Finding Full Bowls and Loving Homes for Every Pet


Families across the country may look far and wide to find the perfect dog or cat for their household, including through local animal shelters or rescue groups. At the Pet Food Institute, our member companies work every day to support pets through providing safe, complete and balanced nutrition. Yet projects are also underway to help even more pets in need right in our neighborhoods, such as by offering financial and in-kind assistance, and food and resources for homeless dogs and cats.

Discover some of the many ways PFI members are supporting pets in their towns and cities – and across the country – by helping pets who need it most.

Helping Dogs and Cats in Our Own Backyard

As invested members in their communities, many members of the Pet Food Institute work with their local and regional shelters and rescue groups.

When the animal adoption tour Get Your Licks on Route 66 Pet Adoption Tour headed out for its annual road trip, stopping in 10 cities during the month-long journey, BrightPet Nutrition Group was ready! They supported this countrywide adoption event by providing food for all the families bringing home cats and dogs, including at the nearby Friendship Animal Protective League, a non-profit humane society in Elyria, Ohio. The remaining food was donated to the shelter. Now celebrating its 11th anniversary, the Get Your Licks on Route 66 Pet Adoption Tour has helped more than 13,000 dogs and cats find their forever homes since it began.

During the dog days of summer, Simmons Pet Food partnered with NWA Tailwaggers, a non-profit dedicated to helping pets, to donate 15,000 bags of treats to 19 shelters and pet food banks in one day. These treats were used to help train pets by offering tasty rewards for good behavior, and ultimately help increase the chances he or she is adopted.

Don King, vice president of Champion Pet Foods, shared that Champion “focuses on our long-term commitment to partner with local rescue organizations.” So far in 2019, Champion has donated over $550,000 of pet food to local rescues and shelters near their kitchens in Alberta, Canada, and in Kentucky, USA. These food donations throughout the year allow the organizations to use their funds for other important expenses, such as providing veterinary care for adoptable pets.

What are some other ways to help keep adoptable pets happy, socialized and ready to be adopted? A slumber “pawty,” of course! Nestlé Purina Petcare sponsored the first inaugural St. Louis Area Shelter Slumber Pawty in summer 2019, which raised nearly $300,000 for 15 area animal shelters. As part of the fundraiser, 225 staff and volunteers joined adoptable cats and dogs in their kennels for 24 hours to help provide human love and raise awareness about the pets looking for their forever homes. “We’re proud to support the work of these shelters throughout the year, and we’re thrilled to participate in such a fun, creative and collaborative event that will greatly impact the lives of thousands of homeless pets in need in our community,” said Kim Beardslee, Community Affairs with Nestlé Purina.

Aiding Pets Across the Country

Partnerships can extend beyond local animal shelters and rescues and focus on developing relationships and solutions from coast to coast.

As part of the Fresh Start initiative, Freshpet received nominations for animal shelters and rescue organizations around the United States. After receiving more than 100,000 votes and helping to increase awareness for the organizations, Freshpet was able to select  12 shelters and rescue groups to provide special grants in 2019. Freshpet also provided pet food for more than 612,000 meals throughout 2019 to help ensure full bowls for the dogs and cats in need.

The J.M. Smucker Company provides support through and its program Rescue Bank, which specifically works to help pets impacted during disasters and keep families and their pets together. Rescue Bank has donated more than 2 million pounds of pet food—equal to more than 79 truckloads of food for pets in times of emergency! Rescue Bank grants these food donations to animal welfare organizations, which then frees up part of that non-profit’s budget to offer other vital services.

Through the Hill’s Food, Shelter and Love Program, Hill’s Pet Nutrition partners with a range of animal shelters across the country to provide dog or cat food for pet in that shelter. Since 2002, the Hill’s Food, Shelter and Love Program has provided more than $290 million worth of pet food to more than 1,000 animal shelters, helping feed homeless pets in more than 800 North American shelters every day.

As the exclusive feeding partner for several animal shelters across the country, Merrick Pet Care provides food for adoptable dogs and cats waiting for their new home. In Chicago alone over the past five years, Merrick has donated more than 480,000 pounds of food (that’s 159,100 bowls!) to PAWS Chicago for dogs and cats.

Providing Nutrition and Care Critical for Your Pet: From the Pet Food Maker to Your Home

As the voice of U.S. pet food makers, the Pet Food Institute recognizes the work our members do to engage in their communities to support long and healthy lives for pets. After all, community involvement is a core principle in the PFI Code of Practice.

No matter where you find the perfect four-legged addition to your family’s household, pet owners can all take steps to support their pet’s wellbeing. By providing a complete and balanced diet, preventive veterinary care and a loving home, we can help make sure all pets can enjoy a long and healthy life.

PFI knows pets

The Pet Food Institute (PFI) is dedicated to providing up-to-date, science-backed information about pet food, health, and wellbeing. Trust our expertise to help your pets live long, healthy lives.

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