ASPCA and the Petco Foundation grant $1.5 million to Dogs Playing for Life

August 16, 2017

ASPCA logo

Petco Foundation Logo

The following is a press release from ASPCA:

The ASPCA® (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) and the Petco Foundation are teaming up to provide a substantial grant of $1.5 million to Dogs Playing For Life to expand and elevate its innovative playgroup enrichment training to shelters across the country.

This partnership will begin in Los Angeles County – building on the success the program has already seen at both the Downey Animal Care Center and the Carson Animal Care Center, with plans to eventually extend to all LA County Animal Care Centers.

Even as shelter statistics have continued to improve, large-breed and pit-bull type dogs remain at-risk in shelters due to persistent and pervasive misinformation and misconceptions that prejudice people against them.

Dogs Playing For Life is a creative program that provides socialization and enrichment for shelter dogs in the form of structured playgroups and is aimed at improving the lives of our country’s most at-risk dogs. It also enables shelter staff to better understand each dog’s personality and share that information with potential adopters, increasing the likelihood that participating dogs find safe and loving homes.

“Playgroups give this large-breed dog population the opportunity to do what they were made to do – run around, socialize, learn from each other, and show their personalities,” said Aimee Sadler, founder of Dogs Playing For Life. “This grant from the ASPCA and the Petco Foundation will have a great impact on the number of shelters and dogs who participate in our training and daily playgroup activities. We’re grateful to be supported by two organizations with such a long history of innovation and advocacy in animal welfare.”

“Dogs Playing For Life’s inventive approach will improve the quality of life of shelter dog populations and help defeat life-threatening stereotypes,” said ASPCA President and CEO Matt Bershadker. “We commend Dogs Playing For Life’s innovation and commitment, and are proud to work with the Petco Foundation to support this program’s expansion nationwide. This initiative has significant potential to help vulnerable canine populations, and we look forward to seeing the impact it has across the country.”

“It is amazing how something so simple – large dog playgroups – can be so transformational,” said Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Petco Foundation. “These playgroups not only showcase the positive, fun nature of these dogs, they force many people to rethink popular misconceptions that these dogs are not friendly with others.  Additionally, playgroups create a better atmosphere for caring shelter staff who see these dogs romping happily in play instead of sitting alone in their kennels. Our goal is that dog playgroups become standard in shelters throughout the country, just like free roaming cat adoption rooms have become commonplace. We are excited to partner with the ASPCA and Dogs Playing For Life to change the face of animal sheltering throughout the nation and to help further the goal of creating lifesaving communities.”

To learn more about Dogs Playing For Life, please visit

For more information about the ASPCA, please visit

For more information about the Petco Foundation, please visit

Petco signs on as sponsor of Clear the Shelters pet adoption campaign

August 7, 2017


The following is a press release from Petco:

Petco returns as a national sponsor of NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ “Clear the Shelters” pet adoption campaign for a second consecutive year. On Saturday, August 19, 2017, Petco partners will be present at participating animal welfare organizations to answer questions from potential pet adopters and their families. Petco will also be distributing “Welcome to the Family” packets containing information for new pet parents along with coupons for pet supplies.

 “Clear the Shelters” is a nationwide pet adoption campaign that is spearheaded by NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations, a division of NBCUniversal that includes 30 NBC and Telemundo-owned stations. The stations’ “Clear the Shelters” third annual pet adoption campaign has become a popular event for communities nationwide and includes the participation of hundreds of animal welfare organizations. On August 19, participating animal shelters will offer low cost or waived pet adoption fees. The NBC and Telemundo owned stations’ third annual “Clear the Shelters” effort has helped to inspire local communities to take action and open their homes to animals in need. Since the effort was expanded nationally in 2015, the stations’ “Clear the Shelters” pet adoption campaign has resulted in more than 70,000 pet adoptions.
“Petco has been an fantastic partner to the owned stations and we’re excited to work with a company that is deeply committed to pet adoption issues and helping families have the resources and information they need to provide the best care to their newly adopted pets,” said Bruce Kallner, Senior Vice President of Strategic Sales and Marketing, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations. “The Petco Foundation has also been a great supporter of our “Clear the Shelters” campaign and we’re pleased to work with a non-profit organization that shares our goal of matching homeless pets with new, permanent homes.”
“With more than 50 years in the pet specialty business, Petco understands and celebrates the importance of the incredible bond between pets and pet parents,” said Charlie Piscitello, chief people officer at Petco. “Clear the Sheltersallows us to extend our year-long animal adoption efforts and offers our immensely passionate store partners the ability to help even more families start out with the tools and knowledge they need to make their relationship with their new pet as rewarding as possible.”

For more information about the pet adoption campaign, visit You can also follow the effort on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram by using the hashtags #ClearTheShelters, #ThinkAdoptionFirst and #LoveMyPet.

Petco Foundation and the NUTRO Company launch ‘Be a Lifesaver’ Campaign

June 30, 2017

The following is a press release from Petco:

This weekend the Petco Foundation, a leading funder of animal welfare, and The NUTRO Company kick off their “Be A Lifesaver” campaign, promoting everyday lifesavers throughout the country and encouraging all people to be lifesavers for animals this summer.

Everyone can be a lifesaver with five simple actions:

  1. Adopt: Find a new family member by adopting a pet at a local animal welfare organization.
  2. Foster: Fostering pets can save animal lives and can be a fun, educational family-friendly summer activity. Learn more at participating Petco stores on July 22, during the Petco Foundation’s “Be A Foster” event.
  3. Volunteer: Local shelters always need volunteers for a variety of activities like walking dogs, socializing cats or folding laundry. Talk to local animal welfare organizations about how your skills and interests fit with the organization’s needs.
  4. Spread the Word: Share on social media how you’ve acted as a lifesaver for pets with #BeALifesaver
  5. Donate: Donate at checkout at Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores to help the Petco Foundation reach its goal of raising $2.1 million to provide lifesaving investments to animal welfare organizations.

Be A Lifesaver events:

Be A Lifesaver Adoption Weekend: Adopt your new family member
Saturday and Sunday, July 1 and 2 at participating Petco and Unleashed by Petco store locations.

Be A Foster: Learn more about fostering and apply to be a foster family for pets
Saturday, July 22 happening at select Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores.

The NUTRO Company generously donated $75,000 to kickoff the Be A Lifesaver campaign. From July 1-23, guests in Petco and Unleashed by Petco stores are invited to Be A Lifesaver by making a donation at checkout to support animal welfare organizations throughout the country.

“Summer is a busy time for animal welfare organizations. There is often an increase in animal intake and demand for services,” said Petco Foundation executive director Susanne Kogut. “Our Be a Lifesaver campaign aims to inspire individuals to take action to help save animal lives in their own communities. Through collecting donations — $2, $5, and $20 at a time at checkout in Petco stores — we hope to raise more than $2.1 million to support lifesaving animal welfare work nationwide.”