Berkeley Humane Awarded LeAnn Rimes Grant from PEDIGREE Foundation

PEDIGREE Foundation, LeAnn Rimes, and Berkeley Humane are teaming up to save more puppies.

As part of a partnership between PEDIGREE Foundation and multi-platinum selling and two-time Grammy® Award winner LeAnn Rimes, Berkeley Humane has been awarding a $10,000 grant to save the lives of puppies at risk for canine parvovirus.

Berkeley Humane's Kristen Loomer, Director of Operations,
and Jeffrey Zerwekh,Executive Director, are
presented a check by LeAnn Rimes.
In California, parvovirus (parvo) has been steadily on the rise, and in the Central Valley specifically, it has escalated to become one of the highest areas of incidences for this life-threatening disease in the entire United States. This is due to a multitude of reasons. The climate, stability of the actual virus, and ease of transfer in overcrowded municipal shelters makes the region a haven for parvo. Subsequently, under-vaccinated puppies are at significant risk of death without medical intervention.

“Berkeley Humane is one of the oldest animal welfare organizations in the San Francisco Bay Area with a history of thinking outside the box to create solutions for dogs in need,” says Debra Fair, PEDIGREE Foundation Executive Director. “We like their innovative approach to adoption and believe the idea of moving at-risk puppies out of the shelter and into foster homes is a smart way to maximize resources while saving more lives.”

Berkeley Humane transports over 100 puppies annually from the Central Valley. To assure health and to eliminate the possibility of cross contamination, a strict 14 day quarantine is mandatory for all at-risk puppies. While this is an important protocol to monitor their health, the extended stay also takes up limited kennel space within the medical program.

“With the new investment provided by PEDIGREE Foundation we will begin housing these litters within our volunteer foster families’ homes and moving them out of the shelter,” states Jeffrey Zerwekh, Executive Director at Berkeley Humane. “The new program is called ‘Foster to Family’ and enables puppies, once medically cleared for adoption, to go directly into new, loving families without having to return to a shelter environment.”

Puppies in the Foster to Family program will be in safe home environments and will have more room to play and interact with dedicated caregivers. This program will shift more puppies out of kennels, creating more capacity within Berkeley Humane for animals in need of medical care from recent natural disasters. The grant funds will help care for the medical needs and overall care for the puppies, including spay/neuter surgeries, vaccinations, advanced medical care as needed, and the supplies necessary to support the volunteer foster families.

The Berkeley-East Bay Humane Society (Berkeley Humane) has origins dating back to 1895. Today, Berkeley Humane serves the people and animals of our community by providing life-saving programs for cats and dogs, cultivating compassion, and strengthening the human-animal bond. With the support of our community and a dedicated and talented team of volunteers and staff, Berkeley Humane transports animals from municipals shelters who are often in need of medical care, improved nutrition, enrichment, and lots of love. So far this year, Berkeley Humane found homes for over 1,000 dogs and cats and touched the lives of an 1,000 additional pets through our animal programs and services. Learn more at

Formed in 2008 by Mars Petcare, the makers of PEDIGREE® food for dogs, PEDIGREE Foundation is an independent 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to helping dogs in need find loving homes by supporting the good work of shelters and dog rescue organizations throughout the country. Through no fault of their own, more than four million dogs end up in shelters and rescue organizations every year, and nearly half of them never find a place to call home. For more information on how you can support the foundation visit

LeAnn Rimes is an internationally multi-platinum selling, acclaimed singer and ASCAP award-winning songwriter. The two-time Grammy® Award winner released her 16th studio RCA UK/Thirty Tigers album, Remnants in 2017. The album debuted at # 4 on Billboard’s Independent Album Chart and peaked at #3 on iTunes® overall charts in its first week and garnered two #1 Billboard Dance hits with “Long Live Love”, “LovE is LovE is LovE” and one Top 5 hit with “Love Line”. She recently revealed a new EP for her fans titled Re-Imagined that features five new versions of some of her record-breaking hits including an epic duet with the music icon Stevie Nicks. Additionally, Rimes will be lighting up the television screens this holiday season, starring and serving as an Executive Producer in a new original Hallmark Christmas movie, “It’s Christmas, Eve” set to premiere on November 10, 2018. As a companion piece to the film, on October 12, 2018 Thirty Tigers records will release It’s Christmas, Eve holiday soundtrack featuring Rimes that includes new original “soon-to-be classic” holiday songs that the songstress created specifically for the movie.

At the young age of 35, she has sold more than 44 million units globally, won two Grammy® Awards; 12 Billboard Music Awards; 2 World Music Awards; 3 Academy of Country Music Awards; one Country Music Association Award and one Dove Award. At 14, Rimes won "Best New Artist” making her the youngest recipient to take home a Grammy® Award. 

Last year, the powerhouse vocalist was honored with the Ally of Equality Award by the Human Rights Campaign for her 20 plus years of support of equal rights. This follows her 2009 honor when she was the recipient of the ACM Humanitarian Award. At 14, Rimes won "Best New Artist” making her the youngest recipient of a Grammy® Award. Out of the 42 singles she has released throughout her expansive career, LeAnn’s record "How Do I Live," continues to rank #4 on Billboard’s “Greatest of All Time: Hot 100 Songs,” and it holds the record for being the second longest charting song ever on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. 15 of her multi-genre singles are top-10 hits, including "Can't Fight the Moonlight" which went #1 in 11 countries. 

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