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ASPCA and the Petco Foundation Give Grant to Dogs Playing For Life


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The ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Petco Foundation are teaming up to provide a grant of $1.5 million to Dogs Playing For Life to expand and elevate its innovative playgroup enrichment training to shelters across the country.

The partnership will begin in Los Angeles County—building on the success the program has already seen at both the Downey Animal Care Center and the Carson Animal Care Center, with plans to eventually extend to all LA County Animal Care Centers.

Even as shelter statistics have continued to improve, large-breed and pit-bull type dogs remain at-risk in shelters due to persistent and pervasive misinformation and misconceptions that prejudice people against them.

Dogs Playing For Life is a creative program that provides socialization and enrichment for shelter dogs in the form of structured playgroups and is aimed at improving the lives of our country's most at-risk dogs. It also enables shelter staff to better understand each dog's personality and share that information with potential adopters, increasing the likelihood that participating dogs find safe and loving homes.

"It is amazing how something so simple—large dog playgroups—can be so transformational," said Susanne Kogut, executive director of the Petco Foundation. "These playgroups not only showcase the positive, fun nature of these dogs, they force many people to rethink popular misconceptions that these dogs are not friendly with others.  Additionally, playgroups create a better atmosphere for caring shelter staff who see these dogs romping happily in play instead of sitting alone in their kennels. Our goal is that dog playgroups become standard in shelters throughout the country, just like free roaming cat adoption rooms have become commonplace. We are excited to partner with the ASPCA and Dogs Playing For Life to change the face of animal sheltering throughout the nation and to help further the goal of creating lifesaving communities."

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