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San Diego Animal Nonprofits Win Big

Grateful adopters nominated San Diego Humane Society and Shelter to Soldier for grants from Petco Love and Bobs from Skechers
Bob Hoffman for Petco Love

By Sarah Sapeda

MMGN - Petco Love

San Diego Humane Society and adopter Veronica Bunn celebrate the Love Stories grant at Petco in La Mesa

Bob Hoffman for Petco Love

Two San Diego animal welfare organizations were awarded grants thanks to pet adopters who shared their touching stories. For its national Love Stories campaign, Petco Love teamed up with Bobs from Skechers and invited grateful pet adopters to share how their animals have changed their lives. Thousands of people across the country submitted their stories and 100 were chosen as winners. Locally, Veronica Bunn’s experience with adopted dog Pharaoh, whom she credits with improving her husband’s overall health, and Veronika Lazarus’s tale of how rescue cat Bailey alerted her to her husband’s medical emergency earned San Diego Humane Society and the SPCA $11,000.

“These stories show how adopted pets change our lives for the better,” said Gary Weitzman, president and CEO of San Diego Humane Society, “and we are so thankful they shared their stories in the annual Petco Love Stories campaign to help us receive a grant award. These funds will help us bring more pets in need together with loving families.”

Shelter to Soldier was awarded $6,000 thanks to Dustin Potash and Nicky Moore. Potash’s service dog, Nigel, helped him overcome post-deployment depression and PTSD. Moore, a Shelter to Soldier employee, shared how service dog Moose inspired the nonprofit’s Canine Ambassador Therapy Dog program.

“We are honored to be a recipient of Petco Love’s ongoing support, and tremendously thankful that two love stories of the Shelter to Soldier program will be highlighted at this celebration,” said Kyrié Bloem, cofounder and vice president of Shelter to Soldier. “Together with Petco Love, we are ‘Saving Lives, Two at a Time’ and creating significant change in the lives of veterans suffering from invisible wounds from combat, and homeless dogs without a voice.”

Both San Diego Humane Society and Shelter to Soldier are now entered in a people’s choice contest where they have the chance to win up to $25,000. To read their stories and vote, visit

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