Wishbones for Pets 2005

Pets are Thankful for Pet Sitters! Wishbones for Pets

This year, (2005) thanks to Janet Depathy, founder of Wishbones for Pets, pet sitters throughout the USA, and Canada, will be collecting food and other goods for pets in need. The first of it's kind, it's a way for pet sitters to give back to the community. She was interviewed by Therese Kopiwoda recently and what follows is a brief rundown of the program.

Janet, what exactly is Wishbones for Pets?

Wishbones for Pets is a new signature event designed exclusively for professional pet sitters who wish to host a charity program by collecting pet goods for a local shelter in their own community.

How did the idea for Wishbones for Pets come about?

In 2004, I wanted to celebrate my tenth year in business by giving something back to the community. Offering a pet charity drive for our local shelter seemed like a good idea and to make it really special I decided to give it a name. Living in America's Hometown, Plymouth, MA - rich in history associated with Thanksgiving - inspired me to come up with a name in conjunction with Thanksgiving and to symbolize HOPE for the sheltered pets. The wishbone has been a symbol of fun at Thanksgiving and hope that our wish would come true by holding the piece with the larger stem once snapped...and so Wishbones for Pets was born.

How successful was your first year?

I had nine businesses sponsored the event by accepting donations - all the veterinarians in town as well as pet stores, a feed store, and even my hairdresser! At the end of six weeks I had collected $300 in cash and over $1,000 in food and other pet items.

How many pet sitters are participating this year?

It's hard to say. There are several pet sitting networks involved and they may have 50+ members. My best guess would be around 200 offering the program for the first year, including Canada.

Who chooses the charities that are helped?

With the approval of both parties (pet sitter & charity) individual pet sitters/their companies/networks select a charity within their community to work with.

What are your future goals for the program?

Since our industry is so new it seems appropriate we help pets that are less fortunate than our own and the ones we care for. The goals for this program are for the general public to be reminded of shelter needs, to bring an awareness of pets needing adoption, and that the pet sitting industry can work together to effect a strong positive change in our communities. Offering Wishbones for Pets recognizes the business and social value of community involvement.

How do the pet sitting businesses benefit?
How does the pet sitter benefit?

First and foremost, self-fulfillment - the feeling you get knowing that you have done something significant to help others.
What are the business benefits? This program also enables pet sitters to significantly increase their public profile by informing the community of the fundraiser for a pet related charity and brings an awareness of their own services.

What are the dates for the food drive?

The dates for the US are approximately six weeks prior to Thanksgiving. In Plymouth, MA it will run from October 15th to November 30th. In Canada they celebrate Thanksgiving in October so the program runs a month earlier.

How can people find out if a pet sitter in their area is involved?

Wishbones for Pets has a website listing the Representatives offering the program and the name of their chosen charity. We encourage pet sitters who are interested to join the Yahoo Group Wishbones For Pets to learn more about the program. This is where we share ideas, letters, and files to help one another have a successful campaign.

Is there anything else you'd like people to know about the program?

This program is open to all professional pet sitters. They are free to use the logo on their website and literature if they support this concept. At the Wishbones for Pets website you will find promotional material that will help market the program.

Advertisers and sponsors are welcome to inquire about rates. I invite you to sign the guestbook and offer any feedback about the program and especially if it was offered in your community. The success of this program depends on the confidence, pride, enthusiasm and belief in ones self that you can make a difference. Together we CAN!

See Wishbones for Pets for more information.