European supermarket giant Lidl, who just recently launched in the United States, is already tugging at our heart strings: The grocery store is collaborating with a nonprofit on a project to rescue puppies. The partnership is with Operation Paws for Homes, also called OPH, and the collective goal is to benefit adoptable dog shelters across the nation. Called the "Retail to the Rescue Project," the initiative will take place this week, reports Progressive Grocer.
"In order to make strides to end the overpopulation of animals in the U.S., OPH knows that we need to do more than adopt dogs to loving homes," Jen Maki, a member of the board of directors at OPH, says. "To this end, we partner with our shelter partners and organizations in the 'rescue world' to educate and work together towards our common goal of stopping the cycle of unwanted pets finding themselves in shelters with little to no chance of a forever home."
What does the project entail? Two separate parts.
On Monday, Lidl hosted a livestream of five-week old rescue puppies (from OPH's partner shelter in North Carolina) on its U.S. Facebook page. The supermarket franchise offered to donate a meal of dog food — up to one year's worth of canine food — to two OPH partner shelters for every "like" on the original livestream post. The company will be collecting "likes" from the start of the livestream, which took place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, until 9 p.m. ET on Friday, August 25.
The second component takes place at actual Lidl markets. The grocer will also match every in-store purchase of its house brand of dry dog food, called Orlando, with a one-cup donation. This promotion will be valid between August 21 to 26.
"It's a sad fact that today shelters in the South run out of food to care for the dogs in their facilities," Maki says. "This resource struggle needs to end. By working together with Lidl on the Retail to the Rescue project, we are supporting our shelter and rescue partners who need vital resources such as dog food. When these organizations can rest assured that the dogs in their care are being fed, they can then focus on program building and adoption development. This is how we move rescue forward."