Thursday, December 22, 2016

Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit Earns $25,000 from Petco

Story submitted by Dearborn Heights Resident Stephanie O’Dell
Three Detroit-area animal organizations shared $80K from Petco

Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit (FAMD) earned $25,000 from Petco Foundation’s Holiday Wishes Campaign, thanks to a beautiful story written by a Dearborn Heights Mom about her one-year old son with down’s syndrome and his love of their adopted cat, Guinness.

Laurie Buhr, FAMD Board president, accepted the check from Petco Foundation.
Photo Courtesy of Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit

Stephanie O’Dell submitted the entry that detailed the love that her four-year-old cat, Guinness, had for her son, Kellen, even when she was first pregnant.  Once he was born, the baby and cat became inseparable.  The cat sleeps with her son every night and is his constant companion.

Stephanie, Kellen and Guinness O'Dell
Photo Courtesy of Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit

“My life was full before my son was born,” O’Dell wrote in her story.  “Since he has arrived, I can't tell you how much I love watching their relationship grow and flower. They truly are best friends, and I can't imagine what my son's life would be without Guinness. I look forward to many, many years of my boys spending time together and learning.”

O’Dell was a volunteer at FAMD with her sister, Michelle, for 12 years before her son was born.

“Stephanie is a great example of how families come together around their animals,” said Elaine Greene, executive director, FAMD said. “We see this so often with the 1,700 animals we help get adopted each year.”

The Petco Foundation’s Holiday Wishes campaign, in partnership with Petco, awarded a total of $80,000 to three local Detroit-area animal welfare organizations, including Detroit Bully Corps ($5K), Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit ($25K), and Refurbished Pets of Southern Michigan($50K) at the Detroit Petco store.

The three organizations were selected as a winner from more than 5,000 stories that were submitted by animal adopters across the country, which celebrated how their adopted pets have changed and enriched their lives. The Petco Foundation selected more than 50 organizations from the pool of 5,000 submissions as winners. 

To contribute to the holiday campaign for FAMD, visit

About FAMD
After 22 years of nurturing more than 47,300 animals, the Friends for Animals of Metro Detroit have embarked on the “Raise the Woof” public phase of their “Building a Home with Heart” capital campaign to construct a new Animal Adoption & Education Center at the site of the former Dearborn Amtrak station on Michigan Avenue. Construction begins this Summer.  FAMD is located at 2661 Greenfield Road, Dearborn.

About the Petco Foundation
At the Petco Foundation, we believe that every animal deserves to live its best life. Since 1999, we’ve invested more than $170 million in lifesaving animal welfare work to make that happen. With our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners, we inspire and empower communities to make a difference by investing in adoption and medical care programs, spay/neuter services, pet cancer research, service and therapy animals, and numerous other lifesaving initiatives. Through our Think Adoption First program, we partner with Petco stores and animal welfare organizations across the country to increase pet adoptions. So far, we’ve helped more than 5 million pets find their new loving families, and we’re just getting started. Visit to learn more about how you can get involved.

FROM CAT CHAT WITH CAREN AND CODY: We admit we are partial to Petco because Cody was adopted there in 2007 at an adoption drive that was taking place. Cody and I are so grateful to Petco for bringing us together. The story above  is yet another reason to love Petco!!!! 


  1. What a beautiful story that was about the kitty and baby boy. And, what wonderful gifts are being awarded by Petco. Fantastic!

  2. That is a great story. Very happy for FAMD, but even happier that young Kellen gets to have such a great cat as a friend!

  3. Ashamed to say that I've not heard of FAMD until now, but am celebrating their hard work and concats on the Petco donation! The real winners are Kellen and Guinness!

  4. Great Christmas present for the kitties.

    Happy Holidays!

    Emma and Buster

  5. I always say that as great as cats are at destroying things, they fix just about everything. I don't know where I'd be without Bear Cat's love and acceptance :)

  6. What a wonderful story ! Thank you for sharing!

  7. Well this post just made me smile.

    Have a purrfect day Cody. My best to your wonderful mom. ♥♥♥

  8. WOW! That really is so terrific and will halp so many!

  9. Wonderful to hear such good news during the holidays! Wonderful!

  10. I'm sure FAMD is grateful to get such a large donation. Kitty loves his little brother.

  11. Paws up to them! We know they will put those funds to great use.

  12. That's a heart warming story. Good news too for Friends of Animals.
    Happy Holidays!

  13. That's so wonderful! :-)

    Meowy Katmass and a happy, healthy New Year, dear furriends! :-)

    LOve, Roxy & TIgerlino <3

  14. It's a nice story and a worderful gift.
    Here we dont have big places like Petco.
    We wish you a happy ... something, everything.