Posted on January 11, 2016
Did you know that Austin, Texas is the nation’s largest No Kill City? This is partially due to the groundbreaking programs created by Austin Pets Alive! Each of the programs they have developed is designed to save 100 percent of homeless animals belonging to the groups most at risk for euthanasia in traditional shelters. Under this lifesaving mission, dogs and cats slated for euthanasia at the city shelter and with no prospects for rescue by another group are pulled into Austin Pets Alive’s care. Currently, the overall save rate for the shelters in Austin surpasses 95 percent with 100 percent of all healthy and treatable cats saved, along with all puppies and small dogs. The save rate for large-breed adult dogs, especially those with any history of behavioral issues, however still lags behind that of all other groups. The BISSELL Pet Foundation gave a grant to APA! to provide large-breed dogs the resources and programs that will give them an equally good chance at finding a loving home.
One very special dog helped by this grant is Vickie. She spent three years in the shelter system before becoming proof positive that there is a forever home for every shelter dog. she was picked up as a stray in 2012 and brought to a local public shelter where everything seemed to rule against prospects of her ever being adopted. She was an adult dog with lots of energy and she reacted badly to the stresses of the shelter environment, coming down with a severe case of kennel anxiety. Typically, dogs like Vickie are simply euthanized at traditional shelters in the belief they will never find an adoptive home.
Vickie underwent over 300 hour of one-on-one training with an expert dog behavior team and overcame her anxiety and behavioral problems, but she still waited month after month to find a forever home. Finally, the day came when Vickie found her fit with someone who understood her needs and they were charmed by her engaging personality. Vickie is loving her new home and will be going to New England for Christmas to have her first experience with snow.
Krissy is a three-year-old American pit bull terrier who was helped by the BISSELL Pet Foundation grant. She was living in a home with an unaltered male pit bull and her owner decided to move and only take one with him to his new home. He chose the male dog over sweet Krissy and told all of this neighbors he was going to “dump” her at the pound because she was difficult around strangers and other dogs. Michaellyn, one of the neighbors, stepped up when she heard and offered to take Krissy into her own home because she knew the dog would most likely not have a shot at life at the pound. About a month later, to her owner’s surprise, Krissy gave birth to eight puppies. Michaellyn was very excited, but she knew she was unable to provide veterinary care and vaccinations and food for nine dogs. She contacted Wish Bone for assistance.
Wish Bone Canine Rescue’s mission is to help families suffering from financial hardship keep pets in their homes, educate the public on animal welfare and promote life-saving community initiatives. They are located in Mclean County, Illinois where spay/neuter efforts are almost non-existent, but with the help of a grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation, they created a low coast spay/neuter program to reduce pet overpopulation. By sterilizing companion pets, they reduced the number of unwanted litters and thereby reduced the number of animals that ended up at the animal control facility. Simultaneously, altering these pets has lead to reduced aggression and less behavioral problems compared to intact dogs.
With the funds from the BISSELL Pet Foundation, she was able to continue to provide a home for the puppies and Wish Bone provided all the veterinary care to help these puppies grow up healthy. All eight puppies found their forever homes, and Krissy was spayed and happy at home with Michaellyn. An entire safe and sound thanks to the BISSELL Pet Foundation!
White River Humane Society’s mission is to care for the lost and homeless animals of Lawrence County, Indiana. They provide education and services to the public that have helped reduce the number of unwanted animals born within their community. BISSELL Pet Foundation awarded them a grant to help provide spay/neuter surgeries within the community to pet owners who might not have been able to afford this extra cost. The grant provided surgeries to 200 cats and kittens. In the future, White River Humane Society thinks that they will see a positive change in homeless cats in the county thanks to the help of BISSELL Pet Foundation’s generous grant.
Pumpkin and Pickles were two very special cats whose lives were improved by way of the grant from BISSELL Pet Foundation. A woman found these two kittens when they were four days old and she could not stand to leave them alone. She brought them into her home and bottle fed them. She planned to nurse them into strong healthy cats ready for adoption, but as she continued to watch them grow, she could not help but become attached to the adorable kittens. She was worried that the cost of getting them spayed/neutered would be more than she could afford and she knew that if she did not get them fixed she would end up with more kittens on her hands. With the help of White River Humane Society and the grant funding, she was able to have them spayed and keep them both. She could not be happier to have them as permanent members of her family and is very thankful for the help of the BISSELL Pet Foundation.
Coonhounds are devoted, loving and entertaining dogs, but they can be quite the handful. They are often used as hunting companions, but because of their need to constantly work and exercise, they can be very difficult for some owners to keep up with. Not only are they energetic, but they are very smart and extremely stubborn often making training quite hard. Did you know that hounds typically also have quite large litters anywhere from ten to fifteen puppies? Making sure that they are spayed/neutered is essential to help stop the spread of unwanted litters. American Black & Tan Coonhound Rescue in Canton, OH works to rehabilitate and rehome hounds that are left neglected often by irresponsible breeders. Because of the high volume litters, the rescue is a huge advocate for spay/neuter programs. With the help of a grant from the BISSELL Pet Foundation, they were able to spay/neuter and rehome 19 hound dogs and provided microchips to 175 dogs within the community.
The BISSELL Pet Foundation also helped to save several hounds in California. A hunting club closed its doors and took all of its dogs to a high kill shelter in the area. The dogs were older, and had never received appropriate care, and the females had been bred repeatedly. All of the females had large mammary tumors. The BISSELL Pet Foundation grant allowed them to spay/neuter all of the hounds saved, remove the tumors from the overbred females, provide dental care and all other necessary procedures for these neglected hound dogs. Dolce Vita and Jill were helped with these funds and are now up for adoption with the American Black & Tan Coonhound Rescue.
The Pet Rescue Center in Orange County, California is more than just a rescue group. They stive to make a substantial, positive impression of pet adoption within the community by working with other rescue groups, veterinarians, sanctuaries and shelters to create a positive network. Their mission is to save the lives of dogs and cats at risk of being euthanized in shelters. Through their Rescue.Rehab.Rehome program, all of their rescued dogs and cats are provided all necessary medical treatment, vaccinations, microchips, and spay/neuter surgeries prior to being made available for adoption. With the help of a grant from the BISSELL Pet Foundation, 28 cats and kittens and 39 dogs and puppies were spayed/neutered.
A total of 67 pets found their forever homes right away. One dog in particular, Pixie, has quite an interesting story. She was spotted by a member of the Pet Rescue team at a local shelter and had two major strikes working against her. The first being that she was a pit bull mix. Pit bulls are the most common breed in shelters in this area and they have a high euthanasia rate. The second strike for Pixie was that she was pregnant. The previous owner had neglected to have her spayed and she and her unborn puppies were at risk of euthanasia. The Pet Rescue Center team could not resist her sweet, pleading face, so they brought her back to their shelter and provided the pregnant pooch with another chance at life.
A week later she gave birth to three beautiful puppies. When they were of age, Pixie was spayed and was eligible for adoption. In no time, she went home to a wonderful family and now has an older Labrador brother to show her the reins. All three of her puppies were also adopted and have forever homes.
Another special pet helped by BISSELL Pet Foundation was a very dashing cat by the name of Burt Reynolds. Burt was believed to have been born as a stray and learned to fend for himself on the streets. This kind of living can be rather rough on a cat and can greatly reduce their life expectancy, especially because they are not spayed/neutered. Burt Reynolds unfortunately met the same fate as so many street cats when he was hit by a car. Soon after this accident he was quickly found by a good Samaritan who brought him to the Pet Rescue Center for treatment. They were unable to save one of his legs, but they were able to save his life. Through all of this, Burt’s spirit was unwavering. After a very long recovery and learning to walk with one less leg, he was adopted into his forever home. He is now loved and safe in a warm bed at night.