Innovative “Pet Food Pantry” Program Allows Families to Keep Their Pets During Hard Financial Times
VCA Charities and Hill’s Pet Nutrition Serve 1.5 Million Meals to Cats and Dogs in Need
New York City, New York (Dec. 14, 2016) – VCA Charities and Hill’s Pet Nutrition are marking the 1.5 millionth meal served to pets in need through the VCA Pet Food Pantry Program. The celebration on Wednesday, Dec. 14, at the historical All Souls Church in New York, NY, will recognize the major milestone in their six-year partnership.
Hill’s supports the VCA Pet Food Pantry program, which was initiated by VCA Charities in 2010 to provide pet food to pet parents stricken by the economic downturn. The program was designed to help families continue to care for, and draw emotional support from, the animals they love as they struggle through financial hardship and hunger.
In its first six years, the VCA Pet Food Pantry program has expanded to more than 30 locations throughout the United States and Canada, providing free pet food to clients of existing food pantries.
“We started the Pet Food Pantry program to provide healthy, nutritious pet food to families who could not otherwise afford it in the local communities we serve,” said Art Antin, Chief Operating Officer for VCA Animal Hospitals. “By providing these 1.5 million free meals, we have helped many families in need hold on to the loving and comforting bond their pets provide.”
Hill’s Pet Nutrition, the maker of the Hill’s Science Diet®, Hill’s Prescription Diet® and Hill’s Ideal Balance™ brands, donates premium pet food to VCA’s Pet Food Pantries across the U.S, and has made a commitment to expand the current partnership by supporting additional pet food pantries with pet food donations over the next few years.
“Our mission at Hill’s is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets,” said Kostas Kontopanos, President of Hill’s Pet Nutrition, North America. “We want to help transform lives, and this partnership with VCA Charities enables us to do that by keeping pets with their families during a time of need, when unconditional love is needed most.”
In furthering its mission, Hill’s has a long-standing history of helping pets in need through its Food, Shelter & Love® program, which has donated more than $280 million worth of Hill’s Science Diet® brand foods to more than 1,000 shelters in the U.S. since 2002. Hill’s also comes to the aid of communities impacted by disaster. In the past four years, the Hill’s Disaster Relief Network has helped feed cats and dogs displaced by disaster by delivering free pet food to 167 shelters and veterinary clinics across the country in response to 61 major incidents.
VCA Charities continues to support programs, organizations, and causes that promote pet healthcare education, proactive veterinary care, proper pet nutrition, and prevention of cruelty to animals. In furthering its mission, VCA Charities partners with the American Red Cross in their Disaster Relief Network, and provides free exams, boarding, and vaccinations for pets displaced or injured during a disaster or emergency.
The Dec. 14 event will include a staging of the 1.5 millionth meal served to a dog from a local New York City shelter. In addition, the event will feature a range of speakers, including senior leadership from VCA Charities and Hill’s Pet Nutrition; a representative from the Food Bank for New York City’s Harlem location; and Jeff Perryman, a Special Agent and Response Team Canine Handler with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and his canine, Ike. Media interview and photo opportunities will be available.
About VCA Charities
VCA Charities is a 501(c)(3) with a mission to end medically unnecessary euthanasia. Established in 2005 by the founders of VCA Animal Hospitals, VCA Charities has helped feed thousands of pets, provided free medical treatment, and donated time and money to pet charities globally. Please visit the VCA Charities website and blog to find out the most up-to-date information about VCA Charities and its programs at www.VCAcharities.org.
About Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Founded more than 75 years ago with an unwavering commitment to pet nutrition, Hills' mission is to help enrich and lengthen the special relationships between people and their pets. The right nutrition combined with the devotion of veterinary professionals can transform the lives of pets; and healthier and happier pets can transform the lives of pet parents. Hill's is dedicated to pioneering research and groundbreaking nutrition for dogs and cats based on a scientific understanding of their specific needs. HILL'S® Prescription Diet® therapeutic pet foods, HILL'S® Science Diet® and HILL'S® Ideal Balance™ wellness pet foods are sold through veterinarians and pet specialty retailers worldwide. For more information about Hill's, our products and our nutritional philosophy, visit us at HillsPet.com, HillsVet.com or Facebook, keywords "Hill’s Pet Nutrition."
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