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Kroger, Nestlé launch pet-welfare fund-raiser

By Johnny Jackson

jjackson@henryherald.com

Kroger and Nestlé are teaming up to launch the Second Annual "Tales for the Pet Lover's Heart" Campaign -- a fund-raising effort that celebrates the bond between people and their pets, and seeks to benefit area animal-welfare organizations, such as the McDonough-based, nonprofit, Praying for Paws.

According to campaign organizers, one goal of the effort is to donate up to $150,000 to animal-welfare organizations nationwide, through communities served by Kroger stores.

Pet lovers are invited to share their favorite pet tales online at the campaign's "Tales for the Pet Lover's Heart" web site, said Sara McDonald Barksdale, spkesperson for the campaign.

She said a $1 donation will be made to an animal-welfare organization of choice for each story shared at the web site: www.TalesForThePetLoversHeart.com.

Barksdale added that Kroger's Atlanta Division and Nestlé Purina are planning to donate an additional $7,500 to the Atlanta Humane Society, a no-kill pet adoption center in Atlanta.

"With the increasing number of abandoned, neglected and homeless pets in the metro-Atlanta area, we are pleased to support the "Tales for the Pet Lover's Heart" program," said Glynn Jenkins, spokesman for Kroger's Atlanta Division. "Aligning our family of stores with Nestlé Purina helps to inform the community about animal-care issues, as well as highlight the special bond our customers share with their pets."

The need for animal-welfare organizations has increased in recent months, according to Carol Kelly, founder and president of Praying for Paws. "It's a needed service in our community -- and people who love dogs, we want to help them," said Kelly. "If we can rescue them, we not only save the dogs, we help people, because dogs do help people."

She said her organization, which currently has about 30 dogs in kennel, finds homes for rescued dogs through PetFinder.com. Last year, Praying for Paws adopted out 104 dogs.

"We try to match the dog to good families," continued Kelly. "Most people adopt because they want a companion, and they want a dog that's good with children."

Metro-area no-kill, animal-welfare organizations, including Praying for Paws, stand to benefit from the "Tales for the Pet Lover's Heart" campaign, which runs through November.

"There is an unmistakable bond between people and their pets," said Nestlé Purina Spokesman David Tornberg. "Nestlé Purina is committed to promoting responsible pet care, humane education and community involvement.

"Our partnership with Kroger enables us to further engage pet lovers with a program that gives back to the communities in which our customers live," he said. "And [it] allows us to share endearing stories of the human-pet relationship."

On the net:

Praying for Paws: www.prayingforpaws.com

Per Lovers' Campaign: www.TalesForThePetLoversHeart.com