Pet Rescue Rx, Inspired by Paul Newman, Puts Pets Before Profit
My love for animals started as a boy in the rural community of Akron, New York. My pets were my friends. They gave so much and asked only to be loved and cared for in return. I fulfilled my dream of being a veterinarian by attending Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine and graduating in 1999. I have been practicing emergency veterinary medicine my entire career, as this is where I felt I could have the greatest impact of caring for others' pets. It is a wonderful experience.
I also volunteer as a veterinarian at the Cattaraugus County SPCA in Olean, New York, where I see so many animals who need homes and the love that goes with that home. Dogs who need the chance to run and have some fun. Cats who need brushing and a lap to curl up on. They just need a chance. I offer my time to help, as so many do, but I felt I could do more.
Volunteering at underfunded animal shelters that were not equipped to provide needed medical care motivated me to find a better answer. Every shelter I have been to always has a desperate need for additional funding to increase spay/neuter programs, pay for medical treatment, and provide a better life for these animals. Most shelters and rescues rely solely on donations from the public, but many times this does not cover the needs of the groups.
Pet Rescue Rx evolved from my experiences at animal shelters and rescues, seeing the amazing work of the staff and volunteers who work so hard to care for and find homes for these pets.
I imagined a business that could provide sustainable, long-term funding from the profits generated. The actor Paul Newman started his Newman’s Own brand of food items and donated all profits to charities he supported. I found this to be an excellent business model, which I could adapt to serve the shelter and rescue community.
Every year in the United States, pet owners spend more than $7 billion on pet medications. Many large retailers are now selling pet medications for their own profit. The largest online pharmacy for pet medications made over $16 million in net profit last year, but this money is not getting to the groups who need it. I decided to change that.
Pet Rescue Rx offers prescription and nonprescription medications and pet supplies at very competitive prices, and we donate all net profits to animal shelters and rescues. Our customers select which groups they would like to support with every purchase they make. We have more than 200 shelters and rescues registered with us to receive support, and the number increases daily.
Pet Rescue Rx is the ONLY pharmacy doing what we do. Our belief is that Pet Rescue Rx should be profitable for the groups we support.
One of the main reasons millions of pets are surrendered to shelters every year is the cost of owning an animal. Sixty or 70 percent of these pets will never be placed in loving homes. If we can offer pet owners the medications they need at a savings, we can keep more pets out of the shelters and support the ones who are there.
This is not about personal financial gain; I take no compensation from this effort. I believe I was given the opportunity in life to make a difference and I will do so to the best of my ability. We have received so many positive comments and support from people across the country.
I am presently the loving father to two Lab mixes, Geri and Roz, who I adopted from the Humane Society of Broward County about six years ago. They go to the office with me every day and are devoted to the pursuit of squirrels. Geri was named after an elderly friend who had such an open heart for every animal around her and cared like so many do. Roz was named after my aunt who loved a little black Poodle named O.J. My aunt always made me smile and was happy and full of life, something I think we all strive for.
Our biggest challenge as a business right now is making the public aware of our efforts. I continue to cover the costs of running the business so any profit we make can be donated to the groups who are registered with us. Facebook and other social media has been wonderful in spreading the word about us. If you understand why we are doing this, please share the information with all your friends and family.
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