Central Garden & Pet, Nylabone, and Kroger Team Up to Bring ‘Bark at the Park’ Back to MLB Fans to Support ARF’s Pets and Vets program

For more than 15 years, Central Garden & Pet (Nasdaq: CENT, CENTA) has helped bring thousands of dogs and their families to Major League Baseball® stadiums across the country for fun and charitable events called Bark at the Park. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, last year’s festivities were not able to take place, but today Central, in partnership with retail giant Kroger and leading dog-chew brand Nylabone, is proud to announce that Bark in the Park is back! This year’s events will feature some of the beloved and signature events Bark at the Park baseball fans and their dogs have come to love and expect, such as pre-game activities, special photo opportunities, and “Best of Show” contests. Additionally, fans and their dogs will receive free product samples from Nylabone, Kroger, and Pet Pride and a commemorative dog bandana before enjoying the ballgame from a special pup section. 

Bark at the Park events are also committed to giving back through our  Pets and Vets program, the flagship program that provides emotional support animals to U.S. Military heroes in need. The Pets and Vets program pairs specially selected dogs with military Veterans challenged with PTSD, traumatic brain injuries, and other serious ailments and leads the Veterans in training their dogs to become psychiatric service animals at no charge. Event attendees will have the opportunity to contribute to the program through the purchase of their Bark in the Park tickets and donations at the parks. “It’s been a very challenging year for everyone, and we are thrilled to help bring some joy back to people’s lives with Bark at the Park”, said Jim Heim, President of Business Development for Central Garden & Pet. “In the midst of so much anxiety and uncertainty, our pets continue to provide a sense of comfort and companionship that is invaluable.” Hall of Fame manager, Tony La Russa, who recently joined the Chicago White Sox as their manager, has served as Bark at the Park’s ambassador for more than a decade.

“Bark at the Park has been helping the Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF) in our mission of Saving Both Ends of the Leash® for years,” said La Russa. “ARF is honored to partner with Central Garden & Pet and Kroger, and we are so grateful for their partnership helping both dogs and veterans in need.” This year’s schedule includes MLB baseball games featuring the Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds, Texas Rangers, Seattle Mariners, and Colorado Rockies. The first Bark at the Park took place at Truist Field in Atlanta, GA on Sunday, April 25, 2021, when the Braves hosted the Arizona Diamondbacks along with hundreds of dogs and their families. Tickets are expected to sell out quickly for all the Bark at the Park games and can be purchased through the teams’ official websites. 

About Central Garden & Pet Central Garden & Pet

Central Garden & Pet Central Garden & Pet (NASDAQ: CENT, CENTA) understands that home is central to life and has proudly nurtured happy and healthy homes for over 40 years. With 2020 net sales of $2.7 billion, Central is on a mission to lead the future of the pet and garden industries. The Company’s innovative and trusted products are dedicated to help lawns grow greener, gardens bloom bigger, pets live healthier and communities grow stronger. Central is home to a leading portfolio of more than 65 high-quality brands including Pennington®, Nylabone®, Kaytee®, Amdro® and Aqueon®, strong manufacturing and distribution capabilities, and a passionate, entrepreneurial growth culture. Central Garden & Pet is based in Walnut Creek, California and has over 6,300 employees across North America and Europe. For additional information about Central, please visit the company’s website.

About The Kroger Co.

At The Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR), we are Fresh for Everyone™ and dedicated to our Purpose: To Feed the Human Spirit®. We are, across our family of companies, nearly half a million associates who serve 60 million households annually through a seamless shopping experience under a variety of banner names. We are committed to creating #ZeroHungerZeroWaste communities by 2025. To learn more about Kroger Co. visit the company’s website.

About Us

Our core mission is the rescue of dogs and cats who have run out of time in shelters, giving them a second chance at life. We couple this mission with innovative programs strengthening the human-animal bond for children, seniors, veterans, and people in disadvantaged circumstances. Through ARF, people experience the unconditional love and acceptance of dogs and cats to fulfill a mission of People Rescuing Animals … Animals Rescuing People®.


Erin Thompson, ARF Marketing Manager

925.296.3103 | [email protected]

People Rescuing Animals … Animals Rescuing People®

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