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Pet Product News Editorial Blog:

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Good Cause

By Sherri Collins

Editor, Pet Product News International

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It shouldn’t surprise anyone that we receive an impressive amount of pet products here at the magazine. Many come as part of a product release package, while a few arrive just because—and, of course, we get hundreds of products for testing during our Editors’ Choice Awards’ evaluations. Most of the items go home with our evaluators and the products are frequently not in a “returnable” condition after a thorough testing session by pet and owner. Still, we do end up with substantial amounts of “extra” products to the point where we have an overflowing cubicle (or two).

As with most offices, storage space is at a premium—and we’re not the only magazine here that tests products. Where does all of it end up? The answer is as simple as it is elegant: at an animal shelter.

This past Saturday, I loaded up my little hatchback with box after box of pet products and drove to the Seal Beach Animal Care Center (SBACC). Staffed by volunteers, this non-profit animal shelter is “dedicated to aiding lost and abandoned pets, helping people with pet-related problems, promoting responsible pet ownership and pet population control, and preventing cruelty to animals through educational programs.” Established in 1986, the no-kill shelter has been doing good work in Seal Beach and beyond for more than two decades. The SBACC staff was thrilled with their “booty” and began immediately making plans for what the shelter’s occupants could use, what could be sold during upcoming events and what they could give to other shelters in need.

It was such a simple act on my part. The products were given to the magazine; we simply “regifted” them to a good cause. The warm and fuzzy feeling I got from helping such a worthy organization almost made me feel guilty, since I really didn’t do all that much (I recovered quickly, though, as the repeated thanks outweighed any lingering doubts). I plan to make more donation visits to SBACC whenever our product supplies warrant them.

If our Retailer-of-the-Year applications are any indication, I’m preaching to the choir here. I’m betting most of you have an established relationship with a shelter and/or rescue group. You already donate overstock items to local groups and/or hold fundraisers to help them meet their budgets. Many of you also work in tandem with shelters and rescue groups to get the word out on companion animal adoptions. One pet store in my area has a fund jar for dollar (or more) donations, while another has a donation bin—similar to the ones in libraries—where customers can either buy a product and donate it or bring in an unused product. Whatever the donation method employed, you and I know a good cause when we see one and helping animals live healthy, fulfilled lives is as good a cause as any. Isn’t that why we’re in this business in the first place?

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