The pizza-publicity that is saving animals

by Jack Smith
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Everyone loves cats and dogs but some people don’t love them for long enough. Too often these animals are purchased without considering the commitment and effort they require. Too often these animals are bought but abandoned as they grow too large, or require too much attention. Shelters across the world are full of animals and it is a huge problem for all animal shelters as they are getting more and more animals while only a small amount are found homes.

This is giving shelters a huge issue. The one place that clearly loves animals is having to euthanize many as they simply can’t afford to look after them all. One shelter has come up with a unique solution to their problem. Part of the problem is awareness. It is surprising how many people choose to get a dog and don’t go through a shelter. There is nothing wrong with these dogs and cats and you can often save a dog or cat’s life by choosing to rescue a pet instead of purchasing one. Of course, it is usually a lot cheaper as well. To raise awareness the Niagra SPCA of New York partnered with a local pizza place. 

Now every pizza delivered has some flyers on the top of the box. The flyers have a photo of the animal (with a photoshopped pizza in their mouth, a nice touch), a phone number to contact the SPCA and the offer of a voucher for pizza if you are willing to take an animal. The project has only started recently and is already showing success. To date, two animals have been rescued due to pizza publicity. Larry, a 6-month-old retriever, and Joel a 7-month-old pit mixture were the lucky dogs in question. 

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The majority of flyers so far have focused on dogs. That is because they are the hardest to place. Most cats can share a home with other pets so animal lovers are always willing to rescue one more animal, but many dogs have to be the only pet in the home so that they can settle and become comfortable. This means that animal lovers who already have a pet are unable to adopt them. Trying to find someone who doesn’t have a dog but wants one is a tough ask. This is why the whole perception of getting a pet needs to change. Our first stop should be the animal shelter, not the pet shop.

The owner of the pizza place has always loved animals and was delighted to take part in the initiative. She had been a regular supporter of the animal shelter and when there was one cat that had special needs and no one would adopt, she stepped in. It was then that the local animal shelter approached her with its marketing idea. Mary Alloy, the pizza place owner, was only too happy to help. She had already adopted smokey the cat but saw how this move could benefit countless numbers of animals. While Mary was right, the real way this could help a large number of animals is if this idea goes viral. Imagine if a pizza place in every major city of America and Europe started to adopt this practice. 

The idea is not that new, for years people have posted pictures of missing children on milk cartons. In addition, the Roma football club recently started including pictures of missing children with any social media announcing new signings. Both of these initiatives are used to spread the image of a child to make sure people recognize a child in need if they see one. The pizza place idea is a similar idea but a little different. It is focused on raising awareness of a key problem and hopefully, if enough people get behind it, we can start to see meaningful results and have to euthanize fewer animals in the future.

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