The tiny three-pound ball of fur at a Philadelphia shelter was a Jack Russell Terrier puppy named Buster. Buster found himself at the shelter only a day after he’d been given as a gift to a child on Christmas morning. The family had surrendered Buster to the shelter because they said he was too active and they didn’t have time for him.

Opportunity to help

Buster’s story is all too common. Over 7 million cats and dogs enter animal shelters every year in the United States. Some shelters operate on tight municipal budgets; others are non-profit and volunteer organizations. That’s where Zoetis saw an opportunity to help—and founded Zoetis for Shelters in the United States.

The Zoetis for Shelters program provides exceptional discounts on many of the Zoetis products that shelters use most. The average shelter saves $4,592 a year. This money saved can instead go towards helping more pets find forever homes.

“The Zoetis for Shelters program is a blessing for all of us in the rescue field. Every dollar we can save will help us save another life,” said Sue Maher of Noah's Kingdom Humane Society in Albany, New York.

It takes a village

Zoetis for Shelters is also fast becoming a place for shelters to share and learn from each other. One member shelter, Wags and Walks of Los Angeles, California, has almost 40,000 Instagram followers. Wags and Walks shared some of their secrets for success on Zoetis for Shelters so other shelters could learn to make the most of social media. This type of community building is what makes shelters run.

Kimmy Kovacs, CEO of Wags and Walks, said, “We realized there are people all across the community who are dog lovers and want to help—amazing people, who for the most part are doing it as volunteers. It does take a village.”

"We've heard from a lot of our members that they're eager to learn and to connect with each other. The Zoetis for Shelters website demonstrates our growing collaboration with shelters." said Brenda Foster, Director Customer Marketing. “We're fully committed to helping shelters rescue, treat and adopt out more homeless animals.”

How to join

Zoetis for Shelters now is over 2,000 members strong and continues to grow. Requirements for membership are simple – the organization must:

  • Be a non-profit
  • Adopt out the animals they take in
  • Have a veterinarian of record to take responsibility for the medical care of their animals

Shelters or rescue organizations interested in the program should visit Zoetis for Shelters to fill out an application.

Finding forever homes

Zoetis for Shelters has made its mission to find solutions to shelters’ toughest health challenges. In 2015, member shelters helped 1.8 million pets find forever homes. These are the happy endings to the difficult stories of shelter animals.

Buster, the surrendered Christmas puppy, is one of those happy endings. Despite his tough start to life, he found a loving home through a rescue shelter and has been happily living there for thirteen years. Zoetis is proud to help shelters save money so shelters can find more forever homes for animals like Buster.