The Petco Foundation is giving back in a big way. In partnership with Petco the foundation will work with more than 45 hard-working animal welfare organizations. They will deliver up to $765,000 in grants awards from now to December 20th. The grants entail a $100,000 grand prize, as well as awards from $5,000 - $50,000.
All animal lovers are invited to vote for their favorite finalist stories as well as their favorites to win the "People's Choice Award." You can do so online at petcofoundation.org/holidaywishes.
Fans votes will determine additional "People's Choice Award" funding. Thousands of adopters from across the country have shared their heart-felt stories explaining how their adopted pets have changed their lives.
Check out a few of the finalist "Holiday Wishes" campaign submissions
Adopted Dog Helps Retiree Find New Purpose: Nominator Jim Case was restless after retiring from his job as a firefighter until he adopted Grace from the Animal Welfare League of Charlotte County in Florida. "Rescue work is in my blood… [I missed] serving the people in my community," said Jim. He knew that Grace was smart, well-behaved and could be perfect for search and rescue. Now Jim and Grace provide rescue services to local, state, and federal law enforcement. They are ready 24 hours a day, and they couldn't be happier or more fulfilled.
Adventure Cat Never Stops Exploring: Kim Randolph's story began with the adoption of Ruger, a "pistol of a kitten," whose confidence and curiosity was exhilarating for Kim and her 70-lb. German Shepherd, Zoey. Kim began creating new ways to keep Ruger entertained, which included harness training. Ruger caught-on quickly and soon joined Kim on hikes and even kayaking trips! With Ruger, Kim has a greater appreciation for stepping away from the stress of everyday life. Ruger's love of adventure inspired Kim to "explore just a little bit more."
Chihuahua's Health Struggle Uplifts a Doctor in Need of Inspiration: Julia Morley was a resident physician struggling to find inspiration when she visited Humane Animal Rescue in Pennsylvania to meet a lab mix. Instead, she fell in love with Lu-Seal, a 16-lb. Chihuahua who needed to lose half of her body weight. Julia made Lu-Seal's health her life's mission and chronicled the journey on social media. As ten-foot struggles turned into mile-long jaunts, Lu-Seal's followers grew and so did Julia's confidence. Now at her goal weight of 8 lbs., Lu-Seal inspires thousands of followers daily and helped Julia find the confidence and companionship she needed to overcome her hardest year of residency.
"We're thrilled to celebrate that love with the individuals and families who share their experiences with us as well as reward the animal welfare organizations who work so hard year-round to save lives," said Susanne Kogut, Executive Director of the Petco Foundation.
The stories have been inspiring and often humorous. All demonstrating the strong bond those owners create with their animals.
The top-five voted organizations will receive additional funding ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 which will contribute to their lifesaving work. Check back before Christmas for the Results of the "People's Choice Award.”
Animal lovers can join the conversation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram by using the hashtags #HolidayWishes and #PetcoFamily. To learn more about the Petco Foundation's lifesaving mission, visit petcofoundation.org.