Mars Canada

Mars Canada

June 24, 2010 08:00 ET

Travelling PEDIGREE ADOPTION DRIVE™ Art Tour Leaves Its (Paw) Print on Calgary

Captivating Image to Help Raise Awareness of Shelter Dogs in Alberta Depicted in Art Mural at the Kensington Business Revitalization Zone

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 24, 2010) -

Attn: Lifestyle, Photo and Pet Editors

Editors Note: There is a photo associated with this press release.

Every year, thousands of dogs find themselves in animal shelters across Canada. Sadly, for every deserving dog that finds a home, at least one will be left behind.

On June 23, the PEDIGREE ADOPTION DRIVE™ campaign visited the Kensington Business Revitalization Zone in downtown Calgary to raise awareness of dogs living in shelters and to celebrate those that have found loving homes through the creation of a public art display. The design, which depicted a dog's journey towards adoption, took eight hours to create. The art installation was supported by members of the Creston Pet Adoption and Welfare Society, who were on hand to speak about animal adoption and the shelter pet population in Western Canada. Several dogs, including those already adopted from local shelters, were also on hand to enthusiastically greet onlookers.

"The PEDIGREE ADOPTION DRIVE™ campaign art installation is travelling to six Canadian cities in June to help shed light on the realities facing shelter dogs, and also to celebrate those four-legged heroes who have found loving homes," said Jenni Gunn, Brand Leader, PEDIGREE®. "We were extremely delighted to bring the art display to Calgary and thrilled to see so many local dogs and their owners coming out to learn more about animal adoption while watching the creation of the art installation."

Since its inception in 2008, the PEDIGREE ADOPTION DRIVE™ campaign has raised over $500,000 CDN for shelters across Canada. These funds are used by local shelters to cover the costs of vet care, vaccinations, shelter and food. This year, the makers of PEDIGREE® are supporting 30 campaign partner shelters, several which are based in Alberta including the Edmonton Humane Society, the Grande Prairie & District SPCA, the Lakeland Humane Society and Peace River SPCA. These shelters, all longstanding partners with the campaign, will receive a $5,000 CDN donation in 2010 to cover operating costs.

"The Creston Pet Adoption and Welfare Society depends on the support of corporations and the public to help us give dogs the second chance they deserve," said Vicki McDonald, president, Creston Pet Adoption and Welfare Society. "Our staff and volunteers work to ensure all shelters dogs admitted to our care receive a clean bill of health and are accurately assessed so they are ready to start their new lives with a suitable, loving family."

Albertans surveyed on shelter dogs

Recently, the makers of PEDIGREE® commissioned a survey conducted by Harris/Decima to gauge Canadians' perceptions of shelter dogs. Overall, the findings revealed that Canadians underestimate the amount of dogs living in shelters, with only two percent of survey respondents able to accurately estimate the number of dogs waiting to be adopted. While the most frequently cited number of dogs admitted into a shelter over the course of the year was 10,000 (11%), recent statistics peg the number to be at over 36,000. And while nearly half of Canadians, 49 per cent, feel that not enough is being done to raise awareness about shelters, a surprising 81 per cent state they themselves are not currently helping shelters.

According to the survey, Alberta is second only to Atlantic Canada for dog ownership, with 32 per cent of respondents stating they currently have a dog in their household. Of the Albertans dog-owners surveyed, 40 per cent acquired their pet from a breeder, while almost half – 24 per cent – went to a rescue organization or animal shelter. 

"We hope that public interest in the PEDIGREE ADOPTION DRIVE™ campaign travelling art display will help to better inform Canadians about our collective responsibility to help these animals, and encourage people to make shelters their first choice when looking to add a pet to their family," said McDonald.

For more information on the PEDIGREE ADOPTION DRIVETM campaign, please visit www.mypedigree.ca.

About the PEDIGREE® brand

PEDIGREE® is the number one brand of dog food in the world offering a wide variety of products for different dog life stages. As an innovative market leader, the makers of PEDIGREE® are at the forefront of dog nutrition and understand dog owner needs by providing a range of innovative food products and resources. PEDIGREE® products are available at grocery, pet specialty and mass merchandise outlets.

For more information, visit www.mypedigree.ca.

®/TM Trademarks. © Mars Canada Inc., 2009. All rights reserved.

**Some regional stats have sample sizes of less than 30 completes; as a result the data are directional in nature.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://media3.marketwire.com/docs/Pedigree2.jpg.

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