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PetSmart Charities Announces Expanded Mission to Connect Pets and People


PetSmart Charities® Inc., a funder of animal welfare in North America, announced a new focus on strategic grant-making and unveiled an expanded mission, allowing it to reach beyond its core mission to end pet homelessness and help pets in need to include connecting pets and people, the company said in a statement. Now, with 10 grant categories created under the new mission, the nonprofit will support initiatives such as service animal or pet therapy training programs and at-risk families with pets in transition to make an even greater impact with the help of thousands of animal welfare organizations across North America, according to PetSmart Charities.

“Our newly expanded mission at PetSmart Charities is to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together,” said Dr. David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities. “This enhanced mission allows us to support animal welfare organizations in more ways than ever before and even reach other nonprofits that help connect people and pets. In addition to our ongoing support of shelters, pet adoption and spay/neuter efforts, the new grant categories will now help people enhance their lives through pets.”

PetSmart Charities also will be introducing an enhanced online application process featuring the 10 grant categories under the organization’s four areas of focus.

No. 1: Preventing pet homelessness

To help decrease the number of pets entering shelters, PetSmart Charities now offers three grant categories to support programs and initiatives that proactively prevent pet homelessness and mitigate pet homelessness during family transitions:

  • Spay/neuter: Preventing unplanned litters through targeted spay/neuter programs and clinic development, free or low-cost spay/neuter surgeries, trap-neuter-return (TNR) efforts, as well as veterinary school initiatives.
  • Intake diversion*: Keeping pets from entering shelters by making wellness clinics, as well as behavioral training and education more accessible.
  • Keeping pets and families together*: Creating resources for families that are experiencing or may experience domestic violence, homelessness and/or Military leave and can no longer accommodate their pet.

No. 2: Helping shelter pets thrive

An estimated seven million pets enter shelters every year; nearly three million healthy, adoptable pets never find homes. By supporting organizations that provide resources, build capacity to care for homeless pets and focus on adoption, PetSmart Charities expects to enhance pets’ lives in shelters and help them find their forever home. Grant categories for consideration include:

  • Shelter management*: Supporting best practices in areas such as mentoring, disease control and strengthening shelter infrastructure.
  • Pet transport*: Supporting organizations that relocate adoptable pets to areas where the demand for pet adoption is high so they will have the best chance possible at finding their forever family.
  • Conferences and training: Funding enrichment programs and workshops for those working for and volunteering within the animal welfare industry.

No. 3: Supporting the bond between people and pets

By supporting organizations that bring people and pets together to leverage the power of pets to enhance the human spirit, PetSmart Charities ultimately aims to end pet homelessness and drive awareness of the benefits of pet ownership. Grant categories for consideration include:

  • Adoptions: Partnering with local animal welfare organizations to connect people with adoptable pets everyday at PetSmart stores or and at PetSmart Charities’ signature events, including National Adoption Weekends which are held four times a year.
  • Capacity building*: Assisting with the construction, rebuilding or remodeling of animal welfare organization facilities that fulfill the needs of homeless pets.
  • Enhancing the quality of life through pets*: Supporting programs that train pets to become service animals for military veterans or people with disabilities and for pet therapy programs in hospitals, schools, senior homes or with at-risk populations.

No. 4: Providing Emergency Relief

In the event of a weather crisis and natural disaster, the role of local animal organizations has been critical to providing immediate support in times of crises. Temporary shelter, pet supplies and medical care are just some of the immediate needs of misplaced or abandoned pets. In 2015, PetSmart Charities and PetSmart Charities of Canada assisted more than 9,400 pets through emergency relief efforts, bringing its total to 230,000 pets assisted across North America since 2007. Grant categories for emergency relief include:

  • Emergency relief and disaster response: Providing assistance in the event of a natural or man-made disaster during the rescue, relief and/or recovery stages.

Four of the 10 grant categories are now open for applications, while the remaining grant cycles will be announced Feb. 2017.

PetSmart Charities, along with its Canadian counterpart, PetSmart Charities of Canada, has contributed more than $290 million to date to directly help pets, according to PetSmart Charities.

*Grant cycles will be announced Feb. 2017. **Must provide documentation verifying status as a 501(c)(3) organization for the U.S. or registered charity in Canada.

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