Bloomington, IL,
06:34 AM

Pawing It Forward

State Farm® Celebrates the Heroes Working and Volunteering at Animal Shelters

Pets are a member of the family. Unfortunately, many animals haven’t found their forever home. Each year, an estimated 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters. They are loved and cared for by dedicated employees and volunteers. For some of these animals, it is the first time they have received a loving touch or a regular meal.

National Animal Shelter Appreciation Week is November 5-11, 2017. State Farm celebrates the people who dedicate their time working and volunteering at the estimated 14,000 shelters and pet rescue groups in the United States. These people know animal rescue is both rewarding and devastating.

State Farm does not exclude homeowners or renters insurance coverage because of the breed of dog owned. Under the right circumstances, any dog might bite, regardless of breed.

An Unsung Hero

Karl Booker arrives at work every day ready to show love to the animals at LifeLine’s Fulton County Animal Services in Atlanta, GA. As a kennel technician, he provides care to the animals until they find a forever home. He also provides friendship and love to the dogs who may never make it out of the shelter. When a dog enters the shelter scared or aggressive, Booker is the one called upon to make a connection. In some cases, it is the only loving touch these dogs have ever – or will ever – experience. According to Booker, “it isn’t so much about them being bad. They just need some attention...some love.”

Unfortunately, some of these dogs will never be safe as family pets. In those cases, Karl is the one who is with them when their lives end. It is Karl who shows these dogs the love and respect they should have received during their entire life.

On May 19, 2017, Karl and his wife flew to San Diego, CA, to accept the Petco Foundation Unsung Hero Award, sponsored by State Farm. Celebrity dog trainer Victoria Stilwell presented the award. It recognizes a special individual whose commitment and dedication exemplifies their love for animals. In honor of Karl Booker, the Petco Foundation also awarded LifeLine’s Fulton County Animal Services a $25,000 grant to continue saving the lives of animals in Atlanta.

Other 2017 Petco Foundation Lifesaving Award recipients included:

  • Founder’s Award – Brian Devine: Honoring the former Petco CEO and Chairman for his creation of, and commitment to, the Petco Foundation.
  • Paul Jolly Compassion Award - Kanawha-Charleston Humane Association (Charleston, WV): Recognizing a small to mid-sized organization whose compassion for animals moved them to make a difference.
  • Spay Neuter Award - Coalition for Pets and Public Safety (Los Angeles, CA): Celebrating the commitment of a high-impact spay and neuter clinic for service to their community, sterilizing an extraordinary number of animals.
  • Helping Heroes Award - Mission K9 Rescue (San Antonio, TX): Honoring the work of an organization committed to serving our courageous canine heroes.
  • Love Amplified Award - NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations for Clear the Shelters: Recognizing the visionary marketing and outreach efforts that resulted in increasing pet adoptions and saving lives across the country.
  • Lifesaving Impact Award - LifeLine Animal Project (Atlanta, GA): Celebrating an exceptional organization, whose inspirational leadership transformed their community and made a significant lifesaving impact.

You Can Make a Difference

Want to make a difference for animals in your community? State Farm has launched the Neighborhood of Good® initiative to make it easy for people to volunteer.

Step 1: Visit®

Step 2: Choose a topic that you care about and enter your zip code

Step 3: Select a volunteer opportunity

If you are a non-profit organization, the Neighborhood of Good has teamed up with All for Good to help you connect and coordinate with volunteers around your cause. Registering with All for Good also helps people find your cause on the Neighborhood of Good website.

Join the movement by doing anything – big or small – to make a positive difference in your neighborhood. Together, we can turn the power of caring into the act of doing.

About the Petco Foundation

At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $200 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay and neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 5.5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved.

About State Farm®:

For over 100 years, the mission of State Farm has been to help people manage the risks of everyday life, recover from the unexpected and realize their dreams. State Farm and its affiliates are the largest providers of auto and home insurance in the United States. Its more than 19,400 agents and 67,000 employees serve over 91 million policies and accounts – including auto, fire, lifehealth, commercial policies and financial services accounts. Commercial auto insurance, along with coverage for rentersbusiness ownersboats and motorcycles, is also available. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company is the parent of the State Farm family of companies. State Farm is ranked No. 44 on the 2023 Fortune 500 list of largest companies. For more information, please visit

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