With its most aggressive pet adoption goal to-date – finding homes for 1.5 million orphaned pets this holiday season – Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH) kicked off its 2009 program today. Between Oct. 1 and Jan. 4, 2010, IH4TH will work side-by-side with its campaign ambassador, two-time Academy Award®-winning actress Hilary Swank, along with founding partner Helen Woodward Animal Center and nearly 3,500 animal organizations from around the world to raise widespread awareness for homeless animals.
Iams Home 4 the Holidays ambassador Hilary Swank bottle feeds kitten Izzy during a visit to the Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe
Over the past decade IH4TH has helped 3 million animals find homes, with more than 1.2 million pets adopted into new families last year alone. Inspired by this success, the program has partnered with pet parent Swank to help shine a massive spotlight on the need for pet adoption. Joining Swank in the cause are her dogs Karoo and Rumi. Karoo, a Corgi-mix, was rescued a few years ago from the roadside in South Africa and just last October, Swank adopted Rumi, a golden retriever-blend, from a participating IH4TH animal shelter in Los Angeles.
“It’s so rewarding to look into an adopted animal’s eyes and see how thankful they are that you saved their life,” said Swank. “I am a true believer in pet adoption and have rescued many animals throughout my life. I hope everyone will join our mission this holiday season so more pets can experience the gift of love and family.”
With as many as 8 million homeless animals in the U.S. there is a significant need to educate people about the importance of pet adoption. IH4TH provides resources and tips to help new or soon-to-be pet parents make thoughtful and informed decisions about adoption. Every family who adopts a pet through the program will receive an Iams adoption kit and DVD loaded with important information about nutrition, training and proper care to ensure that the relationship with the new animal starts off on the right paw.
“We couldn’t be happier that IH4TH has grown to include nearly 3,500 participating animal organizations from around the world, all dedicated to helping promote pet adoption,” said Mike Arms, founder of IH4TH and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “There are millions of beautiful, amazing animals waiting for families to love them and we want to help them find their forever home. The more foot traffic we can get into these organizations through awareness and education, the better, so these orphaned animals will no longer be homeless.”
Iams works with all of the partnering organizations to ensure they have the tools needed to promote themselves and their pets. One of the primary tools Iams shares with participants is a detailed “how-to-guide” that includes template materials, guides for event planning, tips for working within their local communities, and more. Iams has also established a dedicated toll-free phone number for animal organizations to call seven days a week for help and guidance with adoption needs and questions.
“We’re so proud to be a part of IH4TH and the difference this program has made in the lives of millions of pets over the past 10 years,” said Dan Rajczak, senior vice president – Global Snacks and Pet Care. “IH4TH is close to our hearts, and we really feel like this year, along with the help of Hilary and all of our partner animal organizations, we’ll help more homeless animals than ever before.”
The 2009 program begins today Oct. 1, and continues through Jan. 4, 2010. To learn more about how to make a difference in the life of an orphaned pet, including finding participating shelters, volunteering and making a donation to support animal organizations and pets awaiting new homes, visit www.iamshome4theholidays.com.
About Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH)
As one of the most successful pet adoption programs in the world, IH4TH partners with thousands of animal organizations dedicated to finding forever homes for orphaned pets. Founded by Helen Woodward Animal Center and supported by Iams, IH4TH began in 1999 with just 14 participating animal shelters in San Diego County. Since it began 11 years ago, IH4TH – along with nearly 3,500 pet adoption centers – has helped more than 3,278,143 families experience the joy of pet adoption, including 1.2 million pet adoptions last year alone. For more information, please visit www.iamshome4theholidays.com or follow us at www.twitter.com/IH4TH.
About Helen Woodward Animal Center
Helen Woodward Animal Center is a private, non-profit organization where “people help animals and animals help people.” Founded in 1972 in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., the Center provides services for more than 57,000 people and thousands of animals annually. Helen Woodward Animal Center is also the creator of the international Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption drive and the Animal Center Education Services program, teaching the business of saving lives to animal welfare leaders from around the world.
About P&G Pet Care
For more than 60 years, P&G Pet Care (NYSE: PG), the maker of Iams and Eukanuba, has enhanced the well-being of dogs and cats by providing world-class quality foods and pet care products. To learn more about Eukanuba® and Iams® Dog & Cat Foods or general pet care and nutrition information, call the Iams Consumer Care Center at (800) 446-3075. You can also visit us on the Web at www.iams.com or www.eukanuba.com.
About Procter & Gamble
Three billion times a day, P&G brands touch the lives of people around the world. The company has one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands, including Pampers®, Tide®, Ariel®, Always®, Whisper®, Pantene®, Mach3®, Bounty®, Dawn®, Gain®, Pringles®, Folgers®, Charmin®, Downy®, Lenor®, Iams®, Crest®, Oral-B®, Actonel®, Duracell®, Olay®, Head & Shoulders®, Wella®, Gillette®, and Braun®. The P&G community consists of 138,000 employees working in over 80 countries worldwide. Please visit www.pg.com for the latest news and in-depth information about P&G and its brands.