July 15, 2009

Be My Hero, my pledge for a most worthy cause

I’d like to tell you about a campaign that we’re launching today with Nestle Purina PetCare, the primary sponsor of our pets channel on marthastewart.com. The “Be My Hero” campaign encourages people to make a pledge to help homeless animals by volunteering in a local shelter or adopting a pet in need of a home. To support this campaign, I pledge to do everything I can to raise awareness about animal adoption through shelters. Did you know that -

- Approximately five to seven million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year and approximately three to four million are euthanized due to a lack of space or resources to adequately care for them.

- Twenty five percent of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.

-It is impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the US; estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.

- Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
The average cost of basic food, supplies, and medical care and training for a dog or cat is $775 annually.
(Source: ASPCA)

Over the years, I have adopted many of my cherished pets from shelters, including my cats Chigi-Toto, New Kitty, China Cat and Chow Chow Empress Wu. They have all been wonderful companions and there are countless others like them in need of home, particularly in the current economic downturn when many families can no longer afford to feed and care for their furry friends.

Please join me in this effort by visiting www.bemyhero.com. When you complete the volunteer questionnaire, Purina ONE will make a donation of $5 up to $500,000 to participating One Hope Network Shelters. I hope you will also consider opening your home (and your heart) to a dog or cat in need.

Be sure to visit our pets site on marthastewart.com/pets to see how my pets are volunteering to support this cause!

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My very first cat was Chiggi, who was adopted from a shelter.