Imagine ordering a pizza while also knowing that you’re doing something to help shelter dogs. Now you can! The Just Pizza & Wing Co. establishment in Amherst, New York, has started attaching flyers of adoptable shelter dogs to its pizza delivery boxes in an effort to help shelter dogs find their forever homes. Even if you personally can’t adopt one of the featured dogs, you can certainly share the flyer with friends or family.
The owner of the franchise, Mary Alloy, was inspired for the idea by her charity work with the Niagara Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals SPCA. While volunteering there with her 3 kids, Mary got to know Kimberly LaRussa, an SPCA event coordinator. Together, the two women came up with ideas for helping their shelter dogs find homes.
Mary told CNN, “Kimberly texted me one night and was like: ‘Hey, what would you think about putting pictures of the dogs on pizza boxes?’ and I just couldn’t wait. We are all animal lovers here, so I got permission from the franchise to do it and immediately got to work.”
The pizzeria officially rolled out the idea on Friday, February 28th. Besides adoptable dogs on flyers, the business is also doing a little extra – if someone actually does adopt one of the dogs featured on one of the flyers, they’ll receive an additional $50 gift certificate for Just Pizza & Wing Co.
As you can imagine, the philanthropic idea went down extremely well to rave reviews. Customers are “absolutely loving it.” And since first introducing the idea, the store has gone through 500 delivery boxes! That’s a lot of pizza orders from people supporting their initiative. In fact, since the idea’s been put into practice, a six-month-old puppy named Larry got adopted from the flyers.
Kimberly revealed, “We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest and support from the community and beyond since the story went viral on Friday. Many people want to order a pizza just to get the shelter dog photo, other pizzerias have offered to put flyers on their pizza boxes, and so many people are tagging their friends and family.”
However, it’s not just shelter dogs that Mary tries to help. This fantastic woman is quite charitable and she’s active in her community, helping with all kinds of organizations, such as hospice care, non-profit medical organizations, autism centers, children’s hospitals, and other animal shelters throughout the Buffalo area.
“I try to do whatever I can for other organizations who need help. We have donation boxes all over the store. Anything I can do to the help the community, I’m going to do it,” Mary said.
Mary no longer is able to continue her volunteer services for the SPCA due to conflicts with her business schedule, but she still helps in other ways: she caters all the charity’s events.
“That’s just the kind of person she is. We are so grateful to Mary and Just Pizza,” Kimberly said, according to CNN.
The idea is a catchy one. Other places, such as Papa Louie’s Italian Kitchen & Motocross Cafe in Ohio, are also starting to do the same with their pizza boxes. And they’re crediting Mary for the idea.
The pizzeria will continue to help shelter dogs find homes “for as long as it takes,” but they will also be expanding their flyers to include cats. That is certainly one pizza that I’d feel guilt-free about ordering! What do you guys think?
Anastasia is an American writer and journalist living in Dublin, Ireland. Her Twitter is @AnastasiaArell5.
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