New grants focus on keeping people and pets together despite the challenges of the global pandemic
FRANKLIN, Tenn., June 30, 2020 – As the pandemic continues to change life for people across the country, cities today face unprecedented challenges supporting their pet populations. Despite an increase in pet fostering, adoption may decline and families facing financial hardship may be required to surrender their pets.
In partnership with the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), Mars Petcare is helping with BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ grants that focus on keeping people and pets together.
“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.”
In total, $200,000 in grants will be awarded to municipal and public shelters, rescues or animal welfare organizations. The grant program is accepting applications starting today, and organizations can apply at this link.
Funding for the grants was generated through HSUS’s highly successful “Rock the House for Animals!” livestream, which featured a $100,000 match by Mars Petcare.
The new grant program is one of multiple initiatives to help prevent pet homelessness and assist pet parents in this difficult time. Others include:
- FOSTER TO FOREVER™, which encourages adoption and helps families get off to a great start with their new pet. 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 are being given to 1,000 pet parents who opt to give a forever home to their foster pet.
- DOGS ON ZOOM, a program from Mars Petcare’s PEDIGREE® brand, which helps potential adopters meet and adopt dogs via video chat.
- PEDIGREE Foundation, which was created by the makers of PEDIGREE® food for dogs, 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 global companion animal programs.
Mars Petcare has offered BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ grants since 2018 to help cities create or expand programs that provide more welcoming places for people and pets. The 2018 and 2019 grants were provided in partnership with the U.S. Conference of Mayors. See a list of prior grant recipients here.
About BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™
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 BetterCitiesForPets.com
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.