Each year, the Petco Foundation gala recognizes one or more people who share the foundation's mission to improve the quality of life for animals and the people who love them. This year, DeGeneres will receive the Foundation's inaugural HOPE Award, which celebrates the spirit of hope through a life dedicated to promoting the human-animal bond. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Halo Pet Foundation.
"We are fortunate to have a great many active supporters, and it's always an honor for us to celebrate the great work being done by our friends and partners to help animals in need," said Paul Jolly, executive director of the Petco Foundation. "We've been big fans of Ellen and her dedication to animal welfare, both in her personal life and through her work with Halo, for many years. We're thrilled to recognize her at this year's gala, and to provide financial support to the Halo Pet Foundation."
Gala attendees will learn how DeGeneres has been an advocate for animals throughout her life, how the Halo Pet Foundation helps pets in need and promotes responsible pet ownership, and how the Petco Foundation works to support more than 7,000 other local animal welfare groups across the country. The gala will be held at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 30, at the San Diego, California, USA, Marriott Marquis & Marina. It will feature a black tie-optional cocktail reception, dinner, dancing, entertainment, opportunity drawing and silent auction.
"I wish we lived in a world where caring for animals wasn't so rare that it deserved an award," DeGeneres said. "All I do is treat animals with the respect and dignity they deserve. I hope someday soon, everyone does the same. Petco and the Petco Foundation have made great efforts to protect animals and I commend them for going above and beyond the call of duty."