Buddy’s fundraiser to benefit Michigan Humane Society

By: Maria Allard | C&G Newspapers | Published May 24, 2015

METRO DETROIT  — While pizza is a favorite dish for many people, one local pizzeria has found a way to feed man’s best friend while at the same time helping other animals in need.

About a year ago, Buddy’s Pizza and the Michigan Humane Society teamed up to create a dog treat called Buddy Bones. The dog biscuits are made from leftover multigrain Buddy’s Pizza dough that otherwise would be tossed away.

Buddy Bones are available for a $2 donation at the carryout counters of all area Buddy’s locations, including those in Warren, Shelby Township, Farmington Hills, Grosse Pointe and Royal Oak.

Buddy’s Pizza Vice President of Operations Wesley Pikula said patrons often donate more for the cause. Once sold, a portion of the profits are donated to the Michigan Humane Society. To date, about $10,000 has been raised for the nonprofit organization.

“It’s been phenomenal,” Michigan Humane Society spokesperson Ryan McTigue said. “(Buddy’s) came to us with the idea. We are a private, nonprofit organization. We get no government funding. We rely on donations from the public.”

The pizza dough at Buddy’s is made fresh daily, Pikula said. He added that an employee noticed that the leftover multigrain dough felt like the texture of a dog biscuit. Pikula thought, “We could do something with this.”

Multigrain dough, water, yeast and a bit of molasses are the ingredients in each dog biscuit, which are made in the shape of a dog bone. McTigue and Pikula worked closely with Michigan Humane Society veterinarians to ensure that the ingredients were safe and healthy for pets. Because the ingredients are all-natural, it is suggested Buddy Bones are eaten within 30 days of purchase.

McTigue said it costs $196 per animal, on average, to care for each animal housed at the Humane Society. He added that sometimes there are special cases in which the fee is much higher. The Michigan Humane Society has three main shelters in Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland. The administrative offices are located in Bingham Farms.

McTigue said the shelters take in animals from owners that have fallen on hard times or are moving and can’t care for their pets anymore. Pets with behavior issues also are accepted, as are stray and rescued animals and those brought in through the shelter’s cruelty investigations.

Pets include dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, frogs, birds, turtles and mice. Representatives also hold pet adoptions at the shelter, at Petco in Sterling Heights and at local PetSmart locations.

McTigue said the most common problem that animals have when they come to the shelter is upper respiratory infections.

“Occasionally, they have been hit by a car or have heartworm disease,” McTigue said.

Pikula is pleased to see how well the partnership is working between the eatery and the shelter.

“I know how important pets are to your life,” he said. “The pets are part of your family.”

For more information on the Michigan Humane Society, visit www.michiganhumane.org.