One week wasn't long enough, so Tractor Supply Company decided to extend its pet-oriented donation drive to a full month this year.
What was "PAW" (Pet Appreciation Week) became "Out Here with Animals," with TSC dedicating the entire month of August to highlight its appreciation for animals and the people who care for them.
"I think (it was done) just to further elevate the event in support of the pet and animal community," said TSC representative Lauren McKirgan.
The rural lifestyle retail chain has a number of animal-centric events going on at its stores across the country this month — including the Newton location.
Along with the month-long pet supply drive — in which customers are encouraged to drop off sealed food, toys, cleaning supplies, beds, leashes, bowls, etc. — Newton and other TSC locations will be hosting a pet adoption event on Aug. 25.
Newton store manager Jim Sisson noted what specific pet adoption agency will be involved has not been set yet, but there will be number of other animal agencies represented at the event as well, including Hope in the Valley (a horse rescue service) and K94 Heroes (an organization that trains dogs and helps fund adoptions for disabled veterans).
"Pets are a big area for us as a company. That's one of our largest areas that we sell in, so we've always had adoptions two or three times a year as a company," Sisson said. "Most all of our employees have pets, animals, whatever it might be, so it's something that's just kind of close to home."
“Out Here With Animals allows the Newton community to come together to celebrate their pets while supporting the great work of their local animal organizations,” said Mary Lawley, vice president of store administration at Tractor Supply Company. “Whether you have a dog, cat, horse, pig or goat, we hope families will bring their leashed, friendly pets to the store to show how special their animals are and help us find homes for the local adoptable animals that deserve a family, too.”
While leashed pets are welcome during the Out Here With Animals events, Sisson noted the Newton store will also have something to entice members of the public, as there will be a barbecue cookout going on at the same time the adoption agencies are on site Aug. 25.
Additionally, TSC is also helping out local animal organizations through its Rescue Your Rescue contest — which donates a total of $25,000 in grants to 10 animal nonprofits nominated by customers.
Customers will also be beneficiaries during the event, as special deals on pet products will be offered from Aug. 22-26, so there is something in the initiative for everyone.
Based on last year's efforts, Sisson said participation in the event is increasing in Newton and he hopes that trend continues — both for the customers and the local agencies the initiative intends to help.
"I think we just want to grow the customer base on this. I think we have a good base already, but we just want to increase the numbers out there and people taking advantage of the discounts on the feed and stuff for the animals," Sisson said. "Hopefully the adoption agencies and the other agencies here will have an opportunity to move some animals and free up their space also."
Donations for the pet supply drive can be dropped off just inside the entrance of the Newton TSC store (715 SE 36th St.) and more information on Out Here With Animals is available online at www.tractorsupply.com.