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Mars Partners With Katie Couric, Commits $100K to Cover Cat, Dog Adoption Fees

By Pet Age Staff//September 26, 2023//

Mars Partners With Katie Couric, Commits $100K to Cover Cat, Dog Adoption Fees

By: Pet Age Staff//September 26, 2023//

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Press release: Mars, Inc.

In celebration of 15 years of finding deserving shelter pets furever homes, Mars will host its biggest-ever Annual Mars Pet Adoption Weekend, starting Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1. Mars and its family of Petcare brands including ROYAL CANIN and Camp Bow Wow, will cover up to a maximum of $100,000 in cat and dog adoption fees at partner shelter locations in 15 cities to help drive adoptions and further its global ambition to end pet homelessness. PEDIGREE Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping dogs in need find forever homes, will also cover up to a maximum of $50,000 in dog adoption fees in select Adoption Weekend markets. Mars Pet Adoption Weekend kicks off with the first episode in the new season of Unleashed with Katie Couric, a new pet-focused video series featuring Katie Couric and friends.

Adoption Weekend comes as animal shelters across the country continue to struggle with overcrowding and resource constraints. Despite a growing awareness of the many benefits pets bring, from companionship to increased well-being, more than six million pets enter U.S. shelters each year.1 Even as interest in pet adoption has risen, the number of stray pets arriving at shelters has increased 26 percent since 2021.2

“The sad fact is more pets entered shelters than left them in the first half of 2023.2 That’s a heartbreaking trend we want to help change in the second half,” says Lisa Campbell, senior vice president, corporate affairs, Mars Petcare. “Our purpose at Mars Petcare is A Better World for Pets and that starts with working towards our ambition to end pet homelessness and giving as much support as we can to shelters that work tirelessly to care for pets in need. We’re thrilled that this year we can make our annual Adoption Weekend our biggest event yet, when the need for support is greater than ever.”

Unleashed with Katie Couric partners with Mars Petcare in Fight to End Pet Homelessness

Mars is proud to partner with Katie Couric for a special presentation of Unleashed, the digital series where Katie interviews celebrity friends about their cuddly companions and pet adoption experience. In the Mars Pet Adoption Weekend episode, Katie takes viewers behind the scenes for a heartwarming look at the adoption journey of Chief, an adorable three-legged dog.

“Pets have brought so much joy to my family over the years,” said Couric. “As a lifelong pet lover, I am excited to support Mars Pet Adoption Weekend and help get these loving animals out of overcrowded shelters and into the forever homes they deserve.”

2023 Mars Pet Adoption Weekend Participating Shelters

For 15 years, Mars and its family of pet care and veterinary health brands including PEDIGREE, IAMS, ROYAL CANIN, Camp Bow Wow, Banfield Pet Hospital and VCA Animals Hospitals, along with its snacking and food brands, have come together for Mars Pet Adoption Weekend to support animal shelters and raise awareness for pet adoption. Shelters participating in this year’s Adoption Weekend represent the many communities across the country where Mars Associates live and work, cities certified by the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program and cities home to important Mars brand initiatives. Seventeen shelters are participating in the 15th Annual Mars Pet Adoption Weekend, located in 15 cities:

  • Bentonville, AR
    • Best Friends Pet Resource Center in NW Arkansas
  • Chicago
    • PAWS Chicago
  • Denver
    • MaxFund Animal Adoption Center
  • Honolulu
    • Hawaiian Humane
  • Kansas City, MO
    • KC Pet Project
  • Las Vegas
    • The Animal Foundation
  • Los Angeles
    • Los Angeles Animal Services
  • McLean, VA
    • Wolf Trap Animal Rescue
  • Nashville, TN
    • Metro Animal Care and Control
    • Nashville Humane Association
    • Williamson County Animal Center
  • Newark, NJ
    • St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center
  • Phoenix
    • Arizona Humane Society
  • St. Louis
    • City of St. Charles Animal Shelter
  • Tampa, FL
    • Humane Society of Tampa Bay
  • Vancouver, WA
    • Humane Society for Southwest Washington
  • Washington, DC
      • Humane Rescue Alliance


Helping Pet Parents Get Started on the Right Paw

To help pets and pet parents start off on the right paw, each adopted pet will go home with a robust welcome kit including a variety of Mars Petcare and Royal Canin food and treats to try, veterinary and accessory coupons and toys to play with together to help build a strong bond.



1 ASPCA Shelter Intake and Surrender

2 Shelter Animals Count