- Author: Colin Lecher
- Category: Valley News
- Issue: Sep 2011
Thinking about bringing a new furry friend into your family? Learn about Phoenix-based PetSmart’s National Adoption Weekend this month.
About 8 million pets enter shelters every year, and 4 million pets a year are being euthanized, says Michelle Thompson, communications manager for PetSmart Charities. Even worse: No one seems to know how bad it is. The company did a study to see what the general public knew about euthanasia statistics. “We found that the awareness was just really low,” Thompson says.
From its beginning in 1986 as a Phoenix-based company, PetSmart (PetFood Warehouse in those days, then PETsMART, then PetSmart) has been dedicated to helping animals find homes. Even before its charity branch, PetSmart Charities, came into existence, the company was using its then-tiny force of seven stores in 1988 (also the year the company sold its first dog sweater) to hold fundraising and adoption events.
Nowadays, the company combats the euthanasia problem by holding four annual national adoption weekends throughout the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. The next one runs September 9-11 and includes all Arizona locations. Helping 4.4 million pets through charity grants and adoption programs like these, PetSmart Charities is the largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America. No small feat, no matter what name the company goes by.