2015 Program Highlights


The Petfinder Foundation gave 1,623 grants of cash and product, with a total value of $964,471, to animal shelters and rescue groups in 2015. That includes funding several types of initiatives that were new to the Foundation, including:

  • $15,000 to the Mayor’s Alliance for New York City Pets to hold a multi-organization Adoptapalooza adoption event in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park in August
  • $10,000 to Austin Pets Alive! to support its innovative Parvo Puppy ICU
  • $196,696 to fund youth humane-education programs that will help prevent pet homelessness in the future
  • $50,000 to help organizations implement the lifesaving industry best practices recommended at Petfinder Adoption Options conferences

We also maintained our commitment to assisting shelters and rescue groups during times of emergency and crisis, giving $61,100 in disaster grants to 23 organizations. These grants helped save pets impacted by:

  • A fire that devastated Richardson Rescue in York, S.C., in February
  • Flooding in Texas and Oklahoma over Memorial Day weekend
  • Northern California’s wildfires in September

Finally, we are committed to helping adoption groups fundraise using the reach of Petfinder.com, the Internet’s No. 1 pet-adoption website, and distributed $186,075 toward the care of individual pets through our Petfinder.com-based Sponsor a Pet program.


Quality of Life
Improving the quality of life of pets while they are in shelters or in the care of rescue groups makes them happier, healthier and more adoptable. The following 2015 grant programs fall within this category.

Adoption Options in Action Grants: $50,000
Adoption Options, run by Petfinder.com, is a series of free conferences that educate shelter and rescue-group staff and volunteers in the placement, promotion, training and enrichment of pets in their care. AOs in Action grants were available to Petfinder.com members that attended an Adoption Options conference in 2015 and needed financial assistance in order to implement the programs or practices presented there. Grants ranged from $500 to $2,500 and were awarded to 32 shelters.

Cause for Paws Grants: $209,000  
In 2014, the Petfinder Foundation was the designated charity for a dog-rescue-focused TV special.  Grants of funds raised during FOX’s Cause for Paws: An All-Star Dog Spectacular were general animal-care grants used support shelters’ and rescue groups’ dog-adoption efforts. Grants ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 went to 44 shelters.

Emergency Medical Grants: $20,000
These grants assisted shelters and rescue groups caring for pets who needed special veterinary care in order to become adoptable. Grants from this program were used to cover expenses that fell outside of day-to-day care such as spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations and routine exams. Examples include emergency surgery, dental work, etc. Grants up to $1,000 were awarded to 24 shelters.

Friskies/Beggin’: $20,000
In partnership with Purina, we granted Friskies Party Mix cat treats and Beggin’ Strips dog treats to shelters to use in training and socialization of their adoptable pets. Product grants valued at $285 to $571 were awarded to 53 shelters.

KONG: $16,788
With the KONG Company, we provided enrichment toys to shelters and rescue groups across the country. These products stimulate pets’ minds and prevent stress- and boredom-induced behaviors, making them more adoptable. Product grants of varying value were awarded to 62 shelters.

Orvis Animal-Care Grants: $50,000
With help from the Orvis Company, the Petfinder Foundation was able to provide 40 general animal-care grants of $1,000 to help support shelters’ and rescue groups’ dog adoption efforts, as well as one $10,000 grant to Austin Pets Alive! to support its Parvo Puppy ICU.

P.L.A.Y.: $13,728
We distributed P.L.A.Y. Chill Pad pet beds to help shelter dogs feel more comfortable in their kennels and sleep off the cold cement floor. These beds are particularly helpful to dogs who are on crate rest as they undergo heartworm treatment or recover from surgery. Product grants of 10 or 20 beds were awarded to 24 shelters.

Rescue U Renovation: $60,000
Our Rescue U program provides funds to help shelters with small scale renovation projects such as repairs, painting, sound-proofing, installing fencing, and the construction of kennels, cat houses and play areas, outdoor pens, etc. Grants of $1,000 to $3,000 were awarded to 23 shelters.

Disaster Relief: $61,100
The Petfinder Foundation assists adoption organizations with disaster relief and recovery. Funds offer assistance during and after significant natural or man-made disasters. Funds may provide emergency equipment or supplies, physical repairs to shelter facilities and property, animal-transport and housing equipment, file- and record- management systems, and pay for staff who worked overtime during an emergency. In 2015, we awarded grants ranging from $500 to $10,000 to 23 shelters in Texas, Oklahoma, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Pennsylvania and California.

Sponsor A Pet: $186,075
Through our Sponsor A Pet program, Petfinder.com visitors can help homeless pets by contributing toward the cost of their care. Donations are collected by the Petfinder Foundation and earmarked for the designated shelter. Donations are distributed to the shelters quarterly, less 10%, which partially covers the cost of administering the program. Sponsor a Pet disbursements from $22,50 to $1,485 went to 1,197 organizations.

Youth Humane Education: $196,696
These grants, made possible by customer donations to the Build-A-Bear Foundation, helped fund shelters’ and rescue groups’ existing humane-education programs for kids ages 6-14 with proven track records in teaching young people about kindness and compassion toward animals. Grants from $4,000 to $11,000 were awarded to 19 shelters.

We also administered grant programs in partnership with the following corporate partners:
Dogly: $26,500
MyRescue.dog: $100,000
Bissell: $2,352
Purina Beggin’: $7,800

Other 2015 grant programs included:
Petfinder.com Annual Member Survey grants ($2,500); Perkins Foundation enrichment grants ($9,000); Hide, Perch and Go ($2,400); Adoptapalooza New York City adoption event ($15,000); Pet Expo booth space ($5,300)