Washington, D.C. – Compassion, companionship and commitment, the touchstones of every pet-human relationship, are the cornerstones of the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council’s (PIJAC) Pet Effect campaign. Luckily, for both biped and pet, while these three qualities do not know a season, but resonate throughout the year, the holidays are a special time when the pet industry reaches out to communities everywhere.
“From K9 care packs to Afghanistan to rescue shelter donations, the people in the pet industry move into action in support of pets everywhere,” says Cathy Calliotte, vice president of marketing. “Throughout the country, and around the world, members of the pet industry reach well beyond their own businesses to donate directly, galvanize their communities to participate and have a positive effect on the animals we all love and call ‘pets.’”
Pet Supplies Plus, based in Michigan, recognizes the stray dog epidemic in Detroit and recently made the largest donation in the history of the 25-year-old franchise: 109,410 pounds of food to the Detroit Dog Rescue – an equivalent of $270,000.
“In addition, Pet Supplies Plus employees and their families more than doubled their goal to raise money for Detroit Dog Rescue from $5,000 to $13,000 and 20 employees were on hand to volunteer on December 7 at the non-profit’s pantry project,” says Sara Schulte, company spokesperson for Pet Supplies Plus.
In Portland, Oregon, Wet Spot Tropical Fish regularly takes in surrenders of unwanted and unsellable fish. Ailing fish, or fish that may require rehabilitation, are put into their in-store ‘hospital’ and nursed back to full-fin wellness. The store’s concern for animals does not begin and end with the ‘fish-set’ – every holiday season they host a toy and food drive for Portland’s local no-kill pet shelters that adopt out cats, dogs and other small animals.
Move America Forward, a military charity, sends special k9 care packages for the thousands of Military working dogs currently serving full of great items plus paw protectors, eye-protecting goggles, and dog treats keep our 4 legged soldiers happy, safe, and injury free. Thousands of K9s are currently serving overseas. (http://carepackages.moveamericaforward.org/collections/k9-care-packages).
For some shelters around the country, it’s Christmas throughout the year with KONG. What started in the mid-90’s as the KONG Seconds program has grown into KONG Cares, a program where slightly flawed, but always durable, KONG toys are donated to shelters and rescues around the country.
“It’s not just about donating – it’s about helping,” says Sarah Taillon, Marketing Manager at KONG. “A number of dogs in shelters have anxiety or behavioral issues making them less appealing for adoption – giving them a KONG may help ease their anxiety and boredom, making them more adoptable.” KONG doesn’t keep track of its donations to shelters around the country, but they donate to 25 shelters every month through their raffle and roughly estimate that they’ve circulated hundreds of thousands of the toys since the program began. Know of a shelter in need? Register them with the KONG Cares program and they could receive a box of Kongs! (http://www.kongcompany.com/pet-partner-programs/shelter-registration/)
Facebook is one of the fastest and easiest methods to donate and Wellness Pet Food wanted to help their Facebook fans make a difference with a “You Click, We Donate” campaign. For every click, and/or email address submitted, $1 is donated The Cat House on the Kings (www.cathouseonthekings.com) and Green Chimney’s Farm & Wildlife Rehabilitation Center (www.greenchimneys.org) a nature-based special education program. Each charity will receive up to $8,000 in donations.
“The Cat House on the Kings relies strictly on donations from the public to carry out its mission,” said founder Lynea Lattanzio. “The money donated will make a difference by allowing us to care for the cats at our facility and offer spay/neuter services to control pet overpopulation in the area.”
Tapping into their customer foot traffic is one method working for ANIMART Pet., Inc. based in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to their on-going effort in support of rescues, the ANIMART Giving Tree (https://animartpetstores.com/giving-tree) is full of ornaments with wish-lists from the Dane County Humane Society. Customers pick an ornament and fulfill a wish for shelter animals spending the holidays without a family.
Pet Sitters International (PSI) organizes PSI’s Hungry Bowl™ Pet Food Drive held internationally between December 1 and 12 annually. Association members organize pet food drives, which included the United States, Canada and Australia last year, to benefit local shelters or rescues of their choice in their local communities. PSI provides the framework, guidelines and turnkey customizable materials to help members organize their efforts on behalf of the local animal non-profits. Last year, more 36,000 pounds of pet food was collected and distributed to shelters and rescues in these countries.
“Pet industry retailers, manufacturers and others are dedicated to helping to create the most positive experience possible for pets and their owners– including those pets in rescue groups and shelters who have not yet found their family,” says Mike Canning, president & CEO of PIJAC. “At PIJAC, we hope that by sharing these stories, more community members will work with the pet industry, be inspired and continue to pay it forward, for one pet, one success story, at a time. THAT is the Pet Effect.”