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Petland expands pet adoption program

Petland’s Adopt-A-PetSM program finds homes for more than 310,000 homeless pets.

(CHILLICOTHE, Ohio, April 4, 2011) – Petland is proud to announce the growing success of its national Adopt-A-PetSM program, a community service initiative to help find homes for abandoned or unwanted pets.

“Petland has a mission of ‘matching the right pet with the right customer and meeting the needs of both.’ Many times the right pet for a family is an abandoned pet in need of a new home. By working with local community organizations, Petland has proudly found homes for more than 310,000 unwanted pets,” said Joe Watson, Chief Operating Officer of Petland, Inc. “The majority of homeless pets are the result of unintended backyard breeding and these unexpected litters place a significant burden on local shelters. Petland is committed to growing our Adopt-A-PetSSM program and we invite local pet care organizations, shelters, rescue groups and individuals to join us in this humane effort.”

Companywide, participating Petland stores have placed 72,531 homeless puppies and dogs and 234,497 homeless kittens and cats since 1998. A recent 2010 study indicated that 5,520 large birds, reptiles and litters of small animals were accepted into the Petland Adopt-A-PetSM program across the country.

Petland’s Adopt-A-Pet Program

All Petland stores are required to participate in the Adopt-A-PetSM program at some level. Most stores begin by simply collecting funds for a local shelter or rescue organization, displaying directions to the local shelter, donating supplies or featuring brochures and photos of available rescue pets. Some Petland stores are dedicating kennel space within their retail stores, offering high traffic and visibility for the pets.

In addition to working with shelters and rescue groups, stores can accept healthy pets from unplanned litters in their local community, preventing these pets from being placed in a shelter or becoming feral. Before a Petland store will accept a homeless puppy or kitten for adoption, the pet must be at least eight weeks old and pass a wellness check by the store’s local consulting veterinarian.

“The homeless kittens or puppies we offer to our customers must be healthy and wellsocialized in order to make good pets for adopting families,” said Petland, Inc.’s Adopt-A-PetSM Coordinator Lacey Clever.

Once accepted, Adopt-A-PetSM pets at Petland are given their vaccinations and worming preventatives. In many cases, the pets are microchipped for identification and are spayed or neutered. Adopt-A-PetSM pets are offered to customers at a modest adoption fee, which helps cover the costs associated with the program.

Adopt-A-PetSM successes

“In 2008, many Petland stores invested significant time, money and effort to expand their Adopt-A-PetSM programs and that dedication has produced significant results,” said Elizabeth Kunzelman, Director of Marketing and Communication.

A number of Petland stores have designated a portion of their retail kennels to Adopt-APetSM space while a few stores without puppies often host Adopt-A-PetSM days on the weekends in conjunction with their local shelter or local rescue group.

Petland of Chillicothe, Ohio recently expanded their Adoption Center by increasing Adopt-A-PetSM kennel space to 45% of the store’s total available kennels. Manager Chris Adkins works with small animal rescue organizations, the local community and the Ross County Humane Society to bring adoptable pets into the store’s Adoption Center.

Dave and Robin Visniski, Petland franchisees for nearly 20 years, are veterans and pioneers of the Petland Adopt-A-PetSM program. Petland in Tyler, Texas has operated a 100% Adopt-A-PetSM kennel since 1992. The Visniskis originally worked with a local shelter, who provided all of the puppies and kittens in their store, The partnership dissolved in 2008 after a change in shelter operations and the Visniskis turned to their local community for unwanted litters. The new community-based program has remained as successful as their shelter program. The average time a puppy or kitten is in the store is only 5-6 days.

“The Petland in Tyler also helps prevent additional unwanted litters by spaying not only the adoptable puppies and kittens, but also the mothers,” said Dr. Paul Gainer, DVM of the Flint Veterinary Clinic and consulting veterinarian for Petland Tyler’s Adopt-A-PetSM program.

Also devoting 100% of their retail kennel space to shelter pets is Petland of Pittsburgh in the East Village. The store had previously offered purebred puppies and kittens from USDA licensed breeders. Beginning in 2011, the store launched the Animal Shelter Adoption Program (ASAP), working with the local Humane Society and Animal Rescue League. “Public response has been overwhelming,” says owner Eric Caplan.

Petland stores have also found success hosting weekend adoption events in partnership with their local shelters.Petland in Cambridge, Ohio, owned by Tim Casto, renovated his store to allow for adoption day events in conjunction with the Guernsey County Dog Shelter and Pound Partners every other weekend. Casto also offers customers discounts on food and merchandise to those who adopt a pet from the shelter.

Petland in Ashland, Ky, owned by long-time Petland franchisees Dwight and Cathy Burk, hosts the Greenup County Animal Shelter at least once a month. Recent flooding in the area forced many to surrender their pets to the shelter. Some of these pets were showcased at a Petland Ashland adoption event, all finding new homes that day.

Petland of Athens, Ohio recently began placing puppies from the Athens County Dog Shelter. Later this year, the store will host their first annual Paws for a Cause walk to benefit the shelter and Friends of the Shelter, a local rescue organization.

“Placing homeless pets is humane, responsible and simply the right thing to do in our communities. And, Adopt-A-PetSM is one of many community service programs at Petland stores aimed at enhancing the human-animal bond,” said Clever.

Petland is committed to doing its part in helping find families for healthy, homeless pets. More information on Petland and its community service programs can be found at www.petland.com.

Petland, Inc. is a franchise operation with full service specialty retail pet centers across the United States, Canada, Japan, China, Mexico and South Africa. Petland is ranked among Entrepreneur magazine’s “Franchise 500.” For more information on Petland, please visit the company's Web site at www.petland.com.