The Petco Foundation, a national non-profit that has invested more than $260 million in lifesaving animal welfare work, announced that 105 adopters have earned their animal welfare organizations a grant award during the Petco Foundation’s seventh annual Holiday Wishes campaign. Since 2012, the Petco Foundation has awarded more than $5 million to animal welfare organizations across the nation during the annual Holiday Wishes campaign where more than 15,000 adopters have shared the stories of how their adopted pets brighten their lives. This year, grant awards include a $100,000 grand prize, 55 finalist awards ranging from $5,000 – $50,000 and 50 honorable mentions earning $1,000 each.
The Petco Foundation and Petco, in partnership with Skechers and its charitable footwear collection, BOBS from Skechers, are celebrating the 105 winning Holiday Wishes stories and the animal welfare organizations that made the adoption matches possible. Winning adopters will receive a Petco shopping spree of up to $1,000. Winners and honorable mention recipients will each receive a pair of BOBS from Skechers shoes and matching pet accessories.
“Pets brighten our lives in so many ways, small and large,” said Susanne Kogut, Petco Foundation president. “We read story after story demonstrating just how much of an impact adopted pets have on the lives of people all across the country. We are so inspired by them and grateful to the animal welfare organizations that make these adoption matches possible. We can’t wait to celebrate these individuals and their pets and make Holiday Wishes come true for the animal welfare organizations that do this lifesaving work every day.”
Michael Greenberg, president of Skechers, added: “We’ve been incredibly moved by the Holiday Wishes winners’ personal journeys. They are making a difference with their local adoption agencies, which we are proud to support through our efforts with BOBS from Skechers—a collection that aims to help save lives of animals across the country.”
Some of the selected stories include:
First Grade Class Convinces School to Adopt Dog: First graders at a Michigan elementary school used a class exercise in “persuasive writing” to convince school administrators to adopt a school pet. The students wrote letters to their principal, citing evidence on why dogs are important for kids and the benefits of dogs in schools. Their plan worked and Buddy arrived at the school, adopted by vice principal, Karyn from the Humane Society and Animal Rescue of Muskegon County. Buddy has turned out to be the perfect dog for the school, somehow knowing what the students and teachers alike might need. Today, Buddy brightens many lives at the Title 1 school. Buddy helps calm students, cheers up teachers and provides comfort when he’s needed most. The students wanted a dog…but Buddy was more than they could have hoped for.
Adopted Pup Helps Student Heal After a School Shooting: When Drew adopted a puppy named Lilly from Peak Lab Rescue, he never imagined she would help him through the most traumatic event of his life. “I thought ‘School Shooting’ was just a headline until it happened to me,” Drew wrote. The University of North Carolina at Charlotte student was shot in the back, requiring extensive surgeries and hospitalization. “She made my recovery brighter by doing goofy stuff like chasing her tail or flopping on her back for belly rubs,” Drew recalled. A year later, Drew is back in school, and with his best friend Lilly’s help, he’s on the road to recovery. “I make it through one class, and then the next. And every day I come home to Lilly.”
Shelter Dog Helps his Dad Find Happily Ever After: From rescue to “I do,” Ranger was with Chris every step of the way. Moving to New Mexico inspired Chris to adopt a dog from the Animal Humane Association of New Mexico. Little did he know, he’d end up finding his family, too. Lonely in his new town, Chris headed to his local shelter to adopt a friend. There, he met the shelter’s behavior specialist who introduced Chris to his new canine best friend…and, shortly after, the woman of his dreams. “She’s always said that the kindness and patience that were clear in my interactions with Ranger were the only reason she gave me a shot. We took the dogs hiking for our first date, and the rest is history.”
Dog Adds Joy to a Mother’s Last Years: When Max brought his adopted dog Isa home to meet his mother, Maria, it was love at first wag. When Maria was diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis, Isa, adopted from Angels Among Us Pet Rescue, helped bring joy and companionship in her final years on Maria’s visits to Atlanta from her native Mexico. “When I got home after work, my mom and Isa used to be outside walking,” said Max. “My mom used to talk to Isa, and they even watched Mexican soap operas together. They were really and truly Mexican friends showing their roots to each other.”
Adopted Cat is the Companion One Busy M.D. Needed Most: For Zehui, Bechamel the cat was just what the doctor ordered. A New York City doctor has found connection and companionship by adopting a cat named Bechamel from Anjellicle Cats Rescue. During frantic hospital days, Zehui has discovered how much pets remind patients of their lives outside the hospital room. “Since Bechamel’s arrival, I’ve begun to ask questions about people’s pets….People’s eyes brighten as I mention that I also have a cat and they share their own pet’s quirks and mischiefs for a quick laugh. In that moment, it’s a privilege to have a normal conversation. At the end of the day, we all need a small purring furball to warm our hearts in a sometimes very challenging world.”
Holiday Wishes award celebrations will happen throughout the month of December at Petco locations across the country.
All animal lovers can help make even more Holiday Wishes come true by voting for their favorite Holiday Wishes story at www.petcofoundation.org/holidaywishes. From now until noon CST on December 20, 2019, the “People’s Choice Award” invites the public to vote for their favorite winning story and will give the top five organizations the chance to receive additional grant funding from $5,000 to $25,000. Results of the “People’s Choice Award” will be revealed before Christmas.
To learn more about the Petco Foundation and the Holiday Wishes campaign, visit www.petcofoundation.org/holidaywishes and follow along on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter to see the celebrations in action. To learn more about BOBS from Skechers’ commitment to improving animals’ lives through BOBS for Dogs and BOBS for Cats, visit www.bobsfromskechers.com and follow the brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.