Before We All Die, Let's Look At These Pizza Boxes Featuring Shelter Dogs

Please enjoy this brief respite from all the Bad News with some Good News involving carbs, cheese, and very good doggos.
March 3, 2020, 12:00pm
dog with pizza
Photo: Getty Images

Hi, would you like to read something that doesn't involve the letters C-O-V-I-D in that order, that doesn't suggest that some of your loved ones will die because the rest of your loved ones panic-bought a dozen N95 masks, and that doesn't recommend a number of dubious homeopathic remedies?

If so, then please turn your attention to the combined efforts of an animal shelter and a pizza joint in upstate New York. Mary Alloy, who co-owns the Just Pizza & Wing Co. franchise in Amherst, doesn't always have time to volunteer in person at the Niagara SPCA, but she still thinks about ways that her business might be able to support its pet-adoption efforts.

"[SPCA event coordinator Kimberly LaRussa] texted me one night and was like, 'Hey, what would you think about putting pictures of the dogs on pizza boxes?' and I just couldn't wait," Alloy told CNN. "We are all animal lovers here, so I got permission from the franchise to do it and immediately got to work."

The Amherst shop got the official OK, and on Friday, pictures of adoptable dogs were attached to its pizza boxes. By Saturday afternoon, a six-month old puppy named Larry was taken home for good after his photo was picked up with a lot of carry-out orders. (And not only is this effort helping the shelter dogs, it's helping the store, too: Just Pizza usually sells 600-800 pies a week, but it boxed up 500 of them on Friday alone.)

Just Pizza is also giving an extra thank you to any customer who met their four-legged soulmate on one of its boxes. Anyone who goes to the shelter to complete an adoption can take the flyer with that doggo's picture on it, and exchange it for a $50 gift card for the restaurant. (And not to worry, cat lovers: their pics will be printed out and taped on pizza boxes soon.)

Last summer, Angelo's Pizza in Matawan, New Jersey printed flyers for lost pets and attached them to all of its delivery and carry-out orders. "Growing up, we used to have missing children on milk cartons," Angelo's owner John Sanfratello told Good Morning America. "Why can't the pizza box be the milk carton of today, but for animals?"

After a lost cat flyer made him think about the miserable week when his own cat was missing, Sanfratello wrote a Facebook post, telling any anxious pet owner to drop their flyers off at his shop and he'd do the rest, free of charge. The shop's effort is still going strong—and it's had a recent success. On February 22, a missing Shih Tzu was returned to her New Jersey home after someone saw her pic on an Angelo's box.

And in early February, a Minnesota woman saw a Facebook post from a Florida craft brewing company that had gone moderately viral for its cans that featured shelter dogs' faces on them. She saw a friendly, bandana-wearing pup on one can and realized that it was her dog Hazel, who had gone missing almost three years ago from her home… in Iowa.

"I had seven kids and was getting prepared to move and then I lost her," Monica Mathis told the BBC. "I didn't stop searching for her until I left, and even then, I'd call people back [in Iowa] to ask, 'have you seen her?'"

After getting some of the dog's medical records from her veterinarian, Mathis was able to prove that Hazel really had been hers, and she has since moved out of the shelter and into her new home in St. Paul.

There. Now we can all go back to panicking about our inevitable deaths.