PetSmart Charities has crossed the landmark 10 millionth pet adoption since launching in 1994. Working with more than 2,500 animal welfare partners at Everyday Adoption Centers in PetSmart’s retail stores and hosting annual National Adoption Week events, this milestone honors the millions of people who save lives through adoption. In the past five years alone, PetSmart Charities has granted $75.6 million to fund services such as transport, prevention and medical care that help adoptable pets find new homes.
PetSmart Charities facilitates about half a million adoptions each year thanks to PetSmart and generous supporters who donate. The majority of funds granted by PetSmart Charities are raised by donations made at PetSmart’s registers or online. In fact, more than 70 percent of donations come directly from pet parents shopping at PetSmart. Each gift supports local animal welfare organizations and other nonprofits that make lives better for pets and the people that love them.
“For us, this meaningful milestone presents a perfect time to reflect on so many stories of unconditional love that led us here,” said Aimee Gilbreath, President of PetSmart Charities. “This moment was brought to us by all those who made donations at stores, online or in estate plans. We’re grateful for the generosity of those who support our work — and those who opened their hearts and homes to pets in need. As most people discover, it’s the pets who end up rescuing their people.
The 10 millionth pet was adopted by the Texas-based De La Rosa family, who spontaneously stopped by the National Adoption Weekend event at their local PetSmart in Harlingen to just “look.” They came across a shy, sweet husky. Volunteers explained he had come to their shelter with deep indentations in his neck, the result of an embedded collar after enduring a life of neglect. The entire family fell in love with the husky, who they later named Balto.
To celebrate Balto and every adoption that counted toward the 10 millionth milestone, PetSmart and PetSmart Charities have launched a TikTok 1-in-10 Million Challenge. Pet parents are encouraged to post videos on TikTok sharing their pet adoption story and detailing how their pets rescued them in return. Users are asked to add the #10MillionAdoptions hashtag and set their stories to the PetSmart original soundtrack of “Who Rescued Who,” by The Lion Tones.
Today, more than 70 percent of American households include pets. While the pandemic drove demand for adoptable pets, nearly five million lost, surrendered or abused animals continue to make their way into shelters each year.
During the busy summer seasons, shelters will be overflowing with pets in need of loving homes. PetSmart Charities encourages people to consider adopting animals particularly at risk including large dogs, senior cats and dogs and kittens. Staffing shortages at shelters have only increased the urgent need for people to adopt.