(Rockwall) July 5, 2013 – A single trip to the Petco store in Rockwall changed Jenny’s life. The red dachshund/basset hound mix had been at risk of being put down at an area animal shelter because she had ringworm. Rockwall Pets, a nonprofit No Kill advocacy organization, rescued her and treated the fungus. It took only one appearance at Petco for Jenny to find a new home with the Terrill family.
It was all part of an adoption program originated by Rockwall Pets volunteers three years earlier. Weekly in-store adoptions began on June 18, 2010, when Rockwall Pets took dogs and cats from the Rockwall animal shelter to Petco in the hopes of finding them new homes. The nonprofit was the first group to attempt weekly adoption events at the Rockwall store.
Three years later, the store often has as many as four shelters and rescue groups offering pets for adoption on weekend afternoons. Rockwall Pets just began its fourth consecutive year at the Rockwall Petco and now hosts adoption events every Saturday from 1-5pm and every Sunday from 1-4pm.
Several recent surveys indicate that many Americans avoid going to animal shelters because they find the facilities too depressing or too overwhelming. Rockwall Pets discovered that hosting adoption events in a friendly retail environment – “taking the pets to the people” – fostered a more positive interaction between the pets and potential adopting families.
Rockwall Pets has now found homes for hundreds of pets from the local Petco store. The adoption totals were so impressive that Petco’s corporate offices chose the Rockwall store as a host for its new cat habitat, which was installed in November 2011. Cats and kittens from Rockwall Pets are now available for adoption on a daily basis at Petco.
Not all pets are as fortunate as Jenny to find loving homes on their first attempt. But thanks to the partnership between Rockwall Pets and the local Petco, hundreds of dogs and cats will be snuggling with their new families by the end of this year.
Story and photos by Michael Kitkoski.