Praying For Paws gets Thundershirt grant

McDONOUGH — Homeless dogs in Henry County are receiving a helping hand, thanks to a grant for a local rescue group.

Praying For Paws Inc. received 10 Thundershirt jackets this week through a partnership with the Petfinder.com Foundation. The jackets are used to calm dogs and ease their anxiety.

Carol Kelly is the president of Praying For Paws, a non-profit dog rescue organization founded in 2005 to match families with homeless dogs. She said she applied for the grant six weeks ago as a way to help relieve anxiety and stress for dogs in need of a home.

“We hope it will increase our adoptions, because dogs can have the Thundershirts to help them with behavior problems,” she said. “The No. 1 reason dogs are surrendered to us is because of behavorial issues.”

Kelly said each Thundershirt has an effect similar to swaddling a baby.

“It’s snug and tight around their middle and gives them a secure sense and makes them less anxious,” she said. “I have two shirts for my personal dogs and I find that they do work. I have one dog that is afraid of storms, and it seems to have the effect of quieting her down.”

Thundershirts sell for $39.95 each. Kelly said dogs that are adopted at Praying For Paws will receive them at no charge.

The Thundershirt company has partnered with Petfinder.com, the largest online database of homeless pets, to donate Thundershirts to adoption organizations across the country.

Thundershirt, based in North Carolina, was launched in 2009 by Phil Blizzard. He said the company is committed to supporting animal shelters and rescue groups around the country.

“The Petfinder.com Foundation does incredible work and we are proud of this partnership as we continue our mission of bringing relief to the millions of dogs affected by anxiety and fear issues,” he said.