Here at Modern Dog, a large part of our mission (and who we are as people, too!) is to support the efforts of organizations and companies that work tirelessly to assist abused, neglected or homeless dogs. One of those amazing companies is the Pet Valu family of stores (includes Pet Valu, Paulmac’s Pet Food and Bosley’s)—which is one of the largest retail operations providing essential and innovative pet supplies to pet owners across North America.

April is the most important month of the year for Pet Valu and all their locally owned and operated stores! Not only did National Pet Day fall on April 11, this month also marks the beginning of kitten and puppy season which leads to an explosion in the number of pets available for adoption. Eight years ago, Pet Valu began a Pet Appreciation Weekend in April to focus on adoption and in-store deals. This has since expanded to span an entire month—that’s a lot of appreciation!

Our Editor-in-Chief, Connie Wilson, spoke to Rose Ferrante, Senior Director of Marketing, about Pet Appreciation Month and what it means to Pet Valu and their local communities.

“Pets provide unconditional love, companionship, endless joy and numerous health benefits,” says Rose Ferrante. “As April is Pet Appreciation Month, we’re asking pet owners and animal lovers to honour the animals in their lives who give them so much by supporting a pet in need in their community.”  Now in its eighth year, Pet Appreciation Month is one of Canada’s most successful animal fundraisers, raising more than $6.6 million for Canadian animal welfare organizations to date.

There are many different ways that you can help Pet Valu give back during April!  The easiest way is to “buy a paw, support a pet”— forthe entire month, customers can purchase a paper paw in every Pet Valu location across Canada. For a donation of $2, $5, $10, or more, customers receive a paper paw (that they can sign with their pet’s name) which are then displayed on windows and walls. Some locations even get creative with their designs and make shapes of animals that come to life in the store!

100% of the proceeds from the PAWS go directly to one of the local animal welfare groups or charities that has teamed up with each of Pet Valu’s 566 stores across Canada. As each stores’ franchisees and managers are very involved within their communities, they work together to choose causes that are close to home and close to their hearts.

To help local, adoptable pets find their forever homes and to create space in shelters for other needy animals, Pet Valu will be holding a National Adoption Weekend this week (April 19-22) at each of its stores. Local animal rescues will bring cats and dogs into the stores so customers can find the right pets for their personalities and lifestyles.

“Although we’re committed to finding homes for homeless pets, we’re equally committed to finding the right home for the right pet,” says Ferrante. “During our National Adoption Weekend, customers will have the opportunity to speak with the volunteers at the animal charities to find out everything they need to know about the pet’s personality. They’ll also have ample time to play and interact with the pet to make sure it is the right fit for both of them.”

Of the more than 2,000 pets that were adopted last year, there were bound to be some memorable and heartwarming tales! The Vansickle store location in St. Catharines, Ontario welcomed a large number of dogs from Louisiana who were slated to be euthanized. The store team went above and beyond for these pups—they funded the transportation trailer for the rescue, and the owner of the store even slept with the dogs in the trailer to make sure they stayed calm, happy, and safe. By the end of the weekend, 100 of the dogs found their forever homes.

Another newsworthy adoption is that of a beagle named Guy. He had arrived to a Milton, ONT location from Kentucky to be a part of the 2015 National Adoption Weekend before he was adopted by an actress filming in Toronto. That actress was Meghan Markle, the actress previously known for her work on the legal drama “Suits” who is now set to be a part of the Royal Family following her nuptials to Prince Harry!

“From what we hear, it was pretty much love at first sight,” Alison Preiss, marketing manager for Pet Valu Canada, said in an interview.“It’s a total fairy tale. He was living in a shelter; nobody wanted him. Now, he’s running around the palace with the royal family.”

Over the past eight years Pet Valu has raised an incredible $6.3 million in Canada and a further $6 million in the United States. The specialty pet retailer aims to raise more than $1.7 million this year alone, along with finding homes for more than 2,500 pets this National Adoption Weekend.

Looking for other ways to get involved? Throughout April, Pet Valu will also be hosting an #AppreciateItAll contest on its Facebook page; three pet parents will win a $100 Pet Valu gift card for themselves, along with $1,000 in gift cards for their favourite eligible pet rescue or charity. For more details and to enter, visit