10 Ways Adopting a Pet Makes Holiday Wishes Come True

By PetcoFoundation on Dec. 5, 2016


Each year, the Petco Foundation’s Holiday Wishes campaign celebrates pet adoption and rewards deserving animal welfare organizations with grants to help them continue their lifesaving work. This year, more than 5,000 deserving animal welfare organizations sent in stories in hopes of winning grants that will help them continue their lifesaving work. Now it’s your turn. By voting in our People’s Choice Bonus Round, you’re helping five of our 54 finalists earn even more!

Here's how it works: The top five stories that earn the most votes for their stories will win an additional $50,000!* You have until Sat., Dec. 31st at 11:59 PM CT to vote. Get voting today!

* One $25,000 award, two $10,000 awards and one $5,000 award.

Here are 10 things we learned from reading Holiday Wishes stories:

Some stories were emotionally raw tales of triumph over life’s challenges, while others illustrated how simple experiences can transform into love-filled moments when shared with a pet. Tears of joy and compassion filled our hearts and eyes as we read these real-life tales. Here's what we learned about you and your beloved pets: 

10. You will love again.
We estimate that more than half of our stories began with the loss of a beloved pet, which made our adopters hesitant to put themselves in a position to experience loss again. The good news? Love prevails. We are happy to share that once you've loved a pet, you will be able to love another.


9. The rewards always outweigh the risk.
One author explained opening her story with:

"I did not need a dog.
I could travel on a moment’s notice.
I could wear black without using a lint brush.
A dog would only complicate things.
So what was I even doing at the animal shelter?"

and ended with ...

"To hell with the lint brush.
I even still travel on a moment’s notice, but only if Blue can come along.
Does it complicate things? Just a little.
Is it worth it? Oh, YEAH!
Because it turns out that I needed a dog after all."

8. Old dogs can learn new tricks...but more importantly, they already know the best trick of all.
Senior dogs love with all their hearts. They appreciate the simple pleasures of being by your side as you read a book, garden or go for an afternoon stroll. And then there are seniors like Buddy, a deaf Weimeraner, who learned dock diving after being adopted at the age of 11!


7. Pets are better than Match.com. Not only do pets help you make new friendssome of our adopters found their significant others because of their adopted pet.

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"Thankfully the boyfriend stayed around and is now my fiancée (though I think he's only marrying me for Meaty)."  

Seriously, who could say no to Meaty?

6. They pay it forward.
Adopted pets going on to serve others was a common theme in our Holiday Wishes stories. We read about heroic acts of pets literally saving their adopter’s lives, whether it was helping them through cancer treatments, surgeries, car and other accidents, traumatic brain injuries and multiple other serious conditions or by serving as a service or therapy animal. Clearly, pets possess incredible healing support. Maybe pet adoption centers should be located next to the local pharmacy? Prescription for healing: Adopt a pet!


5. Pets + children = a winning combination.
Reading buddies, protectors, playmates, confidence builders and sleeping companionswho could ask for a better best friend?



4. Sometimes, love comes in twos.
Consider bonded pairs for twice the love.



3. The more the merrier is a great philosophy.













2. Pets are fun!



1. Love changes everythingfor you and your pet
We all possess the incredible ability to save a life by adopting a pet. But we often don't realize until later that saving a pet will forever make our lives betterfilling them with more joy, love and companionship than we could ever imagine. Pet adoption isn't just about saving livesit's about changing lives. When we change the life of a pet, it has a ripple effect that, in turn, changes our own lives tenfold.



Vote for your favorite story in our #HolidayWishes People's Choice Round

Read all 54 of our #HolidayWishes finalist's stories

Donate to our All for Holiday Homes fundraiser

Shop for holiday presents for your pet

Learn more about Petco Foundation

Visit our pet community and meet other pet parents

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the big announcement! 

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