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 12, 2014

Improving Shelters to Save Lives for Years to Come

Scruffy was adopted from Misfits, Mutts and Meows
Scruffy was adopted from Misfits, Mutts and Meows

Through Oct. 7, donate to Save the Lives of Shelter Pets in North America on Global Giving and Animal Planet will MATCH your gift! That means your donation will have double the impact for animal shelters that need to improve their physical facilities to help pets for years to come. Here are a few recent examples of how our grants have helped adoption groups do just that:

Upgrades to a Transport Van and Kennels
Misfits, Mutts and Meows in Crescent, Okla., upgraded its transport van and made repairs to its kennels and exercise yard.

The van upgrades include soundproofing insulation and circulating fans. These improvements “have allowed a safer, more comfortable place for the animals that are being transported to adoption events or into our rescue,” shelter president Joy Williams tells us. MM&M also purchased wood, connectors and welding supplies to build outdoor play enabling 22 dogs to play outside at one time while ensuring they are safely separated.

The van improvements are already making a difference. “This past weekend we had an adoption event in a town 45 minutes away,” Williams says. “We took six dogs and five cats. We had a pair of kitties adopted, Chips and Squeeker, and one dog named Scruffy (pictured). Having the capability to transport everything we need for our different events in one vehicle makes our day much easier.”

Buying Dog Beds
Something as small as getting caged dogs up off the hard concrete floor can make a big difference. That’s why Doberman & Rottweiler Rescue in Paris, Ill., used our grant to purchase high-quality raised dog beds.

“We know these dog beds will help with the quality of life the dogs have while in our care,” rescue director Karen White tells us. “We get older, large-breed dogs in who have some hardship getting up off concrete floors, and this will help them feel better while in our care. The kennel staff love them due to the fact that they cut down on laundry costs, and in the time it saves them, they can play more with the dogs.”

The beds are much appreciated by all the dogs at the rescue, including the doberman pictured here, “a starvation case we took in,” White says. “He was skin and bones when brought to our shelter from Animal Control. He had to gain 20 lbs. before the vet would neuter him. He is now in his new home doing wonderfully, and the new owner bought a bed for him like he had at our facility because he loved that bed. We all feel he had never had anything but the ground to sleep on and he loved the bed we provided him.”

Repairing Kennels to Save a Shelter
Carteret County Humane Society in Newport, N.C., used our grant funds to purchase supplies to repair concrete fixtures in the kennel area, as well as concrete sealant to be applied this fall. “Without these repairs we could possibly fail our state inspection and take the chance of being closed down,” shelter director Candace Christopherson tells us. “These repairs are very important to the shelter itself but also to the health of the animals. Large cracks in the foundation can lead to build-up of bacteria, which could cause illness.”

CCHS is the only shelter for its county, so if it hadn’t been able to make the needed repairs to its 29-year-old building, it could have closed down, which would have affected more than 3,000 animals a year. Pictured is Maggie, just one of the homeless pets the grant helped.

Building a Lot Just for Puppies
Forgotten Angels Animal Rescue in Chuckey, Tenn., used the funds to build a puppy lot for new litters when they arrive at the shelter. With the grant money, staff purchased fencing and a gate, solar-powered outdoor lights, a new Weed Eater and a Gator wagon to help at feeding time.

“It helped us to have a safe place for puppies so they can have room to run and play,” shelter director Polly Rogers tells us. The lot is now on its fourth litter of puppies, so it’s helped 36 pups so far. All the puppies love the yard, but one in particular who has benefited from it is a blind puppy (the white pup with black spots in the photo) who no longer has to stay in a crate. “She now knows where the fence is and runs and plays with her littermates,” Rogers says.

Help more pets like these! Through Oct. 7, donate to Save the Lives of Shelter Pets in North America on Global Giving and Animal Planet will MATCH your gift!

MM&M
MM&M's new outdoor runs
The dobie at Doberman & Rottweiler Rescue
The dobie at Doberman & Rottweiler Rescue
Maggie at Carteret County Humane Society
Maggie at Carteret County Humane Society
Pups at Forgotten Angels Animal Rescue
Pups at Forgotten Angels Animal Rescue

Links:

Jun 23, 2014

For Shelter Dogs, Happiness Saves Lives

Finley and his KONG
Finley and his KONG

Happy, healthy dogs are more likely to get adopted. When they are physically comfortable, feel safe and secure, and are not crazed with boredom, they show their true personalities and charm potential adopters.

That's why many of our grants are designed to improve shelter dogs' quality of life. A bed, a toy and even a good shampoo can make all the difference. Here are just a few of the thousands of dogs who have benefited from our quality of life grants:

Finley
When we granted 300 KONG toys to Pima Animal Care Center in Tucson, it was great news for dogs like Finley, a 5-year-old Italian Greyhound mix. "Shelter life can be scary for pets," PACC Development Director Karen Hollish tells us. "The enrichment activity that Finley received from the granted toys meant he was relaxed, happy and ready when his adopter finally walked by." Read Finley's story.

Smiley
Smiley, a 9-year-old blind Pit Bull, has been at the Animal Protection Center of Southeastern Massachusetts in Brockton for quite some time. Thanks to our grant, he and other dogs there sleep on cozy dog beds. "There is nothing Smiley likes better than going out for long walks," shelter director Kim Heise says. "But having a nice, soft, comfy bed to snuggle up on in his kennel makes having to come back a little easier." Read Smiley's story.

Suzy
Adoption groups receiving our grants of grooming products tell us the shampoos are a blessing to their dogs, many of whom come into their care with painful skin conditions and smelling terrible. Suzy had spent her seven years living outdoors when she arrived at Houndhaven in Minneola, FL, and her coat was in poor shape. After a regimen that included baths with our donated shampoo, Suzy blossomed -- and was adopted. Read Suzy's story.

Thanks to donors like you, shelter dogs can rest easy while waiting for their forever families.

Smiley on his bed
Smiley on his bed
Suzy "before," with missing fur
Suzy "before," with missing fur
Suzy as she looks now
Suzy as she looks now

Links:

Mar 26, 2014

Easing the Stress of Shelter Life for Cats

The scratchers attach to the inside of cage doors.
The scratchers attach to the inside of cage doors.

Life in a cage is stressful for shelter cats, and stress can lead to health and behavior problems that keep cats from being adopted. So we have grant programs designed to ease cats' anxiety -- both in the shelter and as they transition into their new adoptive homes.

We grant adoption groups Stretch & Scratch cat scratchers and ACES Humaniac Cat Castles cat carriers/habitats. Both go in cats' cages and enable them to engage in instinctive behaviors there (scratching, hiding and resting on higher ground). And both go home with the cats when they're adopted so they have something familiar in their new surroundings.

We've granted out 33,780 Cat Castles to 66 adoption groups and 40,000 Stretch & Scratch cat scratchers to 107 organizations.

Both grants have been huge hits. As Wendy Mirrotto, executive director of Kitten Krazy, Inc., in Medina, Ohio, tells us: "I LOVE these Stretch and Scratch Cat Scratchers! The cats love them, too! They are purrfect for any cage and give the cats somewhere to stretch and scratch -- a very important function for a cat."

The scratchers are especially helpful for cats who are isolated as they recover from illness or surgery, including Henrietta, who was found frozen to a pipe and had to have a leg amputated due to frostbite; Bea, who arrived at the shelter covered in burns and stab wounds; and Roadie, whose eye was dislodged from its socket and had to be surgically removed.

The scratchers also help cats adjust to foster and forever homes -- and can even curb unwanted behaviors there. "One of our adopters complained about [her new] kitten scratching furniture," says Feline Finish Line Rescue president Catherine McCulloch. "I gave her two scratchers and told her to tie them on the table legs. She said the kitten loved them and started to leave other items alone."

The Cat Castles likewise help cats both in shelters and at home. Inside their cages, the Castles give the cats a place to hide as well as an elevated vantage point (via a "turret" on top of the box) where they can view their surroundings while feeling secure.

"These boxes are vital to the enrichment and stimulation of the cats we are caring for while they are waiting for their forever homes," says Humane Society of Southern Arizona Associate Director of Development Morgan Rost. "The boxes/perches will remain with the cat or cats -- if a bonded pair -- through the duration of their time at the HSSA and will go home with each cat at the time of their adoption."

Thanks to donors like you, shelter cats can rest easy while waiting for their forever families.

Cat Castles include an elevated perching "turret."
Cat Castles include an elevated perching "turret."
A scratcher helped Henrietta recover from surgery.
A scratcher helped Henrietta recover from surgery.

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