PETCO launches pet food bank


San Diego-based PETCO announced Monday the launch of a pet food bank program to assist financially strapped pet owners struggling to feed their animals.

“Today more than ever pets are part of the family, and we don’t believe anyone should have to go through the pain of giving them up because of financial distress,” said PETCO Foundation Executive Director Paul Jolly in a statement.

“With PETCO stores across the country visited every day by people who love and care for pets, we saw a huge opportunity to help prevent people from having to make such a heart-wrenching choice.”

Under the program, PETCO customers will be asked to donate pet food that, in turn, will be given to human food banks and animal welfare groups for distribution among needy pet owners, according to the PETCO Foundation, the company’s charity arm.

The rollout of the collection bins will take place in three phases, beginning this week with more than 250 PETCO stores in select markets, including San Diego, Chicago, Orlando and New York City. The second and third phases of the rollout are scheduled for this spring.