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Show Me the Money: Getting an Edge in Retail

Some shelters are learning that it’s smart to provide supplies along with pets

When someone adopts a pet, their first stop on the way home from the shelter is often the pet supply store, where they can pick up all the accessories to make their new family member feel right at home. Bowls. Leashes. Toys. A crate. A cute collar. Personalized ID tags. Sweaters. Coupons for therapy, to help the animals get over the shame of wearing sweaters.

It’s all available, and new adopters often have a blast picking out the items that, in their minds, make their new pets feel more like their own. Buying these supplies can help cement the newly formed bond, and many of the supplies—such as a good collar, ID tags, and healthy food—are crucial components of being a responsible pet owner.

Some shelters are realizing that, by allowing new adopters to wander off to find their supplies elsewhere, they’ve been missing several golden opportunities: The chance to ensure their clients are going home well-equipped; to ensure they have the right kind of supplies (and to steer them away from shock collars and other troubling items); and to make a little money that they can use for their programs and animal care expenses.

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