The PETCO Foundation and PETCO will host America's first National Pet Food Drive from Nov. 5 through Nov. 14 to help pet parents in need provide a healthy and plentiful holiday season for their four-legged family members. Specially marked pet food collection bins can be found in PETCO stores across the country.
PETCO and the PETCO Foundation launched a first-of-its-kind National Pet Food Bank program in March, starting with about 250 stores in select markets. Today, all of PETCO's more than 1,000 stores have designated pet food bins in place for year-round collection. Each store has partnered with a local food bank or animal welfare group to donate pet food and litter directly to economically stressed pet parents in that store's community. The national program has already provided more than 110 tons of donated pet food and litter to those in need.
"We believe that no one should have to give up their pet companions due to financial stress, and our associates and customers agree," said Paul Jolly, the PETCO Foundation's executive director and a PETCO vice president. "Our national food bank program makes it easy for people to help keep pets well-nourished and with the families who love them in tough economic times. During this two-week national drive, we're asking the communities we serve to give a little extra and help us raise awareness for this important year-round program."
In support of the National Pet Food Drive, Best Friends Animal Society is mobilizing volunteers in about 200 PETCO stores to help consumers learn more about the program.
During the food drive, Hill's Science Diet will match, bag-for-bag, every bag of Hill's cat or dog food purchased at a PETCO store and donated to the food drive, up to 25,000 pounds.
"What PETCO and the PETCO Foundation have done by building a nationwide network of pet food banks and hosting this National Pet Food Drive just in time for the holiday season is incredibly helpful," said Ellen Gilmore, national campaign specialist for Best Friends Animal Society. "We're thrilled to be able to offer our support and help ensure none of our furry friends go hungry now or ever."
The food bank program is an extension of the PETCO Foundation's "We Are Family, Too" fund, which provides seed funding for animal-welfare programs to help pet parents in financial crisis, including food banks, product donations, referral lists of pet-friendly housing, short-term foster care and veterinarian services. While the foundation also has programs in place to help feed pets in shelters, this program is specifically designed to support local food banks and families in financial crisis.
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