PetSmart Charities® Commits More Than $1.7 Million to Programs Designed to Keep People and Pets Together

November 16, 2017

Grants from PetSmart Charities are helping vulnerable populations and people at-risk keep their pets close when they need them the most

PHOENIX —Nov. 16, 2017—When PetSmart Charities expanded its mission to reach beyond pet homelessness, a key goal of North America’s leading funder of animal welfare was to support programs aimed at decreasing the number of pets entering shelters due to owner surrender, and increasing the chances that people and their pets could be kept together, even during challenging times.

In a 2017 survey funded by PetSmart Charities, and conducted by Wakefield Research, 97 percent of respondents agreed it is important to keep people and their pets together during difficult situations such as living in poverty, experiencing homelessness, escaping situations of domestic abuse or being deployed on military leave.

“Our experience and research has shown most people truly don’t want to give up their pets,” said David Haworth, DVM, Ph.D. and president of PetSmart Charities. “Most often, people surrender their pets because they feel like they have no other option, or because they need help and can’t find it. But with these recent grants and the support of our phenomenal partners in the animal welfare and social services sectors, we’re hoping to enable more people to keep their pets, no matter what life circumstances they may be facing.”

This year, PetSmart Charities earmarked $1.72 million specifically for non-profits and animal welfare organizations working to keep people and their beloved pets together. From coast-to-coast, here are some examples of grants that are helping keep more pets with the people who love them and rely upon their unconditional love and support.

Grants to Help Vulnerable Populations Keep their Pets

A $20,000 grant to the University of Wisconsin’s WisCARES Homeless Servicesprogram will help the organization provide preventive and basic veterinary care to the pets of low-income and homeless pet owners in the Madison, Wis. area. Recent studies and articles are proving that not only do pets provide individuals with a source of companionship and emotional support, but for those living on the street, they can also provide warmth, comfort, security and sense of purpose. WisCARES hopes to help 50 pets stay with their pet parents and out of pet shelters with this grant.

A $30,000 grant to the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago will support its Friends Who Care program, which works in collaboration with the Chicago Department of Aging to provide pet food, supplies and other resources, including low-to-no-cost veterinary care for pets living with elderly citizens. PetSmart Charities’ grant will help the society expand this program to help keep thousands of pets in the Chicago area with their senior pet parents, where they can live out their lives happily together thanks to the partnership between Chicago’s Anti-Cruelty Society and the Department of Aging.

Grants to Help Military Personnel and Victims of Violence Reunite with Their Pets

A $10,000 grant to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department’s Animal Care and Control Division will be used to create new partnerships with local branches of the National Guard, veterans hospitals and domestic violence shelters. Through these partnerships, military service personnel and domestic violence survivors can seek free, temporary boarding for their pets should they be deployed on active duty or leave an abusive relationship. This prevents the painful decision to surrender a pet when facing a life-changing situation, and gives people the chance to reclaim their pet once they have returned from a service mission or found a safer living environment. The department estimates this program will prevent at least 30 pets from entering local shelters this year.

An additional $10,000 grant was made to Animal Protection of New Mexico to support the organization’s Companion Animal Rescue Effort (CARE), which works in partnership with the New Mexico Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NMCADV). CARE empowers domestic violence survivors to escape dangerous situations by providing a temporary safe haven for their pets. According to their website, CARE was founded in 1999 to address the tragic reality that many domestic violence survivors delay leaving their abuser out of fear for the safety of their pets. This fear is well founded, since 71 percent of domestic violence survivors reported their abuser had injured, killed or threatened family pets in an effort to control victims . The organization believes this grant will help to prevent 100 pets from entering local shelters.

These are just four examples of the 71 grants PetSmart Charities made to organizations committed to diverting pets from entering shelters and keeping them with their pet parents and families. For more information on the work that PetSmart Charities does to support people and pets, please visit

About PetSmart Charities®

PetSmart Charities, Inc. is a nonprofit animal welfare organization with a mission to find lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. In addition to finding homes for almost 500,000 shelter pets each year through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities provides funding to non-profits aligned with its mission through four key areas of grant support:  Preventing Pet Homelessness; Helping Shelter Pets Thrive; Supporting the Bond Between People and Pets; and Emergency Relief and Disaster Support. Each year, millions of generous PetSmart shoppers help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities using the pin pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart stores.  In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses 90 cents of every dollar donated and has become the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, donating about $300 million to date. PetSmart Charities, a 501(c)(3) organization, has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, an independent organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 14 years in a row — placing it among the top one percent of charities rated by this organization.  To learn more visit

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