Cision PR Newswire

PetSmart Charities Unleashes First-Ever Annual Pet Hunger Awareness Day on Sept. 26

National nonprofit raising awareness of pet hunger with pet food distribution events and social media campaign encouraging pet parents to post video of their pet's happy "dinner dance"

PHOENIX, Sept. 18, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- When people experience food insecurity, their pets do too. PetSmart Charities, the leading funder of animal welfare in the country, is raising awareness of the pervasiveness of pet hunger by announcing the first-ever Pet Hunger Awareness Day™ on Tuesday, Sept. 26. Pet Hunger Awareness Day will be recognized annually on the last Tuesday of September moving forward.

According to PetSmart Charities research, 30 million pets in the U.S. face hunger every year. The organization is launching Pet Hunger Awareness Day to address the disastrous consequences families in need face. This includes making the impossible choice to surrender beloved pets to already overcrowded shelters. Many pet parents in need are also compelled to give food meant for themselves to their pets instead. In fact, a new survey1 commissioned by PetSmart Charities reveals that 66% of pet parents would share some of their own food if they were struggling to feed their pet and 83% would forgo their own meals to make sure their pet has enough to eat.

"We know that circumstances change, but that shouldn't mean that it is difficult to feed our pets. They're important family members and we believe everyone deserves the love of a pet," said Aimee Gilbreath, president of PetSmart Charities. "We're passionate about keeping pets together with their families because it's better for the health of pets and their pet parents. Lending a hand to families in their time of need helps ensure pets stay in homes where they're loved and out of shelters. We're excited to announce this special awareness day to draw attention to this issue and invite others to contribute to solutions."

Pet parents and pet lovers are encouraged to participate in a new social media campaign called the "Dinner Dance Challenge." For every photo or video posted on Instagram of your pet doing their dinner dance with the hashtag #dinnerdanceforpets between Sept. 18-26, 2023, one of our generous partners will donate $2, up to a maximum of $10,000*, to PetSmart Charities. Plus, that same partner will also match individual donations made to up to $40,000 during the month of September.**

Feeding Hope and Ending Pet Hunger

PetSmart Charities is leading the way to help ensure pets don't go hungry by partnering with social service organizations to provide pet food to be distributed along with human food. Last year, the organization committed $9.5 million in grant support to Feeding America® and Meals on Wheels America for this purpose.

This year on Pet Hunger Awareness Day, PetSmart Charities is partnering with Feeding America to distribute pet food alongside human food to families in need. Feeding America affiliates and volunteers at Feeding Tampa Bay in Tampa Bay, Florida; St. Mary's Food Bank in Phoenix, Arizona; Food Bank of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado; and San Antonio Food Bank in San Antonio, Texas, will participate in these special pet food distribution events.

"When families are food insecure, so are their pets," said Diane Letson, vice president of food industry partnerships at Feeding America. "Pet Hunger Awareness Day shines a light on this critical issue as our thriving partnership continues to make an impact across the nation. We are grateful for partners like PetSmart Charities who share in our mission and whose contributions make a meaningful difference for neighbors facing hunger. The compassionate distribution of pet food right alongside human food at our local partner food banks ensures families and their pets are not only nourished, but they also stay together."

For more information on how PetSmart Charities is raising awareness on pet hunger and how to take part in Pet Hunger Awareness Day, visit

*For every photo or video posted on Instagram of your dog doing the dinner dance with the hashtag #dinnerdanceforpets between 9/18/23-9/26/26, one of our generous partners will donate $2, up to a maximum of $10,000, to PetSmart Charities.

**Valid 9/1/23-9/30/23. All donations must be made online at to be eligible for matching. One of our generous partners will match donations up to $40,000. Donations made on are not eligible for Treats points. Funds will be used to support PetSmart Charities mission.

About PetSmart Charities
PetSmart Charities is committed to making the world a better place for pets and all who love them. Through its in-store adoption program in all PetSmart® stores across the U.S. and Puerto Rico, PetSmart Charities helps up to 400,000 pets connect with loving families each year. PetSmart Charities also provides grant funding to support organizations that advocate and care for the well-being of all pets and their families. PetSmart Charities grants and efforts connect pets with loving homes through adoption, improve access to affordable veterinary care and support families in times of crises with access to food, shelter and disaster response. Each year, millions of generous supporters help pets in need by donating to PetSmart Charities directly at, while shopping at, and by using the PIN pads at checkout registers inside PetSmart® stores. In turn, PetSmart Charities efficiently uses more than 90 cents of every dollar donated to fulfill its role as the leading funder of animal welfare in North America, granting more than $500 million since its inception in 1994. Independent from PetSmart LLC, PetSmart Charities is a 501(c)(3) organization that has received the Four-Star Rating from Charity Navigator for the past 18 years in a row – placing it among the top one percent of rated charities. To learn more visit

Media Contacts:
Carmichael Lynch Relate for PetSmart Charities

1The PetSmart Charities survey was conducted by Wakefield Research among 1,000 nationally representative U.S. pet owners ages 18 and over, between Aug. 7-13, 2023, using an email invitation and an online survey. This data has been weighted to ensure accurate representation of U.S. pet owners ages 18 and over.

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SOURCE PetSmart Charities, Inc.

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