Pet Food Express: Proving Love of Pets is Larger than Life
Pet Food Express is now open in Belmont. The store's "My Mutt Program" turns local pets into celebs by putting their mugs on posters and hanging them in the store.
A poster of Nitro, the retired Belmont Police Dept. K-9 officer hangs in the window of the new Pet Food Express store Photo: Joan Dentler
You know you're in Belmont when....you recognize the dog featured in the enormous poster at the entrance of the new Pet Food Express as Nitro, the retired Belmont K-9 officer.
Nitro and other local animals are featured in all the posters that adorn Pet Food Express' newest store located at the corner of Ralston Avenue and El Camino Real (in the old Blockbuster building---yay!).
"The posters are part of the store's My Mutt Program," explained Pet Food Express founder and president, Michael Levy.
The Pet Food Express “My Mutt” program is a way for the store to fulfill one of its missions—raising awareness and funds for rescue groups and shelters by featuring local animals in posters that adorn the store’s walls and windows.
In return for a $250 donation to a non-profit rescue organization or animal shelter, Pet Food Express has a professional pet photographer take a photo of the pet and then create a display poster using the pet’s image. Posters are then on display in the store so shoppers can see their “celebrity” pets when they shop for food and supplies.
Levy said the program raised over $1 million last year, and stressed that in addition to larger organizations such as the Peninsula Humane Society, the funds raised in the "My Mutt" program support the area's smaller shelters as well.
“We work with hundreds of organizations to promote adoption and rescue, and mutts are wonderful, but of course, purebreds are wonderful too,” said Levy who had his rescue French bulldog, Winston, at his side for the store’s opening day.
And don’t be fooled by its name, the “My Mutt” program happily will display purebreds, cats, hamsters, horses, birds—and other assorted beloved pets.
Having the poster of retired Belmont K-9 officer Nitro in the window is significant, because the store's "Cover Your K-9" program provides protective K-9 vests, trauma kits, car heat alarms and grants for retired police dog medical care to K-9s in Northern California.
In addition, Pet Food Express hosts "adoptathons", low cost vaccination clinics, and dog training classes at most of its stores. Self-Service Pet Washes provide a unique and useful service for its customers.
According to its website, Pet Food Expresss has aided in the adoption of more than 60,000 pets over the past 10 years. In 2012 alone, permanent cat adoption centers in five of their stores placed 1,751 cats, kittens and rabbits in new homes.
The Belmont store's managers Josh Ryan and Lindsey Jeansonne said they are planning a huge grand opening this Saturday, June 22.
"It's going to be quite a hoopla," said Ryan.
"We'll have adoption groups, balloons, and refreshments--you name it!" he added.
The new Belmont location is the 48th Bay Area store for Pet Food Express.
Posted by Joan S. Dentler (Editor)