Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
To install a shade structure in our largest outdoor run so that our pets can enjoy comfortable outdoor play all year round.
Outdoor play is so important to the health and well-being of homeless pets during a stressful time in their lives. Dogs Playing for Life has had so many benefits for our shelter dogs, but our outdoor runs are concrete and can get very hot during the summer. We try to hose down the ground and provide a water tub for playing and cooling off in, but we desperately needed more shade. The Petfinder Foundation has enabled us to add a shade structure that meets the aesthetic guidelines for our city-owned building and prevents us from having to cut play sessions short due to the heat.
651: the number of dogs who have played in the shade so far.
Wilbur is not the typical animal that benefits from a shelter play yard, but we turn no animal away and do our best to provide the highest quality of care possible. Wilbur is a baby potbellied pig who was feeling a little stressed in the livestock pen. We decided to provide some human interaction as enrichment for this little guy, and the shady outdoor run was the perfect place to do that. This extra enrichment let us learn more about Wilbur, including the fact that he loves belly-rubs, to help us make the perfect match with a forever family!
Food for dogs
Any time we can defray costs to care for the dogs in our program, we can save more dogs from [open-admission] shelters.
Faith, Hope and Bolt (pictured, from top) all received food from the grant provided by the Petfinder Foundation. We cannot do this without the support of amazing foundations such as yours. From Faith's Petfinder profile: "Faith is 6-9 months old. Someone got a puppy for Christmas and no longer wants her. She is sweet and good with all dogs and kids, but will need training. She is located in the Oakland area. We are trying to get her closer to Southern California." Meet Faith: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38628189
The money was used to pay for vet expenses associated with the sponsored pets.
Lily, one of the sponsored pets, is having surgery today to construct an anus (she was born without an anus). Hercules, another of the sponsored pets, is in foster care waiting to have surgery to repair his deformed front legs; the orthopedic surgeon wanted us to wait until Hercules had grown more, as he is only 1 year old and the surgery will be cutting through growth plates. Hercules seems to have plateaued in weight, so we will be scheduling him for surgery.
Hercules came into rescue at the shelter with deformed front legs and a ruptured eye. Boston Buddies took him right away. Hercules has been neutered and had his eye removed. We have been waiting for Hercules to stop growing so the doctors can straighten his front legs and fuse his paws. Hercules is a happy boy who has not let his disabilities affect his life. It is because of our generous donors that Boston Buddies is able to step forward to help dogs like Hercules. Meet Hercules: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38519117
The Kongs were used to enrich the lives of the dogs under our care! Kongs were filled with peanut butter and dog food and frozen for treats. Some of these dogs have never had a treat or a toy before.
It gave them the opportunity to play with toys and enjoy life. Every night, the dogs go into crates to sleep. Now they all have a toy filled with treats to enjoy. We can't give out the toys out in the open because some of our babies don't know how to share because they've never had anything.
Winston is no longer available for adoption because he is now living in a foster-to-adopt home. Once he is well, this family will adopt him. Winston was rescued from Bay City Animal Impound in Bay City, TX. Once he arrived, he began having horrible seizures. He couldn't live in a crate or around other dogs because of his terrible seizure disorder. He would literally have seizures for 1.5 hours. Now that he's under a veterinarian's care and taking his meds, his seizures have decreased to five minutes long. He was living in my bathroom all alone for three months, only out for potty breaks and yard time when supervised. He was given a few Kong toys, which he played with constantly. We would put his wet dog food inside them and freeze them for hours of busy time and enjoyment. He went to sleep with his big Kong Goodie Bone every night. He had several Kong toys, but the Goodie Bone was his favorite!
Petfinder Foundation/Orvis funds were used to purchase enrichment toys and paint/repair our agility equipment.
The enrichment toys help prevent boredom in our shelter dogs and provide mental and physical stimulation. The toys take advantage of our dogs' natural hunting instincts. This enrichment improves the quality of life for our dogs and helps build bonds between the caretakers and the pets.
Fifteen dogs have benefited from the Petfinder Foundation/Orvis enrichment toys and agility equipment since we purchased the items this summer. On an annual basis, we anticipate that more than 250 dogs out of our yearly adoption total of 1,000 will enjoy the toys and equipment.
Joshua is an 18-month-old dog who came to us from an elderly couple. They admitted they hit him and never played with him. He was fearful and had a lot of pent-up energy. Our staff members used enrichment toys to play with him and took him for playtime in the agility yard at our shelter. Joshua began to trust our staff members, have healthy playtime, and burn off his physical and mental energy. Like most dogs, a tired Joshua was a good Joshua. He enjoyed playtime and became more adaptable and friendly. This improved his adoptability. Although he is still up for adoption, we think Joshua will find his forever home very soon.
The Sponsor a Pet money was used to pay for medical care.
HOPE is a nonprofit organization that relies 100% on donations and grants to provide medical care, food and toys for all our animals, whether in foster care or at the shelter.
Annabelle was a dog we took from an overcrowded shelter in Illinois. When she was first examined, she was thought to have been hit with a baseball bat in the face, but it turned out to be gunshot pellet, which she also had in her side. She tested positive for heartworm and had a few other medical conditions. After being well-cared-for in a foster home, she made a good recovery and has since found her forever home.
This grant will cover Radar's adoption fee and the first year of his medication for seizures post-adoption.
This grant will be a tremendous help to Radar's adopter. It levels the playing field so that Radar will be no more expensive than a "normal" healthy dog for at least the first year post adoption.
Radar is a very sweet special-needs border collie who is still looking for his forever home. He had an adopter meeting last week and is scheduled to go home on a trial adoption Sept. 6. We are crossing our fingers for the big guy! We think Radar was a distemper virus survivor. He has dental malformations, one eye, seizures and a different sort of gait. Cognitively, he is not on the same plane as most dogs, especially for his breed. Despite his differences, he is a very happy, snuggly boy. He adores his cat friends and is always up for whatever his humans want to do. Radar can learn new things with lots of repetition and food rewards, and his foster families have taught him all about the joys of being an indoor dog who is part of a family while he has been with RCHS. He even went paddle-boarding with his foster mom this summer! (Don't worry, his seizures are very well controlled with medication, he has never had a seizure while on his medication.)
Radar has been with us for over a year now but thanks to your generous grant, we hope he will be safe and happy in his new home very soon. Meet Radar: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36138154
This grant was used to purchase enrichment items for the dogs in our kennels in order to keep them mentally and physically stimulated. Thanks to Orvis and the Petfinder Foundation, we were able to purchase Weiss Walkie harnesses, KONG Wobbler treat-dispensing toys, and Rescue Remedy aromatherapy water additive.
Enrichment items like KONG Wobblers and Rescue Remedy keep our dogs physically and mentally stimulated and reduce their levels of stress while they wait for adoption. This reduces their incidence of illness and shortens their average length of stay. Weiss Walkie harnesses make it easier for staff, volunteers, and visitors to walk our more energetic and athletic dogs, which means they can go out on more walks during the day. All of these things mean that we can adopt out out more dogs and save more lives!
Our kennels hold about 50 dogs, who will all benefit from these enrichment items. Since we only use a few drops of Rescue Remedy at a time and since the harnesses and toys can be washed and re-used, we can safely estimate that several hundred dogs will benefit from these new enrichment items.
Littles (first and second photos) is a 2-year-old pit bull-type dog who was rescued from a local high-volume animal control facility. He is a sweet and friendly boy who loves attention! His KONG Wobbler helps him pass the time in between walks from visitors. Joltik (third photo) is a 5-year-old mastiff blend who was rescued from a nearby high-volume animal control shelter. He enjoys trotting around the grounds and rolling in the grass. His walks are made even more comfortable using his new Weiss Walkie harness!
The grant funds were used to cross-fence our large play yards, add gates, and install paving stones in the entries and along the fence line. A shade canopy was also added.
As we are a no-kill rescue, dogs in our care sometimes stay for prolonged periods of time. Our staff and volunteers make their quality of life a priority. Two years ago, we implemented the Dogs Playing for Life program at our little shelter and we love it! Prior to the renovation, we were limited to two very large play yards to run groups; it was difficult to supervise groups of dogs in such a large area, and only two groups of dogs could be out at a time. As part of the renovation made possible by the Petfinder Foundation grant, we created multiple smaller yards (connected by gates) and reinforced their boundaries. Now, with a team of trained volunteers, we can get out almost all of our 50 large-breed dogs at one time! That means more dogs get play time, and their sessions last longer. We've got happier, healthier dogs (which translates into more adoptable dogs), and it's also given our volunteer program a boost!
ACT houses at least 50 large-breed dogs at any given time. All of them use the various yards created with the renovation grant each day. Of course, as dogs are adopted, new dogs take their places in the kennels. Since the renovation, several hundred dogs have enjoyed our Petfinder Foundation-sponsored play yards, and we look forward to many years of play in the future!
Play groups (and the Dogs Playing for Life program) help our rescue's inhabitants in many ways. For some dogs who come in scared, shy and lacking socialization, regular dog-to-dog interactions are a lifesaver. Charlie, a petite young pit bull, came to us terrified and virtually hairless due to a bad case of demodectic mange. Addressing his medical needs was the easy part. At first, the little guy only wanted to hide and had to be carried out of his kennel, frozen in fear. After several days of play group with friendly, easygoing dogs, Charlie started to loosen up and gain confidence. By the end of two weeks, he would dash out of his kennel, eager to play with his buddies, and he would greet new people at the fence with a grin and tail wag. Charlie's new family fell in love watching him frolic in our yard, and now he's got a home!
For other dogs who come to us already friendly, play group is the only way to keep them physically and emotionally healthy. Mel, an Australian shepherd-pit bull mix (pictured), is an outgoing, bouncy, rough-and-tumble kind of guy. Without regular sessions in the yards with his friends, Mel would, without a doubt, suffer from severe kennel stress. But because he gets out into the yards every morning and afternoon, Mel stays calm and approachable in his kennel. Because our volunteers spend time with him in play group, we've also been able to get to know Mel well, and can advocate for him with confidence. We have faith that his forever family will find him very soon! (Meet Mel at www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38338737.)
Kongs were used for enrichment and mental stimulation of shelter dogs.
Enrichment has been a great added resource for our pets. The mental stimulation has been priceless and helped to keep them more healthy and adoptable.
More than 100. We sterilize the Kongs and use them for different dogs each day.
Cody, Kanin, Skippy, and Zack are all long-term residents at the Humane Society of Raleigh County, meaning they've been at the shelter for 2-3 years. All four have quirks that make adoption difficult. These quirks make them unique. All four needed stimulation to keep from going kennel crazy. The Kongs have done just that. They give these four dogs something to do besides stare out of their kennel door. Instead of barking, jumping, and acting out, all four dogs now have something that is a stress reliever. Mental stimulation can wear out a dog much more quickly than physical activity; therefore, working to extract treats and frozen peanut butter from a Kong makes life in a kennel not so horrible. The dogs now have something to look forward to, something they enjoy -- and that is a beautiful thing.
Meet Cody: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/38289656
Meet Kanin: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39054544
Meet Skippy: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39054545
Meet Zack: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39054543