Mars Petcare US Kicks Off Pet-Friendly Communities Initiative At "Home"

Partnership with City of Nashville Includes Challenge to Clear Out Local Shelters with Free Adoptions

Aug 31, 2015, 12:37 ET from Mars Petcare US

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Aug. 31, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Pets change our lives for the better  – so why not make sure they're taken good care of, too? Today, Mars Petcare US, the producer of some of the world's most beloved pet care brands, unveiled its "Pet-Friendly Communities Initiative" in its hometown in Nashville. 

The initiative is designed to foster greater adoption of pet-friendly community policies and promote the benefits of pet ownership and pet adoption in the U.S. Initial programming in Nashville will include free adoption days with three area shelters, a $10,000 donation to the Nashville Parks Foundation and additional donations to 28 rescue shelters in Middle Tennessee.

"Mars Petcare is dedicated to making A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™," said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. "There are countless studies documenting the physical and emotional benefits to pet ownership, particularly on promoting healthy, active lifestyles. We're excited to pilot this initiative in our hometown, and we know Nashville is a great role model for other communities looking to become more pet-friendly."


Together with The  Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition – a leading scientific authority in pet nutrition and wellbeing founded by Mars more than 50 years ago – Mars Petcare has discovered that having a pet isn't just fun, it's actually really good for you. For example:

  • Benefits to pet ownership include reducing the risk of heart disease and stress management, promoting healthy, active lifestyles, offering companionship and facilitating emotional connections.
  • Dogs and other animals can also help children cope with a variety of ailments – depression, emotional disorders and even poor immune function, and can promote social skills.
  • Pet owners are significantly more likely to meet new people in their neighborhoods than non-pet owners, with pets shown to facilitate friendships more often than in children's schools.


Under Mayor Karl Dean's leadership, Nashville has become a more pet-friendly city by:

  • Opening new dog parks
    • Pitts Park dog park – which is six acres in total, including .2 acres of dog park and four acres of wooded walking trails for off-leash walking.
    • Two Rivers dog parks, both seven acres.
    • Riverfront Park dog park, which is 14,000 square feet.
  • Adding more than 4,500 acres of new parkland, 14 new parks and six park expansions in the past eight years, increasing parkland by 25 percent and increasing greenways by 50 percent, with 40 miles of new trails. Additionally, 21 water fountains have been added across the city, each featuring a dog bowl.
  • Numerous health events – including 100 Miles with the Mayor, Mayor's Challenge 5K and Mayor's Field Day – have welcomed pets so that people can be active with their furry friends. The Mayor invited Metro's Animal Care and Control to participate in these events to increase adoption and to promote responsible pet ownership.

"I am proud of the strides we have made to become a more pet-friendly community," Mayor Dean said. "By investing in dog parks, improving the operations of our animal shelter and partnering with nonprofit shelters across the city, we have made Nashville a healthier city for residents and their pets. Thank you Mars for recognizing the commitment by our community to animal welfare. We appreciate your investment in dog parks through the Nashville Parks Foundation and look forward to many of our shelter dogs and cats finding forever homes through your free adoption program."


On September 4 and 5, 2015, Mars Petcare will sponsor up to 300 adoptions at three PEDIGREE® partner shelters – Metro Animal Care and Control (Davidson County), Williamson County Animal Shelter and Nashville Humane Association – in an effort to find all of these pets a forever home.

Representatives from Banfield Pet Hospital – the largest privately owned veterinary practice in the U.S. – and the American Humane Association's "Red Star Rescue Rig," sponsored by Mars Petcare US, will also be onsite* to hand out information, answer questions and provide additional support.  The Red Star Rescue Rig is an 82-foot-long truck fully equipped to handle disasters and provide on-the-ground rescue services for animals.  In addition:

  • DogTrax™ powered by WISDOM PANEL® DNA kits: Mars Veterinary will provide each participating shelter with 12 DogTrax™ DNA kits to help understand the breeds of some of the dogs available for adoption and, in turn, allow adopters to receive access to reliable breed ancestry information critical for the nutrition, training and overall healthcare of their new furry family member.
  • Volunteer work: Mars Petcare Associates have volunteered 845 hours at all three shelters throughout August to ensure the facilities are in good condition and the pets are looking and feeling their best – and they will also be onsite during the adoption days. Already, Mars Petcare volunteers have built a dog pool, bathed and groomed pets and photographed pets for adoption websites.

To learn more about how Mars Petcare strives to makes A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS™, and to check out Mars Petcare products for pets of every size and at every life stage, visit

*The Red Star Rescue Rig will be onsite at Metro Animal Care and Control (Davidson County) on Friday, September 4 and at Williamson County Animal Shelter on Saturday, September 5.

About Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare US is the U.S. operations of the world's largest petcare company at the privately-held Mars, Incorporated. Mars Petcare US produces some of the world's most beloved pet care brands, including PEDIGREE® Food and Treats for Dogs, CESAR® Canine Cuisine, IAMS™ Pet Food, SHEBA® Entrees for Cats, WHISKAS® Food for Cats, GREENIES™ Dental Chews and PILL POCKETS™ Treats, NUTRO™ Pet Food, EUKANUBA™ Pet Food and TEMPTATIONS™ Treats for Cats, as well as exclusive brands and products for some of the leading retailers in the U.S. Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., more than 3,700 Mars Petcare US associates make, sell and distribute its high-quality pet food from 20 manufacturing facilities located in communities across the U.S. For more information, please visit

®/™ Trademarks © Mars, Incorporated and its affiliates 2015. Other trademarks are property of their respective owners.


SOURCE Mars Petcare US