Animal welfare

PetSmart Animal Welfare Charities Celebrate 10 Million Pet Adoptions

Press Release: PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities, the nation’s leading animal welfare funder, has reached the 10 millionth pet adoption milestone since its launch in 1994. Working with more than 2,500 animal welfare partners at everyday adoption centers at PetSmart retail stores and hosting annual National Adoption Week events, this powerful step honors the millions of people who save lives through adoption. In the past five years alone, PetSmart Charities has awarded $75.6 million to fund services such as transportation, prevention, and medical care that help adoptable pets find new homes.

PetSmart Charities facilitates approximately half a million adoptions each year thanks to PetSmart and the generous donors who donate. The majority of funds granted by PetSmart Charities come from donations made at PetSmart records or online. In fact, over 70% of donations come directly from pet owners who buy from PetSmart. Every donation supports local animal welfare organizations and other nonprofits that improve the lives of pets and the people who love them.

“For us, this milestone represents an ideal time to reflect on so many stories of unconditional love that have brought us here,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “This moment was brought to us by everyone who gave in-store, online or through estate plans. We are grateful for the generosity of those who support our work and those who have opened their hearts and homes to animals in need. As most people find out, it’s pets that ultimately save their people.

The 10 millionth adoption and celebration

The 10 millionth pet was adopted by the Texas-based De La Rosa family, who spontaneously stopped by the National Adoption Weekend event at their local PetSmart in Harlingen to just “watch.” They came across a shy and gentle husky. The volunteers explained that he came to their shelter with deep gashes in his neck, the result of an encrusted collar after enduring a life of neglect. The whole family fell in love with the husky, which they later named Balto.

To celebrate Balto and every adoption that counted towards the 10 millionth milestone, PetSmart and PetSmart Charities launched a TikTok 1 in 10 million challenge. Pet parents are encouraged to post videos on TikTok to share their pet adoption story and detail how their pets rescued them in return. Users are encouraged to add the hashtag #10MillionAdoptions and set their stories to PetSmart’s soundtrack of “Who Rescued Who,” by The Lion Tones.

Urgent needs continue

Today, more than 70% of American households include pets. While the pandemic has spurred demand for adoptable pets, nearly five million lost, abandoned or abused animals continue to come to shelters each year.

During busy summer seasons, shelters will be overflowing with pets in need of a loving home. PetSmart Charities encourages people to consider adopting particularly high-risk animals, including large dogs, senior cats, dogs and kittens. Staffing shortages in shelters have only increased the urgent need to adopt.

(Photo courtesy AP Content Services)