Two years ago, pet parent Nancy was in the process of building a new home in Paradise, California, for herself and her beloved Staffordshire Terrier mix, Boots, whom she inherited from her late father. In early November, the Camp Fire, one of the most destructive wildfires in California history, swept through Paradise, burning down their unfinished house.
Nancy stayed at friends’ apartments while she waited for the house to be completed, but due to apartment complexes’ breed restrictions, Boots was unable to stay with her. Nancy went ahead and checked Boots into the local PetsHotel, where she knew Boots would be well taken care of. After the fire, Nancy was unable to afford a new place and continued to stay with friends while she got back on her feet. She extended Boots’ Hotel stay as well, refusing to take her to a shelter.
Boots has now been a resident at the PetsHotel in San Francisco for a year and a half. Despite her busy work schedule, Nancy comes in every week to see Boots and spend time with her. The PetSmart store associates have fallen in love with the family and decided to band together to find a way to help Nancy and make Boots’ stay more comfortable.
“Nancy works her tail off, and she does it just to pay for Boots,” said Mia, the PetsHotel manager. “She loves Boots so much, and we wanted to show her that we love her the same way.”
The next time Nancy came to visit, which took place exactly one year after the fire, the store associates surprised her and Boots with a discounted rate, a new bed, a cozy blanket and toys to help Boots’ living arrangement feel even more like a home.
“Everybody started crying when they saw Nancy’s reaction,” said Ryan, the store leader. “She was just shocked. To this day, she still can’t believe it.”
The store even named Boots their November Associate of the Month, complete with a photo hanging in the office alongside previous winners.
“Boots is like our store mascot,” said Ryan. “We recognize her as part of our team. For us to be able to help her mom… it was amazing.”