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May 10, 2017

The Petco Foundation, along with some animal-loving celebrity guests, will shine a spotlight on organizations and individuals whose dedication, relentless determination and actions create a significant lifesaving impact for pets in need. “The Petco Foundation Awards Gala: A Celebration of Love” will make its event debut on Friday, May 19, at the Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina.

Leading the pack, the animal-loving emcee of the event is acclaimed actress and singer Jane Lynch (“Hollywood Game Night,” “Glee,” “Best in Show”)Seven organizations and individuals selected from across the nation will be recognized for their impactful efforts in animal welfare. A special “Unsung Hero Award” will be presented by dog behaviorist Victoria Stilwell (“It’s Me or The Dog” host and author).

The awards, sponsored and presented by leaders in the pet industry, will honor the love and dedication which is at the heart of the mission of the Petco Foundation. In partnership with animal welfare organizations across the country, the Petco Foundation helps bring pets in need together with loving people at Petco stores—resulting in more than 5.3 million pets adopted to-date and investing more than $185 million in lifesaving animal welfare work across the country.

“As an animal lover, I’m thrilled to be hosting an event that recognizes and inspires action on their behalf,” Lynch said.

With an eye toward the future, the event will feature the first-ever “Innovation Showdown,” a competition between animal welfare finalists, the Brandywine Valley SPCA and Animal Care Centers of NYC, who will present their unique ideas to save lives. The celebrity and expert panel of judges include Daymond John (“Shark Tank” panelist, author, founder/CEO of FUBU and entrepreneur), Jackson Galaxy (cat behaviorist, author, entrepreneur, founder of the Jackson Galaxy Foundation and host of “My Cat from Hell”) and Susanne Kogut (executive director for the Petco Foundation). Presenters will be chosen by the panel to receive investments adding up to more than $150,000 to fund their innovative ideas to help animals in need. Life-saving ideas were submitted by animal welfare organizations across the country for consideration for presentation at the event via application on the Petco Foundation’s website.

“I’m thrilled that The Jackson Galaxy Foundation is partnering with the Petco Foundation to make impactful ideas a reality with the ‘Innovation Showdown.’ We have the opportunity to implement meaningful change,” Galaxy said.

“The love of pets change people’s lives,” Kogu said. “This event will pay tribute to the love and commitment of those who improve the lives of pets. It will also offer a better tomorrow for those animals still in need.”

The event activities will include VIP meet and greets, a paw-printed red carpet with “pawparazzi,” photo booth selfies with adoptable puppies and kittens, and offer attendees an inspiring evening with notable animal lovers.

Tickets for “The Petco Foundation Awards Gala: A Celebration of Love” are available to the public. All proceeds will benefit animals in need through the Petco Foundation.

To attend, or for additional information, visit: petcofoundation.org/gala or contact foundationevents@petco.com.

Pet lovers can follow social media for live broadcasts from the event via FacebookTwitter or Instagram or via hashtags #CelebrateLove and #InnovationShowdown.

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