Saving animals is difficult work during the best of times, but COVID-19 presented a host of new challenges to animal care organizations nationwide. The Petco Foundation issued special COVID-19 matching relief grants designed not only to provide direct funding but to spark additional community support for the “essential” animal welfare organizations during the pandemic. The result was $1M in Petco Foundation support and an additional $807,000 of community support to continue the lifesaving work of 80 organizations across the country.
“We are thankful for every organization working to save lives. However, the local animal care organizations with legal requirements to serve the public were, and continue to be, disproportionately challenged during the COVID-19 pandemic. These essential employees often put themselves at risk to continue serving the animals and people in their communities,” said Susanne Kogut, president of the Petco Foundation. “Consequently, we designed this special matching grant campaign to promote these hardworking organizations and create greater awareness of these front-line employees, and the work they do each and every day, especially during times of crisis. We are proud these grants served as a catalyst for added community support.”
The Petco Foundation matching grants ranged from $10,000 to $25,000 in an effort to make twice the lifesaving impact while also mobilizing the public to take action to save animal lives. In addition to monetary support, organization leadership reported that the matching grants helped them reach new donors, raise visibility and bring in additional community support. In some cases, organizations more than tripled their goal, demonstrating all that could be achieved when we come together to save lives.
- “Thank you to the Petco Foundation for this grant opportunity! As a municipal shelter, we’ve never done a large-scale fundraiser. We raised well beyond what we expected and had several large donations, including one at $10,000. This has given us an avenue to fundraise in the future to support our animal welfare programs.” — Heber Lefgren, Director of the City of San Antonio Animal Care Services in San Antonio, Texas; Raised 143% of their match.
- “Members of the public were very supportive of this challenge. Having the Petco Foundation name and brand behind this effort and in our outreach increased the credibility of this fundraising effort from the community.” — Alessandra Medri, Interim Director of Broward County Animal Care and Adoption Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Raised 106% of their match.
- “We are so grateful to have been invited to participate in this special Petco Foundation matching grant. It is our first time doing a match grant campaign and the community really stepped up to support local animals. We believe this campaign has greatly increased community engagement and brought in new donors we hope to keep as ongoing supporters.” — Sena Fitzpatrick, President of McKinley County Humane Society in Gallup, N.M.; Raised 101% of their match.
- “Our community really came together. One donor in particular, asked for an update on June 29 as to how much we had raised up to that point. When we gave her the amount, she decided to donate the final amount needed to reach the goal of $25,000. We were left astonished.” — Adan Parra, Management Assistant of City of El Paso Animal Services in El Paso, Texas; Raised 100% of their match.
Organizations plan to put the funds raised back into the community supporting foster care and adoption programs or helping pet parents who are struggling financially keep their pets with food or medical care, including vaccinations and spay/neuter services.
“Although many have modified operations, these animal care and control organizations have remained open to the public through the pandemic and are often responsible for helping the greatest number of animals in their community. We encourage the public to continue to make a difference by adopting, fostering and donating to help pets in need,” said Kogut.
Grant investments are part of the Petco Foundation’s Pledge to Save Pet Lives during the COVID-19 crisis by distributing $1M in product and cash donations and leading a national call encouraging animal lovers to take action to help save animal lives. This commitment follows the Petco Foundation’s recent distribution of more than $13M to animal welfare organizations nationwide.