SAN DIEGO, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Petco and the Petco Foundation are hosting the third annual National Pet Food Drive, and are calling on all animal lovers to provide a healthy and plentiful holiday season for furry friends across the United States. The National Pet Food Drive will begin Sunday, Oct. 28, and run through Sunday, Nov. 11.
During the two-week drive, consumers can pick up extra food or litter during their shopping trip, or bring unopened cans or bags from home, and drop them into specially marked pet food collection bins located in each of the more than 1,150 Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores nationwide. In support of this effort, Hill's Science Diet has committed to match, pound for pound, every bag of Science Diet dog and cat food donated, up to 80,000 pounds.
"Many of the people we serve will put off feeding themselves so they can feed their pets," said Jessie Ramirez, owner of Valley View Community Food Bank in Youngtown, Arizona. "In one instance, a family was feeding their Chihuahua, Gotti, scraps of table food because they couldn't afford dog food. With the help of donations from the Petco and Petco Foundation Food Bank program and the people who generously donate food, we were able to provide that family with the pet food they needed so they could not only keep Gotti healthy, but also keep a member of their family."
Last year's drive provided more than 169 tons – that's 338,000 pounds – of pet food for families in need, and this year, with the help of Petco associates and customers, the goal is to provide 500,000 pounds of pet food to help keep pets well-nourished and with the families who love them in these tough economic times.
"We believe that pets enrich our lives and strengthen our communities, and those pets deserve loving homes, the best nutrition and a high quality of life," said Paul Jolly, the Executive Director of the Petco Foundation and a Petco vice president. "No one should have to give up their beloved four-legged family member due to financial hardship. The pet food donated during the annual Pet Food Drive is an incredible gift leading into the holiday season, and such an easy way for people to help families in need take care of their pets."
Since the National Pet Food Bank program launched in March 2010, Petco and the Petco Foundation have collected and donated more than 1.5 million pounds of pet food and litter to families in need. Each Petco and Unleashed by Petco store has collection bins available for year-round collection; and each store partners with a local food bank or animal welfare group to ensure donations are provided directly to economically stressed pet parents in that store's community.
In addition to the opportunity to donate, Petco has also partnered with VolunteerMatch, the nation's largest network of volunteer opportunities, to give pet lovers around the country an easy way to volunteer in support of the pet food drive, as well as find other volunteer opportunities in their area. And, for the third year, Best Friends Animal Society® will support the National Pet Food Drive by mobilizing its nationwide network of volunteers to register for the event and help drive awareness of the program.
To register as a food drive volunteer, visit https://petco.volunteermatch.org and select "Petco Foundation Pet Food Drive." Volunteer opportunities are open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the pet food drive (Oct. 28 and Nov. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11). Once registered, volunteers can pick a Petco store location and convenient time.
To learn more about the Petco Foundation and how you can make a difference for animals in your community and across the country, visit www.petcofoundation.org. To learn more about Petco or to find a location near you, visit www.petco.com.
About Petco and the Petco Foundation
Petco is a leading pet specialty retailer that provides the products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. Everything we do is guided by our vision for Healthier Pets. Happier People. Better World. We operate more than 1,150 stores nationwide, including more than 50 Unleashed by Petco locations, a smaller format neighborhood shop, and www.petco.com. The Petco Foundation, an independent nonprofit organization, has raised more than $100 million since it was created in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support approximately 8,000 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 250,000 animals through in-store adoption events every year.
SOURCE Petco; Petco Foundation