The Just Pizza & Wing Co. franchise in Amherst, New York is serving up more than hot slices and spicy chicken these days. On Friday, February 28, its owner and dog lover, Mary Alloy, started attaching flyers of dogs available at the Niagara Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to their pizza boxes.
After just a few days it proved to be a huge success for the dogs and her restaurant. It all started with a suggestion from Kimberly LaRussa, an event coordinator at the shelter.
“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,” Alloy said according to CNN. “We are all animal lovers here, so I got permission from the franchise to do it and immediately got to work.”
The opportunity was extra special for Alloy. She has always wanted to volunteer at the shelter but, as a small business owner, her hectic schedule prevented her from getting involved.
After just a single day of attaching the flyers to boxes, Larry, a 6-month-old puppy featured on one of the boxes, was adopted by a pizzeria customer.
The pizzeria says it will give a $50 gift card to anyone who adopts a dog promoted on their boxes.
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest and support from the community and beyond since the story went viral on Friday,” LaRussa told CNN on Sunday, March 1. “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.”
The flyers have been a huge hit for the pizza shop’s business. It usually goes through 600 to 800 pizza boxes a week, but it went through 500 over the campaign’s first three days.
“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,” Alloy said.
The SPCA is touched by Alloy’s dedication to the cause.
“I sent her a flyer for her approval for the boxes and she said she broke down in tears,” LaRussa said. “That’s just the kind of person she is. We are so grateful to Mary and Just Pizza.”
Alloy’s work is important because it is saving lives.
Even though the at the Niagara Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is labeled a “no-kill shelter that doesn’t mean it doesn’t euthanize any dogs. The label “no-kill” can be applied to any shelter that releases 90% of its dogs to new homes.
A recent report in The Buffalo News found the shelter has an impressive 92% survival rate. But that can always be improved.
Alloy is a great example of an entrepreneur fully harnessing the power of their business to help the local community. Let’s hope that the partnership she has created with the SPCA inspires other entrepreneurs to harness the power of their businesses to help even more of our four-legged friends.
Photo credit: Metro.Co.Uk., CNN, Buffalo News.