Earlier this year, we announced the launch of the 2018 Innovation Showdown, “the Shark Tank of Animal Welfare.” Originally created in 2017 by the Petco Foundation and Jackson Galaxy Foundation, it is modeled after the critically-acclaimed tv-show Shark Tank, but with one major difference – The Innovation Showdown’s ultimate goal is not a financial return on investment but a lifesaving return on investment – that is to save the lives of more animals in need.
The Innovation Showdown is a collaborative project with a goal to spark lifesaving creativity to help the animal welfare industry reduce the number of animals euthanized in this country.
“I am extremely grateful to all of the national animal welfare organizations that participated in bringing their expertise to the Innovation Showdown this year,” said Susanne Kogut, the Petco Foundation president. “By coming together we were able to provide more support to our shared goal – saving more animal lives.”
The three animal welfare organizations that received investments this year (from hundreds of entries) include:
- Front Street Animal Shelter ($250,000 investment): Help lost pets find their way back home
- St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center ($60,000 investment): Hands up approach to fighting unnecessary euthanasia
- Hearts Speak ($40,000 investment): Cloud-based marketing tool helps animal welfare organizations effectively promote to engage communities
You can view the organizations’ lifesaving pitches here: https://www.petcofoundation.org/showdown
“Front Street Animal Shelter presented an idea that offered a solution to a nationwide problem in animal welfare – help reunite lost pets with their guardians,” said Jackson Galaxy, star of the television show My Cat from Hell on Animal Planet and founder of The Jackson Galaxy Project. “Simply by texting, pet parents can get the jump on finding their lost pets without even going to the shelter. When a pet goes missing, the first days are absolutely crucial and this simple, priceless idea shows incredible lifesaving potential that will reunite lost pets and their guardians across the country.”
The Innovation Showdown was held in Kansas City during the annual HSUS Animal Care Expo, a national gathering of more than 1,800 animal welfare professionals and volunteers. The judging panel of Innovation Investors included Showdown founders Susanne Kogut (the Petco Foundation) and Jackson Galaxy (The Jackson Galaxy Project), joined by Jodi Buckman (ASPCA), Julie Castle (Best Friends Animal Society), Mary Ippoliti-Smith (Maddie’s Fund), Aimee Gilbreath (Michelson Found Animals Foundation), and Christy Counts (WaterShed Animal Fund).
Earlier this year, non-profit or municipal animal welfare organizations and for-profit companies, pitched their best idea to save animal lives. Investors selected Front Street Animal Shelter and Hearts Speak’s ideas and nine additional finalists. The public was given the opportunity to vote on their favorite idea from the nine finalists, selecting St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center’s idea for the opportunity to pitch to investors alongside Hearts Speak and Front Street Animal Shelter at the Humane Society of the United States Animal Care Expo.
About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $200 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 5.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit petcofoundation.org to learn more about how you can get involved.