A Naperville business has its eyes on the prize in FedEx’s latest small business grant promotion. Dog Patch Pet and Feed is vying for one of six $25,000 grants that the company has pledged to use to pay veterinary bills and other expenses bills for the cats and dogs it rescues.
According to Dog Patch’s owner Greg Gordon, each business had to submit a story explaining why their business is unique and how they will use the money if they win. Supporters may vote once a day through this website through November 24. Gordon sees the grant as a unique opportunity for his business.
“We consider using the money on the rescues the same as building our business,” says Gordon. “Ours is a unique business model. Relieving the pressure on the retail side that supports the rescue is a big deal. The money will keep the rescue growing without challenging the retail budget.”
Until last year, Dog Patch was a typical pet store that sold a variety of pet products and puppies. Then, Gordon changed his business model to focus on rescuing and adopting out puppies and dogs and to stop selling puppies. The store had been involved in cat rescue for many years, but this was the first time they’d stepped away from all the revenue generated through pet sales.
“After a full year of rescue, we love it and can’t imagine life without it,” says Gordon. “Sure, it has challenges like the two puppies from Oklahoma that arrived with Parvo. We lost one but saved one. It was costly but the survivor Syndi is now a great puppy that is healthy and looking for a new home. We also learned that it’s OK to ask for help. Our Chipin for help with their medical bills has been successful.”
Gordon says that veterinary bill was substantial enough that it was about to hurt their ability to rescue more dogs. The total cost is what it would normally cost the store to rescue, vet and adopt out six other dogs. The store also has a donation jar in house that it donates to Save Our Strays, a transport organization that pulls dogs from Oklahoma and brings them to other areas where they have a better shot at finding a home.
“We continue to be amazed at the lives we save,” says Gordon. “Some animals have touched my heart in ways I will never forget. They also have just amazing spirits. To date, we’ve saved over 150 dogs and well over 200 cats and kittens.”
Along with the dogs that have come in from Oklahoma, Gordon has been pulling dogs from open admission, or high kill, shelters like Chicago Animal Care and Control, and also from Northern Indiana and other places. Cats have come from Wisconsin, CACC and other shelters as well.
You may vote for Dog Patch every day online, support the Chipin for the Parvo dogs and learn more about them online and on Facebook.
October is Adopt-A-Shelter Dog Month and Pit Bull Awareness Month. During the month, I’ll be sharing stories about adoption, rescue and breed education. If you have a story to tell, contact me at email@example.com. Receive updates when I post stories by hitting subscribe on the top of this story.