Portland, Maine (January, 2008) – As part of their ongoing campaign to encourage adoption and reduce the number of pets euthanized each year, Planet Dog has created the Adoption Champion Award (ACA).  The award supports, encourages and rewards Planet Dog retailers who "romp the extra mile" when it comes to social responsibility, philanthropy and advocacy for pet adoption. 


Each fall, Planet Dog's ACA Committee, a cross-functional team of staff members, selects three winners from the pool of those nominated by the company's Sales Account Executives.  Nominations for the award are based on annual performance in the following areas:  adoption days held at their store; fundraisers held or sponsored for shelters and non-profit animal rescue organizations; overall Planet Dog purchases that determine annual contributions to the Planet Dog Foundation (PDF) and participation in Planet Dog's Glow for Good campaigns.      

In addition to receiving a $500 credit for Planet Dog merchandise, the three annual winners will be listed on the Find A PDOG Retailer section of the company's website (www.planetdog.com) with a special icon that recognizes their achievement, in the Planet Dog wholesale catalog and in Kibble (Planet Dog's Retailer newsletter).

"We are proud to recognize and support the many PDOG Retailers that are using creative and effective ways to find loving homes for pets in need," says Catherine Frost, Planet Dog's Director of Marketing & Product Development.  "It thrills us to partner with them at the community level," adds Frost.

The three PDOG Retailers to receive the first Adoption Champion Awards are Bad Dog Frida, LLC of Madison, WI; Especially for Pets of Newton, MA and For the Love of Pete! of Richmond, VA.  To learn why these stores were chosen, please visit www.planetdogretailer.com/pdfs/KV7web.pdf to read their stories in the latest edition of Kibble.

"We are honored to receive this recognition and will continue to exemplify our mission to advocate for pet adoption and education," says Amy Lord, Director of Business Development and Operations for Especially for Pets.  "We are committed to make a difference and strive to find new and creative ways to act as a liaison between non-profits, breed rescue organizations and the communities that we serve," adds Lord.

In addition to the new ACA Awards Program, Planet Dog is also recognizing their retailers who have adoption advocacy integrated in their store's mission.  Retailers who hold regular adoption days (at least monthly) in their store or help support their local certified animal shelter are listed as Adoption Advocates on the Find A PDOG Retailer section of www.planetdog.com.

"We realize that our retailers come in many shapes and sizes and that although the Adoption Champion Award celebrates three worthwhile businesses, there are scores of others who are doing what they can to support pet adoption," says Frost.  "We want to be sure that these businesses still get the ongoing recognition they deserve," adds Frost. 

Planet Dog is also developing a national Public Service Campaign (PSA) to educate and build awareness about the issue of pet adoption with the United States.

Whether creating great products, providing financial resources or helping to educate consumers about canine-related issues, Planet Dog is proud to be a pet industry leader with proven socially responsible initiatives that bring people and dogs together for fun and mutual support.  "As a small company doing big things, our goal has been and will always be to improve the world around us by giving back to our community, our workforce and the environment," says Alex Fisher, Planet Dog's co-founder and Chief Creative Officer.  “Our internal mantra is ‘think globally, act doggedly’.  When running a business, it’s easy to get absorbed in just the dollars and cents.  The mantra helps keep us focused on the higher cause for which we entered this industry,” adds Fisher.

Planet Dog’s flagship initiative is the Planet Dog Foundation.  The Foundation, whose philanthropic mission is to promote and celebrate programs that enable dogs to serve and support their best friends, receives a percentage of every Planet Dog purchase.   In turn, it is donated back to non-profit canine service programs nationwide.

 “We’re doing what no other pet product company is doing," says Frost.  “We offer unique, top-quality products that dogs love, while creating awareness of how much service dogs give back to people in our society.  Our goal is for our actions to speak louder than woofs,” adds Frost. 

In 2007, PDF doubled its cash and in-kind donations from the previous year giving more than $200,000 to several worthy organizations.  For more information and a full list of programs and grantees, please visit www.planetdogfoundation.org.