To kick-off Giving Tuesday, Pedigree Foundation announced its 2019 grant awards, totaling more than $825,000 in grants to 327 different shelters and rescue organizations across the country to help get more dogs adopted.

With this year's contributions, Pedigree Foundation has provided 5,500 grants totaling more than $8 million in donations since 2008 to support people and organizations committed to finding forever homes for deserving dogs.

"For more than a decade, Pedigree Foundation has supported rescues and shelters in a shared mission to end pet homelessness," said Kimberly Spina, President of Pedigree Foundation Board of Directors. "We continue to be inspired by the amazing work from these organizations and are so proud that our grant programs can provide even more opportunities to maximize their community impact and find loving homes for dogs in need."

Two cornerstones of Pedigree Foundation's grant efforts are the Dogs Rule Grant and Role Model Shelter Grant. Dogs Rule grants are innovative two-year initiatives that could serve as a best practice for other shelters and rescues to implement. The Role Model Shelter grant provides support for a shelter to implement a best practice with the purpose of getting more dogs adopted.

Dogs Rule Grant – $100,000

  • Ruff Start Rescue (Princeton, Minnesota) – ($50,000 in 2019; $50,000 in 2020)
    • The "ComPAWtibility Match Program" will make the current adoption process seamless by increasing the number of foster and Foster-to-Adopt families. The ComPAWtibility Match Program will enhance interactions with potential fosters and adopters, as well as existing adopters, to create a supportive volunteer network. The multifaceted program creates more efficient foster, adoption and post-adoption processes that will lead to more successful dog adoptions and a supportive rescue community.
  • Austin Pets Alive! (Austin, Texas) – ($50,000 in 2018; $50,000 in 2019)
    • In its second year, the DOGS RULE. Grant will support the second phase of its Virtual Foster Program which is designed to bring the benefits of a foster home to a kennel environment. This program pairs dogs that are having difficulty finding a foster home with a volunteer who is unable to house a dog themselves, but who instead serves as a "virtual foster" to the dog by fulfilling all of the foster-related needs of the dog. The program is intended to shorten the dogs' shelter stay and boost overall adoption rates.

Role Model Shelter Grant –- $50,000

  • Kauai Humane Society (Lihue, Hawaii) – As the only open-admission animal shelter on the island of Kauai, the Kauai Humane Society takes in approximately 3,500 animals per year, of which more than 1,400 are dogs. In partnership with Austin Pets Alive!'s Maddie's Lifesaving Academy, the goal of this project is to improve the quality of care the dogs receive in the shelter while simultaneously reducing its shelter population through positive outcomes and intake reduction.

In addition, Pedigree Foundation will provide more than 30 shelters and rescue organizations with program development grants to support their adoption efforts.

Program Development Grants – Ranging from $5,000 - $10,000

  • ACTion Programs for Animals (Las Cruces, New Mexico) – $10,000 to expand the number of dogs rescued under its P.A.W.S. (Prisoners and Animals Working Toward Success) program. These funds will offer additional medical services such as veterinary care and vaccines, as well as fulfill nutritional needs.
  • Addison County Humane Society Inc. (Middlebury, Vermont) – $10,000 to support the building of a "shelter dog park" allowing the dogs to expend more energy and enhance their social interactions. The park will also increase visibility of the adoptable dogs in the community via social media and ultimately enable them to be calmer when greeting prospective adoptive families.
  • Agape Animal Rescue (Nashville, Tennessee) – $10,000 to support the creation of an online resource hub and redesign its website. This online platform will serve as a resource for 250 individuals, animal shelters and rescue organizations to reduce rates of surrender and to increase adoption retention rates.
  • Animal Adoption Center Inc. (Jackson, Wyoming) – $10,000 to support the Spay/Neuter Wyoming Program of the Wind River Reservation where Animal Adoption Center Inc. will strive to spay/neuter 2,300 animals across the state and help reduce pet homelessness on the reservation as well as the euthanasia of shelter animals.
  • Animal Care Fund (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) – $10,000 to support on-site grooming services for dogs, enhancing their appearance with a goal to ultimately improve dog adoption rates and reduce the length of stay for its animals.
  • Animal Protective Association of Missouri (Brentwood, Missouri) – $10,000 to support the Pet Transfer Program and its care costs, which will reduce the number of animals scheduled for euthanasia or those likely to be euthanized at partner shelters.
  • Animal Welfare League (Chicago Ridge, Illinois) – $10,000 to support out-of-state transportation and medical costs to prepare dogs for adoption.
  • Berkeley East Bay Humane Society Inc. (Berkeley, California) – $10,000 to support the Dog Savers training program. This program will increase dog adoption rates by mitigating behavior challenges through personalized training.
  • Cherryland Humane Society (Traverse City, Michigan) – $10,000 to support improved dog adoption rates by increasing the support for dogs before and after adoption through in-kennel training with a Certified Professional Dog Trainer.
  • Friends of The Animal Shelter & Guardians of The Homeless Animals (Aldie, Virginia) – $10,000 to support The Classroom project, which will provide the capacity to properly assess dog behavior and implement effective behavioral changes, resulting in an increase of successful dog adoptions.
  • Friends For Life (Houston, Texas) – $10,000 to support Friends for Life with a behavior pavilion and a medical wing. The pavilion will be dedicated to rehabilitating and training animals with behavior issues and the medical wing will allow the program to care for more animal needs.
  • Humane Society of Burnett County (Siren, Wisconsin) – $10,000 to support the creation of an indoor canine exercise and activity area within the new facility. This area will encourage the dogs to socialize and learn foundational behavior skills prior to adoption.
  • Humane Society for Seattle-King County (Seattle, Washington) – $10,000 to support essential needs for the Life-Saver Rescue Program, which provides rescue and adoption services for pets at risk of being euthanized.
  • Kentucky Humane Society (Louisville, Kentucky) – $9,220 to support the launch of the short-term foster program, "Date With A Dog," which gives dogs a break from the shelter environment while gathering behavioral information across eight dog adoption centers.
  • Kitsap Humane Society (Silverdale, Washington) – $6,000 to support the proposed Kickin' It with K9s program, which will provide dogs with daily opportunities to go on field trips and sleepovers, as well as short-term (up to two weeks) foster care opportunities.
  • Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (New Orleans, Louisiana) – $10,000 to support the expanding LA SPCA Transport Program and hire staff to manage data, communication and paperwork, as well as provide regular maintenance for transport vehicles.
  • Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation (Falls Church, Virginia) – $10,000 to support Pump Up Playroom improvements to enrich dogs' daily activity and ultimately lead to quicker adoptions.
  • Lucky Dog Animal Rescue (Arlington, Virginia) – $10,000 to support a foster recruitment and retention program to not only increase foster capacity, but also recruit and train fosters who can help with more challenging dogs, including those with special medical or behavioral needs.
  • Montgomery County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (Conshohocken, Pennsylvania) – $10,000 to support canine adoption area improvements such as upgrading the dog kennel area doors to tempered glass doors and constructing a modern shelter facility to increase capacity.
  • Mostly Mutts Animal Rescue & Adoption (Kennesaw, Georgia) – $5,000 to support the expansion of Mostly Mutts University to include foster dog training both in their foster homes and at the rescue facility when they arrive for weekly adoption day. In addition, there will be special training sessions for foster families to continue reinforcing good behavior.
  • Oshkosh Area Humane Society (Oshkosh, Wisconsin) – $10,000 to provide behavioral support for shelter staff, volunteers, adopters and visitors by creating and sustaining a behavioral program taught by expert staff.
  • Philadelphia Animal Welfare Society (PAWS) (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) – $10,000 to support the Golden Years Program. PAWS will save at least 30 more senior dogs with special medical needs, and expand its Golden Years program into a truly comprehensive senior dog rescue effort.
  • San Antonio Pets Alive! (San Antonio, Texas) – $10,000 to support the Sponsor-a-Dog Program and Transport. It will place dogs in a doggy day care and boarding facility while they wait to be transported.
  • Santa Fe Animal Shelter & Humane Society (Santa Fe, New Mexico) – $7,352 to support building a Behavior Play Yard for hard-to-place dogs. The organization will construct a single-use dog park reserved for dogs to expel energy over extended play and outdoor activity.
  • Shelter from the Storm Animal Rescue (Madison, Wisconsin) – $7,603 to support the establishment of an adoption center "storefront" and meet-and-greet area – both of which will enable an increase in dog adoptions by approximately 12 percent.
  • Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team (Valley Village, California) – $10,000 to support additional vehicles for transportation of animals. The Shelter Transport Animal Rescue Team will operate a used vehicle and a minimum of an additional 576 animals will be saved annually with just one additional mini transport monthly.
  • Texas Chihuahua Rescue, Inc. (Pleasanton, Texas) – $10,000 to support building for additional dog housing. This new space will be used to nurture incoming dogs at Texas Chihuahua Rescue's five-acre ranch. Once the dogs receive proper veterinary care, they are placed in a foster home until adoption.
  • The Animal Foundation Program (Las Vegas, Nevada) – $9,940 to support dental training for veterinarians. Two staff members will attend dental extraction labs to provide high-quality, high-volume dental care and ultimately offer online training. The Animal Foundation program aims to have two trained Veterinary Services team members who can train others to provide in-house dental care to at least 25 senior dogs.
  • Two By Two Rescue (Helena, Alabama) – $10,000 to support the Best Dog Ever Training Program, which will offer dogs for adoption once they have completed basic obedience training. This program will set Two by Two Rescue apart as the only adoption source with trained companion dogs in the state.
  • Vancouver Humane Society & SPCA (Vancouver, Washington) – $10,000 to support the costs of the Behavior Modification Program & Larch Pet Training Camp. Its purpose is to help behaviorally-challenged dogs find homes by reducing shelter stay times for pets, enhancing their quality of care while at the shelter, and helping ensure they find their new families.

Operations Grants - $1,000

  • Nearly 300 shelters and rescues across the country will receive awards of $1,000 each to use for their greatest needs which range from medical care to staffing or utilities.

In addition to the above grants, Pedigree Foundation also contributed $15,000 for disaster relief efforts in the Bahamas where an estimated 4,000 dogs needed medical care and transportation. Through American Humane, Greater Good and Big Dog Ranch Rescue, dogs in Abaco, Nassau and Grand Island received much needed support. Pedigree Foundation also provided $100,000 in funding for 14 rescue and shelter organizations as part of the Hallmark Channel's American Rescue Dog Show Adoption Grants.

These collective grants would not be possible without the dedication of dog lovers everywhere who are passionate about finding dogs in need of their forever homes. In support of this mission, all proceeds made from Pedigree Foundation Dogs Rule gear store will support shelter and rescue grants. Visit www.dogsrulestore.com to shop now.