Petfinder Outreach Team Discovers Their Impact

by Jim Chesters

Each year Petfinder’s parent company Discovery Communications hosts Discover Your Impact day. It’s a day for Discovery’s employees to get away from their desks and volunteer on a project in their community. This year’s Impact Day was the biggest and most global to date. Nearly 4,200 Discovery employees across five continents volunteered with 170 projects ranging from feeding the homeless, revitalizing local schools, inspiring disadvantaged children, and cleaning up parks and waterways in our communities.

As Petfinder’s days under the Discovery umbrella wind down it was a wonderful opportunity for us to get out there with our Discovery colleagues one last time and share in the hard work and reward.

Here is what the Outreach team did on Friday:

Sharon met Sara at Antler Ridge Wildlife Sanctuary in Newton, NJ. Our first job of the day was to brave the rain and hang barrier tarps to provide privacy to the outdoor fawns. The fawns are located close to the main building for safety reasons, but since that is at times a high traffic area, the tarps are important to minimize the human contact the fawns are exposed to.

We hung privacy tarps so the fawn's interaction with humans would be minimized.

Sara was being supervised by a feathered friend while hanging the privacy tarps.

After the tarps were up, we did feeding rounds with Dr. Karen Dashfield. After bottle feeding dozens of fawns, we cleaned out the raccoon crates while Dr. Dashfield fed the babies. When we had completed the cleaning, we began mixing more milk replacement formula for fawns and raccoons, it was time to make more bottles and start the feeding rounds all over again. It was a fantastic experience and a very exciting and rewarding Discover Your Impact Day! Thank you to Dr. Dashfield for welcoming us and putting our time to good use.

This is one of the many fawns relying on Antler Ridge to survive.

Dr. Dashfield works 14 hour days at Antler Ridge, providing every animal with much needed care. Here, she attends to a fawn who came in with a body temperature of more than 10 degrees below normal.


Jim headed out to Added Value Farm in the Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn. Added Value is a community farm that provides fresh food and helps train and empower local teenagers through socially responsible farming. Hurricane Sandy damaged large sections of the farm, and when Jim was out there a tropical storm was skirting by New York, but the volunteers and him worked through the rain to move soil, clean up debris and help Added value continue to recover from Sandy.

Corn growing at the Added Value Farm (photo courtesy Patti Duncan @yoyosciteach)


Along with six local volunteers, Susan help paint part of the exterior of the cat rescue building for The Owl House cat rescue, and weeded and mulched their Memory Garden.

The Owl House Memory Garden for feral cats

The Memory Garden is a small cat cemetery available to lay feral cats to rest, and where local feral cat caretakers can place an ornamental shrub or other plant in memory of a special cat.

A memorial to a cat named “Alex” emerges from the overgrowth in the Memory Garden

Melissa took her adopted Dachshund, Lily, to visit with residents of Long View Nursing Home for the day. Since Melissa typically volunteers for animal causes, she wanted to take this opportunity to volunteer to help people. The residents loved seeing Lily, and many of them thanked Melissa several times and told her it was the highlight of their day. Lily also had a blast because she had a full day of attention and lots of treats! One employee even said she had never seen one resident smile until she saw Lily. Seeing the joy Lily brought to the residents was truly a special experience.


Lily at the end of the day. She needed a nap!

Kristen visited Felines and Canines Inc. to help provide canine enrichment, walk dogs and visit with cats. Felines & Canines a dog and cage-less cat shelter located on the north side of Chicago.

Big Boy enjoying the cat room and having his picture taken!

Up until January 2012, Felines Inc. operated as a cat-only shelter caring for approximately 130 cats and kitten. Last year they were able to renovate and expand their facility in order to care for up to 200 cats/kittens and add a wing to house approximately 20 dogs/puppies.

Norman loves perching in the new cat room!