RANCHO SANTA FE — The 19th annual Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays kicked off in Rancho Santa Fe on Oct. 8 bringing more than 25 animal rescue groups on the West Coast to pick up Blue Buffalo pet food at Helen Woodward Animal Center. It was a scene of “giving” at the center, with rescue organizations picking up 1,500 pounds of pet food to bring back to feed homeless pets.
According to Public Relations and Communications Director Jessica Gercke, every year since 1999, the center’s Home 4 the Holidays campaign encourages shelters all over the world to inspire people to “adopt” instead of “shop” during the holiday season.
“Blue Buffalo did a really exciting thing with a major food drop of Blue Buffalo food,” she said. “They sent out two gigantic trucks, one out here to Helen Woodward Animal Center and one out to Animal Haven in New York City.” Gercke adding that they dropped off more than 100,000 pounds of dog and cat food.
From there, Helen Woodward and Animal Haven passed out the food to local shelters, which will be needing the food during the busy holiday season.
“The main reason that Home 4 the Holidays came into play was that we found that this is the No. 1 time of year that people bring new animals into the home — it used to be that shops and shelters would shut their doors because they didn’t want people make impulsive purchases,” Gercke said. “But what we find instead is that if you ask people to adopt, they’re actually going in, and they’re talking to people who work in the field of adoption.”
In turn, these staff members know how to help future pet parents select the right pet.
Gercke went on to say that because of this, fewer animals come back as opposed to people going to pet shops to buy a dog or cat that doesn’t fit into their lifestyle and end up relinquishing them.
Home 4 the Holidays has worked with more than 4,000 rescue groups around the world and helped place more than 14 million animals into forever homes since its inception.
“It is a beautiful, successful program that is celebrated globally,” she said. “And over the past number of years, Blue Buffalo has been our sponsor, and they have supported the program.” She said the pet food manufacturer has partnered with Helen Woodward since 2013.
A Home 4 the Holidays website is also available to those living anywhere in the world. Only a click away, people can find out what places are participating and go to those shelters and rescue organizations to adopt during the holiday season.
The Home 4 the Holidays campaign ends on Jan. 2, 2019.
“Blue Buffalo helps shelters as we head into the holiday season and this is just a nice way to kick off the holidays,” she said. “It’s also a nice way to unite everybody who gets in on this campaign to help find orphaned animals their forever homes.”
For more information about Home 4 the Holidays and participating rescue groups and shelters, visit www.home4theholidays.org.