SAN ANTONIO, Oct. 5, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Throughout October, the Petco Foundation, in partnership with Merrick Pet Care, will honor "Helping Heroes," the therapy, service and working animals that have a significant effect on people across the nation.
With a goal to raise more than $2.3 million in Petco locations and online, the Helping Heroes campaign supports the incredible organizations that train and support these heroes to improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of people each and every day.
These Helping Heroes safeguard our military, rescue people during disasters, give independence, comfort the sick and even help children learn to read. To date, the Petco Foundation has invested more than $12 million to support these extraordinary animals, with a special emphasis on organizations like the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, Service Dogs Inc, and K9s For Warriors which obtain pets from shelters and transform them into Helping Heroes.
"These phenomenal heroes highlight the true potential of shelter pets," said Petco Foundation President Susanne Kogut. "We hope to showcase the life-changing impact these animals make and we continue to invest significantly in organizations that rescue and train these special heroes to serve as an example to others."
Throughout the month, the Petco Foundation and Merrick Pet Care will share stories and videos about these organizations and animals that touch the lives of hundreds of thousands of people. Some of the animal heroes and organizations featured in this campaign include:
Xeli: Therapy Cat at Denver International Airport
Xeli was certified by Pet Partners and now is a therapy cat at the Denver International Airport, visiting the airport frequently and helping to calm travelers from across the nation and the world. Read Xeli's story.
Jake: Search and Rescue Dog
Jake is an adopted search and rescue dog trained by National Disaster Search Dog Foundation. Jake serves alongside his handler on California Task Force 7, assisting in disasters including mudslides, earthquakes and more. Read Jake's story.
Stryker: Army Veteran Service Dog
Stryker is a former shelter dog turned service dog trained by K9s For Warriors and matched with Jenny, an Army Veteran who struggled with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after returning home from Iraq. Stryker gives Jenny security and enables her to be more confident in her daily life. Read Stryker's story.
Merrick Pet Care shares Petco Foundation's passion to improve the lives of pets and pet parents. Since 2015, as the exclusive feeding partner for K9s For Warriors, Merrick has been committed to raising awareness for K9s For Warriors, which pairs veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) with service dogs that have been rescued from shelters and thoroughly trained.
"Through our partnership with K9s For Warriors, we've witnessed the healing power of pairing a rescued service dog with a veteran with PTSD," said Barbara Liss, Vice President – Marketing, Merrick Pet Care. "We're committed to working with the Petco Foundation to expand our support of organizations that transform the lives of pets and their pet parents."
In addition to raising awareness for this important cause, Merrick Pet Care has pledged $75,000 to the Helping Heroes campaign. Individuals can support the campaign by donating online or in a Petco or Unleashed by Petco store October 6 through October 28, 2018. To learn more about the Petco Foundation, this campaign and working, service and therapy animals, visit www.petcofoundation.org/heroes.
About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we've invested more than $200 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we've helped more than 5.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we're just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.
About Merrick Pet Care
Founded in 1988, Amarillo-based Merrick Pet Care, Inc. is a leader in natural and organic pet food. Pets have always been a part of the Merrick family, and that's what inspires the company to create the most wholesome and nutritious recipes possible. Merrick goes to great lengths to craft recipes with real, whole foods and the freshest ingredients all without additives, sweeteners, colors or preservatives. The company offers a wide variety of high-quality dry and wet foods, as well as treats, that are available nationally at Petco and Petco.com. For more information, visit www.merrickpetcare.com.
SOURCE Petco Foundation