PetSmart Wins a Gold Halo Award for their Pet Adoption Campaign

PetSmart Won the 2023 Gold Halo Award for Best Consumer Donation Initiative

PetSmart and its independently-run PetSmart Charities have won a Gold Halo Award for ‘Best Consumer Donation Initiative.’ The Gold Halo for PetSmart’s 10 Millionth Adoption Supported by Pet Parents campaign was announced at the 21st annual Engage For Good Conference on May 17, 2023. The conference was held at the Westin Peachtree Plaza in Atlanta, GA.

At the conference, the Halo Award Luncheon was emceed by Carley Stephens, who is the Manager of Community Affairs at Gas South.

The Halo Awards

The Halo Awards, organized by Engage For Good, honor corporate social impact initiatives. The awards “celebrate programs that blend brand purpose and social impact to build a better world and the bottom line.” Engage for Good is a professional development organization which serves members “working at the intersection of cause and commerce.”

The Halo Awards are presented at the annual Engage For Good conference. This year, 140 entries competed for Halo Awards in nine categories. In addition to winning a Gold Halo for the Consumer Donation category, PetSmart was also a finalist in the Consumer-Activated Corporate Donation category for the Chance & Friends Holiday Philanthropic Collection.

The Halo Award for Consumer Donation Initiatives

PetSmart’s award-winning PIN Pad campaign in the Consumer Donation category beat the Silver Halo Award winners, JOANN in partnership with Susan G. Komen, and the remaining finalists: Macy’s in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of America as well as Wendy’s in partnership with The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

PetSmart Charities

A nonprofit started by the eponymous brand, PetSmart Charities is “the leading funder of animal welfare in communities across North America.” Since 1994, PetSmart Charities has “granted over $500 million to change-making organizations that help transform the lives of pets and those who love them,” according to the charity’s website. Seventy percent of donations come directly from customers (aka “pet parents”) shopping at PetSmart.

In addition to soliciting donations at the checkout counter, PetSmart and PetSmart Charities partner with animal welfare organizations to host adoption events in PetSmart stores. In 2022, PetSmart Charities announced that they had facilitated 10 million adoptions since the charity’s 1994 inception.

On average, PetSmart Charities helps half a million pets to get placed in ‘forever homes’ every year.

According to a 2023 report by Shelter Animals Count, total intake of unwanted pets rose 3.1% in the first quarter, compared to the same period the prior year. The population of shelter animals has not shrunk on a net basis since 2019, and forecasts suggest that shelter animal intake will continue to grow in 2023.

The Gold Halo Award-Winning ’10 Millionth Adoption Supported by Pet Parents’ Campaign

Donations from “pet parents” are collected at PetSmart checkout counters via a PIN pad. The average gift is $1.50, according to PetSmart Charities. The contributions are used, in part, to fund adoption events in-store (where pet owners can subsequently shop for their new pets).

Balto, the 10 millionth adopted pet, at home with the De La Rosa family.

The De La Rosa family, who adopted the 10 millionth pet, was profiled by PetSmart on their website and on social media. The feel-good story also led to high profile earned media hits including a feature story in People magazine and a segment on The Kelly Clarkson show. “The show airs nationally to consumers who over-index for pet ownership, making it an ideal choice to share the big news and highlight the PIN Pad program,” according to Engage For Good.

PetSmart also promoted the 10 millionth adoption milestone by reaching out to pet influencers, giving them bark-cuterie or meow-cuterie boxes filled with party hats and confetti.

PetSmart boosted the TikTok hashtag #10MillionAdoptions which has grown to over 19 billion views.

Results of the Pet Adoption Campaign

The ’10 Millionth Adoption Supported by Pet Parents’ campaign sought to further increase pet adoptions and drive at least a 10% increase in website traffic to PetSmart Charities.

To that end, the Halo Award-winning campaign raised $41.8 million in contributions for PetSmart Charities, which led to:

  • more than 300,000 pet adoptions, a 10% increase
  • more than 14 million pounds of donated food
  • $15 million directed to creating more accessible and affordable vetrinary care
  • a 16% increase in traffic to the PetSmart Charities website
  • a TikTok #10millionadoptions hashtag challenge which had a unique reach of 80.4 million people and 2.4 billion video views

Plus, the campaign yielded hundreds of thousands of pet owners grateful for adopting their new ‘best friend’ in-store at PetSmart, which sells pet food and supplies.

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Stephanie Siu
Stephanie Siu
Stephanie Siu is a journalist, author, and ghost writer for business executives. Siu's work has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur, Inc. Magazine, and Yahoo Finance. Prior to becoming a writer, Siu was a research analyst specializing in corporate governance and social entrepreneurship.

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