SOURCE: PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities

February 04, 2010 15:49 ET

Dogs Have Their Days at PetSmart Charities' New Adoption Center in Hemet, Calif.

Specialized Adoption Center Will Help Dogs From Local Shelter Find Lifelong, Loving Homes

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - February 4, 2010) - PetSmart Charities' new adoption center in Hemet is going to the dogs -- literally.

On February 13, 2010, PetSmart Charities, Inc. will open a new adoption center just for dogs inside the PetSmart® store at 2771 Florida Avenue W. in Hemet. A ribbon cutting to mark the grand opening of the center is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, Feb. 13. The public and news media are invited.

The Hemet center is one of three such specialized, dog-adoption centers opening in U.S. PetSmart® stores on Feb. 13 as nonprofit PetSmart Charities collaborates with local animal-welfare agencies and shelters to save the lives of even more homeless pets. Similar dog-adoption centers also are opening in Lubbock, Texas and Albuquerque, N.M.

The Hemet center will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays. It features 16 adult-dog kennels measuring 3' X 4'; four, 3' X 3' puppy kennels; and three "meet and greet" areas where prospective adopters and their family members (including dogs they already have) can get better acquainted with the canine companion they want to take home.

The Ramona Humane Society (RHS) in Riverside County will utilize the new center. The agency takes in more than 20,000 homeless and unwanted dogs and cats a year. In the last year alone, intake has increased by about 40 percent, said RHS President Jeff Sheppard. Having more space for dog adoptions will have a "huge and positive impact" on the organization's adoption efforts, he said.

"We understand that some people don't like to visit the shelter, so this is a great opportunity for us to increase visibility for our adoptable dogs and provide consistent adoption services," he added. "It's also a fantastic opportunity for us to grow our volunteer base. It's a win-win for everyone. We are very excited."

The existing cat-adoption centers will remain open in all PetSmart® locations. The new dog centers are an enhancement to PetSmart Charities' longstanding pet-adoption efforts which, to date, have helped more than 4 million pets from local shelters and rescue agencies in North America find new homes.

"We're adding the dog-adoption centers so that the animal-welfare agencies we collaborate with can showcase even more adoptable pets in a dedicated area that's spacious and comfortable for the dogs, adopters and shelter staff and volunteers," explained Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. "The new dog-adoption areas allow our adoption partners to showcase dogs of all shapes and sizes, especially larger dogs. We're very excited to see how successful the first four dog centers are so we can open similar centers in other PetSmart® stores across the country."

The opening of this center coincides with the PetSmart Charities® Second Chance for Love National Adoption Event, which is taking place Feb. 12-14 in all 1,149 PetSmart® stores in North America. The national adoption event is sponsored by Hills® Science Diet® Brand and PetSmart, Inc. For information about the event, as well as the many ways that nonprofit PetSmart Charities works to save the lives of homeless pets, please visit www.petsmartcharities.org.

ABOUT PETSMART CHARITIES®

Established in 1994, PetSmart Charities, Inc. is an independent, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raise awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. The largest funder of animal welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided more than $88 million in grants and programs benefiting animal welfare organizations and, through its in-store adoption program, helped save the lives of more than 4 million pets. To learn more about how PetSmart Charities is working toward its Vision of a lifelong, loving home for every pet, visit petsmartcharities.org or call 1-800-423-PETS.

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