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Tierra Bonaldi / Julie Rowe
The Impetus Agency
(775) 322-4022 /

APPA Announces First Recipients of Gold Standard Award

- PETCO and PETsMART to be Honored at 2004 Trade Show -

GREENWICH, CT., February 25, 2004 - American Pet Products Association (APPA) Vice President and Deputy Managing Director Andrew Darmohraj announced today that PETCO and PETsMART have been named the first recipients of APPA's new "Gold Standard Award." The awards, to be presented at APPA's 2004 Annual Pet Products Trade Show March 17-19, 2004, in New Orleans, LA, will recognize the two pet superstores for their distinguished contributions to the pet industry. Darmohraj said, "We have established this award to recognize companies, organizations and individuals for outstanding achievements within the pet industry. PETCO and PETsMART have made incredible strides to advance this industry and to promote all the wonderful benefits of responsible pet ownership."

Both PETCO and PETsMART contribute to the communities they serve in numerous ways, and have attained tremendous success through their respective charitable divisions "PETCO Foundation" and "PETsMART Charities."

PETCO Vice President, General Merchandising Manager Bill Lechtner said, "It is truly a great honor to receive this award amongst many of the manufacturers that create the products that make owning a pet a more enjoyable experience. It is our mission to enhance the lives of companion animals and to herald the bond between people and pets. We are thrilled at this acknowledgment of our efforts." PETsMART Senior Vice President of Merchandising Tony Truesdale stated, "We're committed and proud to do our part to improve quality of life for all pets and to promote healthy relationships between pets and their parents. On behalf of PETsMART, I'd like to thank our friends at APPA for honoring us with the Gold Standard Award."

The PETCO Foundation--established in 1999 as a result of increasing hands-on involvement with animal welfare agencies across the country--exists to support community organizations and efforts that enhance the lives of companion animals while strengthening the bond between people and pets, and serves to manage PETCO's charitable endeavors. The PETCO Foundation had dedicated its programs to serving the "Four R's" -Reduce, Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rejoice.

In the Foundation's first year, approximately $1.1 million was raised through a combination of fundraisers. These funds were used to support more than 1200 local animal welfare groups across the United States. In addition to direct monetary contributions, the PETCO Foundation was also responsible for coordinating the donation of in-kind goods and services to worthwhile organizations with our common mission, strengthening the bond between people and pets.

Since inception, the PETCO Foundation has raised more than $15 million and assisted more than 1,900 grassroots animal welfare organizations across the country. Through in-store adoptions and sponsorship of national online adoption agency, PETCO and the PETCO Foundation have helped millions of animals find loving homes.

PETsMART Charities was established in 1994 as a non-profit charity to save the lives of homeless pets. Their mission is to improve the quality of life for all companion animals. PETsMART Charities creates and supports programs that save lives of homeless pets and promote healthy relationships between people and pets. This is accomplished through raising awareness of companion animal welfare issues, funding programs to further individual animal welfare organizations' missions, and by facilitating adoptions through in-store programs.

PETsMART Charities has saved the lives of more than 1.7 million homeless pets through the PETsMART Charities Adoption Centers, and has become a leading funder of animal welfare organizations by donating more than $31 million to humane and rescue groups across North America. The APPA Pet Products Trade Show is the largest annual pet products trade show in the world and is listed in Tradeshow Week 200. This annual listing of the top 200 North American trade shows is compiled by the Los Angeles, CA trade show industry publication Tradeshow Week.

Founded in 1958, the American Pet Products Association is the nation’s leading not-for-profit trade organization serving the interests of the pet product industry and educating the public on the many joys and health benefits associated with pet ownership. APPA’s membership consists of over 750 companies, which include both small businesses, as well as the nation’s leading pet product companies.