Banfield Charitable Trust and Royal Canin Launch Holiday Pet Food Drive

December 02, 2013 • Portland, OR

PORTLAND, Ore., Dec. 2, 2013 -- Banfield Charitable Trust®, Banfield Pet Hospital® and Royal Canin® invite pet owners and advocates across the country to take the Pledge to End Pet Hunger in support of the 8th annual holiday pet food drive. The program—launched on November 29 and running through December 31—raises awareness about pet hunger, collects pet food and raises funds to benefit senior citizen pet owners needing support in the care of their companions.

The Special Bond Between Seniors And Their Pets

The bond between Florida senior, Alice, and her dog, Lucky, is a source of comfort and joy. When Alice's husband died, both she and Lucky were at a loss. "Lucky was at my husband's side constantly," Alice said. "Now that my husband has passed, Lucky is my best friend and companion."

Donated pet food helps seniors like Alice ensure they aren't forced to do the unthinkable—surrender their furry family member. Special bonds like Alice and Lucky's are in constant jeopardy of leaving seniors alone and at risk of depression and forcing loved pets into overcrowded shelters.

"Pets play an invaluable role in the lives of people who face difficult life circumstances," said Dianne McGill, executive director and CEO of Banfield Charitable Trust. "It is our hope that people will gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing senior citizen pet owners and how lack of food is contributing to the overcrowding of shelters in every community. Spreading the message and making a donation will enrich and save lives."

3 Ways To Help Keep Pets In Their Loving Homes

Coast to coast, supporters are encouraged to get involved with the annual holiday pet food drive. Here's how you can make a difference:
 
  • Take The Pledge To End Pet Hunger: Royal Canin will donate one pound of pet food for every pledge made on facebook.com/RoyalCanin.us.
  • Make A Monetary Donation: Make a monetary donation at www.banfieldcharitabletrust.org or at Banfield Pet Hospitals to fund grants for local Meals on Wheels pet food programs. For a donation of $10 or more, KONG® will donate a toy to the pet of a Meals On Wheels client.
  • Donate bags and cans of dog and cat food at one of Banfield Pet Hospital's 830+ locations across the U.S. To find the closest Banfield, use the hospital locator at www.Banfield.com.

"We are committed to promoting the well-being of cats and dogs, while also helping their owners through this pet food drive," said Dr. Brent Mayabb, Corporate Affairs Director for Royal Canin USA. "Royal Canin is proud to partner with Banfield Charitable Trust and our fan communities to raise awareness of this cause, and in the end, make a significant donation to the Meals on Wheels program."

Royal Canin has committed to making a 30,000 pound pet food donation, and with the help of people who take the pledge, they will donate an additional 20,000 pounds. All pet food donations and 100 percent of all monetary donations will benefit Meals On Wheels pet food distribution programs across the U.S. This year, KONG is joining the effort by donating KONG Classic toys, which are ideal for keeping indoor dogs mentally and physically stimulated.

"Nutrition is the foundation of good health for both pets and people and we are our proud to support this important pet food drive," said Jeffrey Klausner, DVM, MS, DACVIM, senior vice president and chief medical officer for Banfield Pet Hospital. "As a practice, our focus is making a better world for pets through preventive care and we are committed to ensuring the pets of homebound seniors receive proper nutrition to live long and healthy lives."

In 2013, Banfield Charitable Trust helped more than 20,000 senior pet families feed their pets—double from the families served in 2012. It is the only national pet food program in the country devoted to helping senior citizen pet owners, and the need for assistance continues to rise.

The program runs from November 29 through December 31. Visit www.banfieldcharitabletrust.org or facebook.com/RoyalCanin.us to learn more and take the Pledge to End Pet Hunger.

About the Banfield Charitable Trust
Banfield Charitable Trust is the largest nonprofit solely devoted to preventing the separation of pets from their people. Banfield Charitable Trust programs provide financial assistance for veterinary care and pet care programs such as pet food grants, temporary foster care, and behavioral training assistance to struggling pet owners. Learn more at banfieldcharitabletrust.org.

About Banfield Pet Hospital®
Founded in Portland, Ore., in 1955, Banfield is the largest general veterinary practice in the world. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc. family of businesses, and today it is more than 830 hospitals strong in neighborhoods across the United States. More than 2,600 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving pets the highest quality of veterinary care. Banfield hospitals offer a full range of comprehensive medical services, computerized medical records, preventive care plans for pets and extended operating hours. Banfield Pet Hospital helps extend the lives of millions of pets each year through Optimum Wellness Plans®. For journalists seeking more information, visit banfield.com or contact the Media Hotline at 888-355-0595.

About Royal Canin USA
Royal Canin USA is a leader in science-based cat and dog health nutrition. Founded by a veterinarian in 1968, Royal Canin has more than 40 years of experience in delivering individualized nutritional solutions. In collaboration with an expert team of nutritionists, breeders, and veterinarians from around the world, Royal Canin places cats and dogs at the central point of the innovation process. The Royal Canin product line offers a range of diets based on size, age, breed, life style and therapeutic requirements. Royal Canin diets are available at veterinary hospitals and pet specialty stores nationwide. Royal Canin is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. To learn more about Royal Canin visit www.royalcanin.us and "LIKE" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/royalcanin.us.

About KONG Company
KONG Company is the premier global provider of interactive toys and other products for dogs and cats. The company's namesake Classic KONG is widely regarded as the "World's Best Dog Toy" and is recommended by vets, trainers and behaviorists more than any other toy. With a persistent commitment to innovation, the company continues to regularly introduce unique, high-quality dog and cat products. KONG also makes it a top priority to give back to the pet community. KONG was founded in 1976 and is based in Golden, Colorado. For more information, visit KONGcompany.com or facebook.com/KONGCompany.