Our Journey to Pet Adoption

Note: This post was developed in partnership with PetSmart Charities of Canada and PetSmart Canada
but all views, adoption process and opinions are of our own. We’re simply hoping to work together to
help spread the word about National Adoption weekend and other community events.

Family photo of the boys and Oscar

Choosing a pet is one of the most wonderful experiences we’ve embarked on as a family. Our journey started nearly a year ago now when our then t two-year-old and 4-year-old boys took a keen interest in animals (especially cats). They actively played with plush toys, pretending they were real friends/pets, and they fell over themselves when they encountered a cat in someone’s home.

Now, we know this request is common of many kids: young children set their sights on a puppy, kitten or goldfish because, in a fleeting moment, they think it will be fun. A toy that comes to life so to speak! So, we decided to give their request some time (and thought) to properly gauge their interest.

When the requests for a pet kept coming, and we could see that our boys had a passionate interest in animals, we started visiting our local PetSmart store. At first we were hesitant because we desperately wanted to adopt an animal and not buy one. So you can imagine how pleased we were when we found out that PetSmart doesn’t sell cats/dogs and never has. Instead, the company works with local rescues and humane societies offering them space to showcase adoptable pets.

Browsing cats at Petsmart

Soon, we found ourselves actively browsing the kitty condo windows once or twice a week.

Angie meeting with Pam from Ninth Life Cat Rescue

That’s when we connected with Jean and Pam from Ninth Life Cat Rescue – representatives from the this animal welfare organization that partners with PetSmart Charities of Canada. These wonderful cat warriors took a keen interest in helping our kids find their fur-ever friends. We’d regularly meet with new cats, in store, and we’d keep our eyes on the rescued kitten litters.

Angie Campanelli visits PetSmart
Angie & Harrison looking for their fur-ever friend at PetSmart in Burlington, ON

It took months and months to find our perfect little guy. But, we were so impressed at the adoption process and at how often pets went home with new owners without a lengthy stay at the store.

Finally, we received the call we’d been waiting for:
“Angie, go to the Oakville PetSmart store. There’s a cat there that would be perfect for your family.” – Jean (Ninth Life Cat Rescue)

Within hours, our family was in the car, heading to Oakville. Two days later, and two visits later, we formally applied for, and adopted, our 5-year-old cat, Oscar (he’s a Siamese mix with Campanelli eyes).

He hid a lot when we first brought him home because he was adjusting to the space and noise.

Honestly, as a young family, we had no idea how all of this would unfold and when we started this journey we had so many questions (and fears) about it all.

But, PetSmart takes animal adoption very seriously and wanted to make sure that the cat we chose would work well in our home. So employees took the time to work with us to help find the right pet.

Did you know that PetSmart offers pet adoption services in partnership with more than 200 registered Canadian charities and animal welfare organizations?

Essentially, the cats/kittens you see in store arrive there from local welfare
organizations, Like Ninth Life Cat Rescue, and are there waiting for a permanent home. It’s a great way to give more exposure to these shelter animals. When we rescued Oscar, we gave the money right to Ninth
Life Cat Rescue. The PetSmart Charities of Canada organization regularly helps local animals and charities in a variety of ways. When we visited the store, they were collecting donated meals for all of the spring season kittens in need.

For 20 years, PetSmart Charities of Canada, together with local animal rescue groups, have helped find forever homes for 295,000 pets (and counting).

Another added bonus of adopting through PetSmart is that we received a coupon booklet that offered more than $300 in savings for our new pet essentials. We got a bag of cat food for free, money off of the cat carrier, litter box, wet food, dishes and much more.

Even toys came at a discount thanks to the coupon book. It truly was a one-stop pet adoption process because not only were we able to rescue a 5-year-old feline friend, but we got to take him home that same day with all of his essentials.

Since PetSmart is Canada’s largest specialty pet retailer (including services like nail clipping and bathing) it’s easy to locate whatever we need, wherever we travel.

So far, Oscar is adjusting slowly to his new home, but we’re all patient. We’re hoping to find his fur-ever BFF at PetSmart Charities of Canada’s National Adoption weekend May 17-19. There are over 2000
pets needing homes so each store will be bringing in new, loving animals that are ready for a home. Some pets have been in foster homes for a while and others are from humane societies. Either way, they’re all in need of love, attention and a safe home.

We will be documenting it all on our IG stories this coming weekend (to see if we can find a friend) so follow along: @Famtravelguide @Angie_Campanelli @Rick_Campanelli

If you’ve adopted a pet, or are considering pet adoption, we’d love to hear your story as well. Send us an email!

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