Holiday Wishes Campaign Makes Season Merry And Bright For Rescue Group

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
The Petco Foundation announced the winners of their sixth annual Holiday Wishes grant campaign, and the grand prize winner was a Parkland shooting survivor and the animal rescue group she adopted her dog Auggie from.

The Petco Foundation, in partnership with Petco, sponsors the Holiday Wishes Campaign every year. Since 2013, the Petco Foundation has given over $3.4 million to various animal welfare organizations across the United States as part of their initiative, and they’ve announced the 51 stories that touched their hearts as part of this year’s campaign. This year, they granted over $755,000 to animal welfare and rescue groups.

Related: Petco Announces Groundbreaking Changes to Improve Nutrition of Cats and Dogs

The campaign focuses on inspiring adoption stories in which animal welfare organizations play a big part. The organizations receive grants that range from $5,000 to $50,000 and last week, in a Facebook Live presentation, the Petco Foundation gave a $100,000 grand prize grant to the Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue in Florida.

Holiday Wishes 2018 Winners Announced

Thousands of adopters shared how the love of their pet has changed their life. Now we're announcing 51 award winners and making $755,000 in Holiday Wishes come true for animal welfare organizations across the country! 🎉

Posted by Petco Foundation on Friday, November 16, 2018

The inspiring story behind the grant is that of 16-year-old Annagrace Myers who is a survivor of the tragic Parkland, Florida high school shooting earlier this year. Annagrace shared how her adopted dog Auggie helped her heal after that horrific and life-changing event, and Auggie was adopted from Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue.

Annagrace and Augie’s inspiring story was one of thousands adoptive pet parents submitted about their lives being made better because of their pets. Every one of the winning stories earned the organization from which the pets were adopted a grant and the adopting pet parent also received a Petco shopping spree that is valued up to $1,000.

Susanne Kogut is the president of the Petco Foundation and said it was such an honor to read story after story about the difference adopted pets ade in the lives of so many. She said that she feels like Santa Claus delivering Holiday Wishes grants to the organizations who do all the life-saving work.

Annagrace’s story was one of resilience after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Therapy dogs were provided to the school students and staff and Annagrace was helped by their presence. The healing she found in the fur helped inspire her to revisit bringing a puppy into her family, and they met Auggie at the Justin Bartlett Animal Rescue. Annagrace’s continued healing has been with Auggie by her side, and Auggie gives her the courage to continue to move forward and feel safe.

Related: Petco’s New Store Is A One-Stop-Shop for Pets and Their Pawrents

The Holiday Wishes awards will continue throughout the holiday season at various Petco locations, and it’s not too late to help one more story be a winner as well. Between now and December 19, 2018, you can vote for your favorite story and help decide who the People’s Choice Award winner will be. The winning organization will be revealed before Christmas and will be given additional grant money.

So go, check out the inspiring stories and help bring some holiday wishes to a rescue group near you!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

More by Lori Ennis