Friday, February 26, 2016

Who are the True Friends of Man's Best Friend ?

Trigger the Dapple Dachshund 
Trigger, our adopted Dapple Dachshund recently experienced a severe health problem. He had an intestinal obstruction and was very close to death.

He stopped eating for about eight days. The x-rays showed evidence of obstruction and it seemed that the only option to save his life was costly urgent surgery.

As you may recall, I had back surgery about six months ago and missed quite a bit of work. This depleted quite a bit of our family funds. However, Trigger needed medical attention and we were determined to provide what he needed. Trigger is a member of our family and that is our responsibility.

You see, this is the responsibility that we all accept when we adopt a dog. We are responsible for their needs throughout their lives.

Well, we began to seek funding. We borrowed some money. Some of you folks, upon learning of Trigger's situation, generously donated money.

As many of you know, I was, at one time, employed by Petco in Peachtree City, Georgia. Petco claims to support dog adoption. They host adoption events at their stores. This is not, however, an exclusively altruistic endeavor for Petco. I was the Dog Trainer at this store and was also involved as a volunteer with one of the rescue organizations that participated in the events.
What are Petco's motives in their support
of  adopted dogs? If you are thinking revenue,
you are probably correct.

The adoption events do expose a lot of dogs to potential forever homes. That is a great thing! In fact, we adopted Trigger as a result of one of those events. However, we who care about adopted/rescue dogs must always remember the motives of Petco as a corporation. Petco makes a lot of revenue from the supplies that these adopted dog parents buy at the events. My observations during my employment there indicated that it was an average of about $300 of revenue for each adoption.This is revenue from supplies that the adoptive parents buy for the dog (beds, food, crates,toys, training and grooming services, bowls, bedding, etc.) Multiply that by hundreds of thousands and pretty soon you are talking about real money :).

I am not against making a profit. In fact, that is part of the reason that I am in business. My business is a for profit endeavor as well. I really enjoy eating at least two are three times a day and having a roof over my head and other luxuries :) . So, profit is not bad. I want to make as much as possible without compromising my ethics. Moore Services for Your Money treats our customers the way that we would like to be treated. Therefore, ethics and honesty is very important to us. We do advertise however, you, as our customer can and should trust that what we say in advertising or anywhere else does truly reflect our beliefs.

Petco maintains that they are seriously concerned about the welfare of homeless dogs. They make a really big deal about how many hundreds of thousands of dogs that find forever homes as a result of their adoption events. This is great! I truly applaud them for this and encourage them to continue this endeavor.  Petco also supports a non-profit called the Petco Foundation. Again, this is in no way exclusively altruistic. The Petco name is promoted at every opportunity, even the name of the organization screams "Hey, look how much Petco cares!". That is good. I do not begrudge them this promotional and marketing opportunity and the Petco Foundation actually does some great work. However, we must keep the Petco corporate motivation in mind here.

At this point, if you are still reading, you are likely wondering what this information about Petco has to do with Trigger's health issues. Please indulge me a few more lines to explain:

In our efforts to raise money for Trigger, The Lovely Shane set up a gofundme page. We really did not raise much directly from the page but we did get indirect donations and help from the publicity that it generated.

Petco has a presence on Twitter. I contacted @petco by private message on Twitter and simply requested that they retweet a tweet that I sent out earlier with a link to the gofundme page. I explained that I am a former Petco Dog Trainer and that Trigger was adopted at one of their events. I explained the very urgent and potentially life and death need for the surgery. I did not ask for money from Petco. I did not ask for a personal endorsement of my business. I very literally and quite simply asked for a simple click of the mouse to help one of these dogs that they claim to care so much about.

The terse and rude reply that I received was that Petco does not retweet or in any way promote "private fundraisers".

My friends ,customers, and fellow dog lovers, Petco literally refused to move a mouse a few inches to help one of these dogs that they claim to care so much about.

I thought, "well maybe this is just an employee who does not understand Petco's alleged commitment to these dogs". So, as a business owner myself, I thought the CEO should know about this apparent disconnect from their message. So, I sent an email to Jim Myers, the Petco CEO. I have sent him email messages on a few other occasions. He never has responded directly but always forwards the message to an associate who responds to me quite promptly. This case was no exception. I got a response that indicates that Petco never retweets or makes any sort of public acknowledgement of these sorts of requests. The response essentially indicates that it is too much work for them to move the mouse and click on these. Folks, I am not in anyway exaggerating here. This is essentially what the email indicated.

I have to give Petco credit. They did forward my contact information to the Petco Foundation and to a non-profit that in "qualified cases" does "sometimes" provide assistance.

However, what I learned from this experience is this: Petco cares publicly about dogs like Trigger when there is potential revenue at stake (like the adoption events) but, when there is no potential revenue involved (like the retweet request) they will literally not even clck a mouse in an effort to help.

Even in their forwarding of my request to the Petco foundation, Petco's interest seems to be revenue motivated. They could attach the Petco name to any assistance that Trigger ultimately received via the foundation.

So, that is the bad part.

Here is the great part:

Trigger was helped by many true friends of man's best friend.

Flat Creek Animal Clinic where Trigger was initially evaluated and treated allowed us to break the bill up into payments. We paid the bill in full yesterday. We can not thank them enough for this!

The Animal Medical Clinic  in Peachtree City gave us a great price on Trigger's care and medication. They were also going to do the surgery at a great price! Trigger thanks you and we thank you!

 Elisa Price with Critter Sitters was very generous to us in the form of retweets and publicity. By the way, if you need pet sitting please contact her!

Several other people provided loans and donations. We really got great support in only a couple of hours!

The really great news is that Trigger did not need the surgery! It was apparently a parasitic blockage. He is now doing much better! We still incurred quite a bit of expense. He spent all day at the vet's office doing diagnostic testing to make sure that he no longer needed surgery and that is never cheap.

However, we were able to pay back the loans. And the donations helped greatly in covering the treatment and diagnostic costs!

So, Trigger is now back to his old self. He has his appetite back and is doing very well!

We truly appreciate the help of all of you who are truly friends to man's best friend!

God Bless you all!

-William-