Hope exists for homeless pets

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Can’t keep the homeless puppies or kittens that showed up on your doorstep or at your local animal sehlter? Petland may be able to help.

“We want our Adopt-A-Pet program to grow stronger in 2007, so we are inviting more pet care organizations and individuals to take advantage of the program locally,” said Darcy Howen, operator of the Petland store in the North Cherryvale Mall Drive Shopping Center, in Rockford.

Petland of Rockford is doing its part to help find homes for healthy, homeless kittens, cats, puppies and dogs. In fact, companywide, participating Petland stores have placed more than 114,500 homeless pets—24,440 homeless puppies and 90,284 homeless kittens—in the last four years.

“We devote some of our highly visible retail display space at Petland to showcase homeless pets. Our goal, as with all of the pets we place, is to match the right pet with the right person and meet the needs of both,” Howen said.

Ninety-five percent of the Petland stores in the United States have Adopt-A-Pet programs. Ninety-one percent of Petland stores say their community’s response to the Adopt-A-Pet program is “favorable” or “very favorable.”

Valuable community service

“It’s not only a valuable service to our community, but it’s the right thing to do,” Howen said.

The goal of Petland’s Adopt-A-Pet program is manifold. Petland stores donate pet supplies, sponsor shelter pets for adoption and conduct fund-raisers for animal shelters and pet rescue groups. Shelter fund-raising banks at Petland allow the public to donate.

Petland also works with local animal shelters, local pet rescue groups and with members of the local community to place accidental litters of puppies or kittens. Homeless mature dogs and cats are accepted, too, via adoption days outside Petland stores, or mature pets may be showcased in Petland stores equipped with facilities to accommodate their size. Some new, larger-format Petland stores are being built with separate Adopt-A-Pet centers inside.

Healthy, well-scoialized pets sought

Before Petland accepts a homeless animal for adoption, the pet must be at least 8 weeks old and pass a wellness check by Petland’s local consulting veterinarian.

“The homeless pets we offer to our customers must be healthy and well-socialized, ensuring they will make good pets for adopting families,” Howen said.

Once accepted, Adopt-A-Pets at Petland are given their vaccinations. In most cases, they also are micro-chipped for identification. Petland stores offer different spaying and neutering options to help ensure the adoptable pets are not adding to local pet overpopulation concerns. Adopt-A-Pets generally are offered to customers at a modest adoption fee, enough to cover associated shelter or rescue group charges, veterinary care and staff labor.

Interested? Contact your local PetlandShelter administrators, pet rescue representatives; or any individual with knowledge of a litter of healthy homeless puppies or kittens should contact their local Petland store. A manager there can explain local Adopt-A-Pet program procedures for mature dogs and cats as well.

Petland, ranked 192 overall in Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500” for 2007, has more than 190 quality, full-service, pet centers across the United States, Canada, Japan, Chile and South Africa.

Petland always has been committed to doing its part to help find families for healthy, homeless pets. More information about Petland and its community service programs can be found at www.petland.com.

From the Feb. 21-27, 2007, issue

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