SOURCE: PetSmart

April 29, 2005 10:00 ET

PETsMART Charities Expands Pet Adoption Kiosk Program, Launches In-Store Pilot

First-of-Its-Kind Kiosk Program Aims to Find Homes for One Million Pets Each Year

PHOENIX, AZ -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 29, 2005 -- Setting its sights on an ultimate national goal of one million adoptions per year, PETsMART (NASDAQ: PETM) Charities' Pet Adoption Kiosk Program expands to two of the nation's markets most overpopulated by homeless pets -- Los Angeles and Dallas.

In its first year alone, the program's expansion will help find homes for a total of about 30,000 unwanted and abandoned pets that likely would otherwise be euthanized. Currently, more than 4 million homeless pets are euthanized each year in the U.S. because they don't have homes. In the Los Angeles and Dallas Fort Worth areas alone, an average of 460 homeless pets are euthanized each day, about 168,000 annually.

The pet adoption kiosk program is a collaborative effort between PETsMART Charities, PETsMART, local shelters and Pet-Ark, a pet-focused technology company. The expansion into Los Angeles and Dallas brings kiosks to about 60 participating local shelters and, as part of a six-month pilot, to 25 Dallas Fort Worth-area PETsMART stores. The pet adoption program also can be accessed online at www.pet-ark.com.

The pet adoption kiosks were first launched in New York area shelters during the summer of 2004, followed shortly after by the Phoenix market. Over the next two years the program will expand into shelters in Washington, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Florida, Illinois, Colorado, Washington, D.C., and potentially into all PETsMART stores.

"This teaming of kiosk technology with adoption efforts between independent shelters across the country is the first of its kind, and we're proud to be a part of it," said Susana Della Maddalena, vice president and executive director of PETsMART Charities. "We're seeing an average of one adoption per kiosk each day, which tells us it's realistic to expect the program will save one million lives each year when fully deployed."

The kiosks let potential adopters evaluate up to thousands of local adoptable pets using a touch screen that displays photos and descriptions. This gives the pets exponentially more exposure than they otherwise would have in a typical shelter environment.

Nationally, half of all prospective pet parents visiting a shelter leave without bringing home a new best friend because they can't find the perfect match at that particular shelter, and chances are they won't stop at another. The pet adoption kiosks help increase the odds of success by allowing potential adopters to select specific criteria and preferences and then search a centralized database to locate their ideal adoptable pet locally.

The pet adoption database also includes information about lost pets that are currently housed at network animal shelters. Pet parents who have lost a pet can visit any kiosk or log onto the Internet to find information about found pets being boarded at local participating shelters.

The kiosks, which cost about $5,000 each, are funded through a PETsMART Charities grant. PETsMART Charities' local, in-store and online fundraising initiatives help make the program's growth possible. "We're grateful to the PETsMART customers, associates and others who generously donate money to PETsMART Charities, which makes life-saving programs such as this possible," said Della Maddalena.

To learn more or to make a donation, visit www.petsmartcharities.org or call 1-800-423-PETS.

About PETsMART Charities

To improve the quality of life for all companion animals, PETsMART Charities (www.petsmartcharities.org) creates and supports programs that save the lives of homeless pets, raises awareness of companion animal welfare issues, and promotes healthy relationships between people and pets. Since 1994, PETsMART Charities, an independent 501(c)3 organization, has donated more than $38 million to animal welfare programs and, through its in-store adoption programs, has saved the lives of more than 2 million pets.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Jennifer Pflugfelder
    PETsMART media line:
    623-587-2177