Mars Canada

Mars Canada

June 17, 2010 07:00 ET

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

Captivating Image to Help Raise Awareness of Shelter Dogs in Ontario Depicted in Art Mural at Place du Canada

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - June 17, 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 16, the PEDIGREE ADOPTION DRIVE™ campaign visited Montreal at Place du Canada 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 Gerdy's Rescue and Adoptions of Chomedy-Laval, who were on hand to speak about animal adoption and the shelter pet population in Quebec. 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 in Montreal 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, including Gerdy's Rescue and Adoptions. These shelters are all longstanding partners with the Campaign which will receive a $5,000 CDN donation in 2010 to cover operating costs.

"Gerdy's Rescue and Adoptions depends on the support of corporations and the public to help us give dogs the second chance they deserve," said Gertrude Cox-Gouron, president of Gerdy's Rescue and Adoptions. "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."

Quebecers 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.

At 24 per cent, Quebec has the lowest percentage of dog owners in the country. Almost half of Quebecers surveyed - 49 per cent - said they would consider getting a future pet from a shelter – the lowest response of all regions and lower than the national average of 60 per cent. By comparison, 26 per cent of Quebecers were most likely to acquire their dog from a pet store.

Finally, while almost one quarter of Quebecers would not visit a shelter when looking for a new pet, approximately 25 per cent support initiatives or organizations for shelter animals, higher than the national average of 18 per cent.

"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 Cox-Gouron.

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.

To view the photo associated with this press release, please visit the following link: http://www.marketwire.com/library/20100616-montreal%20ped800.jpg

®/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.

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