In honor of Giving Tuesday, Chewy recently partnered with pet food company Hill’s Pet Nutrition to throw shelter dogs a holiday party at the Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Giving Tuesday is a movement that encourages the spirit of giving. It takes place the Tuesday after Thanksgiving—a time of year when Black Friday deals and cyber sales can dominate our mindsets.
For this event, Hill’s donated more than 150 pet products to ensure the shelter dogs had everything they needed during the party and after. And Chewy and Peggy Adams team members were on hand the entire day to spread the holiday cheer.
“The animals had so much fun,” says Rich Anderson, executive director and CEO at Peggy Adams Animals Rescue League. “It gave our shelter animals the chance to play, meet new people, experience the holiday festivities and show off their talents and loving personalities. It made for a truly special day at Peggy Adams.”
It made for a truly special day at Peggy Adams. – Rich Anderson, executive director and CEO at Peggy Adams Animals Rescue League
Volunteers from Chewy put up decorations, sprinkled around pet-friendly “snow” made from rice and set up fun stations for an unforgettable experience.
While the dogs were busy playing, the volunteers spent their time wrapping donated pet supplies, like the Hill’s Science Diet healthy development puppy kits, with even more pet supplies—as conventional wrapping materials can pose a holiday hazard for pets.
They used dog blankets for wrapping paper, leashes for ribbons and dog bones for bows.
“The dogs were so cute while I was wrapping the gifts,” says Katie Abell, part-time elf and full-time associate project manager for Chewy in Dania Beach, Florida. They all knew the gifts were for them.”
“They kept putting their paws up on the table and sniffing and grabbing bones. One of them even jumped up on the table and laid down,” Abell adds.
They all knew the gifts were for them. — Katie Abell, Chewy employee and volunteer gift wrapper
The art team at Chewy crafted a gingerbread house out of Chewy boxes to serve as a festive photo booth for the shelter dogs. The adorable pictures will be used by Peggy Adams to promote these shelter dogs during the holiday season to help get them adopted.
“Anything positive that we can share with potential adopters really helps,” says Heather Price, animal behavior manager at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.
Mario was first up in the photo booth. Eleven years young, he is a part of the “fospice” program, which is part foster program, part hospice. To make fospice animals more appealing to potential long-term foster parents, these pets receive routine medical care, medication, food and other supplies needed free of charge.
Anything positive that we can share with potential adopters really helps, says Heather Price, animal behavior manager at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League
Mario was brought into the shelter as a stray on April 30, 2018, according to Price. Shelter workers tried relentlessly to find his previous owner, but no one came forward to claim this sweetheart.
“He loves stuffed animals and is also in our Good Dog Training Program,” Price says.
The Good Dog Training Program was recently created by the shelter. As part of the program, shelter dogs learn different commands, like sit, stay and come. In addition to learning basic manners, the dogs get to spend time outside the kennel, which means less kennel stress, according to Jaime Devereaux, ACDBC, CPDT-KA, FFCP, behavior and training coordinator at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League.
At the party, Devereux conducted a training session where the dogs practiced the commands sit, lie down and touch, which involves the dog coming over and nosing the trainer’s hand.
“These cues are great for dogs to know because it teaches them impulse control,” Devereux says. “And the more basic manners that they have could mean the difference of them staying in a new home or being returned.”
While all parties must come to an end, Chewy and Hill’s made sure the holiday cheer would last a bit longer by filling their temporary living situation with lots of new goodies.
The more basic manners that they have could mean the difference of them staying in a new home or being returned. — Jaime Devereaux, behavior and training coordinator at Peggy Adams Animal Rescue League
Their kennels were decked out with new dog beds, dog toys and delicious dog treats.
If these dogs could tell Santa Claus what they want for Christmas, we would bet they’d ask for a family to love them just much as they seem to love perfect strangers.
That wish came true for Dexter, a four-year-old dog who had been at the shelter since Aug. 26, 2018 as an owner surrender. Two days after the holiday party, Dexter got adopted.
While this day was filled with holiday cheer for all the shelter pet attendees, it definitely isn’t the first time Peggy Adams and Hill’s have joined forces for the pets at Peggy Adams.
“Peggy Adams has been a Hill’s Partner for 15 years and we value the wonderful work they’re doing to support the pets and people in their community,” says Joann Fuller, brand engagement manager at Hill’s in Topeka, Kansas.
Peggy Adams is part of the Hill’s’ Food, Shelter & Love program, which Hill’s created in 2002. The program’s mission, according to Fuller, is to provide high-quality nutrition on a continuing basis to shelter pets all across the country. Today, Hill’s provides pet foods to more than 800 shelters across North America, 365 days a year.
“Too few people outside of animal welfare are aware of Hill’s incredibly generous program that feeds tens of thousands of shelters animals each and every day,” Anderson says. “Hill’s’ dedication to rescue animals is second to none and their program saves Peggy Adams tens of thousands of dollars each year that can be used to help more animals in our community.”
And while not everyone has the opportunity to help millions of pets at once, just helping the ones in your community can go a long way. If you’re looking for ways to give back to a local shelter, you can do things like donate goods, your time and foster.
Lindsay Schencker, Pet Central Associate Editor
The moment Lindsay started her career here at Chewy, she hit the ground running in customer service; she knew that this is the company she wanted to grow with from then on. When Lindsay isn’t spending her time writing for Pet Central, she’s most likely binge-watching a Netflix series with her fiancé and cuddling up with her 80-pound fur baby, Dexter.
Feature Image: Chewy Studios