07:34 PM EDT 04/13/2013
Originally posted 06/27/2012 04:30PM
After years of working with Pets Alive, Rob Thomas and his wife Marisol decided they were ready to take the next big step, and the couple recently donated $350,000 to the animal rescue organization.
The gift was made in two parts: $125,000 was personal, and $225,000 came through the Thomases' own charitable organization, the Sidewalk Angels Foundation. The money helped launch Pets Alive's newest project, an animal sanctuary based in Puerto Rico, where abandoned and abused animal populations can overwhelm local resources.
"We were doing rescue there remotely," Marisol, who is of Puerto Rican descent, tells PEOPLE, "and we realized there was really a need there. I wanted to see a real change happen on the island."
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