries in February 2017. They were unable, at that time, to spay her due to the invasiveness of the original surgery. They did remove her spleen, however, as it was compromised by the hernia. At that time, he let us know that she would eventually need a second surgery to further repair the hernias. On Jan. 2, 2018, she was brought in for an ultrasound to see what needed to be done. It was discovered that during her healing time, her ovaries had moved into the rent caused by the smaller, remaining hernia. On Jan. 23, she was again brought up to Dr. Cordes' offices at Arizona Animal Hospital, where the second surgery was performed. Although her muscle walls are still more fragile than we would have liked, it is hoped that this will be the last of her needed surgeries.
Buddy's (fourth photo) left front leg had been broken MANY months ago ... but he was never taken to a veterinarian to have the leg splinted. As a result, Buddy has lost use of the misaligned leg. To make matters even worse, just a few days before Christmas, his owners (he is on their sofa in the picture)
dumped this 2-year-old Chihuahua at Pinal pound. While many other little dogs were adopted or rescued, Buddy languished in fear and discomfort over the holidays. Although Cochise Canine really had a "full house," we just could not, in good conscience, allow this little boy to suffer any longer!
Put donation towards heartworm treatment for a dog we rescued named Shannon. The total cost was $300, and $22.50 went towards that. From her Petfinder profile: "Shannon is a sweet, affectionate girl who has not had a good start in life. Due to the ignorance of her previous owners, Shannon was a mama to who-knows-how-many litters of puppies and was also heartworm-positive. She underwent her final heartworm treatments on Dec. 28, 2017, and was spayed on Jan. 8, 2018, and is available to be adopted now. Shannon is about 2 years old and 23 lbs. Please help Shannon find the loving home she deserves." Meet Shannon: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39437828