Barkworthies, a dog treat and chew brand, helped 100 shelter dogs find their forever homes as part of the brand’s Chews Rescue shelter campaign. The month-long campaign, which took place throughout April, was launched as a way to raise awareness for rescues and help further promote “Adopt a Shelter Pet Day (April 30)”.
As part of the program, Barkworthies partnered with Chicago Canine Rescue, One Tail at a Time and Austin Pets Alive! and donated over $22,000 in total to cover the adoption costs for eligible shelter dogs at these locations over the last weekend of April.
The total number of dogs adopted were:
In addition to covering the adoption fees for eligible shelter dogs, Barkworthies sent cases of their chews to the shelters so that each dog adopted was sent home with a treat.
“Fifty-nine dogs in one weekend is fantastic,” said Maggie Lynch, development director at Austin Pets Alive!, in a press release. “We normally adopt out about 7 to 12 in a single weekend in April. We really want to thank Barkworthies for making this event happen. We’re especially happy because some of our long-stay dogs got to go home at last.”
Last year the brand launched their first Chews Rescue program, where they donated over US$13,000 to the Richmond Animal League. In 2015, Barkworthies showed their support for animal rescues when they developed new advertising designs, from branding materials to packaging, that feature exclusively shelter dogs as models.
Businesses aligning their brands with various causes and charities is nothing new. But the pet food industry, with its dual goals of meeting human pet owner needs and providing the best products possible for the benefit of those pets, is in a unique position to do good on several fronts. Pet food companies getting involved with pet adoptions, working with shelters and rescues, spearheading various animal health initiatives, helping communities continue to care for their pets after natural disasters, and working to connect people in need with service animals are just some of the ways the industry gets involved on the human and animal sides of things.
Consumers seem to agree with the importance of their pet brands participating in philanthropic efforts. According to Packaged Facts data, the percentage of people who say a brand’s charitable efforts play a significant role in their purchasing decisions has steadily increased since 2014. In 2016, 17 percent of people surveyed said they “strongly agree” with the statement that “the participation by pet product brands in pet welfare and rescue causes and events plays a significant role in which brands I buy,” while another 27 percent said they “somewhat agree” with the same statement.
Pet owners want a lot from their pet food brands. They want primary proteins that suit what they believe is best for their animal. They want grains or they don't. They want something customized, but it has to be easy to understand.
Constraints and crises, like those experienced in 2020, help drive innovation and sustainability offers context.