SOURCE: PetSmart Charities

PetSmart Charities

December 13, 2011 11:00 ET

Save Homeless Pets One Step at a Time at the 2012 People Saving Pets™ Walk

Annual Phoenix Event Has Raised $1 Million and Counting for Animal Welfare Efforts Since 2008

PHOENIX, AZ--(Marketwire - Dec 13, 2011) - Phoenix-area pet lovers, grab your walking shoes and leashes and join PetSmart Charities® to save homeless pets at the 2012 People Saving Pets™ Walk on February 19. This highly-anticipated, yearly fundraising event, formerly known as the PetSmart Charities PetWalk, has brought the community together to raise $1 million over the past three years to fund efforts aimed at ending pet homelessness and programs that save pets' lives.

The funds raised at the People Saving Pets Walk will support programs led by local animal welfare organizations and PetSmart Charities to tackle the significant problem of pet homelessness in the U.S., where it's estimated that nearly 8 million pets wind up in shelters each year. Half of those 8 million homeless pets -- or 11,000 pets a day -- are euthanized simply because they don't have a home. (Source: 2008 PetSmart Charities consumer research study)

"While the statistics may seem daunting, ending pet homelessness is 100 percent solvable through actions that everyone can take every day, such as adopting, spaying and neutering, and donating to organizations that are committed to the cause," said Susana Della Maddalena, executive director of PetSmart Charities, Inc. "Our home town of Phoenix has been so generous over the past three years to help us reach $1 million, and this year, our goal is to raise $150,000 more dollars for saving pets at the 2012 People Saving Pets Walk."

2012 People Saving Pets Walk Event Details
The People Saving Pets Walk, empowered by PetSmart Charities, will take place on Sunday, February 19 at Tempe Town Lake in Tempe, Ariz. Activities will begin at 9 a.m. and the 1K and 5K walks will begin at 10 a.m. With activities, entertainment and plenty of goodies for pets, this family-friendly event is a great way to get some exercise while raising money for an important cause, as well as an opportunity to adopt one of many healthy, local adoptable pets who need a forever home.

Phoenix-based Halo Animal Rescue has taken part in the PetWalk all three years and plans to join this year as well. "We're looking forward to the People Saving Pets Walk. The money raised allows us to keep our doors open and to continue finding forever, loving homes for Phoenix's homeless pets," says Heather Allen, president and CEO, Halo. "By registering for the People Saving Pets Walk, you are not only lending a hand to charities that provide a critical service to your community -- you're also pledging your support to end pet homelessness."

Register and Help Reach $150,000 Fundraising Goal
One hundred percent of the People Saving Pets Walk proceeds benefit PetSmart Charities and local animal-welfare agencies. To register or for more information, visit www.mypetwalk.org. There is a registration fee of $25 per person in advance and $30 the day of the event. Children ages 17 and under, and pets, are free.

In 2011, PetSmart Charities hosted walk events in Phoenix, Fort Worth, Texas, and Philadelphia. The walks have attracted 5,000 participants and helped more than 65 animal welfare organizations.

Learn more and follow along on the People Saving Pets Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/peoplesavingpets.

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 companion animal-welfare efforts in North America, PetSmart Charities has provided $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 www.petsmartcharities.org or call 1-800-423-PETS.

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