The Petco Foundation, which is the charitable arm of pet specialty retailer Petco, has kicked off a nationwide pet food collection drive.
As part of the drive, the foundation is placing collection bins in Petco stores across the U.S. The collected food will be donated to pet owners through partnerships with local food banks or animal welfare groups.
“Today, more than ever, pets are part of the family, and we don’t believe anyone should have to go through the pain of giving them up because of financial distress,” Paul Jolly, the Petco Foundation’s executive director, said in a statement. “With Petco stores across the country visited every day by people who love and care for pets, we saw a huge opportunity to help prevent people from having to make such a heart-wrenching choice.”
Petco is collecting pet food and cat litter that is either brought from home or purchased at the store.
The drive is expected to take place in three phases. The first phase began the week of March 15 with more than 250 Petco stores in select markets, including San Diego, Chicago, Orlando and New York City. The second and third phases are slated to roll out through the spring.
The collection program is an extension of the foundation’s “We are Family, Too” fund, which provides seed funding for animal welfare programs to assist pet owners in financial crisis.