ROCKFORD — Winnebago County Animal Services has received a $40,000 grant from PetSmart Charities to help prepare more shelter pets in Winnebago County for adoption and ensure they are ready to find loving homes, the organization reported Wednesday, Dec. 22.
The grant will help fund spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and necessary supplies to prepare hundreds of cats and kittens for adoption at the PetSmart locations across Southern Wisconsin and Northern Illinois. Fund will further support Winnebago County Animal Services’ mission to help homeless pets find homes.
In 2019, Winnebago County Animal Services saw more than 1,200 cats and kittens go home through adoption, and over 35% of those adoptions took place at a PetSmart Adoption Center location. The adoptions were made possible through PetSmart Charities’ in-store adoption program.
Animals services officials say cats and kittens made available for adoption at PetSmart locations experience a shorter length of stay, ultimately allowing them to go home to loving families faster than if they had remained at the shelter. This grant will fund the cost of saving the lives of 375 cats and kittens by providing them with all the care and supplies necessary to get them ready for adoption at Winnebago County Animal Services’ partnering PetSmart locations.
“Our PetSmart adoptions program has grown from one location to six in the past couple years and together we’re helping literally hundreds of pets go home to new families every year,” Winnebago County Animal Services Administrator Brett Frazier said. “Thanks to the impact of this amazing gift from PetSmart Charities we’re able to continue to change the lives of cats and kittens who were lost or homeless here in Winnebago County.”
Since 1994, through its partnership with nearly 4,000 humane societies, SPCAs and pet rescues across North America, PetSmart Charities has helped more than 9.4 million pets to find loving homes via its in-store adoption program in over 1,650 PetSmart stores. The leading funder of animal welfare has also donated nearly $430 million to communities to improve veterinary care and connect people and pets.
“Winnebago Animal Services has saved the lives of countless cats and kittens and continues to be an invaluable resource for the local pet community,” said Heidi Fulcher, associate relationship manager at PetSmart Charities. “By providing complete health and wellness care, even more of these pets will get the opportunity to go to loving homes, especially for the holidays.”