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Do You Or Don't You

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

Do you donate to charities?

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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%

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Do You Or Don't You

Do You Eat Lunch Regularly with Team Members?

More than half of you do not.

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Yes: 31%

  • Lunches at our staff meetings always improve morale and participation. — Robert Feller, Verona Veterinary Medical Service, Verona, WI
  • Although I don’t eat lunch that often as I lack the time, I always enjoy the opportunity to spend time with team members eating lunch because it creates great camaraderie between the entire store staff. — Leel Michelle, Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA
  • It allows for informal and casual conversations, which help solidify the team-building process. — Frank Frattini, The Hungry Puppy, Farmingdale, NJ
  • We celebrate five-star reviews with pizza parties! It really keeps the entire team, from management to cleaning crew, invested in our clients’ satisfaction. — Katherine Ostigy, Crossbones, Providence, RI
  • It gives us time to refresh and finish the day, I only have done this off site with my managers, but I purchase lunch for my staff on a weekly basis. — Jessica Cooke, Yuppy Puppy, O’Fallon, MO
  • I put a new couch in our large grooming room, and everyone congregates there for lunch or short breaks every day. We catch up with each other, talk about the business and laugh about weird clients. — Danielle Wilson, Bath & Biscuits, Granville, OH
  • It’s just me and one team member, so we eat together every day. We eat the same food, treats and cookies for dessert. Our dogs are best friends. Effects? We smile a lot. — Nancy Okun, Cats n Dogs, Port Charlotte, FL
  • A lot of non-work conversation happens when we eat together. Our team is its own little family, and I am blessed and grateful for the opportunity to work with these great individuals who care so deeply about animals and what we are trying to do at Fetch RI. — Johnna Devereaux, Fetch RI, Richmond, RI
  • Everyone likes their voice heard, and sitting with staff at lunch makes me a real part of the hands-on team and keeps the conversation from getting gossipy. Also, it’s good to hear about dogs and clients from the vantage point of the staffers who spend more time with them. It helps me as an owner be able to strike up conversations with clients, as well as get good ideas from my staff about things that are going well and things that are not going well. They still know I’m the boss, but it makes me seem approachable, knowledgeable, and receptive to input from staff. — Angela antalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT
  • Every Wednesday is our truck day and it gets kinda crazy in here. I have started buying my team lunch every week. We hang out talk and it gives us time to connect. Yes, it does cost me, but the payoff is worth it. I highly recommend it! — Anna Woodcock, Brown Dog Bakery, Ankeny, IA

No: 69%

  • Who has time for lunch when you own the place? — Tammy Vasquez, Bark Life, Seminole, FL
  • I feel like it’s their time to get away from it all and watch videos, relax and do what they want. Several usually sit together in our common kitchen, so I do walk around them quite a lot, interacting in a fun way at that time. — Suzanne Locker, ABC Pet Resport & Spa, Willis, TX
  • My husband and I eat out every day for lunch at a local downtown business. It’s our time together and away from the store. It helps us catch up, think clearer, communicate the day/week/etc. It also supports small local businesses like ours. — Jennifer Larsen, Firehouse Pet Shop, Wenatchee, WA

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.

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Do You Or Don't You

Do You Send Holiday Cards to Customers?

Most of you don’t …

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Yes: 33%

  • We handmake for our top clients. For the rest, we typically send out printed ones from Shutterfly with some of our client photos. — Melissa Wiltse, Happy Pooch Styling and Spa, Lynden, WA
  • I don’t customize them, I address and sign every single one, I like the personal touch. To all active customers. — Kelly Catlett, Waggs 2 Whiskers, Bagdad, KY
  • In the past we have done a holiday card, and we turned it into a contest to boost our social media presence. We asked pet parents to post the cutest photo of their dog on our Facebook page and whoever collected the most likes at the end of the contest won a professional photo shoot and was featured on our holiday card. People went NUTS getting friends and family to like their dog’s photo every day. It was really fun to watch! — Amy Zounes, CaNine to Five, Clifton Park, NY
  • We customize our cards, custom print them and send them to all of our clients. — Asha Olivia, Hoby Dogy Pet Care, Hoboken, NJ
  • We try to send personallized cards from the store manager to the top 20 or 30 customers at each location. We’ve done custom-printed in the past, but last year and this year just used boxed cards with a handwritten message. — Keefer Dickerson, Nashville Pet Products, Nashville, TN
  • We send out a post card to everyone that has purchased from us over the past year. The post card is simply “Our Gift to You” — a $5 gift certificiate, no minimum purchase. We have them created and printed by a local business. — Michell Nelson, The Pet Authority, Albert Lea, MN
  • I send post cards out with a $5 coupon good from January to March, which is my slow time. I had pictures of my dogs running in the snow last year. — Corey Heenan, Corey’s Canine Creations, Altamont, NY
  • We send customized cards featuring one or both of my dogs, a Pug and a Presa, to our top clients. I handwrite a note to them. While it takes more time than using a preprinted greeting, I feel that it is more genuine and would be more likely to be kept rather than tossed. — Wendy Megyese, Muttigans, Emerald Isle, NC
  • We send dog-themed holiday cards to our long-term (6-plus months) training/daycare customers every December. It’s very time consuming and we’re thinking about going to preprinted cards this year. — Katherine Ostiguy, Crossbones, Providence, RI
  • We send them out in several tiers: A custom emailholiday card sent out to our entire client list (thousands), a custom-printed card with calendar enclosed, and a custom-printed card with calendar and framed printed holiday photo of their dog. — Krista Lofquist, Wagging Tails, Wolcott, CT
  • Ours are Thanksgiving cards, and they are customized. We send to our top 250 customers. — Claudia Loomis, Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies, Phillipsburg, NJ

No: 67%

  • We send out holiday wishes to our customers via email. — Doung Staley, Pet Palace of New City, New City, NY
  • No time! Christmas is always so chaotic that we can barely breathe let alone send cards. But it would be a nice touch! — Shane Somerville, Paddywack, Mill Creek, WA
  • I used to and it would kill me when so many would come back in the mail because they had moved, or whatever the reason. So we do an email blast, facebook posts, and hand them a holiday card from us by a staff member when they come in a few days before the holiday that has a coupon to use in January. — Jessica Cooke, Yuppy Puppy, O’Fallon, MO
  • No … but we are thinking of doing a calendar this year as a gift for the holiday. — Angela Pantalone, Wag Central, Stratford, CT

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.

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Do You Or Don't You

Do You Give Holiday Bonuses to Staff?

More than half of you do.

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Yes: 53%

  • I take the entire staff out for dinner pizza and beer. Depending on length of employment, and their performance, I give groomers $50-$100, bathers $25-$50. I put cash in a Christmas card. — Rachel Malmfeldt, Pampered Pups, Joliet, IL
  • It is included in their paycheck, they get an extra $20-$30 bonus per shift they work on a holiday based on their employee pay agreement. — Deana Deitchler, Dog Paw, Park Rapids, MN
  • We have monthly sales goals which are established by our inventory planning partner (Management One). I take that goal and add 10 percent. Then, all sales above that goal, employees are bonused 25 percent of anything above that. In 2018, our staff rocked it, and each received a $2.77/hour bonus for the month of December. — Michelle Nelson, The Pet Authority, Albert Lea, MN
  • Cash. Based on time with us and average hours, plus their dedication to our business. — Dani Edgerton, Paws on Main, Columbiana, OH
  • We give the employees cash in an envelope. We do not do paid vacations, so we try and base it on an average week’s pay for each employee. If we don’t think it’s enough, we add a little more to the envelope. They really appreciate it. — Diane Marcin, Benny’s Pet Depot, Mechanicsburg, PA
  • I give all employees 12 months and under $50, 1 year $100, and each year they increase by $100. I write personal cards and then give company logo jackets. — Julie Grounds, Central Pet, Tucson, AZ
  • I give my dog walkers a $25 gas card and a small gift that would mean something special just to them. My groomers get a $100 Visa card and a pizza dinner with all their families. — Kristina Robertson, The Pet Spa at Barkley Square, Falls Church, VA
  • We usually offer a shopping day where more items are available at our employee feeding prices. We do incentives all year long for cash, gift cards and paid time off, so allowing them to shop hard-core for themselves and as gifts for family is kinda cool. — Michelle Pelletier, Bentley’s Pet Stuff, Green Bay, WI
  • For my key staff, they get a bonus check based on a predetermined increase in sales from the previous year. — Mike Murray, Bonnie’s Barkery, Phoenix, AZ
  • I mailed them a holiday/thank you card last year with a $50 gift card Everyone got the same amount. They were all thrilled! — Kelly Catlett, Waggs 2 Whiskers, Bagdad, KY
  • Cash, plus we all go out to dinner. These past few months, I had some health issues, and they really stepped up to the plate. So in September, I planned to take them all to the gun range to shoot some machine guns. Different bonus? Yep! But I appreciate all they do! — Greg Gorski, Cody Pet Depot, Cody, WY
  • Our staff gets bonus gifts: gift cards for movies, grocery stores and a HUGE gift card for our store so they can spoil their pets on our dime. — Connie Roller, The Feed Bag Pet Supply, Grafton, WI
  • We give out gift cards to the luxury movie theater. We want our people to go out and treat themselves after spending all year caring for dogs and customers. We think of our bonus as more of a gift, because it comes with no judgement on performance. — Charlsye Lewis, Metro Animals, Fort Worth, TX
  • I give my staff a check. I base the amount on their hours put in, their reliability, their client base and ability to keep clients, their communication, and the length of time they have been with me. — Ashley Cook, Viva La Pet, Dover, NJ
  • The week before Christmas, my team gets a cash bonus. The amount is based on tenure. My team members get a holiday party in January to celebrate making it through the busy holiday season. — Theresa Hogge, Belly Rubs N Suds, Ashburn, VA

No: 47%

  • I typically host a staff appreciation dinner in late January or early February. — Marcia Cram, Just Fur Pets, Springfield, VA
  • We’ve never given bonuses but do pay good wages, and employees get products at cost. Since we don’t focus on the holidays, we prefer to be on our “A game” all year, the once-a-year bonus seems disingenuous. — Karen Conell, The Bark Market, Delevan, WI
  • Whereas we don’t give monetary bonuses, we do take the entire staff out for a fun night of dinner, drinks and a fun activity prior to the season to get them pumped up. We also have performance goals, and those who hit their goals get gift certificates throughout the season. — Sue Hepner, Cool Dog Gear, Roslyn, PA

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.

Continue Reading

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