Petco Foundation Honors Animal Lovers Who Made Big Impacts

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
The Paw-parazzi was out in full fur for Petco Foundation’s Celebration of Love gala, which honored organizations and people who make big impacts on the life of animals!

Petco Foundation’s Celebration of Love awards gala recently recognized seven organizations/people for their commitment and actions to help pets in need across the country. The star-studded event was emceed by well-known animal lover Jane Lynch, and for the first time, in Shark Tank-style, partnered with the Jackson Galaxy Foundation to allow to organizations to pitch their lifesaving ideas to a panel of animal welfare and advocacy investors in an Innovation Showdown.

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Petco Foundation Executive Director Susanne Kogut said that they were humbled to honor the organizations and individuals that made such a difference in lifesaving efforts for animals this year. “It’s Me Or The Dog” host and dog behaviorist Victoria Stilwell, along with State Farm, presented the Unsung Hero Award to animal advocate Karl Booker for his tireless work to save the hardest-to-place dogs. Booker works with Atlanta, Georgia’s Lifeline Animal Project, which works to make Atlanta a no-kill community. Lifeline Animal Project also received the Lifesaving Impact Award for achieving a nearly 90 percent save rate in its community.

The Founder’s Award, presented by Lucy Pet, went to former Petco CEO and chairman Brian Devine for his creation of the Petco Foundation and his dedication to the Petco Foundation’s efforts to make a difference in the lives of animals everywhere.

Additionally, Mission K9 received the Helping Heroes Award, which was presented by Natural Balance, for its work reuniting American service members and dog handlers with their retiring or retired military/contract/service working dogs. In the event that the organization cannot reunite handlers with their dogs, they work to adopt them into new furever homes full of love. Other awards went to the Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association, which received the Paul Jolly Compassion Award, and the Los Angeles Coalition for Pets and Public safety, which received the Spay Neuter Award for their work to spay or neuter over 100,000 animals in commonly underserved areas.

Related: 5 Awesome Spay and Neuter Feral Cat Programs

Petco and NBC Universal also awarded the Love Amplified Award to the Clear the Shelters movement, which partnered with hundreds of animal shelters across the U.S. in campaigns for local pet adoption. Their efforts resulted in more than 70,000 pet adoptions!

The Innovation Showdown saw Brandywine Valley SPCA compete with Animal Care Centers of NYC in presentations to Shark Tank’s Daymond John, Jackson Galaxy and Susanne Kogut. Both organizations received funding for their missions. Brandywine Valley SPCA presented the Mama in The Box concept, which is a kitten feeding solution that helps make kitten care for bottle-feeders easier and safer, and Animal Care Centers of NYC wowed judges with their ACC Digital Shelter. The digital shelter is an interactive kiosk that brings adoptable pets to hotspots in New York City so that New Yorkers can get constant visualizations of pets in need of homes in an effort to increase adoption rates.

We congratulate all the award recipients!

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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