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Norfolk SPCA: KONG Toys Grant Report

How did this grant help your organization and the pets in your care?

The Norfolk SPCA is so grateful to have received KONG toys and treats from the Petfinder Foundation; they have provided more enriching experiences for the dogs in our care as they await their new homes. Staff and volunteers take time to stuff KONGs with peanut butter, kibble, and other goodies to give to dogs in kennels. Also, the toys made for great fetch in our shelter’s agility yard, giving dogs a much-needed break and exercise outdoors.

The generous KONG toy and treat donation from Petfinder Foundation was a huge help to keep dogs occupied while they waited for their forever homes. We have had a number of long-term residents whose kennel behavior has declined over their time in our care. KONGs have been a key tool to help these long-timers keep their bodies and minds enriched while they await their new homes.

How many pets did this grant help?

150 dogs have been helped through this grant so far.

Please provide a story of one or more specific pets this grant helped.

Although our team works around the clock to ensure animals are moved into new homes as soon as possible, sometimes dogs and cats inexplicably stay in our shelter for extended periods of time. For dogs like Waylen, it can take a while longer for a loving family to come visit and take notice. We are excited to share that our longest resident Waylen finally found his new family this September, and our new KONGs donated by the Petfinder Foundation played an important role in his arrival home.

Waylen, a 3-year-old pit bull mix, arrived at the Norfolk SPCA in November 2020 from one of our shelter-transfer partners in Gloucester, VA. He was among a group of six dogs who all found their new homes within a month of arriving, but despite countless social-media appearances and adopter meetings, Waylen waited over 10 months before finally meeting his new family.

Shelters can be a very stressful experience for dogs like Waylen. After a few months passed, Waylen started having a difficult time in his kennel. Thankfully, his love of snack-stuffed KONG toys won over his over-excited behavior, helping him to remain calm and focused while fishing for kibble and peanut butter as potential adopters came in to look. His new, perfect forever family finally arrived in September 2021. Self-described “pit-bull people,” the couple had lost their former dog two years before deciding to adopt their new best friend.

The Petfinder Foundation’s generosity was essential in helping Waylen find his new family. It took nearly a year for Waylen to arrive home, but we are thankful for tools like KONGs and other activities that give long-timers like him much-needed enrichment to pass time and maintain positive behavior.

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