Giveback Is Good
It's October—which means that Pet Product News is honoring manufacturers and retailers who give back. The new issue of the magazine highlights the annual Paw It Forward section—which has become one of the most talked about features of the year.
Owning a pet product business has never been so rewarding. These days, more retailers and manufacturers are committed to allocating their time and profits to not only help animals in need, but also to actively involve potential pet owners in the rescue effort.
Pet industry leaders are partnering creatively to ensure that newly adopted pets start off on the right paw with donated food, gift baskets, collars, leashes, toys, grooming supplies and so much more.
All of these efforts equal greater education and awareness and provide animals another chance at securing a lifetime of tender, loving care.
There’s No Place Like a Home
Shop and adopt events make a difference and, in fact, have been shown statistically to contribute to gains in greater pet re-homing.
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy’s shelter and adoption estimates for 2012-2013, the number of dogs and cats euthanized each year in shelters has decreased over the past few decades from 12 to 20 million to an estimated 3 to 4 million. However, the study concluded that there is still work to do, as only approximately 30 percent of pets in homes come from shelters or rescue groups.
Manufacturers want more retailers to reach out for product donations to enhance the appeal of store adoption events. Offering food and other supplies as part of a gift basket or new adoption package helps new pet owners understand what a pet needs to thrive and builds customer trust and loyalty.
Donna Bodell, director of marketing for Up Country Inc. in East Providence, R.I., said her company is passionate about helping to facilitate more animal adoptions.
“We love to contribute by offering new pet parents gift baskets when they adopt a pet,” she said. “We also offer discount coupons to be given out at the store event. Six years ago, to celebrate our 25th anniversary, we started donating a collar and lead set to each dog that was adopted from the [Rhode Island SPCA] a few doors away from us.”
Up Country also designed an Adopted collar the same year the company started its RISPCA campaign, and now the collar is consistently one of the company’s best-sellers, Bodell added.
Giving back to animals in need is important to Kimberly Loper, owner of Center Moriches, N.Y.-based Life Is Gruff, which produces all-natural gourmet dog treats.
“I’ve been creating special treat baskets that I’ve been donating to local animal rescue groups for years,” she said. “I also do holiday-decorated treats so these animals won’t be deprived of a special, festive snack because they are in a shelter situation.”
Recently, Loper purchased Harbor Pet, a boutique in Greenport, N.Y. For her store’s grand opening, an adoption event was a centerpiece of the festivities.
“A store opening gets a lot of attention, so we used this opportunity to feature an adoption event in partnership with a local shelter,” she said. “Later in the day, we had a Yappy Hour and also gave out free samples of pet products from participating manufacturers who were all so wonderful, so generous.
“A portion of the proceeds from the weekend sales were donated to the North Fork Animal Welfare League.”
You can learn more about these programs and many more here...