A pizzeria is going viral for taping fliers of shelter animals to its pizza boxes and then sharing the images on social media.
A Just Pizza & Wings Company franchise, located in Amherst, N.Y., is including the priceless freebies with costumers’ orders, featuring information about adoptable dogs sheltered at the Niagara Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (NSPCA).
NSPCA event coordinator Kimberly LaRussa tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she approached the receptive Just Pizza franchise owner, Mary Alloy, with her campaign idea — which she got going on Friday by printing up hundreds of the fliers to be distributed, and posting images to Facebook. The response has been huge.
“We had no idea that people would take to it the way that they did, like, it was almost immediate,” LaRussa says.
Every dog at the shelter that was available for adoption — which accounts for about 20 pooches — was featured on a handout.
Alloy says that agreeing to partner on such a campaign was a natural fit for her.
“I love animals,” she tells Yahoo Lifestyle. “I hate seeing them in cages. When people just, you know, drop them off with a note — ‘you know, I just can’t do this anymore,’ and then you just see their eyes. And then you just see all these bad stories about what people do to them. I just think they should all have a home.”
The pizzeria owner says it’s not the first time she’s lent a hand to the NSPCA, having donated pizza to events and collecting money through donation boxes in the eatery.
“She often goes above and beyond to help the shelter animals...she’s just an amazing person that is always willing to lend a hand whenever she can,” LaRussa says. “I don’t think she’s ever used the word ‘no’ when we’ve asked her help. So we’re very grateful for her.”
As of Wednesday, thanks to the fliers, two dogs have found homes: Larry, a 6-month-old pit-lab mix, and Joel, a 7-month-old pit-bull mix.
With so many more dogs at the shelter still looking for their forever home, LaRussa and Alloy say they planned on continuing to have the fliers on the pizza until every dog can get adopted.
“There are so many amazing dogs here at the shelter,” LaRussa says, “and some people want that puppy, or they want that pure-bred dog, but you don’t realize that a lot of these dogs here were once puppies...and some of them are pure breds. They’re diamonds in the rough here… You can come in and you can get the dog of your dreams, and they will give you back love 10 times more than you can imagine.”
Now other area pizzerias are offering to put the fliers on their pizza boxes, as well.
“I wish everybody would do it,” Alloy says. “The more people that get the fliers, the better chance the animals have of getting adopted.”
The NSPCA is also looking to add cats to the campaign, and have made T-shirts printed with the picture of an adoptable dog, Hooch, with all the proceeds going to the shelter.
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