Over 10,000 Tennis Balls Released to Shelter Animals for Adoption Awareness in the Wake of Hurricane Sandy

Rock & Rawhide Delivers an Early Holiday Season for Shelter Dogs and Cats

Animal Care & Control of NYC Shelter dog Huey is treated to an early Christmas as pet charity Rock & Rawhide, in conjunction with Petco Foundation, releases over 10,000 tennis balls to shelter dogs and cats to raise awareness of the need for adoptions in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. (Photo: Business Wire)

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NEW YORK--()--After weeks of devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, joy was brought to the dogs and cats of Animal Care & Control of NYC Manhattan & Brooklyn facilities this morning. Rock & Rawhide, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to increase adoption rates of dogs and cats in shelters, released just over 10,000 tennis balls with three lucky dogs (Huey, Emerald and Broadway) getting first dibs. The three beautiful, energetic and friendly dogs were let off their leashes and each got a turn to get in on the action. A portion of the tennis balls will also be donated to other shelter facilities in the tri-state area that were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy. The event was designed to raise awareness of the need for adoptions of dogs and cats that are available at facilities like these around the country just waiting for a furrever home.

The 10,000 tennis balls were a result of a program that took place in August at Petco Union Square. Rock & Rawhide, in conjunction with Petco Union Square and Petco Foundation, set out to raise 3,000 tennis balls however that goal was quickly achieved and then doubled within just a few days.

This event is part of a larger campaign the charity has been pushing for the last two weeks to help stem pet surrenders to shelters due to the aftermath of the super storm because of lack of food and ability to care for pets. In conjunction with partner organizations such as Petco Foundation and the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals, Rock & Rawhide has delivered over 75,000 pounds of much needed pet food and supplies to Staten Island, Long Island, Breezy Point, Far Rockaways and New Jersey. The campaign kicked off on Saturday, November 10th with a pop-up concert the charity hosted in Union Square featuring several of New York’s best singer/songwriter acts.

“We wanted to help our furrever friends by increasing awareness of the fact that anyone can go to these facilities and adopt a loving dog or cat. We are hoping the pet food and supply deliveries to storm-ravaged areas will help families care for their pets so they won’t have to surrender them. We desperately need to increase adoption rates at shelters in the tri-state area before the holiday season as we know there will be an unusual amount of pets available due to Sandy,” said Sean-Patrick M. Hillman, President & Co-Founder, Rock & Rawhide.

“Rock & Rawhide had been a tremendous supporter of AC&C donating nearly $50,000 worth of pet supplies and food for the thousands of animals we rescue each year”, said Richard Gentles, spokesperson for AC&C. “They are a great partner and have made such a positive impact in the lives of so many animals. We are pleased to join them and accept tennis balls on behalf of the animals in our care”.

“We have been working with Rock & Rawhide for almost six months. Their creative ability to increase awareness of the need of adoptions is something that I have seen first-hand. It lines up with Petco and Petco Foundation’s mission to help local shelters and rescues with adoptions, especially with their limited resources after the impact of Hurricane Sandy.” said Josh Axelband, General Manager, Petco Union Square.

With millions of dogs and cats placed in these types of shelters each year, the importance of adopting and aiding these facilities is greater than ever. The distraction the tennis balls will provide will help reduce the noise and stress levels of the animals allowing their true personality to shine through while these loving, caring animals patiently wait for a furrever home. All dogs who participated in this event are available for adoption at Animal Care & Control of NY’s Manhattan Care Center. To learn more about these amazing dogs, please visit www.nycacc.org. To learn more about Rock & Rawhide, please visit www.rockandrawhide.org where you can donate and volunteer for programs.

About Rock & Rawhide

Rock & Rawhide aims to increase adoptions and quality of life for dogs and cats in shelters, by providing distraction therapy and noise/stress reduction through the donations of toys, tough chew items, Kongs, Nylabones, bones, rawhides, blankets and more. If a dog is chewing, it's not barking! If a cat is playing, it’s not meowing! Less noise leads to less stress. In turn, dogs and cats can pass their evaluations at shelters, and show more of their personality, making them more adoptable. Rock & Rawhide collects items through regular donations, music gigs, visual art shows, culinary events, DJ events, drop box programs, and more.

About Animal Care & Control

Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) is the largest animal organization in the northeast, rescuing nearly 34,000 each year. As a not-for-profit since 1995, AC&C rescues, cares for and finds loving homes for homeless and abandoned animals in NYC.

About Petco Foundation

The Petco Foundation's mission is to raise the quality of life for pets and people who love and need them. The Petco Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation that supports other IRS (Internal Revenue Service) designated non-profit pet related groups as well as municipal/governmental agencies and educational institutions involved in animal causes. Today, the Petco Foundation donates about $15 million a year to assist companion animals across the country. They also provide grants and facilitate in-store adoption events, spay/neuter programs, and animal rescue/disaster relief.


Sean-Patrick M. Hillman, 212-246-6528

Release Summary

Pet charity Rock & Rawhide, in conjunction with Petco Foundation, released over 10,000 tennis balls to shelter dogs and cats to raise awareness of the need for adoptions in the wake of Hurricane Sandy


Sean-Patrick M. Hillman, 212-246-6528