Success Stories

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

Sonoma Humane Society: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Thanks to a generous grant from the Petfinder Foundation, Sonoma Humane Society was able to provide safe shelter, food and care for 76 animals displaced during wildfires until they could be reunited with their families.

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

Sonoma Humane Society’s mission is to ensure that every animal receives protection, compassion, love and care. During our community's recent fires, a generous grant from the Petfinder Foundation allowed us to do just that for animals who went lost or missing during the disaster. The grant covered costs to shelter and care for 76 animals displaced by the wildfires in October 2017. Thanks to your compassionate support, we were able to provide refuge, food and care for animals while we worked to reunite them with their owners.

From the earliest hours of the fires, we received a continual stream of stray animals from many different sources. Some were brought to us by our local rescue partners, and many were brought in after being found by individual community members. In some cases, animals had been found by residents who had returned to fire-damaged homes and neighborhoods looking for their own pets.

With the onset of the fires, Sonoma Humane Society took a lead role in creating a central database to increase our community’s ability to reunite lost pets with their owners. A team of staff and volunteers compiled information from our local animal-welfare agencies and the various social media pages that were appearing daily. This event emphasized the importance of microchips (and keeping them up-to-date). Dr. Sarah Reidenbach, DVM, Director of Shelter Medicine at SHS, states that “microchips were the hero in our shelter hospital, because we knew we’d get to watch a beautiful reunification each time our microchip scanner beeped.”

For the displaced pet owners we were able to reach out to, it was such a comfort to them knowing that their beloved pets would be safe and sound with us, at no cost to them, until they were able to reclaim them. And for pets whose owners we couldn’t readily locate, we continued to search. We extended our stray hold period for fire-affected animals to allow ample time for owners to reclaim their pets. Recently, we’ve begun finding homes for unclaimed pets with the stipulation that, should an owner come forward, they may be contacted to redeem their pet.

While in our care, each animal was able to know the comfort of a warm, soft bed and the reassurance of human companionship. Our Animal Care staff delivered nutritious meals and fresh water throughout the day, and each pet received an exam by our veterinary team and was administered appropriate medical care where needed. Each cat received several daily visits from our Cat Care Partners, helping them to feel soothed and mentally engaged during their displacement. Similarly, displaced dogs received regular walks and frequent interaction with our Canine Care team.

How many pets did this grant help?

76

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

Butterfly (first photo) is just one of the displaced pets who was able to receive safety, care and comfort at Sonoma Humane Society during the wildfires in our community. The shy gray tabby was brought to us by a good Samaritan just days after the fires started. She was dehydrated and her paws were scorched. She was also frightened and wouldn’t eat for the first two days. In addition to the medical care she needed, our team administered lots of reassurance, as well as a variety of foods to coax her to eat. By day three, Butterfly was eating all her food and purring with every visit. We tried for a month to find her owners, but unfortunately weren’t able to locate them.

The good Samaritan who found her decided that he would like to adopt her, since it appeared that no one was looking for her. He was just days away from adopting her when a family came in, saying they’d seen her online and recognized her as their cat! They came in to see and sure enough, it was their Butterfly. The family had lost their home in the fire and couldn’t take her back right away. We contacted the finder with the news, and he was thrilled that her owners had been found. In a wonderful twist of fate, it turned out that the finder and the family knew each other. The finder is currently fostering Butterfly for them until they can resolve their housing situation.

Crystal (second photo) jumped out of her carrier and took off running while her family was evacuating from the fires. Thankfully, a neighbor spotted the buff-colored cat and was able to catch her as he was evacuating. He brought her to us and, thanks to her microchip, we were able to contact her very-relieved owner. She was grateful for the peace of mind she had knowing we would take the best care of Crystal until the danger had passed. During her intake exam, our vet noted that Crystal’s eyes were irritated and that she had a tender shoulder. A week later, just as soon as it was safe to return home, Crystal’s owner came straight in to pick her up. She’d missed her cat deeply and was so thankful that we were able to care for her cherished 12-year-old cat during the firestorms.

Upper Peninsula Animal Welfare Shelter: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money was used to purchase dog martingale collars and Freedom No-Pull harnesses for the shelter dogs.

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

The grant helped by having the proper collars and harnesses to make walking our dogs a much more enjoyable experience for the dog and the person walking. It is also a great training tool.

How many pets did this grant help?

Hundreds of dogs will use these collars and harnesses.

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

One of our small dogs was very skittish and it was unsafe to walk her, since with regular collars she would pull out of them and could run away. With these new collars, that is not possible.

Cuz I Matter Animal Rescue: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The money received was used to pay for heartworm treatment and vetting costs including rabies vaccines, spay/neuter surgery and heartworm tests.

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

In the days leading up to Hurricane Harvey hitting the Texas coast, we pulled 11 dogs from local shelters and two from a person who could no longer care for their dogs. Three of the dogs pulled were heartworm-positive and two of the dogs tested positive for parvo. The funds received were used to help offset the medical costs for these dogs including heartworm treatment costs and vetting cost (rabies, spay/neuter, and heartworm tests) to prepare the dogs for adoption.

How many pets did this grant help?

Partially paid for heartworm treatment for three dogs and for spay/neuter costs for two dogs.

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

Ruby Red (first photo) and Cocoa (second photo) are two of the dogs who are currently receiving heartworm treatment for which this grant helped offset the cost. Ruby and Cocoa were both pulled from a shelter that was euthanizing all its animals and shutting down in preparation for Hurricane Harvey. Ruby Red was a shy, scared dog who is slowly warming up to people and learning to trust. She has recently gone to a foster-to-adopt home and will hopefully be adopted after the trial period ends. Cocoa is a sweet, high-energy, lovable guy; we are all shocked that he has not been adopted yet. Ainsely (third photo) was in a local shelter that was taking in dogs being evacuated from shelters prior to Harvey hitting. We pulled her and three others from that shelter to help make room for four more dogs. Ainsely was adopted on Nov. 8, 2017.
Meet Cocoa: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39261583

Second Chance Animal Rescue Villalba PR: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

Second Chance Animal Rescue suffered horrendous winds and torrential rainfall that severely damaged the perimeter fencing and kennel fencing and tore off a portion of our rescue shelter at the end of the 2017 hurricane season. The Petfinder Foundation's Disaster Grant funds are assisting SCAR's contracted engineers to stabilize the perimeter retaining walls in order to replace the severely damaged fencing. Keeping our rescued animals safe is one of our highest priorities; therefore the Petfinder Foundation’s support is imperative to rebuilding the rescue shelter so Bonnie Lukas can continue our mission to save stray and neglected animals in the community.

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

Because our pets have been rescued from abandonment and neglect on the streets of Puerto Rico, safety is one of Second Chance Animal Rescue's highest priorities. The perimeter fencing at the shelter not only ensures the animals are safe inside the rescue shelter, but also provides enrichment for our animals by giving them the ability to run, play and socialize in groups. Since the devastating damage to the rescue shelter perimeter fencing and kennels, our rescued dogs have been limited in the amount of time they can exercise and relieve their stresses; therefore, these repairs, made possible by the Petfinder Foundation, are so important to the care of SCAR's rescued animals.

How many pets did this grant help?

150

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

At the beginning of the 2017 hurricane season, Second Chance Animal Rescue received a plea for the rescue of three blind puppies found abandoned on the streets of Humacao, Puerto Rico. These young male Labrador siblings, in the care of our founder, Bonnie Lukas, have been nurtured into healthy, strong boys. Stevie, Ray and Ronnie have thrived, socializing with other SCAR rescued dogs in the safety of the rescue shelter. They run and play, not letting their disability hold them back. They are wonderful, loving pups who are waiting for their perfect, forever adoptive families to open their hearts to them. Meet them: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39857868

Lee County Humane Society: Sponsor a Pet
What was the money or product used for?

This money was used to sponsor the adoption fee of one of our long-term resident cats.

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

This grant helped pay for the adoption fees of three of our cats.

How many pets did this grant help?

three

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

Gertrude is one of the cats whose adoption fee was sponsored. She was a cat who spent more than eight months in our shelter. She was adopted by a family that agreed to foster her short-term, but decided to keep her permanently after the cat they already owned fell madly in love with her. The vastly discounted adoption fee really helped them make up their minds. Gertrude Pawldridge and Aaron Purr (second photo) -- a love match for the ages!

Take A Chance Animal Rescue: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The grant was used to construct new, permanent run structures to safely house our hurricane dogs.

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

This grant helped our dogs relax in a safe and secure run until they were/are adopted/fostered into loving homes. Before we received this grant, many of the dogs were in temporary crates or wire kennels. This created an extremely stressful atmosphere for these dogs and some were injuring themselves in an attempt to escape, or were too frightened to move. This grant allowed us to construct a space where every dog could feel safe. This grant did not just help us with our current dogs, but will help us be more prepared to receive dogs should another disaster arrive.

How many pets did this grant help?

10

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

Frankie (first photo) came to us from a shelter in Texas that was forced to evacuate. He had severe anxiety. He immediately broke his temporary crate once he arrived at our shelter. We tried placing him in several other crates/kennels and he broke out of each one, destroying them completely in the process. He could chew through the steel bars on crates and kennels and broke three teeth tearing pieces off of them. We purchased an "indestructible" kennel for him and he broke it within a week. In addition to his teeth, Frank also injured his face when banging and grabbing at the sides of his kennels. Once we received the grant and started work on the runs, that changed. Frank cannot break out of his new run. He has been able to be contained safely and no longer suffers from self-inflicted injuries. His injuries have cleared up and he is an all-around happier dog now that he has a safe space all to himself. He is still available for adoption: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39233259

Texas Animal Society: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

We rescued 22 dogs and cats directly related to Hurricane Harvey. The money was used to get them vetting and to help our fosters who lost everything in the flood with food, crates, bedding, and toys. We had purchased crates and tents to conduct off-site adoption events. These were being stored at a foster's home and they lost everything due to rising flood waters. The low-cost spay-and-neuter clinic we use was flooded, causing us to seek out veterinary care at higher costs.

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

We were able to approve all animals we were asked to help. Without this grant, we would not have been able to bring them into our rescue. In addition, we were able to continue to provide help to our fosters who were devastated by the flooding.

How many pets did this grant help?

Including the animals who belonged to fosters who lost everything in the floods, over 30 animals.

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

Harlow (first photo), Daphne (second photo) and Hannah were living with their owners in an Atascocita, Texas, apartment complex. We got the call late Monday, Aug. 28, that the apartment complex was flooding, residents were being evacuated and there were close to 100 cats in the complex who needed to find new homes immediately. When they arrived at the foster's home, they were wet, dirty, sick and scared. After several weeks of loving care we were able to find amazing "furever" homes for them!

Harvey (third photo) and Melvin (fourth photo) were found wandering with a pack of homeless dogs the day of the storm. The volunteer who feeds the dogs was concerned because this area floods very easily and these were just kittens. She was able to trap the kittens and bring them to us. They are lovebugs who are still looking for a home of their own.
Meet Melvin: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39310248
Meet Harvey: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39310249

Gizmo (fifth photo) was found wandering a neighborhood after the hurricane, scared, hungry and heartworm-positive. We found a foster to take him in. He is doing great now and is awaiting a home to call his own.
Meet Gizmo: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39857079

Good Shepherd Humane Society: Orvis Animal Care Grant
What was the money or product used for?

GSHS was pleased to receive the Orvis Operational Grant of $1,000 to purchase 10 Kuranda beds for large dogs.

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

Kuranda beds are very durable and easy to sanitize, which is a must in any shelter. They provide comfort for our dogs by elevating them off of the concrete floor.

How many pets did this grant help?

10-15 dogs at a time

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

Wilma a sweet 6-and-a-half-year-old dog who is still looking for a forever home. Wilma is an older dog and the new Kuranda bed improves her quality of life here at the shelter by improving her comfort level. Wilma absolutely adores her new bed. Meet her: www.petfinder.com/petdetail/39800729

Halfway Home Cat Rescue, Inc.: Emergency Medical Grant
What was the money or product used for?

A heart surgery procedure that one of our kittens needed to remove a ligament stemming from the heart that was wrapped around the kitten's lower esophagus. This was causing her to not be able to swallow most of what she ate, causing her to have stunted growth.

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

This grant helped is afford the surgery Angel needed to survive. Without it, she would have died eventually due to the ligament around her esophagus strangling her.

How many pets did this grant help?

1

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

Angel had had problems regurgitating her food from the time I took her into foster care in April 2017 when she was three weeks old. As she grew, I noticed this to be a habit, a problem and a concern. Initially we believed it was megaesophagus. We took her to a specialist at Tufts in Grafton, MA, where we used all of the money we had fundraised for a CT scan. This scan revealed Angel's condition, which the cardiologist wanted to schedule for surgery sooner rather than later. Two weeks later, Angel received the lifesaving surgery and has been fine ever since! Due to all she had been through, she has not yet been spayed. She will be after the first of the year and then we will work on finding Angel the purrfect forever home!

Shih Tzu Rescue, Inc.: Disaster Grant
What was the money or product used for?

The $1,000 grant money was used to help us with the cost of removing trees that were uprooted on our campus during Hurricane Irma. The total for tree removal alone was over $10,000.

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

With the Petfinder Foundation's help, we were able to have the trees removed and pay for the fencing to be repaired. Please find the before and after pictures.

How many pets did this grant help?

100

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

This grant helped all of the dogs on our campus. as they are now safely and securely confined.