Ryan Tannehill • Mars Petcare

Mars Petcare announced Wednesday morning its partnership with Tennessee Titans Quarterback Ryan Tannehill as one of several ways to push its upcoming Better Cities for Pets event.

Mars Petcare’s 13th Annual Better Cities for Pets adoption weekend begins Friday, Oct. 22 and runs through Sunday, Oct. 24. In tandem with the Pedigree Foundation, the organization intends to cover as much as $100,000 worth of adoption fees for cats and dogs in five participating animal shelters in and around Nashville and Kansas City. This is further buttressed by the organization’s matching partnership between rival NFL clubs, the Tennessee Titans and the Kansas City Chiefs.

Ryan Tannehill and an adoptable puppy named Franklin — featured above — posed for a promotional photo to initiate the brand ambassadorship intended to push this year’s festivities and ensure as many pets are adopted as possible. Tannehill hung out with Franklin after practice last week and now encourages fans of both the Titans and the Chiefs to meet the pets currently up for adoption at any of the participating shelters.

“Our Annual Mars Petcare Adoption Weekend is a great way to rally our communities, brands and Associates around our ambition to end pet homelessness,” said Ikdeep Singh, Franklin-based Mars Petcare North America regional president. “For the thirteenth year, we will focus efforts in our hometown of Nashville, and this year we’re excited to expand to Kansas City, home to one of our manufacturing sites and a team of passionate Associates who proudly make Greenies,” another Mars brand.

The participating shelters in the Greater Nashville area include Metro Animal Care and Control, Nashville Humane Association and Williamson County Animal Shelter.

“Having grown up with rescue pets, — including our first family dog, Freckles — pet adoption is a cause that’s close to my heart,” Tannehill said in a press release. “I’m excited to support Mars Petcare’s 13th Annual Better Cities for Pets adoption weekend because I believe every pet deserves a loving home.”

In addition to covering adoption fees, Mars and the Pedigree Foundation will give adopters starter kits full of food products from myriad Mars brands — Cesar, IAMS, Pedigree and Temptations — and coupons for several others. Mars employees in Nashville and Kansas City will also be onsite to help shelters prepare for the weekend event.

Better Cities for Pets is a program Mars started in 2008 to better serve pets by making their communities more pet-friendly. Since 2019, it has also included an award component to recognize cities for passing laws and instituting policies that improve the lives of pets.

The Pedigree Foundation is a Mars-subsidiary nonprofit committed to ending pet homelessness. Also established in 2008, the organization has awarded over 5,700 grants and more than $9 million to American dog shelters and rescues.