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Mars commits over $100K to cover cat and dog adoption fees in 15 cities across the country for its biggest adoption event ever

Adoption Weekend kicks off the first episode of the new Unleashed season with Katie Couric with a special adoption story from participating shelter

In celebration of 15 years of finding deserving shelter pets furever homes, Mars will host its biggest-ever Annual Mars Pet Adoption Weekend, starting Friday, Sept. 29 through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Mars and its family of Petcare brands including ROYAL CANIN® and Camp Bow Wow®, will cover up to a maximum of $100,000 in cat and dog adoption fees at partner shelter locations in 15 cities to help drive adoptions and further its global ambition to end pet homelessness.

PEDIGREE Foundation, an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping dogs in need find forever homes, will also cover up to a maximum of $50,000 in dog adoption fees in select Adoption Weekend markets. Mars Pet Adoption Weekend kicks off with the first episode in the new season of Unleashed with Katie Couric, a new pet-focused video series featuring Katie Couric and friends.

Adoption Weekend comes as animal shelters across the country continue to struggle with overcrowding and resource constraints. Despite a growing awareness of the many benefits pets bring, from companionship to increased well-being, more than six million pets enter U.S. shelters each year.1 Even as interest in pet adoption has risen, the number of stray pets arriving at shelters has increased 26% since 2021.2

“The sad fact is more pets entered shelters than left them in the first half of 2023.2 That’s a heartbreaking trend we want to help change in the second half,” says Lisa Campbell, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Mars Petcare. “Our purpose at Mars Petcare is A Better World for Pets and that starts with working towards our ambition to end pet homelessness and giving as much support as we can to shelters that work tirelessly to care for pets in need. We’re thrilled that this year we can make our annual Adoption Weekend our biggest event yet, when the need for support is greater than ever.”

Katie Couric with recently adopted dog, Chief, visit shelter to raise awareness for 15th Annual Mars Pet Adoption Weekend.
(Photo: Katie Couric with recently adopted dog, Chief, visit shelter to raise awareness for 15th Annual Mars Pet Adoption Weekend.)

Unleashed with Katie Couric partners with Mars Petcare in Fight to End Pet Homelessness

Mars is proud to partner with Katie Couric for a special presentation of Unleashed, the digital series where Katie interviews celebrity friends about their cuddly companions and pet adoption experience. In the Mars Pet Adoption Weekend episode, Katie takes viewers behind the scenes for a heartwarming look at the adoption journey of Chief, an adorable three-legged dog.

“Pets have brought so much joy to my family over the years,” said Katie Couric. “As a lifelong pet lover, I am excited to support Mars Pet Adoption Weekend and help get these loving animals out of overcrowded shelters and into the forever homes they deserve.”

2023 Mars Pet Adoption Weekend Participating Shelters

For 15 years, Mars and its family of pet care and veterinary health brands including PEDIGREE®, IAMS™, ROYAL CANIN®, Camp Bow Wow®, Banfield Pet Hospital® and VCA Animals Hospitals, along with its snacking and food brands, have come together for Mars Pet Adoption Weekend to support animal shelters and raise awareness for pet adoption. Shelters participating in this year’s Adoption Weekend represent the many communities across the country where Mars Associates live and work, cities certified by the BETTER CITIES FOR PETSTM program and cities home to important Mars brand initiatives.

Seventeen shelters are participating in the 15th Annual Mars Pet Adoption Weekend, located in 15 cities:

  • Bentonville, AR
    • Best Friends Pet Resource Center in NW Arkansas
  • Chicago
    • PAWS Chicago
  • Denver
    • MaxFund Animal Adoption Center
  • Honolulu
    • Hawaiian Humane
  • Kansas City, MO
    • KC Pet Project
  • Las Vegas
    • The Animal Foundation
  • Los Angeles
    • Los Angeles Animal Services
  • McLean, VA
    • Wolf Trap Animal Rescue
  • Nashville, TN
    • Metro Animal Care and Control
    • Nashville Humane Association
    • Williamson County Animal Center
  • Newark, NJ
    • St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center
  • Phoenix
    • Arizona Humane Society
  • St. Louis
    • City of St. Charles Animal Shelter
  • Tampa, FL
    • Humane Society of Tampa Bay
  • Vancouver, WA
    • Humane Society for Southwest Washington
  • Washington, DC
    • Humane Rescue Alliance

Helping Pet Parents Get Started on the Right Paw

To help pets and pet parents start off on the right paw, each adopted pet will go home with a robust welcome kit including a variety of Mars Petcare and Royal Canin food and treats to try, veterinary and accessory coupons and toys to play with together to help build a strong bond.

The welcome kits will include products such as:

  • PEDIGREE® dog food
  • IAMS™ cat food
  • ROYAL CANIN® kitten and puppy food
  • DENTASTIX™ CHEWY CHUNX™ dog treats
  • TEMPTATIONS™ cat treats
  • A complimentary health exam and limited 14-day health care coverage from VCA Animal Hospitals with proof of adoption paperwork3
  • A free first office visit coupon from Banfield Pet Hospital®
  • A free day of day care from Camp Bow Wow® after successful completion of dog’s interview day
  • Coupons and swag from Camp Bow Wow®, VCA Animal Hospitals, WISDOM PANEL™ DNA Test, WHISTLE™ and the BETTER CITIES FOR PETS™ program

Supporters and aspiring pet parents can learn more about the 15th Annual Mars Pet Adoption Weekend or find the nearest participating shelter at

While Mars Petcare encourages communities to participate in the 15th Annual Mars Pet Adoption Weekend, supporting pets is a year-round need. Please consider volunteering, adopting, or fostering at a shelter near you.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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