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Petco Foundation
Spring, 2012
Your gift of as little as $35 can make a huge difference to an orphaned pet.

Donate to support homeless pets

National Spay Neuter Fundraiser

How One Homeless Dog Becomes Eleven

The National Spay Neuter Fundraiser ends on July 29, but the message of the importance of spaying and neutering family pets never ends. The following story exemplifies how the overpopulation so easily has gotten out of hand.

Champagne wasn't much more than a puppy herself when she was dumped by an anonymous person at our local shelter. She ducked low as a leash was looped over her head and, sadly, seemed used to being led into a cement kennel with limited amenities. She moved uncomfortably and, before they even had time to do a basic medical evaluation, she gave birth to 10 squiggling little puppies. What was previously only one life that needed saving, quickly became 11 lives that needed saving. While puppies are always cute, the shelter staff's hearts sank at the sight.

Unfortunately, a shelter, even the cleanest, most sanitary shelter, is no place for puppies to spend the formative and important first 8 weeks of their lives. Our county shelters have a good working relationship with all the local rescues and a call was put out to see if anyone could take a momma with 10 nursing babies into foster care. While one would think that might be a fun task, this many puppies are a 24 hour a day responsibility. Thankfully one of the rescues did have a foster parent who maintains a special room for nursing mothers and they were moved quickly from shelter to rescue.

By the Numbers

$94 million raised/donated
7,500 partners supported
3.3 million animals saved through Petco stores

Champagne watched calmly as volunteers and shelter staff carefully packed her babies into a small crate with warm blankets. Happily she climbed into the car next to the crate and allowed herself to be safely buckled in. She gently kissed each of the shelter staff who reached into the car to wish her well. She sniffed at the crate as if to say, "let's get going".

During the first eight weeks of their life, a schedule was set up with volunteers in the rescue. Adults, children, men and women came in on a regular basis to help clean up after as well as socialize and love on the babies. Blankets were washed and replaced several times a day. Hard surfaces were wiped down daily with antiseptic wash. All puppies were weighed weekly and smaller puppies were ensured greater feeding time with momma. All puppies were handled and touched everywhere and careful attention was paid to every sneeze or sniffle. Champagne was fed high quality food several times a day and put on a regular walking schedule.

Champagne patiently allowed volunteers to clean and handle her babies, never moving more than a couple of feet away but also using the time to ask for belly rubs, toys and treats. Donors contributed food and supplies and a professional photographer donated her time to document their young lives. It takes a village...

Both momma and puppies suffered from parasites so the family was routinely dewormed. Worms are typically passed from momma to babies in her milk. Champagne was particularly strongly infested. While some parasites might be expected in any litter, her infestation bespoke of the poor care and hygiene in her past. The tiny puppies bore the brunt of this, as parasites can compromise their internal development, and their little bellies were perpetually upset. Clean up was particularly nasty after each bout. Thankfully, the diligence of the volunteers won out and, by the time they reached 8-10 weeks old, all their bellies seemed better.

Unfortunately, because one individual did not bother to spay their dog (either on purpose because they thought they wanted puppies or through ignorance or neglect), there are now 11 more homeless animals in America, adding to the millions that are already waiting patiently in shelters and rescues.

One of the top priorities of the Petco Foundation is to place grants in the hands of organizations that can provide spay neuter services and education to people who would not otherwise have access to these amenities.

Please spay/neuter your resident pets and please consider donating so that those less fortunate than yourselves can do the same. Not all litters of puppies that end up in shelters are as lucky as Champagne's crew.

Your dollars might save a young life from being a young death.

Spotlight On

National Disaster Relief

Please allow us to introduce you to Susan Rosenberg, Petco Foundation National Grants and Disaster Relief Manager.

For the Petco Foundation, disasters can be natural or man-made. They include fire, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, blizzards, terrorism, hoarding, puppy mill busts, and even accidents. Susan and the Petco Foundation stand ever-ready to assist with any incident which causes many animals to be harmed or displaced, and which overwhelms the local animal welfare agencies In the event of a disaster, it is Susan who remains on-call 24/7 to help animals in need.

Susan comes to this role with a broad background in disaster preparedness and animal welfare. She is a member of the San Diego Humane Animal Rescue Reserve, serves with VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters), is FEMA Certified, is a Sector Chair for Ready San Diego, and has a Certificate of Completion from the California Humane Academy.

Susan Rosenberg, National Grants and Disaster Relief Manager
In her role as Petco Foundation Disaster Relief Manager, she has developed a disaster program for Petco stores which enables donations from the Petco Foundation to be distributed quickly into the areas of greatest need during a crisis. During local crises in Southern California, such as the San Diego Fires in 2007, Susan stepped to help run one of the animal evacuation centers animal while also assisting with product distribution and volunteer coordination throughout the disaster area.

An admitted weather channel junkie, Susan finds that she is often able to pinpoint areas of need before a natural disaster happens. Armed with this potential, she can quickly identify the names and phone numbers of lead agencies in the area to contact when disaster strikes. As a national speaker on behalf of the Foundation, she has contacts at organizations such as yours throughout the country who she counts on to contact her when they know of impending crises within their communities. The Red Cross and lead agencies in affected areas will also contact her as disaster response ramps up.

When Susan is alerted that there is a disaster in an area, she works quickly to make contact with the lead animal welfare agency in that community. There are usually one or two primary agencies who work to ensure that all other agencies/rescues in the area are cared for. As Susan is informed what the lead agency needs, she works efficiently to procure those items. Many products can be pulled from either local Petco stores or Petco Distribution Centers. Petco has seven DCs across the country. Each DC, in addition to their normal store stock, is stocked with two full pallets set aside just for emergencies. Items on the pallet include basic essentials, crates, bowls, crate pads, litter, litter pans, collars, leashes for multiple species of animals.

The role of the Petco Foundation evolves as the disaster evolves. For natural disasters, we primarily donate product during the event and then accept grant requests from multiple local organizations for repair and rebuilding afterwards. Monetary donations made during the time of a crisis are earmarked for rebuilding efforts in that community. For hoarding cases and puppy-mill busts (also disasters in our books), there are usually requests for medical funding along with products needed to care for the animals. Susan also works to ensure that she is coordinating efforts with other agencies and foundations that provide similar assistance to ensure help is spread evenly and comprehensively.

As a respected animal welfare organization in your community, we highly recommend putting your own disaster preparedness plan together. People will look to you for guidance. Do you have a plan for the animals in your care. Do you have transportation? Do you have a place outside of your immediate area where you will be able to bring them? Do you have supplies set aside that will be easy to relocate with them? Have you determined who the lead agency in your area is and made contact with them? We recommend that you help them to set up their disaster relief program or find out how you can best be involved in the event of a crisis. If you are the lead agency, have you touched base with other rescues and shelters in the area to work together towards a comprehensive plan in the event of local disaster?

"Please know that it is not a matter of 'if' but a matter of "when" a disaster will hit your family or shelter or rescue organization," Susan stresses. "Your pets and their care is your responsibility. You must be prepared to get everyone to safety - everyone."

If you are a lead agency in the area for a natural disaster or lead agency responding to a hoarding or puppy mill intervention and are in immediate need of disaster assistance, please contact:

Susan Rosenberg - Disaster Relief Manager
Email: or
Cell: (858.740.0832)
Fax: (858.458-5338)

All other requests for support should go through normal granting channels.

Just For Fun

Photo Contest Recap

Thank you to everyone who participated in this year's Pets Are Family Too Photo Contest that ran from April 9 - May 21. We had record breaking participation both in the entries (1100) and in the amount raised for our partners ($52,663)!

Almost every species of companion animal was represented: 742 dogs, 275 cats, 13 rabbits, 10 cat and dog together, 8 hamsters, 7 lizards, 5 birds, 4 guinea pigs, 3 frogs, 2 rats, 2 ducks, 2 pigs, 2 dog and rabbit together, 1 snake, 1 fish, 1 chinchilla.

If you were not aware, this year's contest had a new twist. In addition to submitting a photo of their adorable pets, entrants were encouraged to choose one of our partners to fundraise for. Were you one of the ones chosen? All individuals fundraising for a particular group were combined as a team to strive for a minimum of $1000 in donations. If the team reached this goal, the partner group received that plus any amount raised over that $1000 mark. The top three individual fundraisers received an additional $2,500 each to grant to their chosen partners. Competition was fiercer than we expected and we were all cheering as more than $27,000 was raised in the last week alone. 11 of our partners made it to the goal of $1000 (we hope you are able to help us improve that number next year) and were granted the full amounts raised.

Congratulations to our fundraising winners:
  • Bo,fundraising for Webark Estates,
  • Leilani, fundraising for Companion Animal Rescue and Medical Assistance
  • Cheeto and Toby, fundraising for Hope Animal Rescues.

In addition to the full amount fundraised by their teams, each group received an additional $2,500, garnering $10,298, $9,364 and $8,690 for their continued life-saving efforts.

Congratulations to the other partners who were able to fundraise more than $1000 each and received grant checks at contest end as well: PAWS San Diego County, Fort Collins Cat Rescue, Kalamazoo Animal Rescue, Pets in Need, Planned Pethood, Anjellicle Cats Rescue, Cumberland County SPCA, and Pit Bull Rescue San Diego.

2012 Photo Contest Winners Judging for the photo contest itself was incredibly difficult with so many amazing photos and stories. We read every one of the 1100 stories about why these pets are family and are so heartened by the love and the many partners they represented. After much deliberation, we have chosen the 12 photos that will represent the joy that adopted animals bring to our lives every month of the year in our 2013 calendar.

(left to right):
  • Specks submitted by Marianne Molloy and representing Helen Sanders Catpaws,
  • Khloe submitted by Vince Martinez and representing Pit Bull Rescue San Diego,
  • Layla's puppies submitted by Angel Sallade and representing Wish Bone Rescue,
  • Apple submitted by Amanda Nestor and representing Animal Friends,
  • Macy submitted by Karen Winston and representing Womens Humane Society,
  • Leilani submitted by Jeff and Sharon Alexander and representing Companion Animal Rescue & Medical Assistance,
  • Kevin submitted by Michelle Comstock and representing PAWS San Diego County,
  • Twister & Monk submitted by Suzanne Sarlls-Hartwell and representing Basenji Rescue & Transport,
  • Link submitted by Chris Thinnes and representing Bad Rap,
  • Zoey submitted by Marianne Molloy and representing Helen Sanders Catpaws,
  • Angel submitted by Taren Weyer and representing Cocker Spaniel Resources,
  • Makaio submitted by Erykah Flynn and representing Paws to Freedom.
Missed this past year's contest?
Did you miss out in this past year's contest? Start coordinating your fundraising efforts with your adopters, supporters, fundraisers. We are providing you with a wonderful platform to fundraise through. How you maximize it will be entirely up to you. You'll have a chance again next April/May! In the meantime, enjoy our 2013 calendar, which will be in Petco stores and online by late October.

Mark Your Calendars

6/24 - 7/29 National Spay/Neuter Fundraiser


National Adoption Weekend


National Service Dog Month


National Adoption Weekend


Breeds in Need Fundraiser


Weekly Adoption Event in most Petco stores.
Check your local Petco for details.
  [ more Events ]
Fundraiser Info

National Spay Neuter Fundraiser
For our spay/neuter partners participating in this current fundraiser, the Spay & Neuter Drive ends on 7/29. The checks should be sent in September.

Breeds in Need Fundraiser
The Breeds In Need Fundraiser begins 9/30 and the stores may begin entering their partners for the fundraiser two weeks prior. It would be a good idea for Breed Rescue groups to make contact with your local store manager to request to be one of their two chosen partners around September 15th.

Autos 4 Animals

You can have a car program too!

It's tax-deductible and helps save homeless pets! (

CALL 888 99-Petco / 888 997-3826 or fill out our online form TODAY!
Autos for Animals

If the Petco Foundation is sponsoring your event, you can be listed on our Partner Events page.

When you receive the email that your sponsorship request has been granted, you will be asked to submit the following information: - Official name of the event
- Date and times for the event
- one sentence description
- Location (including state. This is a national listing.)
- Link to the event page
- Your organization name

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