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The POWER OF PETS by Mars Petcare sponsors nationwide series of "Woof walk" fun runs


Community Dog Walks Will Be Co-Hosted by local YMCAs in Cities across the Country

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mars Petcare today announced it will sponsor a series of “Woof Walk” fun runs as part of THE POWER OF PETS™ program for 2011. Co-hosted by local YMCAs nationwide, the events will feature a two- to three-kilometer community dog walk, as well as healthy and fun activities for the whole family.

The first event will take place in Chicago on September 24. Events will follow throughout the fall in cities across the country, including: Washington; Staten Island, N.Y.; Nashville, Tenn.; San Diego; Austin, Texas; Miami; and Portland, Ore.

THE POWER OF PETS™ by Mars Petcare, a community-focused initiative that celebrates the health benefits of pet ownership, is focusing its 2011 program on dog walking as a way for families to increase their physical activity levels while spending more time together and outdoors.

“Obesity levels are rising in both humans and pets,” said Debra Fair, vice president of corporate affairs for Mars Petcare US. “Taking your dog for a walk is an easy, fun and affordable way to get the entire family moving. It’s not only great for physical and mental health; it also strengthens the bonds of neighbors and communities.”

Research suggests that regular walking can lower the risk of heart disease, reduce blood pressure and may help combat obesity in both humans and pets. Walking with a dog has also been shown to increase the number and duration of conversations among neighbors, fostering community bonds and social cohesion. According to a recent survey conducted by

Mars Petcare, dog owners walk more often and for longer periods of time than non-dog owners.

In addition to the community walk, events will feature other pet-friendly fitness activities such as doggie obstacle courses, dog Frisbee-catching contests and ball tosses, doggie yoga and free pet health screenings by BANFIELD® veterinarians.

“At the YMCA, we believe healthy, active families are the key to building strong and vibrant communities,” said Katy Leclair, executive director of the Lake View YMCA in Chicago. “Innovative programming like THE POWER OF PETS™ by Mars Petcare helps us encourage people of all walks of life and fitness levels to be more active. We’re excited about walking together with our families, our pets and our neighbors.”
For more information about THE POWER OF PETS™ by Mars Petcare and to keep up to date on event details, join our Facebook community at

About Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare is the world’s largest petcare manufacturer, with 2010 global sales of approximately $12 billion. Headquartered in Brussels, Mars Petcare produces brands such as PEDIGREE®, WHISKAS®, SHEBA®, CESAR®, ROYAL CANIN®, NUTRO®, GREENIES®, KITEKAT®, CHAPPI®, and CATSAN® Food for Pets. Mars Petcare is also home to Mars Fishcare, Mars Horsecare, Petservices and BANFIELD® Pet Hospital. The Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition provides the science behind our leading petcare brands. Based in McLean, Virginia, Mars, Incorporated has net sales of more than $30 billion and six business segments including Petcare, Chocolate, Wrigley, Food, Drinks and Symbioscience. More than 65,000 Associates worldwide are putting our Mars Principles in action every day to make a difference for people and the planet through our performance.

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