PETCO LOVE & VICTORIA STILWELL POSITIVELY HONOR FIVE UNKNOWN HEROES WHO CARE AND SAVE PETS’ LIVES
Petco Love and Victoria Stilwell positively traveled across the country to surprise these unsung heroes with a $10,000 grant for their animal welfare organizations and to document their work. Victoria Stilwell Positively created five short films for Petco Love to honor these heroes by sharing their stories.
Now through April 18animal lovers can see all the unsung hero stories and vote for their favorite as a national unsung hero winner. Petco Love will award the hero with the most votes an extra $25,000 to support and advance their powerful work. View and vote for the national winner is here: petcolove.org/unsunghero.
“Heroes are all around us; there are heroes in every community who dedicate their lives to helping animals. They are true champions who save lives,” said Susanne Kogut, president of Petco Love. “Honoring these extraordinary people and sharing their stories is our way of thanking them, and we hope they will inspire others to become heroes as well.”
This year unsung heroes winners include:
- Samira Yahi, Fairfield County Animal shelter (Winnsboro, South Carolina): Sam is the personification of a hero. His second work – to and from which she drives 90 minutes each way, each day after her first work – is as a tireless volunteer for an underfunded shelter. From coordinating transportation and fundraising to promoting adoptions across all social channels, those who work with Sam at FCC credit her for single-handedly lowering the euthanasia rate. She has improved the lives of over 4,000 animals to date and she is far from done with her rescue work.
- Eric Jayne DMVSovereign Nations Veterinarian (Rosebud, North Dakota): The Unsung Hero Award was posthumously awarded this year to Eric for his tireless work on behalf of animals in need throughout his 50-year career. His life ended too soon in a tragic accident, but his Unsung Hero award honors his unparalleled work. Eric has dedicated his life to dismantling institutionalized racism by creating opportunities for self-determination for tribal members on Indian reservations. He has also established and worked in sterilization clinics at home and abroad. He was a tireless advocate for humans and animals and his legacy of caring will continue for generations to come.
- jerry andersonHumane Society of Kanawha-Charleston (Charleston, West Virginia): An Army veteran who served 15 years in overseas deployments, Jerry is known to be generous, humble and big-hearted. As an animal control officer, he devoted himself to service Kanawha County animals for nearly 10 years, possessing the remarkable ability to help – be it people or animals – with patience, compassion and love.
- Jennifer Stonequist DVMKitsap Humane Society (Silverdale, Washington): Dr. Jen – as she is known – whose compassion for animals and people is contagious, helped transform the Kitsap Humane Society into a beloved non-profit organization known for its high rescue rate. Over the past 11 years, she has saved the lives of countless pets in her community and in Mulegé, Mexico during the annual “sterilizations”. She helped change legislation in WA to allow shelters to treat pets of low-income families, keeping them together. Trained in mindfulness, Dr. Jen also provides mentoring and compassion fatigue training to veterinary professionals across the country.
- Jayne JohnsonLifeline Puppy Rescue (New Mexico and Brighton, Colorado): For 18 years, Jayne Johnson and her husband have helped save the lives of 50,000 homeless puppies and mother dogs, mostly in rural settings New Mexicocoordinating them and transporting them to waiting homes Colorado. Jane, whose husband passed away in 2020, continues to coordinate with 35 shelters and rescues to ensure nearly 50 puppies a week make their way to new homes. Her tireless service on behalf of these pets has created as many new families as dogs she has rescued, and Jane has generated a positive impact for generations to come.
Going beyond the daily hard work of saving animals, unsung heroes share Petco Love’s mission to create a nation that saves lives. Their powerful stories reveal the huge difference one person can make to create a better world for pets – and the people who love them.
“To see what these incredible and humble people are doing in their communities is inspiring,” said victoria stillwell. “It was a huge honor to record their spirit and their compassion, and I am very happy that a wider audience can witness their incredible work in the unsung heroes series of videos.
Petco Love wants pet lovers nationwide to help select the $25,000 recipient by popular vote. Watch the stories here: petcolove.org/unsunghero. Closing of the vote April 18, 2022.
About Petco Love
Petco Love is a non-profit organization that changes lives by making communities and pet families healthier, stronger and closer. Since our inception in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve strengthened animal welfare organizations by investing $330 million in adoption and other rescue efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for over 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Our love for pets drives us to innovate, create the tools animal lovers need to reunite lost animals, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 welfare partners. -being animal to drive vital changes alongside us.
Love calls you? Visit petcolove.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to join the vital work we do every day.
On victoria stillwell
victoria stillwell is a world-renowned dog trainer and behavior expert, best known as the star of the international hit television series it’s me or the dog (Animal Planet, USA). Having filmed over 130 episodes since 2005, Stilwell reaches global audiences with his philosophy of positive, humane methods of dog training. She was also a judge for America’s tallest dog (CBS) and as an on-camera behavior specialist for dogs can fly (Sky One) and the A show (BBC1). She recently created, produced and narrated the popular nature series, Dogs with extraordinary Works (Smithsonian Channel).
Stilwell is the Founder and President of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training and Behavior – the world’s premier dog training institution, creating new generations of positive dog trainers and enhancing “The Future of Dog Training” . She is the author of four bestselling books: It’s Me or the Dog – How to Get the Perfect Pet, Positive Dog Training, The Secret Language of Dogs and The ultimate guide to raising a puppy. His website www.positively.com is a popular destination for dog lovers around the world.
A regular guest on talk shows, news shows, and radio shows in the United States, Europe and Asia, Stilwell has received numerous international awards and honours. She was the resident pet expert on CNN’s HLN and was a regular columnist for several magazines, including bark, american dog, dogster and dogs today. She has been featured in numerous journals, magazines and newspapers, including the New York Times, United States Today, cosmopolitan, Time.com, Oprah Magazine, Rachael Ray Daily, MSNBC.com, Magazine of self, Magazine of form, the Daily mailthe Sunday time, The mirror and The sun.
A co-founder of the National Dog Behavior Conference series, Stilwell also sits on the advisory boards of RedRover, The Gray Muzzle Foundation, DogTV, Canine Assistants and Georgia Pet Coalition, and is an ambassador for the RSPCA and the Soi Dog Foundation. .
Lisa Lane CardinPetco Love, [email protected]