LIVONIA, Mich.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Furry pups Creed, Rosie and Apollo may not know how to use social media, but Facebook posts about their touching stories landed each of them an adventure trip with their respective owners – along with fundraising and awareness campaigns for their associated charitable causes.
The winning dogs and their owners were selected among more than 2,800 entries in the Path to Adventure Contest, a social media campaign hosted by Pet Supplies Plus as part of the launch earlier this year of their Redford Naturals dog food brand. Partnering with The Sheppard, LLC, Pet Supplies Plus will send them to the locations of their choice this fall, while along the way also helping to raise funds and awareness for non-profit, pet-related causes.
During the launch of Redford Naturals, Pet Supplies Plus asked their social media followers to upload personal photos of themselves with their dogs, along with a short essay describing where they would most want to go on an adventure with their dog and why. The grand prize included an adventure trip, booked by a travel concierge through The Sheppard, a six-month supply of Redford Naturals Natural or Grain Free dry dog and a GoPro® Hero4 Session camera and Fetch™ Mount, along with a stipend of up to $3,996. The three winners include:
Jennifer McCollough and her dog, Rosie -
Wilmington, Delaware: McCollough is a military veteran who
served the United States following the 9/11 attacks and now expresses
the desire to help and honor veterans and their service dogs.
McCollough rescued Rosie from the streets when she was a puppy.
- Their adventure: The duo will hike from the War Dog Memorial in Holmdel, New Jersey, to Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., via the Appalachian Mountain Trail. They will visit other memorials along the trail, including the Pennsylvania War Dog Memorial in Bristol, Pa.
- Their cause: During the approximately 200-mile trek, McCollough will raise awareness for veterans and service dogs with Shelter to Soldier, whose mission is to bring post-9/11 combat veterans together with trained rescue dogs to help them recover and move on from life in the military.
Megan Lewis and her dog, Apollo - Ladson,
South Carolina: An avid hiker, Lewis adopted Apollo
from the rescue that pulled him from a shelter the day he was set to
be euthanized, Pet
Paws Pet Rescue. Apollo was found as a stray at a young age with
his leg caught in a bear trap. Veterinarians couldn’t not save his paw
following the incident and were forced to amputate his leg. Lewis
adopted Apollo after the amputation and have been hiking together ever
since, even climbing the 6,684-foot Mount Mitchell in North Carolina.
According to Lewis, Apollo has adjusted well and is not affected by
having only three legs.
- Their adventure: The pair will be taking a three-day hiking and camping trip in Utah’s Moab Desert.
- Their cause: Lewis and Apollo are partnering with Paw Paws Pet Rescue, a charity whose sole purpose is to rescue by need and not by breed. The organization saves dogs that are realizing what Apollo once experienced – having their days numbered at a kill shelter due to sickness or injury. They rehabilitate them and finds foster families that nurse them back to health until they are healthy enough for adoption.
Tammy Schultz and her dog, Creed -
Brookfield, Wisconsin: Schultz is a big supporter in
research that helps promote healthier, longer lives for animals. As
part of this mission, Creed is one of 3,044 golden retrievers enrolled
in the Morris Animal Foundation Golden Retriever Lifetime Study. He
donates blood and other samples annually, helping researchers uncover
the causes of cancer and other major diseases in dogs.
- Their adventure: Schultz and Creed have chosen to visit the headquarters of Morris Animal Foundation in Denver, Colorado, via a route through Wyoming as described by author Ted Kerosate in a novel that pulls together the latest research by talking to countless breeders, veterinarians and animal welfare movement leaders. Schultz’s goal is to meet Kerosate in Wyoming and raise awareness for research.
- Their cause: They are partnering with the Morris Animal Foundation, a nonprofit organization that invests in science to advance animal health. Founded in 1948, Morris Animal Foundation has become a global leader in funding scientific studies for companion pets, horses and wildlife, investing more than $100 million toward 2,400 studies that advance the health and well being of animals around the world.
“The winners had incredibly touching stories. The passion for each of their causes is truly inspiring,” noted Chris Rowland, CEO of Pet Supplies Plus. “It was tough to choose winners among all of the wonderful, heartfelt submissions. We congratulate Jennifer, Megan and Tammy and can’t wait to hear about their adventures and share pictures and video over our social media channels. We also thank The Sheppard, Shelter to Shelter, Paw Paws Pet Rescue and the Morris Animal Foundation for their honorable work in furthering important pet-related causes.”
Each of the winners are scheduled to travel in early fall, with send-off parties at Pet Supplies Plus locations in Wilmington, Del., Brookfield, Wis., and Summerville, S.C. The trio will document their voyages with the GoPro® Hero4 Session camera and Fetch™ Mount, part of the grand prize package. They will return after their respective journeys with welcome-home parties at Pet Supplies Plus stores, where they will take home their six-month supplies of Redford Naturals Natural or Grain Free dry dog food.
Redford Naturals, a product of Pet Supplies Plus, provides protein-rich nutrition and energy to fuel dog’s adventures. A good source of Omega 3 and 6, Redford Naturals offers balanced nutrition with added vitamins and minerals to give dogs the rich flavors of the wild without the corn, soy or wheat. Pet Supplies Plus will roll out additional recipes and formulas of Redford Naturals in the coming months.
About Pet Supplies Plus
At Pet Supplies Plus, we’re crazy about pets and we are dedicated to ensuring that pet owners everywhere spend more time at home with their best friends than at the store searching for answers. At the end of the day, we’re more than just Pet Supplies Plus, we’re also Pet Supplies: minus low quality, minus corporate agendas, minus filler, minus fluff, minus keeping you longer, minus keeping pets waiting. We are minus the hassle. With more than 350 corporate and franchise locations in 27 states, Pet Supplies Plus is America’s favorite neighborhood pet store. Each location offers a wide array of pet food, pet products, grooming services and animal expertise all at a great value, allowing customers to give their pets the very best care. Friendly, knowledgeable staff get to know each pet and their owner by name and provide playful store experiences to remind them just how fun it is to own a pet. Pet Supplies Plus stores are large enough to house an incredible variety of food and equipment, yet small enough to still feel neighborly. As a growing Livonia, Michigan-based franchisor we are ranked in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2015 Annual Franchise 500® list as the Top Full-Service Pet Supplies Franchise for exceptional performance in areas including financial strength and stability, growth rate, and system size. For more information about franchise opportunities, please visit www.petsuppliesplus.com/franchise.