MASON, Ohio, Oct. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- One of the world's largest pet adoption programs – Iams Home 4 the Holidays – kicked off today to help place 1.5 million orphaned pets into loving homes this holiday season. Between Oct. 1, 2010 and Jan. 4, 2011, Iams will work side-by-side with founding partner Helen Woodward Animal Center and 3,500 animal organizations worldwide to not only help pets find homes but to provide 5 million bowls of food through the inaugural Bags 4 Bowls program.
Each year shelters and rescue centers are overwhelmed and overcrowded with as many as 8 million homeless animals. Because of this staggering statistic, the core mission of Iams Home 4 the Holidays continues to be to drastically reduce the number of homeless pets through adoption.
"Pet homelessness is an epidemic in our country and many animal organizations look to programs like Iams Home 4 the Holidays to help drive families to our centers to see these amazing animals," said Mike Arms, founder of the adoption drive and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. "We've been a part of the adoption drive for 12 years now and have really seen the benefit of what this program can do for animals, our employees and the families who adopt."
While adoption is paramount, the campaign acknowledges that not everyone is in the position to bring a new pet into their home. This year visitors to Iams' Facebook page (www.facebook.com/iams) can follow the program's "Adoption Angels," new pet parents chronicling their personal journeys of adoption. Visitors can see first-hand as the Angels experience the joy of adoption and how they integrate their new four-legged family member into the home.
In addition to the Adoption Angels, Iams created the Bags 4 Bowls program so that anyone can help make a difference in the lives of orphaned animals by buying a bag of Iams food. For every specially marked package of Iams dog or cat food purchased during the campaign – Oct. 1, 2010 through Jan. 4, 2011 – Iams will donate one bowl of food to a participating animal organization.* Additionally, anyone can visit the Facebook page and "Like" the page itself, various messages, photos, videos, etc. posted by the Adoption Angels and in return Iams will donate up to 100 meals per "Like" or comment to feed orphaned animals.
"We're very proud of the fact that we've helped more than 4.6 million animals find homes over the last 11 years," said Maria Beatriz Rodriguez, Iams general manager. "Our core mission has been and remains to reduce pet homelessness through adoption. However we want to empower everyone to get involved and make a difference so we created the Bags 4 Bowls program. Our goal is to find homes for 1.5 million animals and provide 5 million bowls of food – that's a lot of permanent homes and meals for millions of deserving animals."
Iams Home 4 the Holidays strives to educate about the importance of adoption so that every pet adopted goes to a permanent, loving home. Families who adopt through the program will receive an Iams adoption kit loaded with important information about nutrition, training and proper care to ensure that the relationship with the new animal starts off on the right paw.
Iams works with all of the partnering organizations to ensure they have the tools needed to promote themselves and their pets. One of the primary tools Iams shares with participants is a detailed "how-to-guide" that includes template materials, guides for event planning, tips for working within their local communities, and more. Iams has also established a dedicated toll-free phone number (800-421-6456) for animal organizations to call seven days a week for help and guidance with adoption needs and questions.
To learn more about how to make a difference in the life of an orphaned pet, including how to get involved, details about pets available for adoption, fun ways to donate meals and quick access to informative content and tips, visit www.facebook.com/iams.
About Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH)
As one of the most successful pet adoption programs in the world, IH4TH partners with thousands of animal organizations dedicated to finding forever homes for orphaned pets. Founded by Helen Woodward Animal Center and supported by Iams, IH4TH began in 1999 with just 14 participating animal shelters in San Diego County. Since it began 12 years ago, IH4TH – along with more than 3,500 pet adoption centers – has helped 4.6 million families experience the joy of pet adoption, including nearly 1.4 million pet adoptions from 2009. For more information, please visit www.facebook.com/iams.
About Helen Woodward Animal Center
Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where "people help animals and animals help people." Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 57,000 people and thousands of animals annually. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the international Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive and the Animal Center Education Services program, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world.
About P&G Pet Care
For more than 60 years, P&G Pet Care (NYSE: PG), the maker of Iams and Eukanuba, has enhanced the well-being of dogs and cats by providing world-class quality foods and pet care products. To learn more about Eukanuba® and Iams® Dog & Cat Foods or general pet care and nutrition information, call the Consumer Care Center at (800) 446-3075. You can also visit us on the Web at http://www.iamshome4theholidays.com or www.eukanuba.com.
About Procter & Gamble
Four billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, Braun® and Fusion®. The P&G community includes approximately 127,000 employees working in about 80 countries worldwide. Please visit http://www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.