Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
The money from the Orvis grant was used to purchase an all-in-one computer for our lobby. I selected one with a large touch-screen monitor which was user-friendly. This allowed users to use the keyboard or the screen to operate and navigate our website and Petfinder listings. We added Office software, security software and an extended warranty and service program.
Because we have a closed kennel facility for the comfort of our pets, everything is done by appointment. This often puts walk-in customers off. We will now be able to allow them to see all of our available pets on Petfinder, and the new computer's homepage is automatically our website, thesimonfoundation.org. People can then navigate to our online application and submit right then. This will also keep people who are waiting for their appointment engaged with the process, generating more interest and more adoptions.
We have just started using our new set-up, but this has the potential to help all our resident animals find new families.
The first animal to really benefit from our new computer station was Wobbles (first photo). The second photo is a man who was a walk-in who has applied to adopt a dog named Hondo (third photo). He is still on our website and we hope to be able to send him home soon. Thank you for this wonderful gift and for helping us to help the homeless animals in our care find their forever homes. Meet Hondo: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37479096
In February we used some of the funds to cover the costs of an exam and bloodwork for a shelter dog who has heartworm. We have a seniors-for-seniors program that allows us to place senior dogs into seniors' homes for free, so these funds were used for to cover the bloodwork, microchips, and exams for little 10-year-old Lily (with kidney failure; fostered), 9-year-old Bucky (adopted), and Brooklyn (we used $400 to purchase a wheelchair for this senior girl who came in needing one; we also used the funds to do her bloodwork, exam, etc.). In January we used funds from the grant to ready Maya for adoption, which includes a thorough exam and bloodwork. The remaining funds are set aside to help us with an upcoming volunteer-education seminar on handling shy dogs. It will allow us to cover the costs of printing the final handouts, etc.
This grant helped us cover the expenses that come with caring for senior dogs, which then allowed us to be able to not charge an adoption fee. Just that alone helps spread the word that we take excellent care of our seniors. By placing them as we do, we not only save the life of a senior dog, but usually that of a human as well. We promoted these placements heavily on Facebook. We also hope that our seminars will strengthen our volunteers and their wisdom in caring for these rescue dogs. We couldn't do it without you!
It directly helped four dogs and indirectly helped all future dogs coming in!
Brooklyn (first and second photo) came back to us in December 2016. A year previously, we thought we had found her the perfect home through our seniors-for-seniors program. She just reminded us that, no matter how closely we check the applications, before placement, we still have to trust. In this case, that trust was erroneously placed. Brooklyn had left us a year earlier as a spunky girl with attitude and a rare feistiness that made her seem much younger than her years. Unfortunately we did not get that same sweetheart back. We found ourselves looking at a sad and broken soul who couldn't stand, much less walk, on her own. Our hearts were shattered.
After bloodwork and exam, our fabulous foster began to work with her. We assessed her needs and reached out to wheelchair distributors and found a place that, because of her rescue status, allowed us to purchase her the best one on the market at wholesale cost.
Between our fabulous foster and veterinarian, they have her back up and walking short distances on her own. You see, apparently she'd had a stroke that had affected her ability to walk and eat. She even had the palsy on the left side of her face. She is now on the road to full recovery from the stroke. But unfortunately her bloodwork revealed that she is in the beginning stages of kidney failure, too. We have been working to get that under control. She is pictured in our photos in the wheelchair.
We are now seeking a foster for her to continue giving her the love and care she deserves and requires for however many days (and we pray there are many of them) she has left with us. She has only recently turned the corner where we feel we can move her. Her story will show up on Petfinder.com in the coming days. We have her featured on our Facebook pages. She is truly an inspiration to all. We couldn't do it without generous donations and grants like yours.
We used the money received through the Petfinder Foundation's Emergency Medical Grant to cover medical expenses for Alice, a bunny who developed an abscess from having teeth that were significantly overgrown and causing her great pain. She had teeth removed and underwent surgery to contain the infection, but in the end, she sadly passed away. More details are provided below.
Athough we lost Alice, there were still veterinary bills to pay. Our vet was very generous in providing a discount and even waived the fee for some of the services she provided. As a small rescue, large unplanned bills like this are not in our operating budget, so receiving the grant from the Petfinder Foundation allowed us to take care of Alice's bills without impacting our ability to care for the other rabbits at our rescue.
Alice was a sweet bunny who was returned to our rescue when her family decided after a year they no longer had time for her. When she came back, we noticed her jaw was swollen and she likely had an abscess. We took her to the vet and found out that she had teeth that were significantly overgrown and causing her great pain. She had two removed immediately. Several days later, she underwent an additional surgery and had all the remaining teeth except one on the right side of her mouth removed to stop the spread of infection. An antibiotic pack was placed in the abscess area. Several days later, having shown signs of continued infection, she required an additional surgery to drain pus from the upper area of her mouth. All during this time, she required syringe-feeding and hydration and received pain medications and digestive support.
Alice was a fighter and we know she wanted to get better. Oftentimes when a rabbit is sick, they sit in a hunched position. Alice did not. She would periodically eat on her own and hopped around her X-pen. A recheck indicated the infection was improving, and we were hopeful that she would be able to recover.
Three days later, a staple needed to be redone and she went back to the vet again. When she came home, she seemed less enthusiastic, and was no longer interested in eating on her own. She continued to be syringe-fed, but did not like this. Sensing the infection was still not under control, we took her back to the vet, but sadly, she passed away on Oct. 21, 2016.
A necropsy showed the infection had spread throughout her body and affected her organs. Although she tried her best to recover, the infection was too severe for her to overcome.
Grant money was used to help with Dreamer's expenses.
Dreamer is a very sweet 7-year-old American Eskimo. He has quite a story, and American Eskimo Rescue of St. Louis will be happy to share his story. Also we are very thankful to the Petfinder Foundation for being part of Dreamer’s story, especially for awarding a $1,000 grant toward Dreamer’s medical care. Dreamer came to our rescue in October 2016. Before that he had quite a past and now he has quite the future. He is now ready for his new home.
In the beginning of July 2015, Dreamer was found as a stray and taken to Maricopa County Animal Care and Control in Phoenix, Arizona. On July 30, 2015, he was rescued by Eskie Rescuers United (ERU), a national organization for American Eskimo dog rescue across the United States. We in St. Louis, Missouri, work closely with ERU. However, there was a glitch. When Dreamer was found, he had a horrible open sore on his face. No one knew what it was, but it was an open wound (second photo).
There were many people in the American Eskimo dog community trying to save and rescue this dog. A representative from ERU was able to get to the shelter in Arizona and rescue him, only to be told that "the American Eskimo dog with the wound" had been put to sleep. The community was so saddened and disappointed. But later they would find out that he was still alive! So the ERU rep immediately pulled this boy from Animal Control with this horrible wound. He had been saved.
Dreamer was put into ERU’s foster program and taken to the vet. He was diagnosed with soft-tissue sarcoma. The vet recommended radical surgery, but a wonderful ERU volunteer in California said, “Send him to me and I will take care of him.” So Dreamer went to Palm Springs, California, to live with Adell, who fostered him and took him to her vet. The vet removed the soft-tissue sarcoma and saved Dreamer’s eye.
Dreamer lived with Adell until October 2016, when Adell, a longtime rescuer, became ill and was unable to take care of Dreamer any longer. American Eskimo Rescue of St. Louis had room and volunteered to take Dreamer in St. Louis. So Dreamer was put on a plane and headed to St. Louis. We wanted to give this boy a chance and help out since we had an open foster home. We picked up Dreamer and he went to the vet. He needed a check-up, dental, and grooming.
In the first part of November 2016, we noticed a growth in the same area as his first surgery. The growth was not there when we picked him up in October. It was growing at a very fast rate, too. We took Dreamer to a cancer specialist and were told it was the return of the soft-tissue sarcoma – the same tumor that was taken off in August 2015. With soft-tissue sarcoma, the tumor has tentacles like an octopus and is very hard to get rid of due to the way it reaches out. With this tumor, radical surgery would take most of the side of his face. Our options were radiation (at a cost of $5,000) or surgery, which would remove his eye and possibly part of his skull. We chose to have our vet “debulk” the tumor instead of performing radical surgery or giving Dreamer harsh radiation. Chemo was another option, but the type that Dreamer would take could make him sick (and was only 30% effective).
Our board decided to let Dreamer live out his life and not undergo harsh measures. Radiation and surgery would give him the same number of years he has left to live anyway (he is now 6 or 7 years old). Dreamer is such a great dog and he is loving life now.
So Dreamer has had two debulking (tumor-removal) surgeries – one in August 2015 and the other in December 2016. To date, there are no other tumors. We’ve done x-rays on his lungs and there’s no metastasis to that area, which is really good. Dreamer is in foster care at the moment. We have decided that he is ready for his permanent home and will make someone a very lovely family member. Dreamer is medically taken care of now.
Thank you, Petfinder Foundation, for helping with Dreamer’s medical costs and helping him to be the best dog he can possibly be. He is healthy, he loves people and other dogs, and he loves long walks. Dreamer loves to play with toys and go for car rides. Why ruin that for him, as there is no cure for the type of cancer that he has? There are wonderful medical treatments for dogs, but since Dreamer’s cancer is on his face, there is not much room there to do surgery at all. A rescue group cannot afford $5,000 for radiation and it could cause some negative side effects, such as loss of an eye or stroke, with no guarantee the cancer would not come back.
Take a look at Dreamer now (first photo). He has been such a lucky boy, with lots of people who love him. We don’t want to see him suffer by losing an eye, having a stroke, or going through extensive surgery that would only give him a few extra years to live. Right now, he could possibly go on to live his life out and he’ll have a very good quality of life now too. Again, thank you to the Petfinder Foundation for helping Dreamer, a dog with nine lives!
Dreamer is available for adoption and is considered special-needs. There is a chance this tumor could come back and if so he may need a third surgery. To date, Dreamer has had no symptoms. For more information on Dreamer and to adopt, please visit www.petfinder.com/petdetail/36564309.
Behavior training to help make a dog adoptable.
It helped the dog with potty-training, crate-training, playing with other dogs, and with resource-guarding.
Elmo came to AWLA as a young puppy as a stray suffering from severe sarcoptic mange. He needed to be placed in isolation for several weeks to receive treatment. Once his medical treatment was complete, poor Elmo didn’t know how to have proper manners or how to behave. Because we received the Orvis grant from the Petfinder Foundation, we were able to send him to a top-notch boarding and training facility. Here is the first update from the trainer: "Elmo is loving life and having fun! He is working on potty-training, crate-training and resource-guarding. I think his prognosis is good and he can be made available for adoption soon. I have been feeding him from a slow-feed bowl (I actually use a muffin tin) to get him to slow down and calm down while eating. He will sit and wait for the bowl to be put down. He will also take his face away from the bowl when I call him or when I toss a treat in the other direction. He doesn’t show any signs of aggression when we reach into the crate to deliver or remove the bowl. I have also been petting him while he eats and he doesn’t show any resentment. I haven’t tried reaching my hand into the food while he is eating because I didn’t want to push him too far too fast.
"He has the standard hound/beagle dislike of being crated or separated from humans, so if I give him a chew treat like a bully stick and put him in the crate, he does not eat the treat and is totally focused on being let out of the crate. He doesn’t show any resentment about humans taking the treat away or other dogs approaching the crate while he has the treat. The only resource-guarding I have seen so far is with other dogs when he is chewing on a stick outside or eating mud outside. He will sometimes bark and lunge at other dogs when they approach him. He will leave the stick or mud in response to me calling his name.
"The first couple of nights, he howled in his crate for much of the night, but he has since calmed down and will only vocalize for a few minutes. He is not 100% relaxed about meeting new people; he is fearful and shy, but not aggressive, and he does warm up once he spends a bit of time with them. He loves other dogs and is learning to have better boundaries with dogs who don’t want to play with him."
After some more time working with the trainer she saw significant improvements:
-Potty training: He still needs to be supervised and taken out frequently, but he definitely prefers to go outside and responds to the command “go potty.”
-Crate training: He is used to sleeping in a crate and will go in without any fuss and sleep through the night quietly.
Elmo is very affectionate and cuddly with people. He likes to sleep on the couch or on a dog bed. He loves to be around other dogs, especially puppies around his size. He can sometimes be overwhelming to small breeds, but he has not shown any aggression towards them. Elmo still struggles with resource-guarding issues. He is pretty good with humans; I can take an object out of his mouth with no problem, pet him while he is eating and trade the food bowl for treats. I can also reach into his crate and take the empty food bowl with no problem. He does get snarky with other dogs when they approach his crate while he is eating, or approach him when he has a toy or is chewing on a stick or digging outside. I think he would do fine in a multi-dog household as long as he was crated during feeding time and when the owners were not home, and if they do not leave toys or bones lying around. He does not guard anything besides toys and food. He is happy to share the water bowl, other humans, beds and furniture with other dogs.
Kong toys were used for playtime and to combat boredom.
Kept some pets playing longer and not as bored
Trail has been with us for three years and gets a lot of toys. He loves the Kongs filled with treats and looks forward to them every day now. They keep him busy and he loves to toss them up in the air after he gets his treats. Trail is a volunteer favorite at the sanctuary and even has his own Facebook page. We call him Lovable, Laughable Trail. Meet Trail: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/33847609
The product -- five red Kongs -- was used to enrich the lives of some of our 35 rescue dogs while they await their new homes. There are two large-size and three regular-size Kongs that I stuffed with treats. The dogs love them and it makes life easier for the foster parents when they get a new dog and can entertain it for a while between training sessions. It's a great reward and good therapy for dogs while they're being crate-trained.
A number of our dogs are kenneled when we first get them for 10 days to ensure they are healthy and not harboring diseases before going into the general population. This can be a long period for dogs as active as the pointing breeds. Kongs are great therapy for the dogs while they're going through their isolation period.
The Kongs are used among 20 of the 35 dogs currently in our program. We sanitize between dogs and move the Kongs to different kennels where the dogs are awaiting vetting, recovering from spay surgery or just in their isolation period.
Kynzi came to us on Jan. 17, 2017. She was suffering from separation anxiety and released by her former foster parent. Not only was Kynzi afflicted with separation anxiety, but she was also very timid and submissive. The Kongs were invaluable to integrating her into a group with other dogs and keeping her busy while we left her "alone" for longer and longer periods. They also helped occupy her and get her used to cats in close proximity. Kynzi still needs other dogs in her foster and new home to make her feel secure, but she's great "home alone" with them now! No people required for all-day companionship! Kynzi is available for adoption at www.petfinder.com/petdetail/37320418.
The AO grant money was used for vaccinations and behavioral assessment and training for dogs.
We were able to provide booster bordetella vaccinations for the dogs in our care and booster FVRCP vaccinations for the cats in our care. The extra FVRCP vaccinations were a great help in stopping a severe virus that was moving from cat to cat. We give an FVRCP vaccination to every cat when it enters our shelter and give kittens booster shots but had not been able to give additional vaccinations to the older cats. Since we are a no-kill shelter, we have several cats who have been with us for more than five years and many one to two years. By giving every cat an FVRCP booster, we have eliminated the horrible virus that was running its course in our adoption and isolation areas. We will continue to give every cat booster shots for as long as we can. The grant money also made it possible for us to provide off-site assessment and training to an English bulldog who has been in our care since September 2016. The training receiving will also help other dogs in our care now and in the future.
Eight dogs and more than 130 cats to date
Moose is a 2-year-old English bulldog who came to YAAP on Sept. 29, 2016. He had been living with a woman who had moved eight times in Moose's short life. She had lived with several men and been evicted numerous times, and as a result, Moose had developed anxiety issues. The YAAP volunteers fell in love with Moose and each gave him as much attention as time allowed. He showed a little improvement, but not enough to move to the adoption area. One of the volunteers researched training programs and instructors that might be able to help. When we received notification that we would be receiving an Adoption Options in Action grant, we decided to use some of the money to send Moose and two volunteers to an Assessment & Training program. Since the training day, Moose's anxiety has greatly improved and he has been moved to the adoption area, where he improves each day. He will soon be listed on Petfinder, where we will find him the home he so deserves. The grant money will continue to help other dogs, as we now have volunteers with advanced training, and they will be sharing what they have learned with others. At right is a photo of Moose (first photo) and one of Moose interacting calmly with Gabe, a volunteer's dog (second photo), which would not have been possible prior to the training. The third and fourth photos show some of the cats in our community room. All of the cats in our care benefited from the grant, as will future cats.
The money was used to pay a portion of the vet bill for an injured kitty, Frankie (a.k.a. Frankenstein), who sadly crawled under a car hood to keep warm and, when the driver started the car in the morning, poor Frankie was caught. He suffered several injuries and a broken leg. He is still at the vet receiving care but is expected to make a full recovery. He has had several surgeries and had to be sedated to change his bandages, as his skin lacerations were severe. He is doing so well and we are ever so grateful to the Petfinder Foundation for your support.
This grant helped us pay a portion of the vet bill for Frankie. The community is responding so positively to the support from the Petfinder Foundation, as they have been following his story. He is one amazing and loving cat, and is loved by many at the clinic. This grant has helped us not only with this one kitty, but in communicating the mission of our volunteer-based organization and highlighting the type of work we do, and how our community members can find our adoptable pets on Petfinder.com.
One directly, but many more in good will.
A big "Thank You" to the Petfinder Foundation for granting us $1,000 for emergency medical funding for Frankie, the poor kitty who crawled under the hood of a car to keep warm and was terribly injured. The owner of the car had no idea that a sweet little grey-and-white kitten was under the hood of the car when he started it. Sadly, much of Frankie's skin was torn and his leg was broken. He is still under veterinary care at Silver Creek Animal Clinic and is expected to make a full recovery. Through it all, he is just a sweetheart, and the clinic says, "He is loved by many here."
Duchess had a severe infection in her right front leg. She received high doses of antibiotics and steroids but the infection did not improve. She had her leg amputated ($600). During her recovery, the infection came back, but in her shoulder. She is still on a smaller dose of amoxicillin. The medicines and x-rays before and after surgery come to at least $500 so far.
This of course helped Duchess. She is getting around well on three legs but she is a bit apprehensive around people other than her foster mom and family. Getting this grant to help with Duchess's surgery and medical cost involved allowed us to be able to have the funds needed to help 17 cats who were shot and used for target practice in our area. Duchess would not have received timely care without the grant.
It directly helped Duchess.
Duchess, a 9-month-old black-and-white kitten, came into The Cat's Cradle after she was found on the streets. She began limping in August and her leg was x-rayed. They thought it could be a small fracture and they wrapped it. However, it began swelling immediately and I had to remove the wrap. The swelling continued and she became lethargic. I took her back and they were shocked at the edema. She also had a high fever and a very elevated white blood cell count. They kept her and started an IV and heavy-duty antbiotics. After they shaved the leg, they saw two bite marks and we all realized she had been bitten by another cat. I believe this happened in the adoption center because she had been home for about a week when she began limping. I think she was bitten by a strange cat who didn't know her when a cleaner let them out while cleaning. There have been no other bites before or since here.
They x-rayed the leg a second time 10 days after the first one and it showed that the infection had settled in the bone and damaged the joint so badly that amputation was the only option. They had to wait until her white count went down some before they could do the surgery. She did great after surgery but was at the vet's office for a total of four weeks and came home on antibiotics. She has healed well and gets around fine on three legs. Her bill was around $1,000, even with discounts given to us.