Last spring, Especially for Pets partnered with the MSPCA for a special ‘Think Spring — Think Relationships in Bloom’ in-store promotion. In each store we posted a ‘wish list’ from the MSPCA’s Phinney’s Friends, a program that helps pet owners who are living with HIV/AIDS to stay together with their beloved companion animals. Especially for Pets’ customers responded generously, donating $761 in pet supplies and toys — everything from a talking octopus to catnip toys to dog beds — and $241 in cash contributions.
In addition to the wish list, each store featured a live tree to symbolize the new beginning the donated supplies, toys and funds represented for the Phinney’s Friends’ clients and pets who received them. “We feel this is a wonderful program and wanted to do all that we could to support it,” said Amy Lord, Especially for Pets’ director of Advertising and Acton Store Manager.
At the end of the drive, Especially for Pets donated the trees to three Phinney’s Friends’ clients. Amy Lord and Erny Isabelle, Sudbury Store Manager, visited the MSPCA to present the trees and deliver the donated supplies and toys. The clients were delighted to receive the trees; each had already selected the ‘right spot’ in their respective yards to best showcase the trees. One of the clients present to receive a tree expressed his joy and appreciation, saying “A tree, a gift of life…thank you!”
Big smiles, tear-filled eyes and grateful faces were shared between the beloved companion animals and their human friends when they received their new cat toy, dog bed, bag of treats or other supplies. “It was great to see how happy our clients were to receive the Especially for Pets donations. It’s gratifying to know that so many caring people are out there, who understand the importance of the human- animal bond and will take the time to help others,” said Kayoon Cho, director of Phinney’s Friends.
Phinney’s Friends helps pet owners living with HIV/Aids by providing practical information on living healthfully with a companion animal, hands-on basic pet care, emergency pet feeding, foster care and financial assistance for routine veterinary care. The program was established in 1995 in honor of Bill Phinney, Jr., an MSPCA humane law enforcement officer and devoted animal lover, who died from complications related to AIDS. Phinney’s Friends currently provides assistance to 400 individuals and 550 animals, with the help of nearly 150 volunteers.