Petco Aids Victims in Southern California Fires

The San Diego-based company is donating pet food and supplies to evacuees.

Posted: October 24 2007 5 a.m. EDT

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As fires continue to burn in Southern California, fanned by the annual Santa Ana winds and unrelenting sun, hundreds of thousands of residents are evacuating to shelters or to the homes of friends and relatives, carrying only the bare essentials — and often their pets.

San Diego-based Petco is coming to victims’ aid with pet food, leashes, kennels, collars and other supplies, Don Cowan, a media spokesperson, said from the Del Mar fairgrounds where he was helping to unload the second Petco truck to supply the evacuees with pet items.

“There are a large number of pets there,” he said. “People are sleeping with their pets in their cars; they’re doing whatever they can to keep the family together.”

In addition to the two truckloads of supplies, which made stops at other animal and people shelters, including Qualcomm Stadium, Petco’s individual stores donated directly to pet groups, Cowan said.

“We basically told them to come in and pick up what you need,” Cowan said. Pet product suppliers didn’t hesitate to lend a hand, Cowan said. “Before we even started thinking about this effort, they were calling us. There’s just been a tremendous outpouring of support.”

Although Petco’s 20 stores in San Diego County remained open, the donations were taking a toll on its supplies, and the company is working to restock its shelves for customers, Cowan said.

Petco reported that it and its vendors have donated $200,000 to evacuation centers and animal welfare groups throughout San Diego County.

“This is not just going away in a couple of days,” he said. “This will be a longtime effort.”

Petco’s nonprofit foundation also set up a 10-day emergency fund-raiser to aid animals affected by the fires. The fund-raiser encourages customers to “round-up” to the next whole dollar amount on their purchase price with the additional money going to the recovery efforts.

"Since the fires started Sunday afternoon, our associates have worked together to coordinate a rapid, thoughtful response to the crisis," said Jim Myers, Petco’s CEO. "Many continue to work tirelessly around the clock.”

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Reader Comments

Laurie    ERie, PA

10/24/2007 5:09:04 PM

I thinks its pretty cool that Petco puts pets before profits....a lot of companies could learn from this! Thanks Petco!

Michele    Palm Springs, CA

10/24/2007 10:26:42 AM

Thank you, Petco. I shop for Christmas presents every year for dogs and care for 3 shelters, Petco is the only store that gives me a discount,and I do adoptions cat adoptions every other Saturday in Palm Desert Petco store, so I already a big supporter. and I am so glad they are helping the fire victims.

Angela    Arlington, VA

10/24/2007 10:04:34 AM

This is a wonderful example of not thinking before helping those that need it. This is why I will drive out of my way to support Petco in the future when I need supplies and will encourage others. Keep up the great work and the sharing. I hope it sparks something in others.

Cathy    Hubbard, OH

10/24/2007 6:03:04 AM

Yeah for Petco!!!! I have never shopped there, however, may change my mind. If they set up a fund, I would also donate to them.

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