Illustration for article titled If you order a pizza in Phoenix, you might get a shelter dog, too
Screenshot: 12News (YouTube)

Marika Meeks, founder of the Incredibull Stella animal rescue in Scottsdale, Arizona, was brainstorming new ways to spread the word about the many dogs she had up for adoption. After hearing about an East Coast pizza company that was including fliers of a lost dog with their orders, Meeks thought that this very good idea could just as easily work in Arizona. She called up Lance Stafko, an acquaintance and Papa John’s franchisee in the Phoenix area, to pitch a possible collaboration.

Stafko calculates that each of his stores sends out 500 pizzas weekly; with 36 stores in his empire, Stalfos’ Papa John’s put 18,000 pizza boxes—and now, 18,000 adoption flyers—in the hands of hungry Arizonans each week.

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“The goal is to give the most amount of dogs the most amount of exposure we can,” Meeks told 12News, the NBC affiliate in Phoenix.

Bubba, a nine-month-old pit bull, was the first dog to appear on the fliers. He was adopted within two weeks. Meeks vetted the potential adopters and did a home check before Bubba was allowed to go.

The new Papa John’s Dog of the Month is Cane, a gray and white pit whose previous owners fell on hard times. He is also a very good boy.

The shelters in Phoenix are overcrowded, Meeks explained, and she wants to see as many of them adopted as possible. “These are loving animals, and they need a second chance.”

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If you’d like another dose of cute, adoptable pups, might we suggest getting a beer with your pizza?

Aimee Levitt is associate editor of The Takeout.

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