Here are some examples of how your donations are helping shelters and rescue groups, in the organizations’ own words.
The $1,000 Adoption Options in Action Grant was used to build an enrichment program for cats and kittens in foster homes. With the grant, we explored the use of interactive toys, vertical space, food puzzles, sounds, and aromatherapy to help cats transition from "street life" into foster homes. Furthermore, we invested in a special crate to showcase our cats at adoption events.
With this program, we have not only seen an increase in natural cat behavior in foster homes, but it has improved cat foster satisfaction, as our fosters are able to provide additional mental stimuli for cats to improve their quality of care. Additionally, our adopters have shown satisfaction in seeing the cats’ true colors and personalities in the foster home prior to adoption, making the transition into a forever home easier.
One foster mom commented about the addition of enrichment toys to her foster experience: “Having enrichment to give my kittens enhances their lives while living with me and in their future homes. I know I have started them off on the right path by mentally and physically stimulating them with different toys and can pass on that knowledge to adopters! My foster kittens are happier and healthier because they know how to play, scratch, stalk, and hunt with appropriate things. The cute cat videos that result don't hurt either!”
Since the grant was awarded on October 30, 2017, we have rescued 15 cats and kittens. Each of these felines has been able to benefit from the additional enrichment supplies. Our organization has, on average, 35 cats and kittens in our rescue. Our goal is to continue to distribute supplies as additional cats and kittens are rescued, and ensure that supplies are distributed to cats already in our system.
We have one foster home with six kittens: Diego, Celia, Naiya, Roja, Isa, and Kiki. These kittens came from a community member who needed help with their momma cat, Dora. Dora was returned to her family after the kittens were weaned, and the kittens all waited in a foster home to meet their forever families. All six have since been adopted. The six kittens were our test subjects, and volunteered their services to test out the enrichment supplies as they were ordered. If the supplies proved successful, we ordered more for additional foster homes with cats and kittens. They especially loved and highly recommended the ball tracks and scratch posts.
Two cases of FVRCP vaccine and one case of five-way parvo combo injectable vaccines. One case of intranasal bordetella vaccines, flea treatment, Strongid wormer and a TNR program.
We had switched to intranasal FVRCP vaccines about a year ago, but at the Petfinder Adoption Options seminar, during the Shelter Medicine program, the benefits of injectable over internasal was discussed and we realized we needed to switch back right away. With the grant funds the Petfinder Foundation provided us, we had enough of the proper vaccines to vaccinate every animal we had in the last quarter of 2017 and we still have enough to last us likely until the end of February 2018.
Crosser (first photo) was left tied to the porch of one of our volunteers' houses one evening when no one was home. Her family arrived home and moved him inside into a kennel and provided him with food and water. We were able to give him his vaccines, microchip, Strongid and flea preventative that same evening. (As also discussed in the Shelter Medicine section of the Adoption Options program, we vaccinated right away to help prevent this pup or any of our other rescue animals from getting sick). Crosser was held for quarantine, then moved to a new foster home and adopted.
Pawsibilities took in 30 sick cats: 13 with herpes, 15 with coccidia, one with Manx syndrome, and one with metabolic issues. Each cat received at least one vaccine, depending on how long they were in our care; two doses of Strongid; and flea preventative. Several have been adopted. Here are the Petfinder links for those who are still available for adoption:
We were able to combine the rest of the funds we had left over from the Petfinder Foundation grant with a donation from another organization to trap, spay/neuter and vaccinate an entire colony of cats in a small town in rural Missouri.
The $1,000 grant was used to pay the tuition for the Dogs Playing for Life Mentorship Program held Dec. 5-8, 2017, in Austin, TX, at the Austin Pets Alive! facility.
The grant made it possible for me to attend the mentorship training. The training gave me hands-on experience in running playgroups from highly experienced trainers.
We currently have 20 dogs available for adoption at our shelter. The training the grant provided will help these dogs and future dogs coming into our facility.
J.J. is 1-year-old hound mix (first and second photos) who has been with us since Nov. 10, 2017. By mid-December, his behavior started to change to where he tugged and pulled on walks and barked at anything and everything in his kennel and outside. When he was first introduced to playgroup, he'd nip at and grab at the other dogs in the group and they'd respond by correcting his behavior. The training taught me to let that happen. Lots of teeth, lots of noise, then lots of play. Staff and volunteers have commented on his behavior improvement in and out of his kennel. He is becoming a much more adoptable dog because of participation in playgroup. Meet him: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39960634
The grant from the Petfinder Foundation was used to provide six months of lifesaving insulin for Cocoa, an adoptable dog with us at Rescue One. What was especially cool about this grant is that rather than using it while Cocoa was in our care, we were able to use it as a way to help get her adopted! Not only was Cocoa's adoption fee sponsored, but her adopter received the money to cover six months of her insulin after adoption.
This grant was extremely helpful in our journey of finding Cocoa's forever home. Cocoa had multiple strikes against her: She's a senior, has an expensive medical condition, and can be wary of other dogs. However, the combination of the grant, which alleviated some of the cost of Cocoa's condition, in addition to the exposure Cocoa received on the Susie's Senior Dogs Facebook page, helped us find her home!
Cocoa came to us from a senior couple who were moving into a nursing home and could no longer keep their beloved girl. She was up for adoption through Rescue One in Springfield, Missouri, for over a year, but is now adopted! Here is an amazing update from Cocoa's adopter: "Cocoa has been here at home since Dec. 2, 2017, and she has been a wonderful addition to my little pack of granny dogs. She has three small old-lady sisters now. Her diabetes hasn't slowed her down. When it's not too cold in Kansas, we do daily walks so she can sniff out the neighborhood, and when we stay close to home, she loves keeping an eye on her new large fenced yard. Cocoa joyfully and quickly made her way through the toy bin when she moved in and took care of any and all squeakers. I'm so happy to give her whatever she wants, so she is now a loyal BarkBox subscriber so she can stay her busiest and happiest. Everyone who has met Cocoa has fallen in love. She is the sweetest, happiest girl. And I'm overjoyed to be able to give her her much-deserved forever home." The pictures attached are of Cocoa in her forever home. Feel free to share!
Mentorship with Dogs Playing for Life.
Training to have our dogs playing together in the play yard. Meeting potential adopters or fosters in the play yard with other dogs.
Meet Louise, a whippet mix with lots of energy. At first, we thought Louise might be deaf. She did not have interest in anyone or respond to anyone. Once she was introduced to other dogs in the play yard, she changed into a playful young pup. Her personality was lovely. Louise found her forever home in another state and was transported with a rescue group.
Miss Charlie came to us very sick and ended up needing much more done than expected. These funds went to treat her skin condition, help pay for her vaginal hyperplasia surgery and her eye distichiasis surgery.
We only rescue sick dogs like Charlie, but this helped pay for some of her medical care, since most of the funds come from our pockets to pay for these sick guys. This grant helped us make sure all the sick dogs in our care got the treatment they needed instead of one sick rescue depleting all the funds.
One directly, but it helped with all eight
Miss Charlie says: "Hi, my name is Miss Charlie. I am a neglect case from Chowchilla, Calif. Doctors think I am 8 months old. I am a Presa Canario/American Staffordshire terrier/bulldog mix, according to my DNA test. A full DNA report will be given to my adoptive family, as will my complete health records. Here is my story from my point of view.
"I showed up on a stranger’s porch. He called for someone to come and get me. On Sept. 13, 2017, an animal control officer from the Madera County Animal Shelter came and picked me up. I was sick, scared and showing signs of physical abuse as well. ACO Michelle took me to see a vet right away and started me on treatment. I was placed on a treatment plan until a rescue could come get me.
"Shelter staffer Sandy put out a call for my rescue on the same day. Sandy knew to tag Miss Gabriel Foundation in the post. MGF responded on Sept. 14, asking about my condition and if any local rescues were coming to help me. No one was coming and no one was interested. As it so happened, a lady named Katie had found a paid transport that could take me as well as another rescue down to MGF, but it was the next day. MGF agreed to take me on if I could make the transport. Sandy and a lady named Debbie helped arrange for me to make the transport from one city to the other and on to MGF.
"Michelle drove me to the transporter named Cheryl to get me to MGF. I was in need of ongoing medical attention, so I was transferred to MGF on Sept. 15. I had a severe skin disease and was in a lot of pain. I suffered from corneal scarring, eye infections, long nails, tapeworms, diarrhea and swollen paws. I was demodex-positive. Finding out what was wrong with me and the treatments were the expensive parts. Now that I am done with my treatments, I can be adopted out to a forever home. Meet me: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39783212"
Storm relief from Hurricane Irma
Four extra spay/neuter surgery days in our clinic
Skin treatment: medications and shampoos
With the funds, we were able to schedule four extra surgery days to be able to spay/neuter the large amount of animals coming to us. We were able to order extra supplies and medications. Several of the dogs we received were heartworm-positive. We had many who were extremely emaciated and needed special food. We had broken bones and extreme skin issues. We were able to save all who came through our doors except for two: one precious cat and one precious dog.
Watching these animals come through our doors in horrific condition and seeing them heal and learn to run and play is a feeling like no other. Our animals enjoy five large play yards and a huge swimming pool to swim and cool off. We feel we are the lucky ones, being able to heal their wounds and their hearts. Just one happy tail wag or lick on the cheek makes what we do worth very second of hard work.
Following the weeks of the storm, we had more than 142 dogs and 137 cats come to us.
There were so many, it is difficult to pick one. However, here are pictures of just a few who came to us in need. They had obviously weathered the storm and were found wandering the streets. We worked diligently with these animals. The public brought them special toys and treats. It was an honor to serve them and watch them heal. Without the extra funding we received, it would have been very difficult to treat as many as we did.
For Popcorn's eye removal surgery. He is a 7-year-old bichon mix whom we found in a high[-intake] shelter, completely dirty and with a severely infected eye.
The grant covered the surgery to have his infected eye removed.
Hi there, Popcorn here! I was dumped at a super high[-intake] shelter already bursting at the seams with dogs and a lot of them were way younger than me, so I didn't have much of a chance to get out. A kind lady called a "rescue person" was there to pick up one dog. I could read her mind; she was thinking, "Just get the one you are here for -- we have too many as it is. Don't look, just get one and get out." Well, somehow I mind-melded her and she happened to glance over at me and, well, she started crying upon seeing the shape I was in. I was dirty, matted, and flea-infested and my eye was completely infected. So back to the front desk she went and that day she left with me and that other dog -- who basically saved my LIFE.
I was having eye problems, so they took me to an ophthalmologist and found out that I need surgery to remove my bad eye. It was not a great time for the rescue to be hit with such an expense, but I learned that good rescues make things happen for us dogs in need.
A big thank-you to all the humans who donated and to the Petfinder Foundation for helping us raise enough money to cover my eye surgery! The good news: I got my sutures out and I am healing perfectly. I don't even know I lost an eye because it wasn't working anyway! I feel so much better now! Thank you, kind humans, and may your universe be filled with love and good things! Meet Popcorn: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39015576
This funding was used to help Little Mister with his enucleation surgery.
This grant helped our organization to help with a life-saving surgery and the eventual adoption of a kitten that had few options previously.
This grant helped one specific kitten in great need.
Little Mister, a blind and underage kitten, was surrendered to Seattle Humane when his owners could no longer care for him. He came in with an infection and he was also diagnosed with feline panleukopenia, a highly contagious and often fatal virus affecting cats and kittens. Little Mister recovered from panleukopenia, but unfortunately his eye infection was so severe that our veterinary team needed to remove his eyes to relieve the pain. Little Mister’s heart stopped beating during his surgery, but he was saved thanks to a veterinary technician who manually kept it beating for 20 minutes. After the procedure, Little Mister went home with one of our dedicated foster volunteers. She fell in love with this now-healthy, playful kitten and adopted him!
We bought bus ads to promote our Animal Allies program throughout Milwaukee County and out to Waukesha County (a suburb of Milwaukee). Animal Allies most often visits classrooms comprised of inner-city/at-risk youth who are not educated as to how to behave around animals or care for pets.
It reintroduced the program to teachers/schools that have had us visit in the past but had forgotten about this resource for their students. Typically, each classroom we visit has about 20 kids, and usually almost half of them have pets. Most know someone with a pet, and pretty much all of them come into contact with stray pets often. So educating these children on how to behave around and care for animals appropriately helps countless pets to have better-quality lives.
At this time, that's hard to quantify because the visits that we've scheduled from these ads are in 2018.
Many of the children in the classrooms we visit have never heard of "rescue" and have no idea about the homeless-pet epidemic in our country. Many have no idea that they could grow up to be an animal rescuer, trainer or vet. You'd be surprised how many kids don't even understand that pit bull-type dogs aren't property and need care, just like the "pets" they have living in their homes. This particular grant didn't help one of our adoptable pets directly, but helped the current pet population and future pet populations in general all throughout Milwaukee and Waukesha Counties.