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Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bring 'Em Home for the Holidays

This week is the kick off for Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH). IH4TH is a joint effort between Helen Woodward Animal Center and Iams with a goal to find homes for 1.5 million orphaned animals between now and January 3rd, 2012. This might sound impossible but for the past 12 years, this collaboration has resulted in over 5.7 million families adopting an animal from a shelter, rescue or adoption center.   Last year alone, 1,125,667 animals were adopted.  This is not small potatoes.  This is saving lives. 

The man behind the magic is Mike Arms, President of Helen Woodward Animal Center in San Diego, CA.  Mike founded the IH4TH in 1999 with 14 shelters in the San Diego area who together adopted 2,563 animals who all went home with Iams food.  Today, there are over 3700 organizations globally that are participating in this adoption drive to save lives.  The success of this program is credited to the thousands of volunteers and  workers who dedicate their time to find homes for millions of animals. 

This week I attended the employee kick off event at P&G Pet Care that included a wonderful video presented by Mr. Arms which was dedicated to the canine heroes of 9/11.  A fact I didn't know is that over half of the search and rescue dogs used during that tragedy were adopted from shelters.  In addition, the first annual Mike Arms/Iams  'Hero' Award was presented to the Austin Humane Society for their efforts in coordinating disaster relief for displaced animals during the recent Texas wildfires.  This award is given by "Iams to a person or animal organization that exemplifies the commitment and passion for the lives of orphaned animals similar to what Mike Arms has been doing for so many years."  Frances Jonon from the Austin Humane Society graciously accepted the plaque and the $5000 award for their organization. 

Mike Arms, Frances Jonon and Michel Brousset (Iams)

Another partner in this years effort is the Ryan Newman Foundation.  Nascar driver Ryan and his wife Krissie are avid supporters of spay/neuter and animal adoption.  They were supposed to attend the kick off event but Ryan was a bit busy with his driving schedule.  (I'm not a Nascar fan but it would have been cool to meet them!)   They did have a great video of them sharing their support of IH4TH with one of their many adopted dogs hanging out with them in the kitchen of their North Carolina home. 

You don't have to adopt an animal to participate in IH4TH as there are several other ways you can become involved.  You can volunteer at your local shelter, give a donation (food or money) to your local shelter,  "Like" Iams on Facebook to donate food, "Share" Iams Facebook with friends and family, and/or buy a bag of specially marked Iams who then donates food to a shelter.  Saving all these animals is a community effort.  The workers and volunteers at animal adoption organizations cannot do it alone.  They need our help to support and care for these animals and help find them loving homes.  Your efforts will be saving lives by reducing euthanasia of orphans.  What better holiday gift to yourself than knowing you made a difference in a creature's life!

Let the adoptions begin!!

For more information
Iams Facebook page--Get up to date information, adoption announcements, and holiday cards
Iams Home 4 The Holidays--Learn more about how you can help the effort
Helen Woodward Home 4 The Holidays
Adopt Your Next Pet!--Browse through and see all the orphans waiting for their forever home

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