$100,000 in Grants Being Awarded to Help Shelter and Rescue Dogs Across Canada

Black pet dog

Mars Petcare

Release Date

Tuesday, October 18, 2022


As Canadian pet shelters grapple with a rise in surrenders and resource constraints, PEDIGREE Foundation is announcing the launch of its Canadian Grant Program, its first-ever annual program in Canada designed to help end pet homelessness. With a growing shelter crisis across North America and more than 80,000 animals in need of support across Canada, PEDIGREE Foundation is committing $100,000 in 2022 grant awards which will go towards supporting eight Canadian shelters and rescue organizations in need. PEDIGREE Foundation is also unveiling the eight inaugural recipients from across Canada for the 2022-2023 program year, all of whom have been selected based on their support for programs that help find dogs loving homes.

With a vision of a day when all dogs are safe, secure, cared for, fed well, and loved, PEDIGREE Foundation—an independent, non-profit organization established by Mars Petcare, maker of PEDIGREE® food for dogs—is expanding grant activities to Canada for the first time, in a push to increase dog adoption locally. PEDIGREE Foundation selected the following animal shelters from across Canada for 2022 grant funding:

In addition to supporting shelters, PEDIGREE Foundation provides resources to pet owners, including information on home remedies for dog joint pain, ensuring that dogs not only find loving homes but also receive the care they need to live healthy and happy lives.

The grants will focus on supporting these shelters in developing programs that are shown to significantly increase dog adoption, including:

  • Matching and behaviour programs - that increase the likelihood that shelter dogs will bond with their adopters.
  • Transport programs - that help move dogs from areas of overpopulation to areas where they are more likely to be adopted.
  • Support in remote communities - to provide needed medical care including spay/neuter programs to help reduce overpopulation of homeless dogs.

"We know firsthand from our work with shelters and rescues that support is needed now more than

ever," says Debra Fair, Executive Director, PEDIGREE Foundation. "Length of stay is increasing for dogs at shelters, and our expansion of programs for the first time outside the U.S. to Canada is a critical first step in addressing the growing shelter crisis across North America. We are proud to be able to provide support for Canadian shelters who are working tirelessly to help find every dog the loving home they deserve, in the face of increasingly difficult conditions."

PEDIGREE Foundation Canadian Grant Program is just one of the many ways Mars Petcare is supporting the shelter crisis and working to bring to life its purpose: A Better World For Pets.

Helping North America's Growing Shelter Crisis

Mars Petcare – proudly part of the Mars family of brands – also announced it will put its strength and scale as the world's largest petcare company behind the launch of the company's largest shelter volunteer program ever. Inspired by the unconditional support, love and loyalty pets show to humans, Service Humans Needed, is a North America-wide campaign aimed at reciprocating the support our pets show us by calling on "Service Humans" to help shelters and pets in need through acts of service.

To help alleviate some of the resource challenges facing shelters, pet advocates and proud pet parents are being encouraged to become a "Service Human" to support pets in their communities in multiple ways, including:

  • Volunteering their time at local animal shelters
  • Volunteering their home by fostering and adopting
  • Volunteering their social platforms by sharing adoptable shelter pets on social media

To bring the program to life, Mars Petcare has also called on the support of their Associates cutting

across all of Mars' businesses, including:

  • Enlisting 60,000 Mars associates and supporters across North America to volunteer at shelters, including organized volunteer activities at more than 60 shelters in Canada.
  • Encourage 500,000 hours of volunteer support, including 10,000 locally in Canada, by the end of the year from Associates within Mars Food, Mars Pet Nutrition, Mars Inc., Mars Wrigley, and Royal Canin.

Additionally, Mars Pet Nutrition Canada and its brands support shelters and pets in need through ongoing in-kind donations. So far in 2022, Mars Pet Nutrition Canada has donated more than 1 million meals to shelter pets in need.

To learn more about how to answer the call through acts of service and volunteering, supporters can visit BetterCitiesforPets.com/ServiceHumans.

Quotes from the Shelters:

"Thanks to the support of the PEDIGREE Foundation, ARF will be able to continue building and strengthening our animal training and enrichment program, which will increase the number of dogs getting adopted and living their best lives," says Tanaya Jilg, Executive Director, Animal Rescue Foundation.

The Cochrane & Area Humane Society is thrilled and most appreciative of being a recipient of the 2022 PEDIGREE Foundation Canadian Program Development Grant. Over the last two years, the number of incoming dogs with complex behaviours, including fear and reactivity, has increased at an alarming rate. These grant funds will support behaviour modification programs and positive reinforcement training for dogs with more challenging behaviours to assist with their adoptability. The grant will also support us in setting adopters and these dogs up for success by ensuring adopters are provided with hands-on guidance by our Behaviour staff on how to prevent or continue to work on the behaviour modifiers using positive reinforcement techniques. We are very grateful this grant will help provide opportunities for rehabilitation and rehoming for so many deserving dogs," says Janine Rossler, Executive Director, Cochrane & Area Humane Society.

"Thank you to the PEDIGREE Foundation for coming to our rescue. With your support we will continue to build rehabilitation programs, enhance education and celebrate healthy animal connections putting more animals into forever homes," says the Coveted Canines and Creatures Rescue team.

"We are very excited about the opportunities the PEDIGREE Foundation Grant will create to increase dog adoptions in Hastings and Prince Edward Counties. By enabling our staff and volunteers to better recognize and correct the behavioural challenges we see with some dogs in our care, we can make

everyone's future brighter," says Marilyn Lawrie, Executive Director, Humane Society, Hastings Prince Edward.

"We are greatly appreciative for the generous grant from the PEDIGREE Foundation. The support they have provided will go towards helping 188 dogs from northern communities through our Pet Relocation Program and find them their forever home in Niagara," says John Greer, Executive Director, Niagara SPCA and Humane Society.

"No one in our community should have to give up their beloved pet because they can't afford food. When the pandemic hit, members of the community often found they had to choose between feeding themselves or their animal. In response, we created the OMHS Pet Food Bank which has become an essential service in helping pets, mainly dogs and cats, stay with their families. Through our community agency partners, OMHS provides a "one-stop shop" for both human and pet food clients in human food programs. The funding will enable us to expand our food bank so even more dogs receive nutritious and reliable meals, which will also help reduce the number of families needing to surrender their dog. On behalf of the dogs waiting for their forever home, thank you to the PEDIGREE Foundation for their

incredible support," says Rick Perciante, Executive Director Oakville & Milton Humane Society.

"The Ontario SPCA and Humane Society is grateful for the support of the PEDIGREE Foundation, which will allow us to help even more animals in need in communities across Ontario," says Jennifer Bluhm, Vice-President, Community Outreach Services, Ontario SPCA and Humane Society. "Through our community support services we are able to create a brighter future for animals and the people who love them."

"We are incredibly thankful to the PEDIGREE Foundation for their generous support," states Kathrin Delutis, chief executive officer, The Humane Society of Kitchener Waterloo & Stratford Perth. "This grant will greatly impact the lifesaving efforts of our transfer program, allowing more dogs to find loving homes within our communities."

About PEDIGREE Foundation

We believe every dog deserves a loving, forever home. PEDIGREE Foundation is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in the U.S. working to help end pet homelessness. Nearly 3.1 million dogs end up in shelters and rescues every year across the U.S. and nearly half never find a home. The foundation was established in 2008 by Mars Petcare, maker of PEDIGREE® food for dogs, to help increase dog adoption rates. We've awarded more than 5,800 grants and nearly $10 million to U.S. shelters and rescues that help dogs in need. At PEDIGREE Foundation, we're working toward a day when all dogs are safe, secure, cared for, fed well and loved. See how you can help at PedigreeFoundation.org.

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™, LinnaeusAniCura 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. We're also dedicated to providing a safe and fun place for dogs to stay and socialize at over 200 Camp Bow Wow® doggy day care and boarding facilities. 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.

1 Humane Canada

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