Can you the believe stores are already filled with seasonal holiday decorations for the upcoming months? Just yesterday someone asked me about my plans for Thanksgiving! My students are looking ahead to holiday break in December!

An estimated eight million homeless animals will not share the holidays with their family. Iams Home 4 the Holidays (IH4TH) hopes to lower that number. They officially kicked off their 2009 adoption campaign last week. Between October 1 and January 4, 2010, the organization will work with 3500 animal organizations around the world to raise awareness for homeless animals. With the help of actress Hilary Swank and founding partner Helen Woodward Animal Center, their goal is finding homes for 1.5 million homeless animals. Over the past decade IH4TH has helped 3 million animals find homes, with more than 1.2 million pets adopted last year.

“It’s so rewarding to look into an adopted animal’s eyes and see how thankful they are that you saved their life,” said Swank. “I am a true believer in pet adoption and have rescued many animals throughout my life. I hope everyone will join our mission this holiday season so more pets can experience the gift of love and family.”

The program goes beyond simply someone taking an animal home. IH4TH provides resources and tips to help new or soon-to-be pet parents make thoughtful decisions about adoption. Every family who adopts a pet through the program will receive an Iams adoption kit and DVD loaded with important information about nutrition, training and proper care to ensure that the relationship with the new animal starts off on the right paw.

According to Mike Arms, founder of IH4TH and president of Helen Woodward Animal Center. “There are millions of beautiful, amazing animals waiting for families to love them and we want to help them find their forever home. The more foot traffic we can get into these organizations through awareness and education, the better, so these orphaned animals will no longer be homeless.”

If you would like more information about this program and to find participating shelters, visit

I welcome your pet adoption stories.

Bountiful Blessings!