The 19th Annual Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign is kicking off by providing an unprecedented number of holiday meals to orphan pets from coast to coast. Home 4 the Holidays is an annual, international, three‐month pet‐adoption drive dedicated to finding happy, loving homes for orphan pets.

Blue Buffalo, title sponsor of the world’s largest adoption initiative, will supply nearly 100,000 pounds of dog and cat food to shelters across the country. Naturally Fresh is also backing the cause delivering 18 pallets of cat litter to be distributed to assist the San Diego region. The adoption campaign runs through January 2nd, 2019.

The campaign began 19 years ago when Helen Woodward Animal Center president and CEO Mike Arms noticed that a majority of rescue facilities were closing their doors during the holiday season – a primary time of year for family pet additions. With shelter doors closed, would-be adopters were resorting to shopping at pet stores or puppy mills for holiday pet purchases. Arms was aware that the staff at these businesses were rarely trained to assess the likelihood of a successful animal/family match, increasing the number of pets sent to shelters once the season was over.

The Home 4 the Holidays campaign encourages pet lovers to find their four-legged family members at a shelter rather than a pet store or backyard-breeder and since its inception has helped place more than 14 million pets from over 4,000 participating global rescue partners into forever homes.

Blue Buffalo has supported Helen Woodward Animal Center’s holiday campaign since 2013. Last year, the campaign resulted in more than 1 million orphan dogs and cats united with loving families.

“Blue Buffalo believes pets truly become family members and we are proud to support pet adoption programs through the year,” said Blue Buffalo Marketing Director Danielle Donegan. “The Home 4 the Holidays campaign is especially important to the animal shelter and rescue communities nationwide because it helps millions of orphan pets find forever homes.”

Many animal welfare organizations often struggle with limited funding and many hungry mouths to feed, while juggling budgets with supply costs and medical expenses. The Monday Coast-to-Coast Blue Buffalo Food Drop takes a big bite out of that burden, enabling shelters can focus on matching pets with loving families.

Blue Buffalo is delivering two semi truckloads of foods each, to Helen Woodward Animal Center and the Center’s newest rescue partner, Animal Haven Shelter in New York City. The much-needed holiday meals will be distributed to approximately 60 pet rescues through those locations.

“We are so grateful to Blue Buffalo,” stated Helen Woodward Animal Center VP of Development Renee Resko. “They genuinely share our love of pets and share our commitment to trying to find ways to spread the message of adoption and help rescue organizations. We work with partner rescue organizations year-round and we see how dedicated they are to the animals. It means a lot that we’re able to help facilitate this donation.”

This year, the program aims to do even more to support participating rescue organizations. For the first time ever, Helen Woodward Animal Center is offering the choice of a rescue van or $25,000 to the group that submits the most innovative way their shelter promoted adoptions over the holidays.

There are many ways to get involved in the Blue Buffalo Home 4 the Holidays campaign including adopting and encouraging friends to adopt and then showing the world your newly adopted best friend by posting a photo at https://animalcenter.org/home-4-the-holidays/, or sharing on Twitter or Instagram with #IChoseToRescue and tagging @hwac and @bluebuffalo.