Grants Across the Country Aim to Keep People and Pets Together

A partnership between Mars Petcare and the Humane Society of the United States awarded $200,000 in grants to more than 20 organizations

FRANKLIN, Tenn., Sept. 8, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — More than 20 animal welfare organizations across the United States received extra support this summer thanks to a partnership between Mars Petcare and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS). In total, $200,000 in grants was awarded to municipal and public shelters, rescues and animal welfare organizations. Funding for the grants was generated by the HSUS’s highly successful “Rock the House for Animals!” livestream, which featured a $100,000 match from Mars Petcare.

“Throughout the pandemic, many people have turned to pets as a source of comfort and companionship,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “With our BETTER CITIES FOR PETS grants, we hope to provide much-needed support to the animal welfare community who work tirelessly to help pets in need, and keep people and their pets together during these tough times.”

About the Grants

Since 2018, Mars Petcare has offered grants through the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program to help cities create or expand programs that provide more welcoming places for people and pets. This year, the focus was on keeping pets in homes, knowing the unprecedented challenges facing families during the pandemic.

With financial and health stressors affecting many people, some pet owners may be required to surrender their pets – something Mars Petcare hopes to help avoid.

With the grants, the company is helping the animal welfare community in cities across the United States in their tireless work to help pets in need and keep people and pets together.

Answering a Critical Need

“With this generous donation, Mars Petcare’s BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program brings great relief to some of the most vulnerable animals on the planet – the dogs and cats who depend on caring people to give them the love, protection and sustenance they need to survive,” said Humane Society of the United States president and CEO, Kitty Block.

“Pets provide comfort, loyalty and affection, qualities that are especially important during these difficult times,” she added. “As the world grapples with the tragic effects of the pandemic, Mars Petcare funds answer a critical need to help dogs and cats, whether they have been displaced because their human family can no longer afford to care for them or they have lost their caretaker to this deadly virus. We cannot thank Mars Petcare enough for being heroes for these animals who have no other hope.”

Recipients of the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS Grants

The recipients of grants through the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program include:

  • Animal Welfare League of Alexandria | Alexandria, Va.
  • City of Southport Animal Protective Services | Southport, N.C.
  • Dallas Animal Services | Dallas, Texas
  • Humane Rescue Alliance | District of Columbia
  • Humane Society of Manatee County Inc. | Bradenton, Fla.
  • Independence Animal Services #1 | Independence, Mo.
  • Memphis Animal Services | Memphis, Tenn.
  • Miami Veterinary Foundation | Miami, Fla.
  • Monroe County Humane Association | Bloomington, Ind.
  • Pet Pal Rescue, Inc. | St. Petersburg, Fla.
  • Pima Animal Care Center | Tucson, Ariz.
  • The Arizona Pet Project/Friends of Animal Care and Control | Phoenix, Ariz.
  • The Pet Project for Pets, Inc. | Wilton Manors, Fla.

Recipients of the Match Grants

These additional recipients were awarded grants from donations raised in response to Mars Petcare’s match.

  • Animal Protective Association of Missouri | St. Louis, Mo.
  • Association of Humane Societies | Newark, N.J.
  • Charm City Companions | Baltimore, Md.
  • Companion Animal Alliance | Baton Rouge, La.
  • Gabriel Foundation | Elizabeth, Colo.
  • Hearts Alive Village | Las Vegas, Nev.
  • Lifeline Animal Project | Atlanta, Ga.
  • Louisiana SPCA | New Orleans, La.
  • Second Chance Animal Services | East Brookfield, Mass.

Helping Prevent Pet Homelessness

This year’s grants provided through the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program are part of multiple initiatives in 2020 to help prevent pet homelessness and assist pet parents in this difficult time. Others include:

  • FOSTER TO FOREVER™, which encourages adoption. With help from celebrity advocates in May, Mars Petcare raised awareness of the need for pet adoption. In June and July, FOSTER TO FOREVER kits were given to 1,000 pet parents who opted to give a forever home to their foster pet.
  • DOGS ON ZOOM, a program from Mars Petcare’s PEDIGREE® brand, which has helped potential adopters meet and adopt dogs via video chat.
  • PEDIGREE Foundation, which was created by the makers of PEDIGREE food for dogs and has awarded $175,000 in grants to help shelters and rescues across the U.S. that are struggling due to the pandemic.
  • Mars, Incorporated made a $1 million donation to Humane Society International for its programs to care for dogs and cats affected by the COVID-19 pandemic around the world.

Grants awarded through the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program in 2018 and 2019 were provided in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. See a list of prior grant recipients here.

When cities are pet-friendly, they support a happy, healthy world for everyone. The BETTER CITIES FOR PETS program encourages and helps cities to be pet-friendly so more people can enjoy the benefits of pets, from companionship to exercise to social connections. The program was created by Mars Petcare, the world’s leading pet nutrition and health care business, in partnership with experts in city planning and key government stakeholders. It includes a playbook for cities, city certification program, best practice research, policy advocacy, grants and free online resources. Learn more at

About Mars Petcare
Part of Mars, Incorporated, a family-owned business with more than a century of history making diverse products and offering services for people and the pets people love, the 85,000 Associates across 50+ countries in Mars Petcare are dedicated to one purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS. With 85 years of experience, our portfolio of almost 50 brands serves the health and nutrition needs of the world’s pets – including brands PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®ROYAL CANIN®, NUTRO™, GREENIES™,  SHEBA®, CESAR®, IAMS™ and EUKANUBA™ as well as the Waltham Petcare Science Institute which has advanced research in the nutrition and health of pets for over 50 years. Mars Petcare is also a leading veterinary health provider through an international network of over 2,000 pet hospitals and diagnostic services including  BANFIELD™, BLUEPEARL™,  VCA™,  Linnaeus,  AniCura and Antech. We’re also active in innovation and technology for pets, with WISDOM PANEL™ genetic health screening and DNA testing for dogs, the WHISTLE™ GPS dog tracker, and LEAP VENTURE STUDIO accelerator and COMPANION FUND programs that drive innovation and disruption in the pet care industry. As a family business and guided by our principles, we are privileged with the flexibility to fight for what we believe in – and we choose to fight for: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS.

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