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Nonprofits Petco Love and Dogs Playing for Life launch a new approach to Pet Adoption

On May 13th, national nonprofit organization Petco Love joins forces with Dogs Playing for Life and BOBS from SkechersTM to launch a National Playgroup Rockstars Adoption event at more than 30 animal shelters around the country, including Williamson County Animal Center (WCAC), to showcase social adoptable dogs in a fun and playful environment.

Dogs Playing for Life created the unique playgroup shelter dog enrichment program operating with the simple philosophy of “Every Dog, Every Day, Let Them Play!” Their goal – to ensure shelter pets’ positively experience life at an animal shelter, while providing shelter staff the information needed to help that pet find its new loving home. Playgroup Rockstars are dogs that are well-socialized and love to play with just about any dog playmate.

At the May 13 event, WCAC will waive Playgroup Rockstars’ adoption fees and the fees for the first ten other pets adopted. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. at 1006 Grigsby Hayes Court in Franklin. Media is invited to attend and interview representatives from these organizations on site about the unique event and partnership.

Most pet parents see pets as family and want to bring their pets with them where they go and incorporate them into their daily lives. This often means having social dogs is important to their pet adoption decision. There’s a reason it’s called the “dog pack” – dogs are social and energetic pets who thrive on companionship with other dogs. It is also true that a tired dog is often the most well-behaved dog. That’s why adopting a Playgroup Rockstars Dog will help pet parents with their newly adopted dogs’ socialization, mental and physical stimulation, and overall health and wellbeing.

According to WCAC Director, Ondrea Johnson the primary reason WCAC started holding playgroups was to improve the shelter experience for the most vulnerable dogs and those that struggle to thrive while at the center. Johnson said staff and volunteers learned how to better assess and correct behaviors that prevent dogs from being adopted and more effectively match potential adopters with the right dog. All of which decreases average length of stay. “I can’t imagine life in the shelter without playgroups,” said Johnson.

Four-year old Dash loves people and is super affectionate. He has done well with the other dogs at the center but we’re uncertain about how he’d do with cats. Dash knows sit and enjoys playing with toys. Dash and all his adoptable friends at WCAC are waiting for you to visit!

“The first dog I had was an only child, so to keep him happy we went on long walks morning and night. But still during the day he was home alone, and I always felt guilty working long hours,” said Susanne Kogut, Petco Love President. “When he passed, I decided to adopt two large dogs because I thought they would have each other for company, and when I was busy, they could still get their exercise playing and running together in the yard. Adopting two play buddies was the best decision I ever made for the dogs and for me. Many people choose to adopt two kittens for the same reason, but we seem to approach dog adoption differently. Adopting a Play Pair, two Playgroup Rockstars, makes great sense.”

Aimee Sadler, the founder of Dogs Playing for Life, began developing the program in 1998, when she observed large dogs at shelters often never left their kennel due to staffing and volunteer limitations. As a dog trainer specializing in behavior issues, she sought to change all that by shifting the shelter paradigm to incorporate large scale playgroups in the everyday activities. Dogs Playing for Life trains shelter staff how to assess dogs properly to enable them to run large dog playgroups as a normal part of shelter life.

“When you see a bunch of shelter dogs all romping together and having fun versus frustrated being alone in a kennel, well it is simply magical. These dog playgroups allow dogs to be dogs and enjoy their day, despite the fact that due to unfortunate circumstances they landed in a shelter. Add on that the ability to showcase their beautiful and playful nature might be their ticket to a new loving home, I can’t help but believe we are making a difference by prioritizing a better experience for them while sheltered,” said founder Aimee Sadler. Dogs Playing for Life programming now takes place at more than 300 shelters across the U.S., including WCAC.

BOBS from SkechersTM is partnering with Petco Love and Dogs Playing for Life for this unique adoption event. “We know large dogs are currently the population most at risk in shelters across the country and need to find loving homes more than ever,” said Jenn Clay, Vice President-Corporate Communications of SKETCHERS USA, Inc. “That’s why BOBS from SkechersTM isexcited to highlight the benefits of adopting large dogs and play pairs through this special event, and continue our ongoing mission to help shelter pets who need it most.”

The May 13th Playgroup Rockstars event is being held at more than 30 shelters and locations. A list can be found on Most participating shelters will waive dog adoption fees for a Rockstar. For people who already have pets, the Playgroup Rockstars Adoption Event allows you to identify and see the dogs in action who might be the perfect match for your existing pet. For those considering adopting two dogs, the teams on the ground can help you find the perfect pair. Adopters of Play Pairs will also receive gift cards from Petco.


About Petco Love

Petco Love is a life-changing nonprofit organization that makes communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing $350 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.7 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide.

Our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets, and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us. Join us. Visit or follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to be part of the lifesaving work we lead every day.

About Dogs Playing for Life

Founded in 2015, Dogs Playing for Life has been redefining the meaning and importance of quality of life for all sheltered dogs by improving their experience through playgroups and individualized training, resulting in urgent and responsible lifesaving. Since inception, DPFL has introduced playgroups to 329 shelters and counting, who realize an average 6% increase in lifesaving and 38% decrease in length of stay for dogs. Shelters frequently describe DPFL programming as “game changing,” “transformational,” and “the most important thing to happen for shelter dogs.” To find out more, visit

About BOBS from Skechers

BOBS from Skechers’ charitable collection of shoes, apparel and accessories have improved animals’ lives: over the past seven years, Skechers has contributed more than $9.7 million to help over 1.8 million shelter pets, including saving more than 1.3 million rescued animals in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Japan. It all started in 2011, when Skechers launched a movement to support children impacted by natural disasters and poverty – a cause that has helped the Company donate more than 16 million new pairs of shoes to kids in more than 60 countries worldwide. To learn more about BOBS from Skechers’ commitment to making a difference, visit and follow the brand on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.