I hope your holiday is magical and you go into the New Year filled with joy, contentment and peace. Let’s take these last couple days of the year to reflect and refill our tanks because who knows what 2018 has in store! While there’s many resolutions I hope to follow through with, one that will certainly be at the top of my list is recognizing and thanking those who give back to our pet community in incredible ways. The annual Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes Campaign, has became my personal favorite holiday gift that keeps on giving. Petco and the Petco Foundation host hundreds of events through the year benefiting shelter rescues of which I’ve had the privilege to attend throughout the years such as the annual Petco Foundation Gala, held here in San Diego. Of all the amazing Petco hosted campaigns, the Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes Campaign takes the cake serving what it means to grant big wishes for animal rescue groups in need. Only in its thirds year, this incredibly charitable campaign gives animal lovers and animal rescue advocates the opportunity to nominate deserving people in the community for 5k grants to further help their rescue efforts. Every year starting at the beginning of October, Petco launches Holiday Wishes in search for shelters throughout the country to donate animal welfare grants. Pet parents and animal lovers across the country submit stories about how adopting a pet changed their lives, and in doing so, gave deserving animal welfare organizations the opportunity to receive a grant from the Petco Foundation!
More than 3,000 stories were submitted this year, and now, the Petco Foundation is thrilled to announce 53 winning stories and the recipients of $750,000 in grants.
The animal welfare organizations referenced in the stories will receive grants ranging from $5,000 – $100,000 to celebrate their lifesaving work. Halo, Purely for Pets and partner Freekibble.com will also provide each of the top five winners with 10,000 bowls of Halo natural pet food for their shelter, and adopters will receive $500 worth of food for their own pets. This year here in San Diego, it was Kathryn Flores’ story about her dog Dinah a rescue from Southern California’s very own Baja Dog Rescue that was nominated for a wish and won granting the rescue group with a $5,000 check from the Petco Foundation in light of Flores’ inspiring story, Adopted Woman Opens Her Heart to Pit Bull Mix.
I got the opportunity to meet and speak with Flores as she shared her thoughts on wining the grant for the Baja Dog Rescue group on behalf of her written nomination for Holiday Wishes. “I could not think of rescue group that deserved the Holiday Wishes grant more. My dog Dinah is such a wonderful dog and I truly believe that’s largely because Baja Rescue rehabilitated and cared for her so greatly. The challenging work they do back and forth over the border making these rescues and nursing malnourished dogs back to health from dangerous regions is so incredibly selfless. I felt it was a MUST to nominate them” said Flores to BarkingBeast.com at the Holiday Wishes check presentation in Pacific Beach, CA.
Of course, it would not be a party with out yours truly and the Barking Beast in attendance- and Oh did he have a blast! Treats were eaten, photo’s were taken, and hands (and paws) were met and shaken between people from Petco Foundation and the Baja Dog Rescue volunteers. Like Flores, I too always hoped this would happen for the Baja Dog Rescue . I’ve always admired the deep level of commitment this group has dog rescue over the border. Founded in 2010 the Baja Dog Rescue has rescued almost 6,500 dogs from some horrific conditions, in Mexico and California. They are a non-profit, 100% no-kill shelter and operate on donations from the public and the time and money of our volunteers. I personally was ecstatic when I heard the news that Baja dog Rescue was getting this years Petco Foundation Holiday Wishes Grant. You see, in Mexico, hundreds of dogs roam the streets searching for food in shelter. Unlike here in the United States, dogs are mostly domesticated even when they are in the hands of a shelter or rescue. In Mexico, “A dog is a dog” and rescue shelters are nonexistent. It is for this reason rescues groups like Baja Dog Rescue are not ones to go unthanked. Thank you Petco for recognizing the incredible rescue efforts Baja Dog Rescue tackles everyday and for granting the amazing Holiday Wish!
It was wonderful meeting the Josh Pratter from Baja Dog Rescue and Petco Foundation Board member Peggy Hillier who presented Pratter with the check after sharing a few words.
Only in it’s 3rd year, Petco’s Holiday Wishes has grown to be a community favorite of animal welfare campaigns. Thank you Petco! Big congratulations to the Baja Dog Rescue for receiving the grant and a special thanks to Kathryn Flores on submitting Dinah’s story for Holiday Wishes! We encourage you to follow along to read the other winning stories on Petco Foundation Facebook,Twitter and Instagram and join the conversation by using the campaign hash tag, #PetcoFoundationHolidayWishes.