Some pizza boxes come with coupons. At Angelo’s Pizza in Matawan, NJ, they’re often lined with flyers to help find lost pets.
How It Started
It all started in 2019, when shop owner John Sanfratello happened across a woman’s Facebook post about a missing cat. They had never met before, but he knew exactly what she was going through on that stormy Thursday night.
“[Her cat], Hazel, looked just like Max, our cat that ran away from home a few years prior. He was missing for an entire week and we were absolutely distraught until we found him,” John explained. “Meanwhile, I’m in the shop with a pile of pizza boxes, so I wrote back and told her that we’d be happy to put flyers on them.
“When I was growing up, they’d put pictures of missing children on milk cartons. I figured, why not do it with pizza boxes?”
Soon after Hazel was found, Angelo’s Pizza helped search for a local German shepherd puppy who was being groomed as a seeing-eye dog. The flyers have become a staple ever since, helping five beloved pets find their way back home.
How Angelo’s Pizza Helps Their Community Pet-Lovers
“If there’s a lost pet, we drop everything. Time is of the essence, so our drivers put the flyers out immediately,” John said. “We want to make sure that word gets out. We blast it out on social media to all of our followers too because, to us, it’s a big deal.”
To this day, the service remains free-of-charge for all pet owners, whether or not they’re customers. However, there has been one notable change. During the holidays, Angelo’s boxes come with adopt-a-pet ads from the local SPCA. ‘Tis the tailend of kitten season, after all.
While John helps track down more of Monmouth County’s missing pets, he encourages pizzerias nationwide to adopt his pet project.
“We need more of that,” said John. “It’s something any shop can do. It costs absolutely nothing, but it provides a great service to the community.”