SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The next time you order a pizza, you just might notice a pup on the box hoping you'll give it a loving home.
Marika Meeks was inspired by an East Coast pizza company, where they posted fliers with photos of lost dogs. She thought the idea could extend to rescue dogs.
Meeks, the founder of Incredibull Stella rescue, thought it would be worthwhile to do the same here in the Valley.
“The goal is to give the most amount of dogs, the most amount of exposure we can,” said Meeks.
With tens of thousands of dogs annually filling up the local shelters, the more people that see them the better chance they have.
So Meeks enlisted the help of Lance Stafko, who owns 36 Papa John's stores throughout the Valley.
“Our orders go through 500 a week, So, 36 times 500, we can get that out there,” said Stafko.
Do the math and that comes out to 18,000 eyeballs a week -- all potential adopters.
“These are great animals that need a second chance. They need a loving home,” said Meeks.
Bubba, a 9-month-old pup, was the first to don the flier. He was adopted within two weeks of the project launch.
“Bubba was our first Papa John's dog that's been adopted out and he's gone to a great home,” said Meeks.
Meeks vets potential adopters of Incredibull Stella rescue dogs to make sure the pups go to safe homes. This includes a home check. When other rescues become involved, those rescues will vet potential forever homes.
Other rescues can get involved by emailing email@example.com.
Hopefully, soon more pups will get their pizza box moment and a new family will be delivered to them. A win-win for everyone, says Meeks.
“We can make a really big difference. Not only for the family, but for the life of the dog and I think it's better for the community as well,” said Meeks.