PetSmart Charities® and the American Red Cross announced a partnership years in the making that will support pets as essential family members during times of disaster.
PetSmart Charities is supporting Red Cross Disaster Relief through the Annual Disaster Giving Program (ADGP) with a three-year pledge of more than $2 million. The innovative collaboration will ensure the Red Cross is prepared to meet the needs of people and their pets affected by disasters big and small across the U.S. This partnership is the first of its kind between two foundational nonprofits — the leading funder of animal welfare and the largest disaster relief organization in the country.
ADGP members pledge financial and in-kind donations in advance of disasters, powering the Red Cross with strong infrastructure, trained volunteers, innovative technology and critical resources necessary to provide relief and support. PetSmart Charities’ investment in the Red Cross helps ensure that pets are included in disaster planning, response and recovery in order to keep pets and people together during times of crises.
The collaboration provides the opportunity for the Red Cross to partner with an expert funder in the pet care and animal welfare space, allowing for the development of programs and initiatives that are inclusive of all family members —including pets — during disasters. This partnership will integrate pet tracking into RC Cares, the Red Cross client management system, allowing their staff and volunteers to provide services to all family members virtually or with “boots on the ground” in disaster situations, and create pet-centric training and sheltering models with the Red Cross for its disaster response staff and volunteers.
The Red Cross responds to more than 60,000 disasters across the country every year, giving comfort and hope to people during what can be the worst days of their lives. Large disasters such as hurricanes, floods and wildfires are increasing in frequency and intensity, resulting in more displaced, vulnerable people who need support. In what has become a chronic disaster environment, PetSmart Charities recognizes the importance of including pets as family members in relief efforts.
“Nearly 90% of pet owners say their pets are members of the family, and this becomes especially clear during times of crises,” said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. “We are thrilled to announce our innovative partnership with the American Red Cross. We know this critical funding will help ensure the organization is prepared to meet the growing needs of both people and pets affected by disasters. Pets play an important role in the emotional wellness of the people they love, and we want to ensure there are resources in place to provide for their stability, too.”
“We’re honored to count PetSmart Charities as a valued member of our Annual Disaster Giving Program,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO at the American Red Cross. “ADGP members are truly unique because their generous contributions to the Red Cross in advance of disasters allow us to prepare communities nationwide for emergencies and to respond immediately with food, shelter and care after a disaster strikes to help people in need.”
As a humanitarian organization, the Red Cross upholds its mission to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters. Pets play an important emotional role in the lives of their owners, and planning for their safety and care before, during and after disasters is integral to the partnership between PetSmart Charities and the Red Cross.