Many people acquired dogs as companions during the pandemic. Now, as restrictions ease and people start to move around more freely once more, the number of homeless dogs is rising once again, flooding pet shelters across the country. The increase is so great that three in every 10 pet shelters are reported to be struggling financially.
As a result, services to support dogs and prepare them for loving homes are in danger of failing in some areas where the pet population is high. To help them cope, Pedigree Foundation—which helps to fund shelters and pet rescue services—is giving $1 million in grants to shelters and toward services that rescue dogs. The support is largely for organizations that are working to increase pet adoption and thereby end pet homelessness. The foundation is based in Franklin, Tennessee.Read More »
How pets are helped
Pedigree gives two examples of ways in which their grants are helping to provide services that go beyond simply placing dogs in homes for adoption.
The story of Artemis.
When found, Artemis did not know how to act when she was with people. She needed socializing, but the rescue service that found her did not have sufficient resources to help.
They contacted Middleburg Humane Foundation which recently had received a grant from Pedigree Foundation. With help from the foundation staff, Artemis learned how to wear a harness. The foundation eased her into socializing and going for daily walks. The world became less frightening for Artemis. She was adopted into a home.
The story of Aspen.
Aspen was born in a Florida hoarding situation in which a large number of animals are kept, but are provided with minimal food and care. She was placed in foster care and, when she was of a sufficient age a transport program moved her to Providence Animal Center in Pennsylvania where she was given the chance to be adopted. She still was anxious when left alone. Her owner signed up to foster another dog which proved to be a good companion for Aspen who calmed down as a result.
Key areas of focus
In its 2022 annual grants—the fifteenth year in which the grants have been given—Pedigree Foundation plans to focus on four key areas in order to increase adoption rates across the animal welfare community.
• Transport programs
These programs support those organizations that move dogs from areas that are overpopulated to places with fewer dogs in which they therefore have a greater chance of being adopted.
• Foster programs
These programs move dogs into homes on a temporary basis while they are awaiting adoption. Foster parents advocate and care for the dogs in the meantime.
• Behavior programs
These programs help with training, socialization, and relief from stress so that dogs can overcome behavior that might hinder their being adopted into loving forever homes, Pedigree says.
• Matching programs
These services help to boost the chances that shelter dogs will bond with those families that adopt them. They do so by helping to find the best fit among potential adopters for the dogs.
In addition to grants to new initiatives or expansions of shelter or rescue services, Pedigree Foundation funds special needs, such as those that occur as a result of natural disasters; hoarding situations; or seizures in puppy mills which breed large numbers of purebred dogs in inferior conditions purely for monetary gain.
Annual grants include:
Dogs Rule, which provide $50,000 a year for two years to fund new creative initiatives that not only assist their own organizations, but can serve as models for other shelters and rescue services to boost rates of dog adoptions.
Program development grants, (from $5,000 to $15,000) which support activities that expand the capabilities of shelters to improve rates of dog adoption.