Physical and Emotional Health Benefits Could Be a Purr or Tail Wag Away

PetSmart Charities® Aims to Help Pet Lovers Discover the Science-Based Benefits of the Human-Animal Bond during National Adoption Weekend May 17-19, In PetSmart® Stores Across North America

May 15, 2019 – PHOENIX, Ariz. — From children’s hospitals and classrooms to retirement communities, PetSmart Charities understands and advocates for the therapeutic power of human-animal relationships. During PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend May 17-19, the leading funder of animal welfare is encouraging potential adoptees to consider the countless mental and physical health benefits of adopting a pet.

“Numerous scientific studies have documented substantive emotional, psychological, and physical benefits stemming from the bond between people, animals and the environment,” said Amanda Landis-Hanna, DVM, senior manager of veterinary outreach at PetSmart Charities. “These mutually-beneficial advantages extend to nearly every aspect of mental health and pet happiness.”

“From providing a source of comfort through snuggling and physical contact, to a sense of responsibility and motivation for those experiencing clinical depression – pets can have a powerful effect on us,” Landis-Hanna said.  “They offer unconditional love and a daily reminder of mindfulness, which can help to counteract feelings of judgment or poor self-worth.”

Scientific evidence supporting the emotional health advantages of these relationships is growing.

  • Kids with autism who spend time with cats or dogs can alleviate the social challenges they face.
  • Many prison inmates are demonstrating increased empathy and responsibility by caring for dogs. 
  • Veterans and others suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) report better outcomes with therapy that includes a dog than without.
  • Those who experience stress or anxiety may lower their blood pressure and stress levels by spending time with pets. 

According to the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative (HABRI) Foundation, a nonprofit industry research and education group, 80 million U.S. households stand to benefit from the human-animal bond. The same foundation estimates that pet ownership has saved the U.S. healthcare system $11.7 billion

PetSmart Charities is doing its part to strengthen this bond, providing grants supporting nearly 4,000 animal welfare organizations across the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico to provide shelter, socialization and veterinary care to homeless pets to prepare them for adoption. PetSmart and its nonprofit partner have worked together for 25 years to find loving homes for 8.4 million pets and counting through its in-store adoption program during National Adoption Weekends held in Feb., May, Sept. and Nov., as well as every day at the PetSmart Charities Everyday Adoption Centers located in stores.

“Having a pet is one of the best ways to experience the magic of the human-animal bond,” Landis-Hanna said. “Scientific studies have made it clear that there are many ways animals benefit humans and vice versa. Having a pet is a highly engaging and potent source of love and laughter.”

PetSmart Charities’ National Adoption Weekend Details:

May 17-19, thousands of animal welfare organizations will bring a host of adorable, adoptable shelter pets, including dogs, cats, kittens, puppies, and various small pets, into nearly every PetSmart store across North America.

Dates: May 17 – May 19, 2019

Times: Friday and Saturday: 9 a.m. – 9 p.m. (local time) Sunday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (local time)

Locations: Nearly every one of the 1,600+ PetSmart stores across North America. Visit to find a store near you.

About PetSmart Charities®
PetSmart Charities, Inc. is committed to finding lifelong, loving homes for all pets by supporting programs and thought leadership that bring people and pets together. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps to find forever homes and families for more than 500,000 shelter pets each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to nonprofits aligned with its mission. 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 more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $390 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator, a third-party organization that reports on the effectiveness, accountability and transparency of nonprofits, for the past 16 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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About PetSmart®

PetSmart LLC is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart’s passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they, together, can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. PetSmart employs approximately 56,000 associates and operates more than 1,650 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, as well as more than 200 in-store PetSmart PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. The retailer provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and products, as well as services such as dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp™ and pet adoption. PetSmart, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada work with nearly 4,000 animal welfare organizations to bring adoptable pets into stores so they have the best chance possible of finding a forever home. Through this in-store adoption program and other signature events, PetSmart has facilitated more than 8 million adoptions, more than any other brick-and-mortar organization. In May 2017, PetSmart acquired, a leading online retailer of pet food and products in the U.S., which operates as an independent subsidiary.

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PetSmart Charities Contact:

Kendall Huber

Golin for PetSmart Charities


[email protected]

PetSmart 24-Hour Media Line: 623-587-2177