Friday, January 16, 2009

Save A Pet While Surfing The Web

(StatePoint) Something you and your family do frequently now can help save local pets in need of help. Simply by searching the Internet you can lend a paw to dogs and cats in communities nationwide.

Tough economic times are hitting even the smallest creatures, as animal shelters struggle with rising populations and shrinking financial contributions. Now, online searching and shopping is being put to use to help pets in local communities. Looking for a creative way to help pets in need, has launched the Search & Rescue program to raise money for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals., a search engine that pools results from all major search engines, is donating a portion of revenues from searches conducted on the Web site to the ASPCA. And the giving doesn't stop there: Consumers can continue to give without spending a penny of their own money by using a downloadable Search & Rescue toolbar.'s Search & Rescue program has a goal of raising $1 million through the end of 2009 by inviting consumers to do what they already do: search the Web.

A study of current giving trends conducted by found that Americans who typically give to charities are cutting back on donations by nearly half from last year, and animal charities are among those expected to suffer most compared to other organizations and civic causes. The situation is compounded by the fact that many of those surveyed have had to give up a pet -- or know someone who has -- due to financial hardship. As a result, animal shelters around the country are struggling with rising populations and shrinking contributions.

"We know that like us, most Americans have their hearts in the right place when it comes to animal welfare, but many don't have the means to give at this time," said Stacy Ybarra, senior director of Corporate Giving for InfoSpace, Inc., parent company of Dogpile. "Programs like Search & Rescue can change the way corporations and consumers approach charitable giving. You search and. together, we rescue -- it's as easy as that."

Eighty percent of people surveyed agreed that if they knew there was a way to donate money to charity through their actions -- instead of actually spending their own money -- they would do it.

"Tough times call for creative ideas and committed partners," said ASPCA President and CEO Ed Sayres. "We appreciate the support of and consumers everywhere who use the site to search. Working together, we can all help animals in need."

Since Dogpile's Search & Rescue program launch last November, users have raised more than $200,000 to help pets in need. For more information and to view a live counter tracking Search & Rescue donations raised to date, please visit

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