Found Animals Innovates 'Pet Store Experience' for Shelter Animals in Lakewood, CA

April 4, 2011

adopt&shop logo Los Angeles, CA– (April 4, 2011) – A new, innovative retail pet adoption center opening this month in Lakewood will showcase shelter animals in a bright, fun, one-stop-shop for potential pet owners – with goals to significantly increase the number of animals adopted and improve the public’s perception of pet adoption.

Los Angeles-based nonprofit group, Found Animals®, has built Adopt & Shop, their first-ever retail pet adoption center at The Lakewood Center Mall. The store will feature cats, dogs, rabbits and other animals available for adoption along with basic pet supplies and specialty items. All of the pets will come from one of Found Animals’® shelter partners, the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA) in Downey. Highly trained adoption counselors will help customers find a new furry family member that perfectly matches with their preference and lifestyle. All Adopt & Shop pets will be sterilized, vaccinated and microchipped and will go home with resources and support to ensure a successful integration into the household.

“Potential adopters are going to find wonderful pets and caring people at the Adopt & Shop and we’re all excited that people will go home with the perfect new family member and the resources they need for a lifetime of happiness together,” said Aimee Gilbreath, Executive Director of Found Animals®. “We always encourage people to visit shelters to meet a great pet, but the sad reality is that many shelters aren’t conveniently located and are perceived as negative places, which can often be intimidating.”

In part due to the inaccurate stereotypes associated with animal shelters – which are usually described as noisy, sad or dirty, only 18 percent of new pets are typically acquired through shelter adoption. Adopt & Shop was created in collaboration with local shelters to help increase their adoption rates and has a goal to facilitate at least 600 adoptions in 2011.

“We are incredibly excited for Adopt & Shop to open because we know it will have a tremendous impact on the number of shelter animals adopted into loving homes throughout the area,” said Dan Morrison, Executive Director of SEAACA. “We can only hope this is the beginning of a shift in the way people view the adoption of shelter animals.”

The 1,084 square-foot retail store located at 353 Lakewood Center Mall, broke ground in January. Similar to a traditional pet store, Adopt & Shop will feature pets for adoption and carry all of the basic supplies needed for a new pet including food, collars and leashes, ID tags, bowls, litter boxes and kitty litter, all competitively-priced with the larger pet supply retailers in the area. More unique items such as eco-friendly toys and bedding will also be for sale.

Unlike a traditional pet store, Found Animals’ trained adoption counselors will spend time getting to know people and helping to find a pet that perfectly matches their preferences and lifestyle. Most importantly, the staff at Adopt & Shop will send pet adopters home with invaluable resources and provide on-going support as well as online support tools to ensure the new pet successfully integrates into their home. An iPad kiosk is on-site to showcase the free Found Animals® 24/7 online pet care tools, as well as pets available for adoption through other local shelters.

The Adopt & Shop retail adoption center will open on Tuesday, April 12 and will be open Tuesdays – Sundays from noon to 6 p.m. An official grand opening event is set for Saturday, April 30 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A pet fair will take place featuring $5 pet microchips, pet information, and fun activities for the whole family.

ABOUT FOUND ANIMALS®

Found Animals® Foundation is a privately funded Los Angeles based non-profit organization dedicated to animal welfare issues and led by business and medical professionals. The Found Animals® team works directly within the animal welfare community to improve animal shelter processes, fund pet sterilization research, promote effective animal welfare policy, and provide funding to area shelters and spay/neutering clinics. The organization also sponsors and promotes pet adoption, spay/neutering, microchipping programs, and various animal and pet-related events.

ABOUT SEAACA

SEAACA is a joint-powers authority that provides animal services to more than 800,000 residents in 14 cities, including Bell Gardens, Bellflower, Buena Park, Downey, Lakewood, La Palma, Montebello, Norwalk, Paramount, Pico Rivera, Santa Fe Springs, South El Monte, South Gate and Vernon. The facility, located in Downey, manages licensing for its member cities as well as offering adoptions, vaccinations, microchipping and other services for local pet owners. In 2010, SEAACA took in over 23,000 cats and dogs.