Humane Society International and Mars, Incorporated Support Dogs and Cats Impacted by COVID-19
Mars, Incorporated donated $1 million to the Humane Society International (HSI) for its global companion animal programs.
The donation is a part of Mars' initial $20 million cash and in-kind donations to aid communities across the globe during the COVID-19 crisis. HSI will use the funds in targeted countries to help keep companion animals in their homes, assist shelters taking in abandoned or surrendered animals and provide for street dogs and cats who are not able to be fed by their communities during this time.
Recognizing that each country is experiencing the effects of the pandemic on a different timeline and faces different animal welfare needs, the relief effort will be conducted in phases. Phase 1 will focus on the most urgent needs in Chile, China, Guyana, India, Mauritius, Morocco, South Africa and the Middle East region. HSI already has a presence and/or existing relationships with local organizations and governments in these locations.
The range of work will also include working with governments to ensure companion animals are incorporated into pandemic emergency plans and promoting accurate and useful information about appropriate animal welfare during the pandemic.
HSI estimates that Phase 1 will help more than 20,000 animals. Subsequent phases of the campaign will be determined as the crisis spreads to new areas or intensifies in current areas, and the needs shift.
An additional component of the campaign involves engaging Mars associates through volunteer opportunities to make a difference for dogs and cats affected by the pandemic. Opportunities include reaching out to local shelters to offer assistance, encouraging their networks to adopt and foster shelter animals, and virtual engagement and support of the Mars-HSI initiative to help animals in need during the COVID-19 crisis.
"It's vital that businesses like ours do our part to ensure the continued health and well-being of the people, pets and communities most affected by COVID-19, which is why Mars, Incorporated has committed $20 million in relief to vulnerable populations across the world," said Poul Weihrauch, president of Mars Global Petcare. "For those of us fortunate enough to have animals in our lives, the companionship, love and comfort they bring has probably never felt more important. That's why we are pleased to provide $1 million in support to HSI, an organization dedicated to providing critical support to the millions of vulnerable pets across the world."