Save Fido, and some dough

By Linda Luk

Recycled animals are seeking homes for the holiday season.

Through its Tree of Hope, Petco pet and supplies store, 1500 Sycamore Road, helps people donate money to a local non-profit animal shelter.

“Tree of Hope is once a year from Nov. 18 through Christmas Eve,” Petco team leader Clemente Rodriguez said. “The money we raise goes to a shelter, Recycling Animals in Need (R.A.I.N.).”

“We have had bake sales, and next week we are selling popcorn,” Rodriguez said.

For the Tree of Hope, customers are encouraged to donate $1, $5, $10 or $20, Rodriguez said. Donors will receive a card on which they can put their name. The color of the ornament will depend on how much the donation is, and the card will be displayed in the store window. People donating $20 or more receive a stuffed toy animal.

“It is going really well,” general manager Greg Klopz said. “We have collected over $1,900 in two weeks. People have been really supportive.”

R.A.I.N., based in Hinkley, Ill., is a small organization which helps animals find homes.

“Last year, R.A.I.N. placed 77 animals into homes,” said Linn Smid, one of the five founders of R.A.I.N.

Often on Saturdays at Petco and other area pet stores, R.A.I.N. sets up booths with information about adopting animals. Pictures of animals up for adoption are available as well.

“Greg and his team have been very supportive,” Smid said. “R.A.I.N. can’t thank Petco enough.”

Along with collecting donations, Petco has provided reference to R.A.I.N. for people interested in adopting animals.

“They do a lot for animals in need in DeKalb,” Klopz said. “Every little bit is helpful.”

Petco’s helping hand doesn’t only assist animals through its Tree of Hope; it also has helped animals by finding them good homes. Often people who no longer could keep their pets have brought them to Petco.

The store has received rabbits, snakes, guinea pigs, fish and ferrets, Rodriguez said. These animals usually get adopted quickly. People who adopt an animal receive a lower price than than those who buy an animal.

“I hope that people would come in to donate money for this organization we are helping,” Rodriguez said.