Save the Lives of Shelter Pets in North America

 
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Mic still has scars from the deadly break-in.
Mic still has scars from the deadly break-in.

Thanks to your help, we've sent a $2,000 emergency grant to All About Animals Rescue in Macon, Ga., to help cover medical expenses for the dogs who were injured during a deadly break-in on Oct. 16. That night, an intruder let 40 dogs out of their kennels; three dogs were killed, more than a dozen were severely injured, and all the survivors are traumatized.

“[The grant] really will help,” says AAAR founder and director Mary Crawford.

The two staffers who arrived at the shelter the morning of Oct. 17 were met with a chaotic and frightening scene, volunteer Kathy Brantley tells us: "All these dogs were bleeding to death; they were in shock, their faces were swollen."

The staffers called for help and scrambled to put the loose dogs back in their kennels. Working with shelter volunteers, they took the badly injured dogs to veterinarians across the city and scoured the neighborhood to find the four dogs who had been released onto the street. All the lost dogs were found, including Fred and Wilma (pictured), former strays who returned to the shelter on their own.

The three dogs – Butler, Flapjack and Jack -- who died as a result of injuries they sustained during the break-in were all gentle dogs not known for fighting, Crawford and Brantley tell us. Butler only had three legs and didn't stand a chance when the frenzied scene erupted, Brantley says.

Last month, police arrested a woman in connection with the incident. Crystal Gale Fessler has been charged with 13 counts of cruelty to animals, probation violation and criminal trespass, but her motives, and whether she acted alone or with a partner, remain unknown, Crawford says.

AAAR typically houses about 70 dogs, most of them pulled from nearby Macon Animal Control. Although the property is surrounded by a 10-ft. fence topped with barbed wire, the person or people who broke in likely slipped through a small gap between the fence and barbed wire, Crawford says. The shelter's perimeter has since been secured, and security cameras have been installed.

Crawford and Brantley say they are still looking for homes for several of the surviving dogs, including Fred, Wilma, Mic and Lionel, who suffered a large wound on his neck during the break-in. Meanwhile, the shelter is working to cover the dogs' vet bills. Your support of the Petfinder Foundation is helping AAAR pay for this lifesaving care.

Fred (left) and Wilma are a bonded pair.
Fred (left) and Wilma are a bonded pair.
Lionel is recovering from his injuries.
Lionel is recovering from his injuries.

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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!”

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.

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Dogs found roaming the evacuated zone
Dogs found roaming the evacuated zone

The Petfinder Foundation has given a $5,000 disaster grant to the Humane Society of Central Texas to help it cope with the influx of pets separated from their owners after the deadly explosion at a fertilizer plant leveled a five-block area of West, TX.

Executive director Don Bland told MySanAntonio.com, “A lot of animals get out because they’re startled, they’re scared. … We had not only an explosion but a thunderstorm [on Wednesday night], so there might be a lot of lost pets still wondering around that are scared and skittish.”

Animal control officers have been going into the affected area and transporting pets back to the shelter, where they can be reunited with their owners (pet parents searching for lost pets are urged to visit CenTexLostPets.org). The Humane Society of Central Texas is also accepting pets temporarily surrendered by owners forced to evacuate their homes.

Bland told us he expected to take in 200 extra pets over the weekend. By cooperating with local rescue groups, the shelter was able to remove 69 adoptable pets to make room for pets affected by the disaster. Any pets not reclaimed by their owners will go through the shelter’s normal intake process and be placed for adoption, rescue or foster.

Thank you for your donations that have helped us save the lives of these and other pets affected by natural and man-made disasters.

A rescued three-legged dog
A rescued three-legged dog

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Adele the day she was rescued
Adele the day she was rescued

Happy New Year! And thank you so much for your support of the Petfinder Foundation. Your donations have helped us help thousands of homeless pets in the care of shelters and rescue groups nationwide. Here are the stories of just two of them.

Adele was rescued by Greater Charlotte SPCA on Dec. 27. Found as a stray on the side of the road, she was emaciated, covered in bite wounds (she was probably used as a bait dog) and several of the punctures in her face were badly infected. A grant from the Petfinder Foundation helped GCSPCA pay for her veterinary care.

Today, Adele has recovered and is ready to be adopted (learn more about adopting Adele). GCSPCA president Alex Wilson tells us, "Adele is a super sweet and happy girl. She is great with people, even young kids. She is actually very energetic now and loves to run and play in the yard."

Wilson also told that our grant helped cover the care of another cruelty case, a dog named Ethan. "Ethan was found as a stray, heartworm-positive, with a deep cut on his face and his body was full of shotgun pellets," she said. "He is still a very sweet and happy-go-lucky guy and he is in one of our foster homes recovering as well.

"We have had a lot of medical emergency cases recently and normally we have to be careful about taking on too many at once, but the grant has allowed us to take on more than we normally could. We are incredibly grateful for your generosity."

Adele today
Adele today
Ethan, found riddled with shotgun pellets
Ethan, found riddled with shotgun pellets

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Organization

Project Leader

Emily Fromm

Vice President of Development
Tucson, AZ United States

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