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Profit for paw-pose: Australian dog food company on a mission to end dog euthanasia

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Local family-run dog food business SavourLife is on a mission to save every rescue dog in Australia with its launch of Adopt-A-Dog, Australia’s newest online, dog adoption platform.

The successful profit-for-purpose company, which has donated over $1 million to local rescue shelters in just six years, launched the site as part of its campaign to eliminate the euthanasia of adoptable dogs in Australia by 2022.

Despite being a self-professed nation of dog lovers and a country with one of the highest rates of pet ownership in the world, Australia has over 200,000 dogs that end up in rescue shelters across the country each year; 44,000 of them are sadly, then euthanised.

What is the story behind SavourLife?

It’s a shocking number that SavourLife wants to bring to zero. Founded by ex-marketing executive Michael McTeigue and his wife Kim in 2013, the business was created as a necessary solution to Australia’s dog homelessness problem.

The passion project started with a simple premise; create natural, nutritious, Australian-made dog food and donate 50 per cent of the profits to volunteer-run rescue groups who save and re-home abandoned dogs.

The premise was simple, but the impact has been significant. Consisting of just five employees, the business has grown exponentially year-on-year and with its $1 million in donations to over 250 different rescue groups nationwide, has actively contributed to re-homing more than 6,000 rescue dogs.

Founder and managing director McTeigue says that while this is a positive step in the right direction, there’s much more work to be done.

“We realised that while we were doing some great things to help homeless dogs once they were in trouble, we weren’t addressing the real problem of how they got there in the first place. We want to take our mission a step further and be part of the solution, which is why we launched Adopt-A-Dog,” said McTeigue.

How exactly does Adopt-A-Dog work?

Adopt-A-Dog is an online portal that showcases thousands of rescue dogs from rescue groups across the country, connecting them with potential new families.

“The site allows people to find a dog that is perfectly suited to their needs; they can filter by breed, age, size, location and whether or not they need to be good with kids or other pets. This allows them to find the perfect new member of their family that is to suit to them.”

“One of the biggest misconceptions about dog adoption is that you can’t find a specific type of dog, or that you can’t find a puppy. There are dogs of all sizes, ages, shapes and breeds at a rescue shelter. And in fact, over half the dogs on Adopt-A-Dog are puppies!”

“Another misbelief we encounter a lot is that most people think the reason a dog ends up at a shelter is because of an issue with the dog itself. In reality, the primary reason dogs are abandoned is due to a change in personal circumstances of the owner, such as a relationship breakdown or relocation.”

With over 140 rescue groups on the Adopt-A-Dog platform, the site is giving these dogs the best possible chance to find their forever home. The shelters don’t pay to list, in fact they receive donations instead, ensuring SavourLife’s goal of driving money directly to the grass-roots level is realised.

“It’s always been about the dogs for us, and it always will be. We want to track the impact of our donations and support these rescue groups that are on the ground every day saving lives.”

“It all started with our first dog Buddy. He brought so much joy into our lives, and we wanted to be able to allow other people to experience that same happiness only a dog can bring. We believe every home should have a dog and every dog should have a home.”

While many small businesses struggle to turn a profit in the first few years of operation, SavourLife’s success proves that doing good is just good business.

“Consumers are increasingly aware they can make an impact with their dollar. We provide dog owners with a win-win solution; they’re getting the highest-quality, Australia-made products for their own dog and they’re having a positive impact on the lives of other dogs.”

“The triple-bottom line isn’t just achievable, it’s essential for businesses wanting to grow and succeed in an evolving market landscape increasingly driven by socially responsible consumers.”

Alongside their two rescue dogs Max and Missy, the McTeigues will continue to campaign for Australia’s homeless dogs until every single one finds a home.

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