Local pet store's customers help donate dog food to shelter

The Georgetown SPCA will be the recipient of 1,350 pounds of donated dog food, courtesy of VéRUS Pet Foods, which is matching pound-for-pound sales at the Millville Pet Stop on Feb. 23.

Coastal Point • Monica Scott: Zack Carey, Pam Klink (blue shirt), Sharon Mayhugh (holding Rock-o, a rescue dog), and Willia Peoples (holding Coco, a shelter cat), pose in front of their supply of Verus Pet Foods at Millville's Pet Stop.Coastal Point • Monica Scott
Zack Carey, Pam Klink (blue shirt), Sharon Mayhugh (holding Rock-o, a rescue dog), and Willia Peoples (holding Coco, a shelter cat), pose in front of their supply of Verus Pet Foods at Millville's Pet Stop.

“VéRUS is a pet food company based out of Abington, Md.,” explained Willia Peoples of the Millville Pet Stop. “They are very rescue-supportive.”

She added that they are not a big commercial brand, that they have more of a “premium” market. Peoples explained that, several years ago, she helped the Sussex County shelter of the SPCA in Georgetown get into the premium pet food market, which helped their dogs and cats with shinier coats and better health overall.

“It’s awesome, because the dog leaves on a healthy diet,” she said, adding that good nutrition makes all the difference in the health of a pet. “McDonald’s is well marketed, but it doesn’t mean it’s nutritious.”

“I believe in VéRUS wholeheartedly,” she said. “All shapes and sizes of dogs and cats do well on it.”

Peoples said she plans on holding the event twice a year, with another one in the fall, through which VéRUS has agreed to match her sales pound-for-pound with a donation to the shelter.

She credited her customers for really stepping up to the plate for a good cause.

“When they are doing it for a good cause, they support it,” she said of her customers. “Leading up to it, it was a teamwork kind of thing for us, and the more you talk with customers and tell them what it’s about, it makes you happy.”

She said she had to strategically pick a date that wouldn’t interfere with other events in the area so she could get the most sales, to really get a good number of pounds for the donation. The first time they did it was in May 2012, and they sold 600 pounds. This time, they more than doubled that, with 1,350 pounds.

“This time of year, the shelter really struggles,” she noted. “And also, we always have a drop-off bin.”

She said wet dog food is something that is really needed now and that she is always willing to work with customers who are willing to make a donation to the shelter.

“Really, it’s all about pet nutrition. It doesn’t matter your budget, because everybody’s got one. You just get the best quality food for your budget.”

In addition to selling dog and cat foods, Millville Pet Stop has fish supplies, animal brushes and shampoos, treats and tools, and they offer animal training classes. They also have a full-service grooming service. In addition, they have successfully helped Cats Around Town, a local organization, adopt out 76 cats since last April. For more information on Millville Pet Stop, visit them online at www.millvillepetstop.com online.

VéRUS describes itself as “all-natural and holistic pet food” company. According to their Web site, their foundation lies in their name, which in Latin means true, real, proper, suitable or right. In addition, the chicken they use is from cage-free barns in West Virginia, GMO-free potatoes are sourced locally in Pennsylvania, and they use grass-fed lamb meal from New Zealand.

For more nutritional information, visit them online at www.veruspetfoods.com. For more information on the Delaware SPCA, or to adopt a pet, visit them online at delspca.org.