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As I’m sure you all know, Thomas and Bella are shelter kitties, and Tara is a rescue girl. What you may not know, however, is that I’ve spent a good amount of time volunteering at shelters. For one group I was part of the fundraising committee, and for HART of Maine, the shelter from which I adopted Bella, I was responsible for cleaning cat rooms and feeding all those hungry little mouths.

Shelter cats go through a lot of food!

I adopted Bella from the shelter where I volunteered.

This post is sponsored by PetSmart® and the BlogPaws™ Pet Influencer Network™. PetSmart is not responsible for the content of this article.

Knowing just how much food we went through for a single morning feeding of 100-plus cats, I could easily extrapolate that to imagine how much food even a small shelter needs just to be able to feed the cats in its care.

So I was thrilled to learn that PetSmart has just launched the “Buy a Bag, Give a Meal™” program–its biggest philanthropic effort ever!

The way it works is this: You buy a bag of cat food (or dog food)–any brand, any size–between now and December 31, 2017, at any one of PetSmart’s 1,500-plus stores in the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, or online through the PetSmart website, and PetSmart will donate a meal to a pet in need. That pet in need could be at a shelter, an animal welfare organization, or be served by a pet food bank. Through this campaign, PetSmart expects to contribute more than 60 million meals!

I can imagine what a campaign like this would mean to any shelter, but particularly to a small shelter like HART of Maine.

Food is a huge expense for every shelter I know of. And according to a recent PetSmart Charities survey of nearly 1,800 animal welfare organizations across North America, only 20 percent of those organizations receive pet food donations, and about 8 percent are on contract with pet food brands to receive subsidized pet food.

What that means is, there are lots of shelters paying lots of money to feed the hungry cats (and dogs) in their care. If PetSmart can help to reduce the burden of food costs, that means shelters will be able to spend that money on other vital services like health care, spay/neuter programs, and helping people find the perfect kitty to take home with them.

PetSmart's Buy A Bag, Give A Meal program can help ease the burden of food costs for shelters.

Photo courtesy of PetSmart®.

This is a great opportunity for you to help shelter cats by doing something you do anyway: buying cat food. It’s an easy way to help make a difference in the lives of shelter cats all across North America.

The coolest thing about this campaign is that if PetSmart leads the way, maybe more large pet supply chains will follow. I certainly hope so, because the cats deserve it!

To learn more about the Buy a Bag, Give a Meal campaign, read the press release here. You can also follow PetSmart on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, and let them know how glad you are to see them supporting shelter kitties!

PetSmart's Buy A Bag, Give A Meal campaign will help shelter cats all across North America.

Thomas says “thank you for helping the cats!”

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of PetSmart. The opinions and text are all mine. Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.