GUELPH, ONTARIO — Pet specialty retailer Ren’s Pets donated $20,000 to support pets impacted by the crisis in Ukraine on April 13. The retailer made the donation to non-profit Animal Food Bank, who will distribute the funds to pet organizations in and around Ukraine.

Ren’s Pets raised the money through a customer collection effort at its retail stores.

“As a company extremely passionate about pets, we wanted to help and show our support for those pets impacted by the conflict in Ukraine,” said Scott Arsenault, chief executive officer of Ren’s Pets. “Our stores have been collecting donations from our very generous customers for this cause, and the amount donated has been absolutely extraordinary. We are now able to donate $20,000 to the Animal Food Bank to distribute to organizations in and around Ukraine who are helping and supporting pets. We’re so thankful to our customers who have shown so much love, care, and support for Ukraine.

“Our store teams showed a ton of passion for the cause and set up draws for customers to win gift baskets full of pet treats, toys and supplies for making a donation,” Arsenault added. “It’s a small way for us to say thank you to our customers for their generosity. We understand that pets are part of the family, and Ren’s really is here for your pet’s best life.”

Founded in 2019, the Animal Food Bank works to support pets in need through donations, petitions, fundraisers and more. The non-profit operates like a human food bank, but with strict service to animals, which prevents the non-profit from receiving any federal or provincial funding.

“Animal Food Bank is honored to have been chosen as a partner to distribute the generous donations from the customers of Ren's Pets to help aid both pets on the ground in Ukraine, pets of refugees around Ukraine and now those arriving in Canada with pets,” said Nicole Fey, founder of the Animal Food Bank. “This work is of the utmost urgency and importance and we, completely volunteer operated and non-funded, could not do this without amazing partners like Ren's Pets. We are so thankful for our collaboration with the Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) of Canada that led to this amazing initiative.”

Since the Ukraine crisis, Animal Food Bank has partnered with several pet organizations to provide funds and pet food donations and has developed the AFB Ukraine Fund. As of April 4, the non-profit has donated $25,238 to Ukraine.

“Learning how the Animal Food Bank is distributing funds into Ukraine has been so enlightening, to see how they’re caring for pets that have been affected,” said Larissa Wasyliw, vice president of e-commerce and Marketing at Ren’s Pets. “Nicole and her team work tirelessly to ensure these pets are getting fed and cared for. She’s educated us on where donations flow to, like Planting Peace, who is providing pet food and supplies and setting up feeding stations at pet intake centers on the border of Poland and Ukraine, or Breaking the Chains, who is on the ground in Ukraine providing and distributing medicine, food, and supplies plus transporting animals out of war zones. They truly do remarkable work.”

As well as donating funds to the Animal Food Bank, Ren’s Pets has also donated $50,000 to the Canadian Red Cross Ukraine Humanitarian Crisis Appeal. Ren’s Pets is owned by the Legault Group, who also owns the Canada-based pet specialty retailer Mondou. To support Ukraine, Legault has donated a total of $150,000 to the Red Cross via Ren’s Pets and Mondou’s donations.

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