There are two things that Mary Alloy, owner of the Just Pizza & Wing Co. on Niagara Falls Boulevard in Amherst, New York does well: make delicious pizza and help animals in need. So Kimberly LaRussa, event coordinator at the Niagara County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals knew just who to call on when she had the idea to get pictures of adoptable animals into the hands of area residents.
“Mary has been helping the SPCA for a long while now,” LaRussa told the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. “I don’t think Mary has ever said, ‘No,’ to us when we needed help. She can’t physically volunteer because she’s so busy with her business and pizzeria, but she says, ‘Anything I can do with pizza, I want to do.’ ”
LaRussa asked Alloy to put flyers displaying available dogs on pizza boxes.
“She said, ‘Yes,’ right away,” LaRussa told the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal. “Immediately.”
And the flyers are working! Locals flooded in to the shelter to meet the animals. Some dogs found their forever families even before the flyers left the pizzeria. This Facebook post shows some of the flyers and the adoptees with their new families.
Perhaps the most heartwarming result of the partnership is the story of Solstice. In another Facebook post, the Niagara SPCA shared the details.
“Our longest resident, Solstice, was adopted tonight,” they wrote. “Solstice came to us last year after being left on the side of the road in a crate. Solstice’s story has now turned into a beautiful one because the sweet young lady with the big smile on her face had met Solstice before and when she saw she hadn’t been adopted in a very long time, she broke down in tears. Her parents then decided to take Solstice home today.”
Solstice was also one of the first dogs featured on a Just Pizza & Wing Co. pizza box.
If you are a fan of felines, you will be pleased to learn that adoptable cats are also currently appearing on the pizza boxes, as noted in this Just Pizza & Wing Co. Instagram post.
The early success of the program is inspiring others in the local community to join the effort. And other parts of the country are now considering creating programs like this one, too.
“Mary and I have been receiving calls from shelters and pizzerias in other states who have asked if they can use the idea to help shelter animals in their area,” LaRussa told Insider. “The community has stated that they are just so grateful that a business owner is stepping up to help get the dogs adopted and other pizzerias here locally are also jumping on board to help because of this!”
If you would like to support the effort but don’t live in western New York, you can purchase a Pizza + Pups t-shirt for a donation of $25 or more.
Either way, we think this is a great initiative and we’re happy for the pups and their new families!