PetSmart has been helping connect homeless pets to loving families since the 1980s, saving over 7.5 million lives throughout the years. The North London store has found homes for well over 5,000 pets since its opening two decades ago. At the National Adoption Weekend, this PetSmart location alone had over 40 adoptions in just two days.
Organizations and companies are working together to address a worldwide issue with the overpopulation of pets. PetSmart stores across North America have paired up with these organizations and rescue teams for adoption events. The company organizes four major adoption events annually.
The North London location paired up with the London Humane Society and Animal Love. Customers were greeted by a diversity of small animals such as guinea pigs, cats, and dogs. Kerri Campbell-Graham, a mother to three children, three kittens, and two dogs, originally walked in with her family to purchase cat food. She went home with more than she came for.
“As soon as I walked in the door, I saw they had two young brother guinea pigs. My son who was coming in behind me – I knew he was going to fall in love. For years, he’s been asking to guinea pigs again.” Campbell-Graham had previously said no, but now believes it is the right time as her son is 15 and ready to take on the responsibility.
A common discouragement for those looking to adopt is the misconception of a complex and lengthy process. North London’s Store Leader, Kelli Russell, says the process is as simple as coming in, filling out an application, providing some identification, and then fulfilling the adoption fees with the adoption partner.
Russell also adds that with each adoption, they give out a PetSmart adoption smarter kit, which includes a free bag of food and coupons that add up to over $450 in savings. “Anybody who works at PetSmart absolutely loves pets. We know there are pets in need of homes, so if we can be the facilitator of bringing loving pet parents into the lives of these wonderful pets, that’s would be great.” Russell says she loves to connect families with their forever furry friends.
Events like these are successful in rescuing animals as they give people an opportunity to get personal with the pets. Campbell-Graham believes these types of events opens up opportunities that others wouldn’t normally have.
“People come to the pet store all the time to get needs for the pet they already have at home, and so, seeing the actual face of a pet in need, makes it just a little more personable. It is easier to connect with a kitten that you can meet and play with in person, rather than thinking ‘maybe we can rescue a cat from an agency we don’t know about.’”
London newest cat adoption centre, The Catty Shack, works with rescue teams and “trap and release” programs to find homes for homeless cats. All cats in the facility are neutered, micro-chipped, vaccinated, and ready to go. Russell says partnering with Catty Shack is a definite possibility, “we’d like to work with all the organizations and rescue groups and support them. We support them through our adoption events and food drives. This weekend we are doing a food drive. We are asking customers to donate food and any other products they’d like to support animals in rescue.”
A new London store is opening in October and will be located on Huron and Highbury. That store will be partnering with The London Humane Society and Animal Love, and will be another location participating in the adoption events and food drives. Pet Smart organizes four adoption events yearly, and encourages even more people to come out to future events.