New York is known for its pizza. Anyone who’s ever visited the state knows that while they’re here they need to try a genuine bagel, bacon egg and cheese, or slice of pizza. When it comes to the multitude of pizzerias scattered throughout New York, however, it can be hard to distinguish what makes a certain establishment unique. For one franchise based in Amherst, they’re making major social strides through their advocacy for shelter pet adoption.
Just Pizza & Wing Co. is attaching flyers of adoptable furry friends to each of its pizza deliveries to help aid a community organization that promotes adoption over shopping for puppies at storefronts that likely get their animals from cruel puppy mills. The best part of the whole deal is Just Pizza is offering a $50 gift certificate to any customer who ends up adopting a dog because of the pizza box fliers.
Mary Alloy owns Just Pizza & Wings Co. with three of her children, and the idea to incorporate posters for available shelter dog’s trying to get adopted onto each pizza box came when Alloy and her kids began volunteering with the animal rights group, Niagara Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Alloy is no stranger to working with non-profit charity organizations, so volunteering to help protect animal rights seemed like a no-brainer for her and her family, and when an event coordinator whom Alloy had grown close to suggested using pizza boxes as a way to get more “advertising” for shelter dog adoptions, Alloy jumped at the opportunity.
Kimberly LaRussa is the coordinator who’s worked with Alloy on implementing this new program which began distributing fliers this past Friday (2/28), and both the pizzeria and shelters are receiving a surge of new clientele, after 48 hours one puppy named Larry has already been adopted thanks to the collaboration!
“We’ve had a tremendous amount of interest and support from the community and beyond since the story went viral on Friday. 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 shop is getting a lot more business, as well. While the restaurant usually uses about 600 to 800 boxes every week, it has already gone through 500 boxes since Friday,” LaRussa and Alloy said in an interview.
As previously mentioned, Alloy is no stranger to working with charitable organizations and incorporating advocacy for them within her own business. She’s already heavily involved with hospice care, non-profit medical organizations, autism centers, children’s hospitals and other animal shelters as well throughout New York.
Just Pizza & Wings Co. has nine locations throughout New York, and within each are dozens of donation boxes for various organizations. Alloy said she’s always wanted to work with the SPCA, but running her business obviously always took priority. Previously she provided food donations to events for the SPCA, but once her kids offered to help and the county approved of the program, they were able to do even more for these adoptable friends.
Within the coming weeks, LaRussa and Alloy hope to begin printing fliers for adoptable cats to also include with future pizza orders, as you never know what customer might be more of a cat person or a dog person. Alloy also claimed that they will continue with this program “for as long as it takes to get every shelter animal adopted.”
Alloy is hoping other pizzerias throughout the country will see her now viral story and implement the same type of charitable program for their local shelters, for now though, Larry the puppy has a pizzeria to thank for his new family.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.