ST. LOUIS, Feb. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Every animal shelter has that volunteer – the one who cleans the visiting rooms, goes door-to-door collecting blankets from the community, fosters cats and kittens, and spends countless hours simply petting the cats to keep them calm and happy. Today, Purina® Cat Chow® launched the Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest to thank and recognize these dedicated volunteers. The program will donate nearly $100,000 among the 50 participating shelters – one in every state – in recognition of their volunteers in cash donations, cat food and cat care supplies to lessen the stress for cats living in shelters while they await their forever home.
Purina Cat Chow asked 50 cat-focused shelters – one in every state – to nominate their top volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to create a gentle, less stressful environment for shelter cats.
From Feb. 23 to March 15, consumers nationwide can vote daily for their favorite volunteer story on www.catchow.com. Consumer votes and a judging panel will determine the top shelter volunteer and four runners-up volunteers.
Well-known actress and cat owner Kate Walsh teamed up with Purina Cat Chow to help honor the shelter volunteers who devote their time and talent to caring for shelter cats and encourage consumers nationwide to vote for their favorite volunteer story. Walsh is the proud cat owner of Billy and Pablo, two cat brothers she rescued 10 years ago.
"The second I saw my cats Billy and Pablo, I knew they belonged with me," Walsh said. "I'm grateful they had the care of dedicated volunteers before I adopted them. Shelter volunteers give selflessly to support the cats that need the most help. Their time and energy helps lessen the cats' stress as they await forever homes."
Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest Voting and Prizes
The shelter of the winning volunteer will win a $25,000 shelter makeover. The shelter makeover will help create a gentler, less chaotic environment for the cats awaiting their forever home. Renovations and upgrades may include building a free-roam, soundproofed cat room, installing cat cubbies for personal space or painting the walls soothing colors.
Purina Cat Chow team members will volunteer at the winning shelter for one day to assist with the makeover.
In addition to the shelter makeover, four runners-up volunteers will each win a $5,000 donation for their shelter. Purina Cat Chow will also support each of the 50 participating shelters – one in every state – via cash and cat food donations. Every participating shelter will receive a $1,000 donation, new Purina® Cat Chow® Gentle Formula brand food and cat care supplies.
"Each year, millions of cats enter animal welfare organizations. The dedication and hard work of shelter volunteers are critical to these cats' care," said Sarah Johnston, Purina Cat Chow brand manager. "We want to recognize the volunteers who make sure shelter cats have a comfortable place to live, access to high-quality nutrition, and provide unconditional support while they're waiting to be adopted."
The Purina Cat Chow Shelter Volunteer of the Year Contest is part of the brand's "Building Better Lives" program, an ongoing commitment to help improve the lives of cats through rescue, nutrition and adoption support. The Brand works to support shelters and help more cats find forever homes. In three years, the Purina Cat Chow will donate nearly $600,000 to more than 100 local cat-focused shelters nationwide and help improve the lives of more than 86,000 cats.
About Nestle Purina PetCare
Nestle Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and their pets. A premiere global manufacturer of pet products, Nestle Purina PetCare is part of Swiss-based Nestle S.A., a global leader in nutrition, health and wellness.
SOURCE Nestle Purina PetCare