Pedigree Foundation: Grants for Animals and Wildlife

OVERVIEW: The Pedigree Foundation is dedicated to helping make dogs more adoptable so they can find homes. It is incredibly inclusive in its grant making, which means that many of the applicants that apply for a grant and meet the guidelines typically receive some type of assistance.

IP TAKE: Assuming you meet their guidelines, your odds of getting a grant from the Pedigree Foundation are good. Just don’t expect the assistance to be huge.

PROFILE: Founded in 2007 by Pedigree brand dog foods, the Pedigree Foundation was established to reduce the number of dogs living in shelters by helping make them more adoptable and decreasing the number of owner surrenders each year. It awards grants to numerous types of dog-centric programs, including behavioral training; “matching” training, which helps shelter workers match dogs with potential owners on the basis of personality and behavioral traits; dog transport programs; and upgrades to shelter facilities.

Pedigree awards its grants through two distinct grant programs: Innovation Grants and Operation Grants. Innovation Grants are larger, one-time grants between $10,000 and $25,000 and are awarded to organizations with visionary approaches to finding proper homes for dogs and reducing the surrender of dogs to shelters. Only a handful of them are given out each year.

The Humane Society of Sedona, Arizona, received an Innovation Grant for devising a Mobile Adoption unit that facilitates adoptions at well-trafficked sites such as shopping malls, and a portable interactive kiosk that educates people on the important role the shelter plays in the community. Other Innovation Grant winners include the Nashville Humane Association, which won for a DNA Program that runs genetic tests to determine the background of mixed-breed dogs in order to match them with guardians who prefer the behavioral traits of certain breeds; and the SPCA of Monterey County, to whom Pedigree gave an award for its "Take the Lead" program, which pairs shelter dogs that need behavioral training with at-risk youth in an effort to provide both with important life skills.

Operation Grants are given to several hundred organizations each year and are quite broad in their scope, supplying a limited amount of funding for nearly any type of general operating expense. These grants are not awarded on a basis of merit, and nearly any group who falls within the guidelines is likely to receive funding. Money is split evenly among all applicants, so the amount a group is likely to receive will depend on the number of organizations applying and the resources available to the foundation in a given year.

Although Pedigree doesn’t publish award amounts for its Operation Grant winners, it makes the names of winners available year-by-year. Humane societies and local SPCAs are found in high numbers among them, along with many lesser-known community animal-rescue and adoption agencies. Some become repeat grant winners. The humane societies of Berkeley-East Bay and Central Illinois have both won several grants from Pedigree each. So have the California animal-rescue organization Pepper Foundation and the basset-focused Kansas City nonprofit Western Missouri Basset Rescue, Inc.


  • Bo Segers, President
  • Julie Duke, Executive Director