Petfinder Foundation

The Petfinder Foundation, a nonprofit 501(c)3 public charity, works to ensure no adoptable pet is euthanized for lack of a home. We help homeless pets by saving lives through adoptions, helping shelters prepare for and recover from disasters, and working to make sure animal adoption organizations are more sustainable. Since 2003, the Foundation has provided more than $20 million in grants to animal welfare organizations and Petfinder.com member shelters and rescue groups.
Sep 24, 2013

Helping Pets Displaced by Colorado Floods

Melody, a senior Pit Bull at Longmont Humane
Melody, a senior Pit Bull at Longmont Humane

We’ve sent $6,000 in disaster aid to Longmont Humane Society (LHS) in Longmont, Colo., where staff members have been working tirelessly to care for 190 pets displaced by the region’s deadly floods. This grant follows a $3,000 disaster grant to nearby Humane Society of Boulder Valley, which is housing 70 displaced pets.

“We are incredibly grateful,” LHS Executive Director Liz Smokowski tells us in a phone call from the busy shelter, which has stayed open to help pets despite being located in an evacuation zone.

Development Associate Carrie Brackenridge tells us that some 1,500 homes have been destroyed and another 17,500 have been damaged by the flooding, which began on Sept. 12.

As with HSBV, the displaced pets arrived when the shelter was already full. “Single-occupancy capacity at LHS is 368 animals,” Brackenridge tells us. "As of Sept. 17, we are housing 441 animals. As a result of caring for evacuated animals, LHS is experiencing an increase in our daily operational costs. Supplies such as food, healthcare items and cleaning products have been in increased usage, and resources such as staff time and utility usage have increased dramatically.”

Shelter staff are fitting in the extra animals wherever they can, housing many in office spaces.

To make matters worse, some of the displaced pets are showing signs of Giardia infection that they may have contracted from the floodwaters. An outbreak of Giardia, a highly contagious intestinal parasite, would threaten all the shelter's animals, so staffers are disinfecting aggressively and feeding the affected pets special food. “We are really starting to worry that the next chapter in this crisis is going to be medical issues,” Smokowski says.

Our disaster grant will be a huge help. “This funding from Petfinder Foundation will be instrumental in relieving the costs associated with current rescue efforts,” Smokowski says. “We are very grateful!”

Aug 2, 2013

Rescue U Renovates P.U.R.R. West Virginia

A volunteer getting to know some new friends
A volunteer getting to know some new friends

In May, Rescue U volunteers from Kentucky, Pennsylvania and West Virginia headed to Grafton, W.V., to renovate a cat shelter called P.U.R.R. (People United for Rescue and Rehabilitation) West Virginia. Projects included painting, organizing and hanging fiberglass, as well as some fairly heavy construction work.

The team replaced the shelter's entryway with a new porch after the existing porch, which had been held up with wood that rotted over the years due to water damage, collapsed. Volunteers also created a new storage room and built a new loading entrance to it. A section of the brick wall had to be demolished in order to install a new door.

To create the storage room, the team removed 7,500 pounds of scrap metal from an old schoolroom and built a ramp leading up to the entrance (the scrap metal was recycled and the proceeds went to the shelter!). Volunteers demolished its bathrooms to create a cat intake area, removed the railings from the sidewalk outside the new room and expanded the sidewalk to allow shelter staff to move supplies in via pallet jack.

An old artists' studio was cleared of debris, its walls scraped, repaired (P.U.R.R. owner Sarel Venter strapped on stilts to plaster hard-to-reach spots) and painted a "purplicious" color to create a new cat colony room.

The major renovations to the shelter have made life easier for the shelter staff and volunteers, and most importantly, more comfortable for all the adoptable cats. As P.U.R.R. wrote on its Facebook page: "Pawesome job at P.U.R.R., Rescue U volunteers!!"

The artists
The artists' studio that became a cat colony
A volunteer with her favorite kitty
A volunteer with her favorite kitty

Links:

Aug 2, 2013

We're Keeping Pets Safe from Blazing Heat

Buddy Boy enjoys the cooler visiting yards.
Buddy Boy enjoys the cooler visiting yards.

Our Summer Cooling Grants are saving lives at shelters including Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) in Tucson, Ariz., by helping the dogs there get adopted.

The shelter used our grant to install an overhead misting system in two visitation yards, meaning potential adopters can now comfortably spend time getting to know the resident dogs. "It's a game-changer," Animal Care Advocate Justin Gallick tells us.

In Tucson, temperatures have already topped 111 degrees, and before the outdoor misting system was installed, potential adopters did not have a cool, comfortable place in which to visit with the shelter's dogs. "Now they can take the time necessary to make that bond," Gallick says.

The grant came at just the right time, since the shelter – which takes in nearly 25,000 lost and homeless pets a year – is currently being inundated with unwanted litters. "It's raining puppies and kittens," Adoption Coordinator Ellie Beaubien says.

When we visited PACC to check out its new misters, we brought along kiddie pools for each of the yards. We also made cooling catsicles to share with the shelter's cats (get the recipe for catsicles here), and pupsicles that we made by freezing low-sodium chicken broth in an ice cube tray.

While the misters in the visitation yards certainly make adopters more comfortable, they also give the shelter's nursing-mother dogs a place to take a break from their puppies, Beaubien says. Before the summer, staff members would give each nursing mother half an hour of exercise and fresh air in the yards – but when the high temperatures arrived, that became too dangerous.

Now, thanks to the misting system, "nobody's getting overheated," Beaubien says. "We really needed those. It was a great investment."

The kittens loved the catsicles we brought.
The kittens loved the catsicles we brought.
Tipper enjoys a dogsicle.
Tipper enjoys a dogsicle.
Adele frolicks in a kiddie pool.
Adele frolicks in a kiddie pool.

Links:

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