FRANKLIN, Tenn., January 29, 2010 – As search and rescue teams return home from Haiti this week, The Nutro Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated, today announced a $50,000 donation to the Search Dog Foundation (SDF). SDF is a California-based organization that deployed six canine disaster search teams to assist in the search and rescue operations in Haiti. SDF’s search team efforts have been the most successful deployment in the organizations 14 year history with a total of 11 individuals discovered and pulled out alive from the debris.
“We have all seen the tragic images from Haiti, interspersed with moments of hope when survivors were pulled from the wreckage,” stated David Ansell, President of The Nutro Company. “For over ten years, we have supported the Search Dog Foundation and have watched their teams work tirelessly to save the lives of people in the midst of a disaster. We are honored to be able to support their mission.”
Today’s donation builds on the exclusive three-year partnership between the SDF and NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® dog food. The NATURAL CHOICE® brand is the official dog food sponsor of the SDF and since 2008; The Nutro Company has made significant monetary and in-kind donations to the organization. The relationship stretches back to 1998, when The Nutro Company began providing vouchers for NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® dog food.
“We are grateful to The Nutro Company and the NATURAL CHOICE® brand for their continued support of the Search Dog Foundation,” stated David Kaplan, President of Search Dog USA. “Our dogs perform miracles in extremely difficult circumstances, and the assistance we get from The Nutro Company – including the actual food we feed our dogs on the ground – helps them do that.”
SDF is a non-profit based in Ojai, CA that produces canine disaster search teams trained to find victims buried alive after events such as the World Trade Center, Hurricane Katrina and now the earthquake in Haiti. The teams who participate in the relief efforts are instrumental in rescuing numerous individuals from the rubble of collapsed structures. Anyone interested in contributing to the Search Dog Foundation can visit their website at www.searchdogfoundation.org.
In total, the various business segments of Mars, Incorporated have donated $475,000 to the disaster relief and recovery efforts in Haiti, in both monetary and in-kind contributions. In addition, The Nutro Company will be matching associate donations to SDF 100 percent. Additional aid is planned as on-going needs develop.