Connect with us

Do You Or Don't You

When Pet Pros Donate, Here’s Where They Put Their Money

The overwhelming majority of pet business owners do contribute to charities.




Do you donate to charities?

Yes: 98%

  • We do all different forms such as money, products to local shelters, and groom dogs from shelters to get adopted. I decide mainly just off what hits close to home. — Taylor Gonzalez, Three Tails Parlor and Pantry, Columbia, IL
  • We used to just help any rescue or nonprofit that asked us, but after three years we have decided to support two or three nonprofits that are important to us. One we donate to year-round is not a dog-related charity at all. My niece has Rett Syndrome, and I am extremely passionate about raising awareness and funds to find a cure for this incredibly horrible disease. — Morgan Moses, Harley’s Bakery, Harrisonville, MO
  • We focus on children in need and pet rescues and service dogs. We have toys created and branded with our logo and donate $3 from each one to different charities. We have done “round up” to rescues, where customers can round up their change. We offer our employees paid time off to go and volunteer. — Lisa Senafe, Bentley’s Pet Stuff, Long Grove, IL
  • We donate services via a preloaded gift card. We only donate to charities within the local pet industry, with the exception of one local women’s shelter for domestic abuse. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • We give gift cards, products and sometimes services, like a free self wash or nail trim. We give to 501c3 groups and try to ensure their focus and mission align with ours. We have a donation request form that covers all our rules and restrictions. — Jennifer Larsen, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA
  • I look for grassroots non profits. Yes, we donate to charities outside of the pet industry. It is important to look after charities that resonate with me. — Alexis Butler, The Dog’s Meow, Salt Lake City, UT
  • We host a Yearly Fundraiser for Puppy Rescue Mission (Soldiers saving Puppies … Puppies saving Soldiers). This is the fourth year we have hosted this event. I also collect food for the local food bank. — Heather Campbell, Bow Wow & Woofs, Blaine, WA
  • I mainly chose to donate to pet-related, local charities. However, I have also donated to specific local charities if it aligns with our core principles. — Kimberly Barnes, New England Dog Biscuit, Salem, MA
  • We donate money to avian organizations, one local and one national. We work closely with the local zoo and give discounts for them. The local museums we help with the few birds that they have and also give presentations regularly. Presentations are also made to schools, libraries, Scout troops … at no cost. We do it as an informational thing and do not push the business aspect. — Paul Lewis, Birds Unlimited, Webster, NY
  • We have specific events like drawings for free services in order to donate money to Patriot Paws, a Texas organization that trains therapy dogs for military veterans. We also donate money for Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels to help the folks in our community. — Suzanne Locker, ABC Pet Resort & Spa, Willis, TX
  • Normally, we do product donations. Often, we will make gift baskets for raffles. We also donate close-dated and open food to local rescues. — Jess Smith, Chow Hound Pet Supplies-Standale, Walker, MI
  • I try to focus mainly on local pet-related charities and give in the form of hosting events (nail trimmings, photo days, etc.) where all of the proceeds go to the nonprofit. When I donate items, it’s usually gift certificates for the self-service dog wash, because there is less cost for me involved in that. I also try to donate to charity events if a regular customer is asking on their behalf. — Jennifer Silverberg, Fetch Pet Supplies, Springfield, MO
  • We donate product (dog and cat food) to the Family Promise organization in our county. This feeds the pets of the homeless. This takes all of our resources to achieve. We do take out advertisements in children’s programs in schools, but we take that out of our advertising budget. — Bonnie Bitondo, Maxwell & Molly’s Closet, Newton, NJ
  • We generally donate products to local charities, but we have held events where funds raised have been delivered to local rescue groups. We sometimes choose them by customer recommendations or because we’ve worked with the group before. If there is a charity that is in need and can benefit from what we have to offer, we will donate regardless of whether they are in the pet industry. — Johnna Devereaux, Fetch RI, Richmond, RI
  • I host fundraisers for several rescues that are in my area. There is great synergy when you work with these groups. They promote you in all their media and in-house. As a business, it shows you care about more than just your business. It’s a wonderful option to bring into your business if you don’t already have it in your business plan. — Kristina Robertson, Barkley Square Pets, Falls Church, VA
  • Cats n Dogs donates to pet charities in the form product and time. About six years ago we had to limit donations to pet only. Just can’t give to every organization that barks at your door. — Nancy Okun, Cats n Dogs, Port Charlotte, FL
  • We have chosen to only donate to organizations that benefit pets or a cause that our employees support and ask us to donate to. We often make gift baskets for raffles or will donate gift cards for our store. — Nicole Olesen, Woofs & Waves, Sioux Falls, SD
  • We foster with a rescue group and cover almost all of the costs of that. We also work closely with a nonprofit that works with domestic violence victims and provide a greatly discounted boarding rate and often cover some of the cost of food. We also donate to several other local animal-focused nonprofits or sponsor events they hold. — Myra Tsung, Camp Kitty, Decatur, GA
  • We are thrilled to be working with the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital as they have recently acquired their first service dog for patients receiving physical rehabilitation. We have provided their staff with tools and ideas to use with patient care. We also work with Jefferson’s thrift shop offering up our retailing expertise to help them grow. — Sue Hepner, Cool Dog Gear, Roslyn, PA
  • We groom dogs for the local shelter once a week, and we also groom dogs for rescue groups twice a month. We donate seasonal toys that are not sold during their season to the rescue groups. — Carlos Carrizo, Alta Pet Center, Upland, CA
  • I will donate to anyone who asks. Sometimes it is just something small, like a gift certificate for our self-serve wash and sometimes we have entire fundraising events for a single charity where we donate 20 percent of our sales for the day to the charity. — Michelle Nelson, The Pet Authority, Albert Lea, MN
  • We get lots of last-minute requests for support of local school and nonprofit sports organizations. I plan our budget a year in advance and let them know to come earlier next year. We try to support the elementary, middle and high schools closest to our location. We offer the opportunity for those seeking fundraising support to offer a dog wash. A group can offer a celebrity dog washer (mayor, football coach, newscaster, etc.) at a higher fee, and we give the entire amount of that extra service to the group. — Marcia Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA
  • We donate to local rescues throughout the year through adoption events we have with them monthly. (We rotate rescues.) We also host two adopt-a-thons each year in our parking lot so any local rescue can come out, set up a booth and interact with the community. — Diane Marcin, Benny’s Pet Depot, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • Based on an incident that happened to me last year, I try to donate to GoFundMe causes, as I have realized just how important the funds are from needing the help myself. So many people came together to help me during my time of need — a lot of individuals that I’ve never even met — and I want to be there for others just as much. — Jen Kanzenbach, Beans ’N Bones, Green Bay, WI
  • There are so many nonprofit organizations that need and ask for donations that I had to have a clear focus so I wouldn’t give all my profits away. I focus on rescue groups, our local shelters and local schools. I give gift cards, gift baskets, participate in fundraisers, buy tickets, and the biggest and most rewarding was the sale of a 15 passenger airport shuttle bus with all proceeds going to the Willamette Humane Society and Salem Dogs. The bus was given to me, I got it running and sold with with the intention of donating the proceeds. — Terri Ellen, Nature’s Pet Market, Salem, OR
  • I make donations in multiple forms. The easiest are monetary donations, and donations of products. For example, a gift basket for a silent auction that contains a bag of treats a toy, and a branded item such as a magnet or sticker with our name and logo or store motto. I also always include a gift card, because that will encourage the recipient of the gift to come into the store. Honestly, these donations are not completely altruistic. We also donate our space and host adopt-a-thons and various fundraisers. The rarest donation I make is with my time, and I only do so with charities that I have a very strong connection to. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC
  • We donate products, gift certificates, plan events or participate in events to support our local SPCA, several selected smaller pet rescues and several community charities that are have nothing to do with dogs but gain a lot of visibility to our store. I choose dog related charities that have a mission I believe in… and that have large followers on their social media and are willing to promote or cross-promote events on their channels. I give for the joy of giving but it costs them nothing to give back by allowing our business to be mentioned to their followers. The charities outside the business I choose because I’m confident that the money actually goes to people who need it vs. paying corporate salaries. I also consider how visible they are to the community and their social media reach. My suppliers are great about letting me know if there are larger lots of pet food or supplies that are coming into past sell-by dates and I get a good deal on product which I can then donate to whoever is in need. We always count “per pound” and take pictures of our making the delivery. It makes a good promotion for our business. — Pattie Boden, Animal Connection, Charlottesville, VA

No: 2%

What’s the Brain Squad?

If you’re the owner or top manager of a U.S. pet business serving the public, you’re invited to join the PETS+ Brain Squad. Take one five-minute quiz a month, and you’ll get a free t-shirt, be featured prominently in this magazine, and make your voice heard on key issues affecting the pet industry. Sign up here.



NASC Media Spotlight

At first it was just an idea: Animal supplements needed the same quality control that human-grade supplements receive. But that was enough to start a movement and an organization —the National Animal Supplement Council — that would be dedicated to establishing a comprehensive path forward for the animal supplements industry. In this Media Spotlight interview, NASC’s president, Bill Bookout, talks to PETS+ interviewer Chloe DiVita about the industry today: Where it’s headed, what’s the latest focus and why it’s vital to gain the involvement of independent pet product retailers.

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular