PHOENIX — PetSmart and its loyal shoppers have succeeded in making the holidays a little brighter for millions of children, families, and pets across North America. The pet specialty retailer announced a record-breaking toy drive resulting in 2.3 million Chance, Lucky & Friends plush toys being collected and sales of its Holiday Philanthropic Collection, which gives back 10 percent of sales, generating $1.3 million for nonprofit partner PetSmart Charities to help pets in need.

“It’s the season of giving, and for all of us at PetSmart, that means it’s the time of year when our home offices, store associates and passionate shoppers join forces to help pets and people in need in the communities where we live and work,” said Joshua Kanter, PetSmart’s executive vice president of marketing and customer experience. “From buying items from our philanthropic collection, to donating plush toys to local causes, our shoppers have demonstrated they care deeply about enhancing the lives of people and pets in local communities across North America.”

The Chance, Lucky & Friends plush toy line features seven collectible characters that are perfect gifts for pets and people alike. The items retail for $5-9 each and are part of PetSmart’s Holiday Philanthropic Collection ( ) — an exclusive line of products that donates 10 percent of sales to PetSmart Charities to help pets in need.

Since early October, the 1,600 PetSmart stores across the U.S. and Canada have invited customers to purchase the plush toys and donate them in an in-store toy drive supporting a local charity or organization selected by each store. Popular causes include children’s hospitals, youth clubs, senior residences and animal rescue shelters, as well as larger community toy drive initiatives organized by local police or fire departments. So far this year, 2.3 million plush toys have been collected across North America — a 63 percent increase over last year and the highest tally since PetSmart began this in-store toy drive in 2011.

In addition to the plush toys, the Holiday Philanthropic Collection also includes 12 cozy blankets perfect for keeping warm on chilly winter nights. Each holiday season, PetSmart donates 10 percent of sales from these products to its nonprofit partner PetSmart Charities. Last year, the Holiday Philanthropic line generated $585,000. This year to date, as of Dec. 22, the program more than doubled by generating $1.3 million in donations to support North America’s leading funder of animal welfare in its mission to end pet homelessness and keep people and pets together.

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