In celebration of its 30th anniversary, PetSmart announced today the launch of its new “Buy a Bag, Give a Meal” program, where for every bag of dog or cat food purchased online and at all its stores across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico, the leading pet specialty retailer will donate a meal to a pet in need served by pet shelters, animal welfare organizations and food banks. PetSmart said it expects to contribute more than 60 million meals under this philanthropic program—its biggest philanthropic campaign in its 30-year history. The program will run March 1-December 31, 2017.
PetSmart carries a wide range of dog and cat food brands, and its “Buy a Bag, Give a Meal” program includes all brands and sizes of dog and cat food bags purchased at the 1,500-plus PetSmart stores, as well as online at PetSmart.com and PetSmart.ca. Nonprofit partner PetSmart Charities plans to collaborate with national nonprofits to help effectively distribute the pet food directly to pets in need.
“At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe they make us better people. To celebrate our 30 years of continued commitment to helping pets in need every day and as a trusted partner to pet parents everywhere, we want to celebrate by giving back even more,” said Eran Cohen, chief customer experience officer, PetSmart. “Throughout 2017, every time pet parents purchase any bag of dog or cat food in our stores or online, they can rest assured they are also helping feed pets in need. When their pets eat, pets in need eat, too. It’s that simple.”
According to David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D., president of PetSmart Charities, up to 7 million pets enter shelters every year across North America. While these pets await adoption and their forever homes, they need access to pet food, making pet food a significant operating expense for animal welfare organizations. According to a recent PetSmart Charities survey involving nearly 1,800 of its animal welfare partners across North America, only 20 percent of these organizations receive pet food donations and about 8 percent are on contract with pet food brands to receive subsidized pet food.
Haworth also noted not all pets in need live at shelters and many are with their families, who are served by food banks and pantries. According to some national food banks, it is estimated that one in seven Americans rely on these facilities. Pet food is a rare offering in human food bank programs and is not an eligible item for purchase through most food assistance programs. As a result some families in need often sacrifice their own food, feeding their beloved pets human food to ensure they have something to eat.
“We are proud to team up with PetSmart on this important philanthropic initiative in celebration of its 30 years in business,” Haworth said. “These food donations are key to helping animal welfare organizations free up precious resources so they can continue their life-saving work, as well as deliver pet food as an option at food banks and pantries. We look forward to seeing the impact this significant pet food donation will make to close the gap on this critical and essential need in animal welfare.”
For 30 years, PetSmart, with its non-profit partner, PetSmart Charities, has been a leader in adoption, saving more than 7.3 million pets’ lives. PetSmart Charities is the leading funder of animal welfare across North America, donating more funding support—about $300 million to date—to help pets in need.