By Debra Fair, Executive Director, PEDIGREE Foundation
The past few years have brought encouraging progress for people who love dogs and want to see them in loving homes.
During the pandemic, 23 million U.S. households added a pet.1 Plus, as people spent more time at home with their pets, they recognized the many ways pets make life better, from companionship (86%), to reduced anxiety (78%), to a sense of hope (69%).2
There’s also important work being done to understand the causes of pet homelessness and help reduce them. With its State of Pet Homelessness Index, Mars Petcare and its partners have assembled the first consistent, methodological assessment of the scope of pet homelessness and its drivers in countries around the globe.
Yet times are tough…and getting tougher.
We all know that inflation in 2022 has risen to record highs. But even before this year, pet parents were already worried about their ability to care for their pets.
In a survey conducted in 2021, four in 10 pet parents said they were worried about their financial ability to care for their pets. One in four pointed to even basic supplies like food, treats and toys as a financial hardship, and 21% said they’ve skipped buying groceries to pay for pet-related expenses.3
Sadly, these factors may lead to increasing numbers of homeless pets in America. At PEDIGREE Foundation Opens a new window, we’re already hearing from shelters that they’re starting to see a concerning uptick in pet surrenders.
That’s why I’m thrilled about the PEDIGREE® brand’s Essential Support Dogs Opens a new window program.
We’ll be celebrating Essential Support Dogs at PEDIGREE Foundation, too. As part of the Essential Support Dogs program, for every social post shared by consumers using #EssentialSupportDogs and tagging @pedigreeus, the PEDIGREE brand will donate $5, up to $100K, to PEDIGREE Foundation to provide assistance for dogs in need through our Safety Net grants.
Assuming that PEDIGREE fans help raise $100,000 with their social posts, through PEDIGREE Foundation’s grant program, we hope to provide $10,000 each to 10 organizations for safety net programs. These programs offer support like free pet food and supplies or temporary boarding while pet parents are in crisis. They can be vital to keeping dogs with their families.
The PEDIGREE brand has a firm belief: Every dog deserves a loving home™. Since its establishment back in 2008, PEDIGREE Foundation has donated $10 million to shelters and rescues across the U.S. to help make this belief a reality, and we continue to make such an important difference.
Together with dog lovers across the U.S., we can make a difference for pet parents in this difficult year and drive continuing progress on the Mars Petcare ambition to end pet homelessness.
All dogs are Essential Support Dogs. This year, even more than ever, keeping dogs in their loving homes is essential for everyone.
1 https://www.aspca.org/about-us/press-releases/new-aspca-survey-shows-overwhelming-majority-dogs-and-cats-acquired-during Opens a new window
2 https://www.bettercitiesforpets.com/resource/pets-in-a-pandemic/ Opens a new window
3 KRC Research online survey of 1,003 U.S. pet parents from July 28 to August 8, 2021.