SOURCE: PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities

February 22, 2012 08:30 ET

Nearly 10,000 Dogs and Puppies Took the Ride of Their Lives Aboard PetSmart Charities'® Rescue Waggin'® Vehicles in 2011

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - Feb 22, 2012) - Every day, overcrowded animal shelters look for new ways to save the lives of homeless pets. In 2011, PetSmart Charities' Rescue Waggin' program transported 9,541 dogs and puppies from communities with high pet populations and euthanasia rates to shelters with exceptional adoption programs and more adoption space for pets in need of homes.

Since its inception in 2004, the Rescue Waggin' program has saved the lives of more than 52,000 dogs and puppies. It's the first and largest national pet transport program in the U.S. and has been labeled the "gold standard" for pet transport by veterinarians and national humane organizations. The program has expanded from one site in 2004 to 60 shelters in 22 states with four routes today: East Coast, Midwest, Great Plains, and the South Central states region.

"Until more people spay and neuter their pets and we reduce the number of animals entering shelters, the Rescue Waggin' program will continue to be a resource for shelters working to change the fate of homeless dogs in their communities," said Susanna Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc.

Specially equipped Rescue Waggin' vehicles have logged more than 1.5 million miles and can comfortably transport as many as 50 to 60 puppies and dogs at a time, providing them with a temperature-controlled environment, complete with piped-in lullaby music.

The Rescue Waggin' program not only saves pets' lives, it also helps many shelters improve their operations and manage their pet populations in a more sustainable way. To date, PetSmart Charities has granted more than $1.75 million to Rescue Waggin' partners to help reduce disease in their shelters, upgrade cat rooms, and update and remodel dog kennels.

The PetSmart Charities' Rescue Waggin' program is funded by donations. Members of the public can support the program by making a tax-deductible donation online, by email at gifts@petsmartcharities.org or via phone at 623-587-2826 to help more dogs take the life-saving rides of their lives.

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 $134 million in grants and programs benefiting animal-welfare organizations and has helped save the lives of nearly 5 million pets through its in-store adoption program. 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 (7387).

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