Mars employees donate time to animals in need

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It’s a brisk autumn afternoon and Jamee Marshall is skipping work. Instead of working in the Mars Petcare office, Jamee is volunteering at Nashville Humane Association (NHA) with several co-workers–all of whom are getting paid time off for their help. When she arrives, Jamee is delighted by her first task: taking “Gotcha Day” photos of dogs on one of the happiest days of their lives, when they’ll join their fur-ever families

Next up, puppy baths. Jamee instantly falls in love with young Frankenstein, who just arrived from a partner shelter that’s already full. After each warm bath, Jamee takes a moment to soak up some sweet snuggles. Then, she’s filling Kong toys to give dogs sensory stimulation and assembling adoption information kits ahead of NHA’s annual Mars Adoption Weekend. Finally, Jamee lends a hand with kennel training, which helps create a more calm, positive shelter environment–good for both the dogs and potential adopters.

With North American shelters experiencing the worst rates of overpopulation and resource constraints in years, volunteers are especially critical. To help meet the need, Mars launched the “Service Humans Needed” program, which enlists 60,000 Mars associates and pet advocates to reciprocate the support our pets show us by volunteering any way they can. They volunteer by spending time at U.S. and Canadian shelters, offering their homes by fostering or adopting, or sharing adoptable animals on their social media channels–all in support of our ambition to end pet homelessness. And to help encourage support for programs like Service Humans Needed, our associates get 16 paid hours each year to spend volunteering, either with a Mars-organized activity or on their own.

Jamee had participated in many Mars-organized volunteer activities, but never at an animal shelter, so she was inspired to give her time in a new way.

“It’s hard to see so many homeless animals, but spending time with them was a reminder of the impact I can make in just a few hours.”

“It’s hard to see so many homeless animals,” she says. “But spending time with them and helping the shelter was a reminder of the impact I can make in just a few hours. I’m unable to adopt a pet myself, so it means a lot to be able to help in some way.”

Meanwhile, Petcare Associate Monica Small voluntarily leads her office’s Paws team, which includes coordinating Canada animal shelter volunteer opportunities. So, when the shelter crisis arose, Monica and the Paws team got to work pairing associates with their local shelters.

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