The Pet Food Express Annual Giving Tree Fundraiser helped bring holiday joy to 10,180 homeless pets in California this December—a record number.
Inviting customers to “Help Us Help Homeless Pets!,” the company encouraged the donation of rescue-approved items from popular brands, including Planet Dog, Patchwork, Bixbi and Kong. According to Pet Food Express, it can be stressful for animals to be in a shelter, so having something to chew on helps reduce stress which makes the pet not only happier but also more likely to be adopted.
“Shelters fill up a lot around the holidays so we decided to do something,” Pet Food Express Director of Community Outreach Mike Murray said.
Raising nearly $245,000 in December 2016, Pet Food Express employees delivered treats and toys to more than 120 California animal shelters and rescues–the most ever in the almost decade-long history of the annual campaign, which has now raised a grand total of $702,000.
According to Murray, treats are donated so that the animals can be more easily socialized and trained, which can help in making the pets more adoptable.
The monetary donation is split evenly among the participating shelters, Murray said. This is especially helpful to the smaller organizations, Murray said, and most use the money to pay veterinary bills.
Pet Food Express, which had all of its 60 location participating, outlined for customers where exactly their donations would be going, Murray said. The company then invited customers to go with the Pet Food Express team to help drop off the donations. This way, customers could be involved with the donation process full circle.
The Annual Giving Tree Fundraiser is one of several charitable campaigns Pet Food Express holds each year, according to Murray. In the summer, donations are made for police K9 units, in the spring, one is held for kittens and cats because of the higher population of feral cats being brought in to shelters during that season; and in the fall, a pet fair with pet adoptions is held.