America loves our companion animals. That is apparent once again as pet-loving people and companies from around the nation reached out to support the PETCO Foundation's "Round UP America" fundraising campaign. More than $700,000 in cash and $100,000 in pet food and supplies were collected to assist animal welfare groups working to provide aid in the wake of the September 11 terrorist attacks.
The campaign, quickly implemented and run for just over two weeks in PETCO's more than 550 stores and online at http://www.petco.com/, has just concluded.
"The response to 'Round UP America' is tremendously heartwarming," said Paul Jolly, the PETCO Foundation's Director. "The campaign's success is a tribute to our customers who care so deeply about animals, our store and online associates who so warmly asked for donations and to our vendor partners who generously provided a portion of the food and supplies that were donated immediately after the tragedy. We thank them all," added Jolly.
Early recipients of funds collected include the Suffolk County SPCA ($100,000) and the New York ASPCA ($50,000). The Suffolk County SPCA is the lead organization providing assistance at "ground zero." The ASPCA provided medical treatment for some of the search and rescue dogs. The donated food and supplies was provided to animal welfare agencies working to support search, rescue and recovery animals and to those providing adoption services for companion animals orphaned because of the tragedy.
"During the campaign several people asked us why with so many noble causes needing support that we elected to help animals. The simple answer is that when we help animals we help both people and animals enjoy safer, healthier and happier lives. Who can forget the television image of the search and rescue dog resting alongside his human partner? Together, they were making a difference. Now it is time to provide even more support to our silent partners who have been at our sides throughout this ordeal," Jolly added.
The PETCO Foundation has established an oversight committee to review and approve requests for the remaining funds collected in the campaign. Members of the PETCO Foundation Disaster Relief Fund committee include:
Warren Eickstein, an internationally recognized pet therapist and noted author; Judy St. Leger, DVM, DACVP, and Staff Veterinarian at Sea World San Diego; Duncan Mathison, a PETCO Foundation Board Member and Senior Consultant with Drake Beam Morin, a human resources consultancy and career services firm; Bruce Hall, a PETCO Foundation Board Member and PETCO Animal Supplies, Inc., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, and Keith Martin, PETCO's Senior Vice President, Operations.
What's Next? At the outset of the tragedy animal welfare groups in the New York City area believed there would be large numbers of companion animals left homeless, but that has not been the case as most animals in this situation were adopted by family members or others who are friends of the deceased.
What has developed as a bigger issue is support for the K-9 search and rescue units from across the nation that responded to the call for help in New York City and Washington, D.C.
The PETCO Foundation's Disaster Relief Fund committee will accept funding requests from the K-9 units and others who were directly involved in the tragedy. While the "Round UP America" campaign has officially ended anyone wanting to make a donation to the fund can still do so by sending a check to the PETCO Foundation. Checks and requests for funding should be sent to:
The PETCO Foundation Disaster Relief Fund 7262 North Rosemead Boulevard San Gabriel, CA 91775
The PETCO Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping animal welfare groups that promote the human/animal bond. Since inception in 1999, the Foundation has donated more than $5.2 million to animal welfare groups.
Contact: Don Cowan, Director of Communications of PETCO,
+1-858-657-2086, or Paul Jolly, Director of The PETCO Foundation,