HALO Animal Rescue, a Phoenix-based animal shelter, will be the first of 33 shelters across the county to benefit from NASCAR driver Alex Bowman’s 2021 pet project.
Mr. Bowman, driver of the Ally Financial-sponsored Hendricks Motorsports’ No. 48 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE and Best Friends Animal Society have teamed up to raise awareness and improve animal welfare throughout the U.S.
Mr. Bowman and Ally will both donate money to an animal shelter in each of the 33 cities scheduled to host a NASCAR Cup Series race this year.
He will debut a Best Friends-inspired paint scheme during the Instacart 500 at Phoenix Raceway in Avondale on Sunday, March 14, to honorthe hundreds of thousands of dogs and cats the nonprofit helps to save.
Best Friends will auction off his race helmet, which also features a special paint scheme, at a later date to benefit the organization, according to a release.
Ally has committed to donating $1,000 to each shelter and Mr. Bowman, a Tucson native who has a dog rescue at home, will match those donations.
If Mr. Bowman wins a race in a community during the 2021 season, Ally will increase its Best Friends donation to $10,000, the release stated.
These collective donations will provide a boost to dozens of no-kill shelters and will help fund vital efforts, such as spays and neuters, trap-neuter-return programs, shelter adoptions, educating the public about animal welfare, adoption events and more, the release stated.
“One of the lessons of 2020 for many — including Alex and me — is that our pets mean more to us than ever. This donation is a great way to leave a positive, lasting impact on local host communities by helping their shelters care for rescued animals and find them happy homes,” Andrea Brimmer, Ally Financial chief marketing and public relations officer, said in a prepared statement. “We hope to raise awareness and support for the important, lifesaving work of Best Friends through our donations and the incredibly cool paint scheme that Alex will sport in Phoenix.”
“Ally has taken a big interest in my passions and this relationship with Best Friends could not be a better fit,” Mr. Bowman said in a prepared statement. “Knowing each week when we go into a new race market that we are helping a local shelter is going to be special.
"The dedication the Best Friends organization has made to ending kill shelters by 2025 is definitely admirable," he said. "Having a rescue pup myself, Roscoe, I know firsthand how special it feels when you sign those adoption papers and you know you are going to give that pet a great life. Running this special scheme on our No. 48 Chevrolet at my home track (Phoenix Raceway) is going to be really cool. Hopefully we can park it in victory lane and make an even bigger donation to the shelter in the area.”
HALO officials, who have been helping animals find homes since 1994, said they are grateful for the donation.
“We are honored to be the network partner nominated by Best Friends to be the recipient of a donation from team Ally’s driver, Alex Bowman,” HALO Outreach Manager Erin Denmark said via email March 9. “This will help our team give medical care to several shelter pets in need here at HALO.”
A leader in the no-kill movement, Best Friends works in collaboration with its nationwide network of members and partners to “Save Them All.” The nonprofit is actively working to ensure that every shelter in the country is no-kill by 2025, meaning all shelters receive the community support needed to save every dog and cat who can be saved.
“As we race toward the 2025 goal, we are so grateful to have allies like Ally and Alex Bowman supporting Best Friends Animal Society and our network partners,” Marc Peralta, Best Friends chief program officer, said in a prepared statement. “These generous donations are going to make a big difference for homeless pets across the country and will also raise awareness of how people can help shelters in their own community. We welcome every pet lover to join our efforts.”
To make a donation and learn more about Best Friends, visit bestfriends.org/alexbowman. For more information and disclosures about Ally, visit ally.com/#disclosures.
Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 760-963-1697.