Rady Children’s and PetSmart Partner to Help Fund Pet Therapy Program

  Rady Children’s and PetSmart Partner to Help Fund Pet Therapy Program

        Donation will help fund more than 15,000 patient visits a year

Business Wire

SAN DIEGO -- July 29, 2014

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego is teaming up with PetSmart to help fund
the hospital’s pet therapy program that will provide thousands of more
patients with access to canine comfort teams. PetSmart Paws for Hope at Rady
Children’s will kick off today. PetSmart will fund the program at a commitment
of $250,000 over five years.

“At PetSmart, we believe in building partnerships that help people heal
through the power of pets,” said David Lenhardt, president and chief executive
officer of PetSmart. “We’re proud to partner with Rady Children’s on PetSmart
Paws for Hope and look forward to watching the life-changing program grow.”

Rady Children’s Canine Care Therapy Program now includes 33 volunteer dogs,
which visit patients five days a week, resulting in more than 15,000 bedside
visits per year. Support from PetSmart will allow the program to expand in the
future and allow additional dogs to join the program. The program will expand
to the following areas: Spiritual Care/Bereavement, Child Adolescent
Psychiatry Program, Eating Disorder Clinic, Bernardy Center and Hospital
employee and Patient Wellness programs.

“We are so grateful for the incredible generosity from PetSmart, which enables
us to significantly enhance our Canine Therapy program,” said Steve Jennings,
senior vice president and executive director of Rady Children’s Hospital
Foundation. “Many special programs rely on community support to operate, and
with this donation Rady Children’s will be better-equipped to provide the
excellence in patient care we are known for nationwide.”

This is the third national partnership of its kind between PetSmart and a
hospital pet therapy program; existing programs include Phoenix Children’s
Hospital and Orlando Health.

In 2012, PetSmart teamed up with Phoenix Children's Hospital to sponsor their
first animal-assisted therapy program, PetSmart Paws Can Heal. The initial
launch was such a success that PetSmart expanded the program to hospitals
throughout the country with PetSmart Paws for Hope, with expansion to Orlando
Health earlier this year. The program creates additional pet therapy teams in
hospitals and allows for more daily visits from a therapy animal for each
patient. Additionally, the program provides support for the patients and their
families. PetSmart plans to expand this program into at least three new
hospitals across the country every year, with St. Louis Children’s Hospital,
SickKids Toronto, Canada and Children’s Medical Center, Dallas kicking off
later this year.

About PetSmart

PetSmart, Inc. (NASDAQ: PETM) is the largest specialty pet retailer of
services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. The company employs
approximately 53,000 associates and operates more than 1,340 pet stores in the
United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, 200 in-store PetSmart^® PetsHotel^® dog
and cat boarding facilities and is a leading online provider of pet supplies
and pet care information (http://www.petsmart.com). PetSmart provides a broad
range of competitively priced pet food and pet products; and offers dog
training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp^SM day care
services and pet adoption services. Through its in-store pet adoption
partnership with PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities® of Canada,
PetSmart has helped save the lives of more than 5.7 million pets since 1994.
PetSmart Charities, Inc. and PetSmart Charities of Canada (collectively
“PetSmart Charities”) are independent, nonprofit organizations that save the
lives of homeless pets and reduce shelter intake through spay and neuter
efforts. In 2013, nearly 440,000 dogs and cats found homes through PetSmart
Charities’ adoption centers in all PetSmart stores and by sponsoring community
adoption events. PetSmart Charities is the leader in granting money to help
pets in need, with more than $34 million given in 2013 throughout North
America.

About Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego

Rady Children's Hospital-San Diego is a 520-bed pediatric care facility
providing the largest source of comprehensive pediatric medical services in
San Diego, Southern Riverside and Imperial counties. Rady Children’s is the
only hospital in the San Diego area dedicated exclusively to pediatric
healthcare and is the region’s only designated pediatric trauma center. In
June 2014, U.S. News & World Report ranked Rady Children’s among the best
children’s hospitals in the nation in all 10 pediatric specialties the
magazine surveyed. For more information, visit www.rchsd.org.

Contact:

Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego
Carlos Delgado, 619-261-8392
cdelgado@rchsd.org
or
PetSmart, Inc.
Erin Gray, 623-516-3908
EGray@ssg.petsmart.com
 
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