Petco Foundation Honors National Unsung Hero with $50,000 Grant Investment to Help Save Animal Lives in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican animal welfare leader highlighted by VictoriaI Stilwell in video series earns National Unsung Hero grant award and 2,000 pounds of pet food to support her lifesaving work

Petco Foundation Honors National Unsung Hero with $50,000 Grant Investment to Help Save Animal Lives in Puerto Rico

San Antonio, Texas (July 22, 2020) — The Petco Foundation and Victoria Stilwell Positively are proud to recognize Gloria Marti, president of Save a Sato in Puerto Rico, as this year’s National Unsung Hero and the recipient of a $50,000 grant award to support her work to help pets in Puerto Rico.

Gloria Marti and her team at Save a Sato in San Juan, Puerto Rico, have served the community for over 25 years. But after recent hurricanes and earthquakes devastated Puerto Rico, Gloria’s unparalleled commitment to save pets left behind meant she was often working non-stop with limited resources to care for the many pets in need.

Gloria was named one of five Unsung Heroes this year by the Petco Foundation for her extraordinary lifesaving efforts and granted $10,000 to support her work. Her inspiring story featured in the third Unsung Hero series produced by Victoria Stilwell of Positively, which premiered in May along with four other episodes highlighting heroes from across the country, was shared by the Petco Foundation to give animal lovers the chance to vote for their favorite hero. Gloria’s story was selected as this year’s National Unsung Hero, garnering Save a Sato an additional $50,000 grant award from the Petco Foundation and more than 2,000 pounds of pet food to help the animals in Puerto Rico.

“We’re so happy to celebrate Gloria as a National Unsung Hero, a true hero in her community, for dedicating her life to helping animals,” said Susanne Kogut, president of the Petco Foundation. “Honoring her and sharing her story more broadly is our way of saying, ‘thank you’ and perhaps her story will inspire others to be heroes for animals, too.”

Gloria plans to use the funds to finish transforming a school building that she acquired to enable her organization to care for more animals. The grant investment will also provide support to help the animals in Save a Sato’s care find loving homes.

“Unsung Heroes honors people who are doing extraordinary work to save animal lives,” said Victoria Stilwell. “We traveled to Puerto Rico and documented Gloria’s inspiring story that demonstrates the difference that one person can make in creating a better world for pets.”

National Unsung Hero voting took place from May 1 through May 15 and recognized five individuals from across the country for their extraordinary, lifesaving efforts on behalf of animals. Each local Unsung Hero received a $10,000 grant award for their animal welfare organization and was featured in an episode. To learn more and watch the entire video series, visit petcofoundation.org/unsunghero.

Media Contact:
Jennifer Perez
Petco Foundation
jennifer.perez@petcofoundation.org

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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 $280 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 6.5 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.

About Victoria Stilwell
Victoria Stilwell is a world-renowned dog trainer best known as the star of the international hit TV series It’s Me or the Dog. Having filmed over 110 episodes since 2005, Stilwell reaches audiences in over 100 countries with her philosophy of positive training methods. Stilwell is a best-selling author who appears frequently in the media and is widely recognized as a leader in the field of animal behavior. A passionate advocate for positive dog training methods, Stilwell is the Editor-in-Chief of Positively.com and Positively TV, the founder of the Victoria Stilwell Academy for Dog Training & Behavior, and the CEO of Victoria Stilwell Positively Dog Training – the world’s premier global network of positive reinforcement dog trainers. The recipient of multiple awards, Stilwell is committed to helping the cause of animal rescue and rehabilitation and is heavily involved with organizations around the world to increase awareness of puppy mills, dogfighting, animal abuse, pet overpopulation, dog bite prevention and other animal-related causes, but she is best known as a champion for force-free positive reinforcement dog training methods.  She is a National Ambassador for the RSPCA and the Soidog Foundation and serves on the Advisory Boards of RedRover, DogTV, Dognition, W-Underdogs and Canine Assistants.

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