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Dogs Rule Grant, Program Development Grant, and COVID-19 Relief Grant

Grants to USA Nonprofits to Increase Dog Adoption
Rate Success and for Support During COVID-19

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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PEDIGREE Foundation

Conf. Date:


Deadline Date:

05/07/21 12 Midnight CST: Deadline for Dogs Rule Grants and Program Development Grants only; COVID-19 Relief Grants are accepted on an ongoing basis.


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations that work to save homeless dogs and place them in loving homes. Funding is intended for program expenses, innovative initiatives, and to offset the financial effects of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The purpose of the grant program is to help enhance the quality of care of dogs in shelter or rescue to increase adoption potential, and to increase adoption rates within shelters or rescues through programs and/or new initiatives in the animal welfare community.

PEDIGREE Foundation grant opportunities in 2021 include the following: 

  • Dogs Rule Grant: One grant is available in 2021 to support an innovative initiative that focuses on increasing adoption rates with a requirement to deliver a manual or toolkit by the end of the program to share with the animal welfare community. To be considered for a Pedigree Foundation Dogs Rule grant, the project(s) and program(s) for which the funds would be used must be a new, creative, and innovative initiative that could potentially serve as a best practice model for other shelters and rescues to help them increase their dog adoption rates.
  • Program Development Grants: To be considered for a PEDIGREE Foundation Program Development grant, the program(s) or project(s) for which the funds would be used must support activities that expand the operational capability of your institution to improve dog adoption rates. This includes the expansion of existing programs or new programs that are important to your organization but do not fit the definition of the PEDIGREE Foundation Dogs Rule grant. For the 2021 Program Development grants, PEDIGREE Foundation will again prioritize the following programs:
    • Transport – Programs designed to support your organization in your efforts to transport animals or receive animals to increase their ability to be adopted.
    • Matching – Programs designed to increase the likelihood that shelter dogs will bond with their adopters. This could include behavior training or other programs that help find the best fit for dogs and potential adopters.
    • Foster – Programs that utilize foster housing in the interest of getting more dogs adopted with foster parents as advocates to increase adoption of dogs under their care.
  • COVID-19 Relief Grants: This grant program is for 501(c)(3) organizations that need funding due to financial challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Like last year, the Foundation has decided to allocate funding from its 2021 Operation grants to COVID-19 Relief grants instead and will not be offering Operation grants in 2021. Applicants must demonstrate significant financial need due to COVID-19 implications (loss of donor funding, increase in foster costs, increase in community medical care needs, etc.).

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181359

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

One Dogs Rule Grant is available.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Dogs Rule Grant: $50,000 a year for two years (total of $100,000)
- Program Development Grants: Requests must fall within the range of $5,000 to $15,000.
- COVID-19 Relief Grants: Up to $2,500

Term of Contract:

- Dogs Rule Grant: This is a two-year grant.
- Program Development Grants: Funds must be utilized within a one-year period.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

All applicants for PEDIGREE Foundation grants must hold a current 501(c)(3) designation from the U.S. Internal Revenue Service and have a shelter or rescue that operates in the U.S.

To qualify for COVID-19 funding, you must meet these guidelines for eligibility:

- The funds must be used by a 501(c)(3) shelter or rescue organization that can demonstrate financial need and/or increased costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- The funds must support activities that help keep dogs in homes in the face of pandemic-related challenges. For example, this could include temporary sheltering or fostering of dogs when their owners are ill or need to find new housing. Or, it could be dog food, supplies or medical support that helps avoid surrenders and keep people and their dogs together.

Grant applicants must subscribe to the Guidelines for Standards of Care in Animal Shelters published by The Association of Shelter Veterinarians.

Not funded for Dogs Rule and Program Development grants:
- Programs/projects that do not directly influence dog adoptions
- Debt reduction or operating deficits
- Capital campaigns
- General operating expenses
- Grants to individuals
- Endowment funding
- Event sponsorships

Pre-proposal Conference:

Join the Grant Application Webinar on March 18 for application tips.

Sign up for the Webinar here:

Pre-Application Information:

Applications for Dogs Rule grants and Program Development grants are due by May 7, 2021, at 12 midnight CST.

The Foundation plans to award COVID-19 Relief grants several times during the year, to provide help on a rolling basis. The first group of grants will be awarded in April and May. Applications for COVID-19 Relief grants will be reviewed upon receipt, so shelter and rescues in need should apply as soon as possible.

Applicants may apply for a Dogs Rule grant and a Program Development grant in the same grant cycle, but only one grant will be awarded per organization. If an applicant applies for multiple grants, the highest grant award that they qualify for will be awarded to them.

Semi‐finalists for Dogs Rule and Program Development grants will receive an unannounced, on‐site or virtual (in support of COVID-19 safety guidelines) visit by an auditor who will assess the current state of care for the animals in the program. Organizations that are awarded the Dogs Rule grant will also receive two additional on-site audits throughout the two-year grant award period.

About PEDIGREE Foundation:

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Apply for Dogs Rule Grant:

Apply for Program Development Grants:

Apply for COVID-19 Relief Grants:

If you have questions, please contact Meg Meredith at or use the contact form:

PEDIGREE Foundation
2013 Ovation Parkway
Franklin, TN 37067

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

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