Holiday Wishes
Holiday Wishes

Pets brighten our lives. Let's brighten theirs.


Share the big and small ways that your pet brightens your life each and every day to help make Holiday Wishes come true for the animal welfare organization where you adopted your pet! Winning adopters will receive a Petco shopping spree AND the organization they adopted from will receive up to $100,000 in lifesaving grant awards.

Application closes September 23, 2019 at noon CST.

Submit a Story

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

If you have any questions, please refer to the FAQ.

  • Submission FAQs (Click to expand)

    Q: WHO CAN SUBMIT ADOPTION STORIES TO THE PETCO FOUNDATION’S HOLIDAY WISHES CAMPAIGN?
    Any person who has adopted a pet from an animal welfare organization in the United States can submit a story during the Holiday Wishes campaign. Please note that the pet must be currently living.

    Q: WHEN CAN I SUBMIT MY STORY?
    Adopters can submit stories August 12 – September 23, 2019 at noon CST. However, due to the timing of the contest and review requirements, we can only guarantee that the first 10,000 stories will be fully reviewed and considered for the campaign. We encourage all to enter stories in the Holiday Wishes campaign early to assure consideration.

    Q: WHAT SHOULD THE STORY BE ABOUT?
    At the Petco Foundation, we’re All for Love and this year’s Holiday Wishes campaign focuses on how your relationship with your adopted pet has changed your life. So, we’re looking for stories describing how your adopted pet has made your life better. Stories range from the simplest things that bring more joy to life each and every day to the one-of-a-kind, extraordinary stories.

    For example, maybe you used to sit home alone reading a book but now you’re sitting home with your favorite novel with a cat on your lap. Or your story can be more dramatic like the stories we see on the news when a dog saves a family from a house fire or a burglar. These stories, while very different, still show how a pet can significantly change our lives for the better. Your story should be a celebration of the love you share with your pet.

    Remember to tell a story rather than simply reciting facts as they happened. Quality storytelling and supporting photos or videos will make your submission stand out from all the others. You may wish to reach out to the animal welfare organization that you adopted your pet from so they can assist you with crafting your story and obtaining quality photos and/or video for your submission.

    Q: MY PET PASSED AWAY, CAN I STILL SUBMIT HIS/HER STORY?
    We are deeply sorry for the loss of your pet and offer our heartfelt condolences. All story submissions must be written about a pet currently living in your home.

    Q: I AM TRYING TO LOGIN TO SUBMIT MY STORY BUT I CANNOT REMEMBER MY PASSWORD?
    Please use the password reset button on the login screen.

    Q: I SUBMITTED A STORY LAST YEAR, BUT DID NOT WIN. CAN I SUBMIT AGAIN?
    Absolutely, please review some of our winning stories from last year to see what makes a winning story stand out.

    Q: MY HOLIDAY WISHES STORY WON AN AWARD IN A PRIOR YEAR – AM I ELIGIBLE TO WIN AGAIN?
    A: Stories about the same pet are not eligible to win, however, we encourage prior winners to share stories about other pets that were not featured in the original winning story.

    Q: CAN I SUBMIT MORE THAN ONE STORY?
    First, thank you for adopting more than one pet. However, due to the large number of submissions anticipated, we are asking adopters to limit submissions to one story per household.

    Q: CAN I SUBMIT A STORY ABOUT MORE THAN ONE PET?
    Yes, you can submit a story that includes information about more than one pet but you must single out the name of one pet and the animal welfare organization you adopted him/her from.

    Q: CAN I MAKE CHANGES TO MY ADOPTION STORY AFTER I SUBMIT IT?
    No. You cannot make changes once your story is submitted, but you may make as many changes as you wish while your story is in draft mode.

    Q: CAN THE PETCO FOUNDATION EDIT MY STORY?
    Yes, we reserve the right to edit all stories submitted for brevity or clarity before being published. We also reserve the right to edit any photos or videos submitted with the story prior to publishing.

    Q: WHAT TYPES OF PETS CAN I SUBMIT AN ADOPTION STORY FOR?
    You can submit a story about any companion animal that you have adopted from an animal welfare organization.

    Q: WHAT TYPES OF PHOTOS SHOULD I INCLUDE?
    All story submissions should include a minimum of four photos: one photo of the pet by him/herself, and one photo of the pet with his/her family or a family member. You should also include two additional photos to support your story. The expression ‘a photo is worth a thousand words’ definitely applies during the Holiday Wishes campaign. Great photos can tell a story by themselves, so submit photos that express your story.

    When creating file names for the photos in your submission, please use the name of the pet you are nominating as the photos’ file name (e.g. bella.jpg, bella2.jpg). Additionally, be sure to use high-resolution images. Most cell phone cameras are capable of taking great photos. Be sure to submit photos that are clear and of the highest quality possible. The system will accept most image file types including gif, jpeg, jpg and png.

    Please do not submit photos that contain watermarks or text/graphics overlaid on the image. Collage images and/or images with added borders, etc., are not preferred.

    Q: CAN I INCLUDE VIDEO WITH MY STORY SUBMISSION?
    Yes, we encourage the use of video in telling your story. The system will accept most video file types including AVI, .mov, .mpg, .mpeg, .mp4, .wmv, .flv and .f4v. We reserve the right to edit your video. Please ensure that you have the license for any music and or photos included with your video.

    Q: I AM A PETCO EMPLOYEE. AM I ABLE TO SUBMIT A STORY ABOUT AN ANIMAL THAT I ADOPTED FROM AN ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATION?
    We are always happy to see Petco employees adopting pets, and we thank you for choosing adoption. Petco employees are eligible to submit stories and win grant awards for their animal welfare organization but are not eligible to receive the Petco shopping spree prize.

    Q: HOW MANY STORIES WILL YOU ACCEPT?
    The Petco Foundation will accept all stories submitted during August 12 – September 23, 2019. However, due to the timing of the contest and review requirements, we can only guarantee that the first 10,000 stories will be fully reviewed and considered for the campaign. We encourage all to enter stories in the Holiday Wishes campaign early to assure consideration.

    Q: WHAT QUALIFIES AS AN ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATION?
    The Petco Foundation grants funds to qualified animal welfare organizations based in the United States. Organizations include municipal or government animal shelters and nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organizations such as humane societies, SPCAs and foster-based rescues. To be eligible to receive an award, nominated animal welfare organizations must complete the adoption verification for submissions, an annual Petco Foundation partnership application and a Holiday Wishes grant application.

    Q: WHAT CONTACT INFORMATION SHOULD I SUBMIT FOR THE ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATION?
    It is important that you contact the animal welfare organization directly and inform them that you are submitting a Holiday Wishes story to the Petco Foundation which gives their organization an opportunity to win a substantial grant. Ask them for the direct contact information for their Executive Director or someone else who can verify the adoption and respond immediately along with their organization Tax ID.

    Additionally, the animal welfare organization may be willing to assist you with writing your story or obtaining quality photos and/or video for your submission.

    Q: HOW CAN I BE SURE MY STORY IS SUBMITTED?
    When you have completed the required tasks, please be sure to click “Review & Submit” and the final “Submit Your Application” button to ensure that your submission is eligible for review. You will receive an email confirmation that your story was submitted successfully.

    If you experience any technical issues that are not answered in these FAQs, please contact us at holidaywishes@petcofoundation.org.

  • Animal Welfare Organizations FAQs (Click to expand)

    Q: HOW DO I VERIFY AN ADOPTION?
    Your organization will receive an email for each verification needed. Login to the Petco Foundation Partner Portal, identify the adoption under the menu “Pending Verifications”, verify and submit. All verifications due by September 30th.

    Q: SHOULD I WAIT FOR ALL OF THE STORIES TO BE SUBMITTED BEFORE COMPLETING OUR APPLICATION OR SHOULD I SUBMIT RIGHT AWAY?
    No, you do not have to wait and we encourage you to submit your application as soon as reasonably possible (and definitely before the September 30th due date).
    Organization Instructions

    Q: HOW CAN I ENCOURAGE OUR ADOPTERS TO SUBMIT STORIES?
    Check out the promo guide and download the Holiday Wishes toolkit which contains sample social media posts and graphics, emails, flyers, and a press release. You can also offer assistance to your past adopters with their submissions, including helping them obtain quality photos and/or video to support their stories and reviewing their stories.

    Q: IS MY ORGANIZATION STILL ELIGIBLE IF WE RECEIVED A GRANT EARLIER THIS YEAR AND HAVE AN OPEN FOLLOW-UP REPORT?
    Yes – your organization could be eligible. The Holiday Wishes contest does not fall under our normal grant cycle, so any outstanding grant follow-ups or applications will not impact eligibility for a Holiday Wishes grant.

    Q: HOW WILL I KNOW IF AN ADOPTER HAS SUBMITTED A STORY ON OUR BEHALF?
    The Petco Foundation has requested the adopter to provide a contact email in his/her submission for someone at your organization to verify the adoption and submit organization information. If the adopter has provided a contact, an email will be sent to this contact with information on how to verify the adoption and submit your organization’s information. If no contact has been provided or if the email to the organization is undeliverable, we will contact your organization if the story submission is a finalist. We encourage you to provide your adopters with a preferred contact name, email and your organization’s tax ID number to include on their submission. You can look up the tax ID number here.

    Q: I RECEIVED MULTIPLE EMAILS ABOUT HOLIDAY WISHES STORY SUBMISSIONS. DO I NEED TO ENTER OUR ORGANIZATION’S INFORMATION AGAIN?
    You do need to verify each adoption, but you only need to submit your organization’s application once. The verification and application may be found on our Partner Portal.
    Organization Instructions

    Q: CAN OUR ORGANIZATION HAVE MORE THAN ONE WINNING STORY?
    Yes, it is possible that multiple entries could result in more than one grant award for your organization! Additionally there is a $25,000 grant award for the organization with the most valid story submissions.

    Q: I’M A SERVICE OR THERAPY ANIMAL ORGANIZATION  WITH AN INCREDIBLE STORY, CAN SOMEONE ENTER A STORY ON OUR BEHALF?
    If your organization pulled the pet featured in the story from an animal shelter and trained the service or therapy animal and made the match, you may be eligible to win a Holiday Wishes award.

    Q: HOW CAN I RECEIVE A GRANT OF $25,000 FOR THE MOST VALID SUBMISSIONS?
    If your organization has the most valid Holiday Wishes story submissions, you will be eligible to receive a grant award of $25,000. To be considered valid, story submissions must meet the guidelines, duplicate submissions will not count and all adoptions must be verified in Fluxx by the adoption organization. Organizations must also have completed the partnership agreement and the Holiday Wishes application in Fluxx.

    Q: I STILL NEED HELP. HOW CAN I GET IN CONTACT WITH YOU?
    If you experience any issues that are not answered in these FAQs, please contact us at holidaywishes@petcofoundation.org.

  • Winner Selection & Prizes FAQs (click to expand)

    Q: WHO WILL DECIDE WHICH ORGANIZATIONS ARE SELECTED TO RECEIVE HOLIDAY WISHES GRANTS?
    The Petco Foundation will have a dedicated team responsible for reviewing submissions. Winners will be chosen based on the sole and absolute discretion of the Petco Foundation.

    Q: WHAT ARE THE PRIZES FOR THE HOLIDAY WISHES GRANT CAMPAIGN?
    The Petco Foundation will grant more than $750,000 in Holiday Wishes awards to winning animal welfare organizations while Petco will grant a shopping spree to the adopters in the amounts specified below:

    One Grand Prize:
    $100,000 grant award for the animal welfare organization
    $1,000 Petco shopping spree and a prize pack including a pair of BOBs from Skechers for the adopter

    Four 2nd Prize Winners:
    $50,000 grant award for the animal welfare organization
    $500 Petco shopping spree and a prize pack including a pair of BOBs from Skechers for the adopter

    Eight 3rd Prize Winners:
    $25,000 grant award for the animal welfare organization
    $250 Petco shopping spree and a prize pack including a pair of BOBs from Skechers for the adopter

    Forty-two Runner-ups:
    $5,000 or $10,000 grant award for the animal welfare organization
    $100 Petco shopping spree and a prize pack including a pair of BOBs from Skechers for the adopter

    The organization with the most valid submissions will also receive a grant award of $25,000.

    Please click here for applicant terms and conditions.

    Q: WHEN WILL THE WINNING ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATIONS BE ANNOUNCED?
    The Petco Foundation will make its final decisions regarding Holiday Wishes grants in mid-November.

    All winners will be listed on the Petco Foundation website once the winners have been announced publicly. The Petco Foundation may contact the animal welfare organization and adopter directly to coordinate involvement in any media or publication of winners.

    Please note, the Petco Foundation may use photos or highlight stories prior to the determination of the final winners, but such use of stories or photos during the course of this campaign does not imply a winning entry.

    Q: WHAT IS THE #HOLIDAYWISHESCONTEST?
    Once you have entered your Holiday Wishes submission, you can help us spread the word about our Holiday Wishes opportunity for a chance to win additional prizes!

    We’re giving away a weekly prize pack exclusively for adopters like you who have shared their stories about how pets and people are brighter together. The prize pack includes: a $50 Petco gift card, BOBS from Skechers Shoes, pet collar and leash and Petco Foundation swag items. To enter, post a photo of you and your pet on Instagram using #holidaywishescontest #brightertogether and tag @petcofoundation by noon CT on September 23.

    Please see official contest terms here. The hashtag contest does not impact the official Holiday Wishes campaign winner selection.

    Q: WHAT IS THE PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARDS COMPETITION
    This is an opportunity for the public to vote on their favorite winning stories. This will give the winning organizations the chance to receive additional grant funding of up to $25,000. Following the announcement of the winning organizations in November, the public will have the chance to vote online via our gallery poll for their favorite stories.
    Top 5 Vote Recipients Will Receive:
    One (1) First Place: $25k
    Two (2) Second Place Winners: $10k each
    Two (2) Third Place Winners: $5k each

    Participating organizations will receive a toolkit to help them promote the competition.

    Q: IF MY STORY AND THE ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANIZATION IS SELECTED AS A WINNER, WHEN WILL I RECEIVE MY PRIZE?
    Both the adopter and animal welfare organization of any winning submissions will receive the shopping spree and grant check before December 31, 2019. People’s Choice award winners will receive additional grant awards by January 31, 2020.

ANIMAL WELFARE PARTNERS

Thank you for encouraging your adopters to submit adoption stories in our Holiday Wishes grant campaign. Please submit a grant application for the Petco Foundation to consider making an investment in your organization and your lifesaving efforts.

Past Winners