Iams Home 4 the Holidays, now in its 13th year, runs from October 1, 2011 to January 3, 2012. Home 4 the Holidays has already helped 5.8 million pets find forever families across the globe. In the greater Seattle area, participating animal organizations include: Blue Sky Charities dba Whisker City, Seattle; Cats Run Rescue and Cattery, Seattle; and the Seattle Animal Shelter, Seattle.
According to Iams, there are as many as 8 million orphaned pets in the U.S. alone, so it is crucial to get the word out about the importance of pet adoption. New for this year, on Iams’ facebook page, you can customize adoption announcement cards to share with your friends and family. To help an animal in need, select a template, upload a picture and information about your pet, and then share it on facebook or via e-mail. For every card shared, Iams will donate a meal to participating animal organizations through its Bags 4 Bowls program.
This year, Iams’ goal is to donate a total of 5 million meals through the Iams Home 4 the Holidays Bags 4 Bowls program.
“Each year, as many as 4 million orphaned dogs and cats are euthanized due to shelter overcrowding. This is approximately one pet every eight seconds,” stated Mike Arms, founder of the adoption drive and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “Since partnering with Iams on the adoption drive 13 years ago, we have really seen the benefit of what this program can do for orphaned animals and the families who adopt them.”
Arms elaborated on how an organization can sign up to receive donations. “If an animal organization is interested in joining Iams Home 4 the Holidays, sign up is easy,” he explained. “Follow this link and register. Becoming a participating shelter offers a lot of support for getting the word out about adoptable animals in local shelters. For instance, the shelter ‘How to’ guide offers step-by-step instructions on marketing a shelter’s most valuable assets: adoptable animals, providing template press materials on hosting local events. Shelters also receive adoption kits for new pet parents that include great tips for caring for a new four-legged family member. Shelters also become eligible to participate in the Iams Home 4 the Holidays Bags 4 Bowls program, which will enable the organization to receive food donations from Iams.”
The inspiration behind Home 4 the Holidays came from recognizing the great need for assistance with pet adoptions. “I’ve spent over four decades as an animal welfare advocate,” Arms stated. “When I joined the staff at Helen Woodward Animal Center in 1999, I was all too familiar with the pet homelessness epidemic and I wanted to do whatever I could to help find orphaned animals loving forever homes. In an effort to encourage families to adopt from a shelter or a rescue organization, I created an adoption drive and quickly brought Iams on board to help bring greater awareness to the cause. Thirteen years later, the Iams Home 4 the Holidays program is still going incredibly strong,” Arms enthused.
This is the second year in a row that Iams has set the goal of getting 1.5 million pets adopted. “We’re hoping that with the help of your readers and other pet lovers in the country, we’ll be able to reach that target,” Arms stated. “Helping is so easy – and folks can lend a hand, even if they aren’t in the position to adopt. By visiting our facebook page, people can not only find adoptable pets near them, but they can also participate in fun and easy ways to donate food to animals in need.”
Since its inception, Home 4 the Holidays has grown by leaps and bounds. “I started Iams Home 4 the Holidays in 1999 with 14 animal organizations and we helped get 2,563 animals adopted,” Arms explained. “Now in our 13th year, Iams Home 4 the Holidays has more than 3,500 pet adoption centers and rescue organizations worldwide helping in the fight against pet homelessness. Together, our efforts have enabled more than 5.8 million families to experience the joy of pet adoption.”
To learn more about Home 4 the Holidays, visit their facebook page to find adoptable animals near you, helpful tips and information about pet adoption, fun and easy ways to donate to animals in need and much, much more. Together, we can help find homes for as many as 1.5 million pets this holiday season.