PLATINUM2024

The Grey Muzzle Organization

We envision a world where every senior dog thrives and no old dog dies alone and afraid

Raleigh, NC   |  www.greymuzzle.org

Mission

The Grey Muzzle Organization saves and improves the lives of homeless and at-risk senior dogs by providing funding and resources to animal shelters, rescue organizations, and other nonprofit groups nationwide.

Notes from the nonprofit

The Grey Muzzle Organization is thankful for the generosity of our supporters who have made our tremendous growth over the past 15 years possible. We quite simply could not have accomplished all that we have for senior dogs and the people who love them without their support. With your help, we know we can do even more. Our vision of a world where every senior dog thrives and no old dog dies alone and afraid is an ambitious one, but each day we take a step closer to making this vision a reality. As we look to the future, we will continue to grow our grant program, carefully vetting each grant applicant and providing the support grantees need to sustain their programs beyond the grant period, promote best practices and lessons learned from our grantees, and develop resources to ensure senior dogs receive the best possible care. We look forward to sharing our progress and results on behalf of at-risk senior dogs nationwide and beyond.

Ruling year info

2008

Executive Director

Lisa Lunghofer, Ph.D.

Main address

14460 Falls of Neuse Rd. Suite 149-269

Raleigh, NC 27614 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

26-1965495

NTEE code info

Fund Raising and/or Fund Distribution (D12)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (D01)

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2023, 2022 and 2021.
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Communication

Blog

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

When senior dogs enter shelters, their future is uncertain. The adoption rate for senior dogs (7 years or older) is lower than that of all other ages combined: just over 50% find new homes. The Grey Muzzle Organization is one of the only national organizations dedicated specifically to advancing lifesaving efforts on behalf of senior dogs. We provide funding and resources to animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide. With the support of people like you, The Grey Muzzle Organization creates happy endings to what would otherwise be heartbreaking stories. We envision a world where every senior dog thrives and no old dog dies alone and afraid.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Senior Dog Grant Program

The Grey Muzzle Organization saves and improves the lives of at-risk senior dogs by providing grants, ranging from $2,500 to $15,000, to animal welfare organizations across the U.S. and Canada. These grants provide senior dogs with critically needed care and services that support The Grey Muzzle Organizations vision of a world where every senior dog thrives and no old dog dies alone and afraid. Our grants provide medical and dental treatment; foster and hospice care; adoption promotions; and programs that help keep old dogs in good homes and out of animal shelters. Since our founding in 2008, we have awarded more than $4.6 million in grants.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Grey Muzzle strives to be an international leader promoting the well-being of older dogs and equipping the people who love them with knowledge and information to ensure the highest quality care. We regularly update our website with best practices for working with and caring for senior dogs and feature stories and articles from our high-profile Advisory Board, which includes Dr. Marty Becker, "America's Veterinarian;" Victoria Stilwell, renowned dog trainer and the star of the Animal Planet TV series, “It's Me or the Dog;” and Dr. Mary Gardner, co-founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice. Drawing on the expertise of our Advisory Board and others, we offer a free monthly webinar series open to the public and focused on a range of issues relevant to senior dogs. We are equally committed to building the capacity of our grantees through professional development, including a monthly enewsletter highlighting current research and best practices, a webinar series, and networking opportunities.

Population(s) Served
Adults

The Grey Muzzle Organization maintains a fund to provide orthopedic beds to old dogs who are living in shelters. Cold concrete floors are particularly unforgiving for old dogs' joints. Our bed fund gives senior dogs in shelters a soft place to rest while they await their forever home.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Senior Dog Grant Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2015, our grants ranged from $500 to $5,000 with most around $3,000. We raised the grant amount to $7,500 in 2016 and to $10,000 in 2019.

Total dollar amount of grants awarded

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

Senior Dog Grant Program

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2021, we awarded $616,000 during our traditional grant cycle plus $36,580 in Learning Partnership grants and $26,000 for a senior cat pilot program, for a total of $678,580 in grants.

Number of organizations applying for grants

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Adults

Related Program

Senior Dog Grant Program

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

In 2016 we eliminated the requirement for a letter of inquiry. In 2015, 55 organizations were invited to submitted applications after review of 113 LOIs.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

The Grey Muzzle Organization aims to be the international leader promoting the welfare of senior dogs. We strive to increase the total amount we award in grants by at least 10% annually. We also aim to provide the highest quality resources and information to animal shelters and rescues that are working to develop and expand programs designed specifically to ensure senior dogs receive needed care and have the chance to live out their final years, months, weeks, and days in comfort and surrounded by love. Finally, we are working to provide pet owners with the information and resources they need to give their senior dogs the best possible care.

Our priorities for 2024 are four-fold. First, we will explore an additional invitation-only grant cycle to pilot test innovative strategies focused on community outreach and collaboration to keep senior dogs in their homes. We are committed to funding programs that produce the best results for at-risk senior dogs both during the grant period and beyond. We will provide our grantees with the support they need to expand and sustain their efforts on behalf of senior dogs.

Second, we will continue to increase our marketing and communications capacity in order to raise awareness about senior dogs. Fundamentally, we seek to change public perceptions of old dogs. This is a long-term goal, but this year we will build on our media success and increase the number of features on senior dogs in national and local media outlets.

Third, we will continue to invest in the infrastructure required to support and advance the growth of Grey Muzzle. We recognize that investments in technology and human resources are essential to our evolution from an all-volunteer organization to an international leader promoting the welfare of senior dogs. We will continue to invest in systems that increase our efficiency and add professionals to our team who have expertise in areas such as marketing and analytics.

Finally, we will continue to raise the funds necessary to increase the total amount of grants we award by at least 10% annually. We will do that by working to expand our individual donor base, identify new corporate sponsors, and promote our legacy giving program.

Grey Muzzle's greatest asset is our human resources, including our small-but-expert staff, our accomplished board of directors, our high-profile advisory board, and our cadre of volunteers who offer thousands of hours of in-kind service every year. In 2015, in order to make the transition from an all-volunteer organization, we recruited an executive director who has decades of experience managing nonprofits and getting results. In 2017 we added a part-time communications manager with extensive experience in animal welfare and marketing. In 2018 we increased our level of administrative support by adding a half-time administrative assistant. In 2020 we added a part-time financial consultant to ensure adherence to the highest accounting standards as we continue to grow. Together they provide leadership and manage day-to-day operations.

Our 7-person board of directors includes animal welfare experts, a veterinarian, a CPA, IT professionals, small business owners, and experienced nonprofit leaders. In addition to providing governance and oversight, board members are actively involved in ad hoc committees that are instrumental to Grey Muzzle's success.

We continue to add to our advisory board, the members of which serve as ambassadors for Grey Muzzle and are essential to helping us promote our work on behalf of senior dogs. Long-time advisory board members include "America's Veterinarian" Dr. Marty Becker and Victoria Stilwell, prominent dog trainer and the star of the Animal Planet TV series, It's Me or the Dog." This year we added even more well-known experts who are passionate about senior dogs, including Michael Levitt, Emmy-nominated founder of Michael Levitt Productions and producer of the "American Rescue Dog Show" for the Hallmark Channel and Dr. Heidi Lobprise, a board-certified veterinary dentist.

Volunteers also play a critical role in helping Grey Muzzle to achieve our goals. We have recruited a highly skilled volunteers to assist with graphic design, media relations, information management systems, among other areas of expertise.

With your support, we have accomplished much in the past year:

In 2023, Grey Muzzle awarded a record $848,000 in grants to 90 animal welfare organizations throughout the U.S., bringing the total awarded since our founding in 2008 to over $4.6 million. We awarded 20% more in grants than in 2022.

We saw increased demand for our grants, reflecting greater awareness of the needs of senior dogs and interest in lifesaving efforts on their behalf. We received 370 grant applications, 11% more than 2022.

Grey Muzzle grantees served nearly 4,000 senior dogs (and the people who love them), 17% more than last year and more than ever before.

Grey Muzzle grantees increased their ability to serve senior dogs. Shelter from the Storm (WI) reduced the number of senior dogs surrendered for financial reasons to zero, providing veterinary care to 22 senior dogs whose owners needed assistance. Humane Society of West Michigan expanded its lifesaving partnerships with shelters lacking resources for senior dogs, providing dental care to 44 seniors and placing 100% of them in loving homes. Poodle and Pooch (FL) saw a 15% increase in repeat adopters opening their hearts and homes to senior dogs.

Grantees not only sustained but also expanded their lifesaving efforts. The Humane Society of North Texas performed dental surgeries on 43 senior dogs, nearly three times the number served in the prior year. Friends of Homeless Animals (VA) helped 24 senior dogs, double the number served in the prior year, and reduced the time to adoption by 33%.

Grey Muzzle grantees embraced new strategies to help senior dogs. Pet Rescue Pilots took to the skies to save lives. Twenty-three senior dogs boarded a special Seniors are Golden flight funded by Grey Muzzle, landing each pup into their new home. While parts of rural California struggle with overcrowded shelters and limited space, states like Oregon have more adoption applications than rescue pets. Pet Rescue Pilots flies adoptable pets from areas overwhelmed with homeless animals into the waiting arms of loving families. Grey Muzzle is always looking to fund outside of the box lifesaving strategies, and this approach went far beyond the box and 30,000 feet into the sky, literally!

We built the capacity of our grantees by continuing Directors Corner, a monthly professional development e-newsletter for grantees that features research and resources on best practices in animal welfare, and quarterly webinars focused on a range of professional development topics (e.g., adoption screening, foster recruitment, marketing). A key focus of Directors Corner has been diversity, equity, and inclusion, specifically around reducing barriers to adoption. We aim to help grantees identify outdated practices that can differentially affect segments of our population, including people of color, and reduce the likelihood of adoption.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on demographics (e.g., race, age, gender, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback

Financials

The Grey Muzzle Organization
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

The Grey Muzzle Organization

Board of directors
as of 03/21/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Denise Fleck

Pet Safety Crusader

Term: 2022 - 2024

Denise Fleck

Safety Pet Crusader and Author

Mark Casias

Kanopi

Kelli Chickos

Superior Group of Companies

Marc Zaretsky

Hill International, Inc.

James Pikula

Holland & Company, CPAs

Ashley Ackley

Private Practice Veterinarian

Jacki McDonald

Animal welfare professional

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 1/18/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/21/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.