Success Stories

"There may be days when I can't help an animal in need, but the day will never come that I won't try." - Paul Oxton 

2023 Grant Cycle 1

Animal Wonders Inc

The newly purchased vehicle, made possible by the Marion and Richard Graham Foundation, helped us in many ways over the last few months and it's hard to pick JUST two. In addition to the following stories, the vehicle transported our education team and ambassador animals to 28 local programs in the short 2.5 months we've had it. These programs spread knowledge, passion, empathy, and compassion for wildlife and enthusiasm to learn more about how we can all improve the lives of animals in our homes and in the wild.

One story of success this grant made possible was for Juniper the beaver. During the summer months it can get extremely hot during the day and the vehicle we had been using has unreliable air conditioning. On a particularly scorching hot day, (101 degrees!) we needed to transport an orphaned baby beaver to the veterinary clinic for a serious medical procedure. The baby beaver was having difficulty breathing and chewing and radiography was needed to determine treatment. Beavers are very sensitive to hot temperatures, and they can easily overheat, especially in stressful situations like being uncomfortably hot.

Thankfully, the new vehicle has excellent air conditioning, and we were able to make the transfer safe and stress free for baby Juniper beaver. Juniper received the treatment needed and is now healthy and growing huge!

Another success story happened shortly after we purchased the new vehicle. We received a call about a tortoise that needed to be transferred to our animal center. We didn't have much information, but we had been told that the tortoise was a previous pet and hadn't been getting the care she needed. Since tortoises need very specific care, without which causes traumatic malformation of their bodies, we knew this was a high priority case. Our old run-down van was not working, but since we had the new vehicle, we were able to drive the 3 hours across the state to pick up the tortoise, and we're so thankful we did! The tortoise, who we lovingly named Bubbles, was in dire need of immediate medical attention due to a severe infection in her ear, difficulty breathing, and malformed bones in her mouth, legs, and shell. 

We were able to begin healing treatment and get her into the correct environment and after 2 months of specialized care, Bubbles is well on her way to gaining back the full use of her legs, she's no longer sick, she's eating well, and she spends her days with two other tortoise friends. We're thankful that we were able to make the drive to pick her up and bring her to safety and she'll never suffer through neglect again.

Karma Cat + Zen Dog Rescue Society

We are thrilled to share the journey of Snowball, a stunning five-year-old male cat whose life was transformed thanks to your generous support. Surrendered to a local shelter a year ago with a promise from his previous owner to return for him — a promise that was never fulfilled — Snowball struggled to adapt to the shelter environment. Recognizing his distress, one of the Animal Control Officers urgently reached out to our organization for assistance. With the aid of the grant funds, we were able to confidently welcome Snowball into our care, ensuring that his medical needs, including the management of his previously unregulated diabetes, were met. In our loving environment, Snowball’s affectionate and playful nature flourished, and we discovered his delightful fondness for Halloween costumes. 

Today, Snowball is thriving in foster while waiting for his forever home, all thanks to the support provided by the Marion and Richard Graham Foundation. We are immensely grateful for the opportunity to make a difference in Snowball’s life and are proud to report this success story as a testament to the positive impact of your funding.


Chihuahua Rescue of San Diego

Tory is a 7 year-old, 8 pound Terrier mix that came to CRSDC from the Animal Friends of the Valley in April, 2022. She suffers from Glaucoma and Diabetes resulting in frequent diabetic comas and very impaired vision. Her foster brings her to the Veterinarian every other month to test blood sugar to prevent diabetic comas. This rigorous care has stabilized her condition, and now Tory is a more energetic and happy little pup.

Morty is a 9 year-old, 8 pound male Long-haired Chihuahua. He came into the care of CRSDC in February, 2021 looking very mangy and with severe hair loss. He was diagnosed with Ischemic Dermatitis. This condition presents a myriad of skin conditions resulting from a lack of blood flow to the skin causing eczema, infections, and furuncles. There is hair loss on Morty’s back, tail and face. The dermatologist is not sure that he will have complete hair growth due to the follicle damage. However, his hair and skin have made nice improvements. There has also been an issue with periodic pneumonia. Overall, he has been improving and continues to heal.

Deity Animal Rescue and Foundation

Bernard was such an extreme case that the funds were dedicated solely to his care. And what a gift that was. We met Bernard at the SEAACA shelter because he was out on a walk at the shelter we were at to rescue 4 other dogs. He was in bad shape, lots of mucus discharge from his nostrils, eyes, and clear trouble breathing. But still, his tail wagged and he was so happy to meet us. We knew it would be an undertaking to get him through his medical issues, but it was a challenge we were able to take on because of this grant.

He was taken to Veterinary Care Center where he got around the clock care that he so desperately needed as he could hardly breathe. We did every test and every procedure we could to determine the root cause of his respiratory infection which ended up being lymphoplasmacytic rhinits and pneumonia. He ultimately went home with a vet tech from the Veterinary Care Center who adopted him!

Golden Growls Senior Rescue

Thanks to the grant funds, we were able to provide Lando with a much needed dental as we was showing pain while eating. While he was under anesthesia for his dental, we were also able to have him neutered - making him officially adoptable!

Thanks to the grant funds, we were able to provide Shiloh with a much needed dental and extractions which was the only thing needed to get her ready to be adoptable. We are so thankful for your assistance in helping us keep our promise of quality veterinary care to our much deserving senior dogs!

Present Moment Rescue & Sanctuary

Hamburger Patty joined us at 14 months old after living in a cage her whole life, discarded by backyard breeders because she had spina bifida leaving her partially incontinent. She was significantly overweight and had no muscle tone, had a painful cherry eye and a horrible UTI caused by her spina bifida when she arrived. Patty has gone from 52 lbs to an active and thriving 39lb delight in her 4 months with at PMRS. She has been spayed, had her cherry eye fixed and elongated palate shortened to improve her breathing and activity. Daily cleansing and care have minimized her UTI issues. Patty now lives an active and enriching life where she is loved and included in all that life has to offer. Hamburger Patty is fully vetted and recovered from all medical conditions she arrived with. She is perfectly squishy, joyful, adoptable and looking for her perfect forever family.

Peach Blossom was passed from a breeder to two different people in the first few weeks of her life before landing safely at PMRS at only 5 weeks old with a ruptured left eye and suspected hydrocephalus. Her eye healed in the physical sense with care from our ophthalmologist but she never regained any sight. As she developed and was nurtured, we assessed that Peach was neurologically typical but did had genetic malformations to the left side of her face that impacted her eye and teeth. Being the adventurer that she is, Peach injured her non-seeing eye twice in the first 6 months of her life. In November we chose to remove the blind eye at the time she was spayed to take away risk of possible rupture or infection in the future. We followed up with addressing her dental needs in December where she had a broken canine root extracted from the left side that had been giving her ongoing challenges. Peach blossom has made a full recovery from all her procedures just in time to be adopted before Christmas. She now has a beautiful "furever" family and is living her best life with her IVDD wheelchair Frenchie sister Pixie!

K9 Kismet Dog Rescue

Roger and Freddy- The sad truth is that bonded pairs often come into the shelter together, but rarely get to leave that way, especially senior pairs with medical issues. Thanks to funds provided, and a wonderful retired couple that said “YES” to fostering, Roger and Freddy (or as their forever parents dotingly call these XXL senior gentlemen, “The Babies”) will have the opportunity to live out their golden years in a loving home... TOGETHER. We are thrilled, and honored to be able to give “The Babies” the dignified last chapter they deserve.

Our sweet Minni girl represents so much about what rescue really is. Emaciated and sick, her humans surrendered her to the shelter when she needed them most. Her owner notes told just how hard her life had been but what we saw was a beautiful, resilient soul that wanted nothing more than to love and be loved. She was truly extraordinary. Because of the grant, we were able to welcome Minni to the K9 Kismet pack where she was given the best medical care available. Sadly, Minni’s condition was so far advanced her frail body was ultimately not able to recover from the damage done by years of neglect. Losing Minni was devastating to our pack but we take comfort in knowing she had the opportunity to live out her final months comfortably, in a home with a family that truly cherished her.

The Animal Pad

Luca underwent a dental procedure, as well as some serious grooming! Like many of the doodles, Luca was severely under-socialized and had pretty extreme anxiety with humans. He was able to get the behavioral care he needed in our care and spent his time decompressing in a patient foster home. He was also a happy foster fail.

Curly Sue was rescued as a puppy from the breeding mill in Mexico. While the rest of her litter looked relatively healthy, we noticed Curly Sue wasn't doing well. Many of the puppies rescued ended up testing positive for parvo, so we feared that for her. After consults, it was determined she needed emergency heart surgery. She was luckily placed in a medical foster home while she underwent several procedures. She was home for good, because they ended up foster failing her!

Live Love Animal Rescue

Betty Boop's rescue journey is well underway! Thanks to the help from MRGF, she's feeling a whole heck of a lot better now than she was a few weeks ago. Betty was found by a stray in Wildomar, CA and brought to the shelter. She had ulcerated masses extending the length of her abdomen, but her tail was still wagging. Betty was able to leave her cold kennel and was welcomed into a warm foster home as a Live Love Dog! She had surgery to remove the mammary masses, be spayed and will have a dental cleaning in a few months once she is fully recovered. Thank you MRGF!!!

Feline Urgent Rescue of Western North Carolina

Fiona and Jemmy were adopted together by Jennifer Williamson. She is a teacher at Canton Middle School. She is a wonderful lady. Along with the two new FUR babies she has 2 dogs which have been around cats all their lives. Jemmy was excited to go to her new home as she jumped right into the carrier to go to her forever home.

Nutmeg was adopted by Gail and Robert Miller. They recently lost their FUR baby after 15 wonderful years which left a hole in their hearts so they wanted to adopt an adult cat. As they were going from room to room looking at some of our 1-2 year olds, Robert came upon Nutmeg who instantly started rubbing against his leg. It took all but about 15 seconds and he was instantly in love.

All three cats are doing great in their new homes!

Mutty Paw's Rescue

Dade was found in Miami in front of a warehouse with severe burns to his body at just 3 weeks old and 3lbs. We didn’t think he would survive. He was hospitalized for 3 weeks. We did fundraise for most of his vetting but this grant allowed us to provide him with life saving hyperbaric oxygen therapy treatment. Dade is now a happy and healthy 8 week old little boy who is thriving.

Precious Pals Pet Rescue

Our first grant recipient was for a dog we had in foster care named Acorn. We had rescued her in October 2022 where she was supposed to have been vaccinated, but when she went to a new foster home where a puppy was there who had just been treated for parvo and she caught the virus and had to be hospitalized. We wanted to make sure she survived so we added on an additional treatment of plasma, which cured her in just 2 days. She was back to her normal self when we picked up her from the hospital.

Another one of our lucky recipients was Patti. She is also a long time senior of ours who at 15 started to show signs of weight loss back in September 2022. We thought was due to her age, but her gait changed and she had a heart mumur that started to become significantly worse. We took her in for bloodwork in early January and found out she had kidney disease. We started treatment on that right away and only a few weeks later she was having breathing issues so we took her to our vet ASAP only to find out she was in heart failure. She spent the day in oxygen and had a echocardiogram and was put on a critical care heart medical treatment for the day. She luckily became stable enough to go home where she continued with the heart meds every 8 hrs. She spent the next day on observation as the hospital and was given a good, but guarded prognosis since she was fighting two severe medical issues. The great news is she is doing MAGNIFICENTLY and is eating and back to her happy adorable self.

Another grant recipient was for one our seniors in forever foster care named Elvis. He is a 13 yr old adorable Chihuahua who had had an oral fistula that was causing issues in his sinus cavity. He received a much needed dental with extractions and a surgical flap to close the fistula. He is now back to his happy self with no more sinus issues.

Mile High Canine Rescue

Milton was a 4 month old anatolian shepherd mix that we pulled from a high kill shelter in rural western Texas along with his sister Morgan. He was brought here to Colorado and placed into foster care. This pup was neutered, tested for heartworm, dewormed, microchipped and vaccinated and adopted three weeks later by a lovely couple who was ready to add a new family member to their family!

Princess Fiona was 5 year old english mastiff that was found abandoned on a deserted highway in La Junta, Colorado. She was brought into the animal control holding facility where owners have 7 days to reclaim. If unclaimed after 7 days, the dog is euthanized. We pulled Princess Fiona in to our rescue and got her into see a vet for routine spay and testing and treatment for a raging urinary tract infection. She also needed two large masses aspirated to ensure they were not mast cell tumors, which they weren't. Princess Fiona was about 15 pounds underweight as well. Once we got her medical needs met and some weight put back on her, she was adopted by a wonderful family with a middle school aged daughter and a male English mastiff in the home. Princess Fiona and the family bonded quickly and her and her new canine brother quickly became friends.

Second Chance Dog Rescue

Prancer was rescued from the Animal Friends of the Valley shelter in Wildomar on December 15, 2022. The grant funds allowed SCDR to provide the necessary medical visits needed to assess and treat Prancer’s kidney issues. Here is what Prancer’s foster wrote about him to help him find his final forever home. Prancer weighs in at 4.1 pounds at 11 years young! He is the sweetest, spunkiest little ball of love. Prancer wins over hearts everywhere he goes with his sweet face and cool demeanor. He is a laid-back guy that just wants to hang out with you and sleep in his cuddler bed at night. Prancer does great with all dogs - even though he is just a little dude! He does not let out a peep - Prancer is a quiet guy. He loves wearing little sweaters to bed to keep him warm and enjoys other small dogs being around - Prancer currently loves sleeping and hanging out with his fellow Chihuahua foster sister, who is also a Second Chance alumni! Prancer is currently on medication for kidney support and will likely require lifelong medication in his retirement years. Prancer is neutered, up to date on all vaccines. Prancer was adopted on January 7, 2023.

Teddy Bear was rescued from the Department of Animal Services Bonita on January 19, 2023. Funds were used to pay for a senior exam, blood panel and dental which helped Teddy Bear feel better and prolong his life. Teddy Bear’s bio written by his foster helped him get notice and find his new family. Teddy is a sweet fluffy ball of absolute love. He is 6 years old; a few ounces shy of 10 pounds and is a beautiful little Chihuahua mix boy. Teddy LOVES to be a lap dog, in fact, that is his ultimate wish! He has the softest paws and will ask very politely to please sit in your lap, and keep you company. Teddy currently lives with other small dogs and absolutely loves to play with them. He is very gentle and kind. At first, Teddy may be a bit shy and slow to trust depending on the environment, but once he realizes he is safe, he opens up and then you see his true colors! Then he is all tail wags! Teddy sleeps in his crate at night (he puts himself in there when he needs alone time!) and sleeps soundly through the night. Teddy goes great with potty training if he is let out every few hours. Teddy currently has a yard he plays around in, but would be suitable for an apartment with patio access to a small potty area as well. He is great in car rides if he has a little dog bed to sit in. Teddy barely makes a peep - his foster family has not heard him bark, even when the other dogs are barking up a storm! He is looking for his absolute forever family, preferably with another doggy companion, to live out his best life. We know that you will absolutely fall in love with him once you meet him! He is microchipped, neutered, and up to date on all his vaccinations. He was adopted on February 24, 2023.

A Purposeful Rescue

Rupi is a 3 year old Mastiff (best guess) mix who is friendly with all. In order help her live her best possible life she needed a big surgery (CCL TPLO). She is now recovered and doing well!

Eggbelt is newer to our rescue. He is under a year with multiple medical concerns. He has multiple surgeries ahead to fix a multitude of medical issues. His first surgery was to fix an old fracture from possibly being hit by a car. He is situated in a loving foster home and continues to recover while awaiting additional specialty appointments.

Oregon Donkey Sanctuary

Sadly, we lost our matriarch, the inspiration for our logo, Pearl. After 10 years here, the damage done by previous neglect was too much for her to bear. Her hooves had become increasingly painful despite continuous farrier care, medications, BEMER treatments, massage, ice pack treatments and constant attention from Rhonda and our wonderful volunteers. We took her to Oregon State Veterinarian School for additional treatments but after long discussions with the amazing vets there, we decided to release her from any continued suffering. She will be honored here with the construction of our new indoor therapy facility, "Pearl's Place". 

On the positive side, we were honored by the Oregon Humane Society as a recipient of a 2023 Diamond Collar Award! Thank you for this grant! It has eased the financial burden and allowed us to continue onward and upward!

We took in a sweet 15 y/o miniature jennet, Emmy Lou, that needed a new home. She has now bonded with our 28 y/o gelding, Roscoe!

Roadogs Rescue

Bailey Icelynn was relinquished to Roadogs as she had ectopic ureters. What we didn't know was that she also previously had multiple rectal prolapses. Sadly, it is not that uncommon for surrendering parties to leave out important information. In our care, she had three incidences of rectal prolapse until we were finally able to get her parasites under control and then completely treated. This poor girl was struggling with parasites and ended up additionally having multiple bladder/urinary infections. We wer able to find a specialist at UC Davis where she was able to receive ureter corrective surgery. She is currently on the road to recovery but we are so excited to see her have a second chance!

Roadogs Rescue was approached about Oriana and Phoenix, as they were sick with parvo. We facilitated their treatment and found a foster home for them together. Soon after arriving in our care, both needed to be hospitalized for supportive care (Oriana for coccidia and Phoenix for giardia). They then came back to their foster home and have flourished. They have grown tremendously, receiving vaccines and each being spayed. Oriana also had her cherry eye addressed and Phoenix had a hernia repaired. Their personalities have also come out- both love to play ball, but Oriana then likes to chill on the couch while Phoenix continues to play with her other foster siblings. Both have potential adopters identified and will be adopted once they are medically cleared.

Animal Aid

Roo and Cookie were diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, which if left untreated can lead to weight loss, high blood pressure, and heart disease. With this grant, we were able to provide both of them with radioactive iodine therapy (I-131), which effectively destroys the abnormal thyroid tissue without endangering other organs. Hyperthyroidism re-occurrence after I-131 treatment is rare so now Roo and Cookie can go on to live long, happy, and healthy lives!

Mac's Mission

One couple adopted the oldest of the crew, a small male Yorkie named Indigo. They returned just a few weeks later and adopted our sweet little lady, Blue. These two are now living the life of luxury, with full new wardrobes, more soft beds than I can count and all the human snuggles that were in their dreams. Seeing them go from terrified dogs in rough physical shape to cuddling on a recliner with their new Dad is perfect.

Live Love Animal Rescue

Lala is an 8yr old Pitbull/Lab Mix. She was rescued in 2019 from Long Beach Animal Care Services during our first official Foster the 4th Program. Our founder, Emily, was there filming a video for the program, and LaLa happened to be the dog selected to be featured in the video. LaLa was skin and bones...severely emaciated, partially blind, and as she melted into Emily's lap during the video, her life changed forever.

Though the program wasn't starting for a week or so, Emily recognized that LaLa, severely diabetic and suffering, was not getting the medical care she needed at the shelter. Emily pulled her on the spot, ran her straight to the vet and had her snuggled in bed with her family that same night. After months of working to control her diabetes with diet and medications, LaLa officially became a Forever Foster in 2020 since her ongoing medical costs were clearly deterring adoptees inquiring about her from adopting her. LaLa's diabetes has continued to be difficult to control over the years and has caused many complications for her, including a toe amputation, a leg amputation, and continual deterioration of her eyesight. 

In happy news, LaLa is so happy go-lucky and isn't phased by anything! LaLa has a tremendously loving Forever Foster family- the Janoskis! She has "helped" foster several Live Love dogs in her years as well, and now she's got a human baby to snuggle with, too.

This grant has helped us afford the ongoing costs for LaLa's care, which are about $800/month due to her many medications and prescription food. We lovingly joke that some women are into designer purses; we are into dogs like LaLa. Her amazing, resilient spirit and loving nature shine through it all, and she is a friend to everyone she meets! LaLa is a Pitty Pawfessor and teaches children about Courage. We adore her, to say the least, and we are so grateful to have been awarded funds from The Graham Foundation so we can continue giving LaLa the medications and nutrition she needs to thrive!

Lester was a 8yr old Shihtzu Mix who was rescued in January 2023 from Long Beach Animal Care Services, on the last possible day before he was killed. He was a skinny, snaggletoothed fella whose medical condition was too precarious for adoption at the shelter. The shelter vets knew he had something not quite right medically, but they didn't have the ability to perform advanced testing to determine the condition and aim to treat it. We took Lester in, not expecting him to become a Forever Foster, but after several months of testing on his heart, we came to learn that he likely did not have much time left. Lester has severe Pulmonic Stenosis and he has scary panting/fainting/labored breathing episodes which are managed with ongoing medications for now. You'd never guess Lester had any idea of his diagnosis- he was a happy go lucky little guy with a heart of gold. Lester enjoyed napping, taking slow strolls (for which he would tap dance with delight before leaving the house), cuddling with his Forever Foster family and getting spiffed up at the groomers. He has been an amazing example of living life to the fullest, because we never know how long we have. The funds from The Graham Foundation have allowed us to provide Lester with the advanced testing he needed to diagnose his condition and get him on proper medications to manage his health. Without grant funds to offset these costs, it would have been nearly impossible for us to take on the costs of Lester's care. The Graham Foundation gave Lester 8 glorious months as a Forever Foster. He gained his wings on 9/20/2023, during which time, as in his life, he was surrounded by his loving family, including his foster dog sister, Roxy. Lester's heart condition may have slowed him down physically, but spiritually, he's an advanced being and knew how to savor every moment of his life. A lesson we all benefit from! We love you Lester, fly free!

Lionel's Legacy

One of the dogs we helped was named Chuy and boy is his story quite incredible! One of our adopters and volunteers got a call from a friend who was in labor and at the hospital, their dog Chuy was right by her side the entire pregnancy. Chuy watched his family go from planning mode to urgent the baby is coming mode! One day, his family rushed out the door leaving him behind for family members to take care of. What happened next is almost unimaginable but evidence of the true unconditional love our dogs have for us. 

From his human mom: I just had a 3 week old baby boy and I have a toddler as well. My husband and I adopted Chuy from the Humane Society and he’s been with our family for several years. I started going into labor on June 29th, 2023. My husband and I We had to rush out of the house in a hurry. We live on a second floor in an apartment and I forgot to shut the window. When my husband came home to get the diaper bag that we had forgotten, he found Chuy laying on the concrete unable to move. He jumped out of the window and we were nervous that he broke his legs or back. With a second kid on the way, money is very tight right now and we are unable to get him the emergency care he needed to make sure he was okay. We are so grateful Chuy is ok and that Lionel's Legacy helped us in a very stressful time of our lives. 

In addition to Chuy we were able to help a dog named Mango receive vital dental care. Mango's owner fell on hard times and is now homeless. "I have a senior dog I’ve rescued, he’s having really bad tooth problems, I took him down to the vet Bastet and it looks like he’s gonna need most if not all of his teeth extracted. I’ve fallen on hard times recently and am now homeless, I have proof my my situation by the fact I’m enrolled in JFS a local homeless outreach program in San Diego." 

We also helped a dog named Oliver who is his humans constant companion. He has a multitude of age related conditions such as heart disease, skin issues, and joint paint and takes various medication that keep him alive. We don't believe a human or animal should go without one another because they can't afford basic care. " I am a 68 yr old widow, disabled with my only income being Social Security. I have maxed out all available credit cards and savings that I had. Being a widow, Oliver is my constant companion, my world. If you can please consider Oliver and I for assistance, we will really appreciate it."