Chance Toy Helps Comfort Child of PetSmart Associate During Hospital Visit

Four years ago, a PetSmart associate named Sean received a frantic phone call from his wife while he was at work. His sons had accidentally knocked over his father-in-law’s heart medication while playing, and his 3-year-old, Sebastian, ate one of the pills.

Sean got to the hospital as quickly as he could, beating the ambulance. When the ambulance arrived, he and his wife were relieved to see Sebastian “smiling from ear to ear,” clutching a plush dog called Chance. Chance is part of PetSmart’s Chance & Friends Holiday Philanthropic Collection. PetSmart donates 10% of the sale of each toy to PetSmart Charities to fund animal-assisted therapy programs at children’s hospitals. Store associates also collect the toys to donate to an organization in their community such as children’s hospitals, police departments and animal shelters.

Sean and his family spent 12 hours in the emergency room that day, and Sebastian held onto Chance the entire time. Thankfully, Sebastian turned out to be perfectly healthy. The missing pill that his family thought he had eaten was found on the kitchen floor later that night.

Sean has been an active participant in the Chance & Lucky program since it began many years ago. Seeing the donation process come full circle in such a personal way only deepened his passion for the cause.

“I was able to thank everyone involved in helping my son that day, except, of course, the pet parent who donated the actual toy. But now, having seen first-hand the joy and comfort it brought my son, I thank as many donors as I can.”

Sean’s experience is one of countless stories we receive about families whose lives have been touched by the Chance & Friends program, and it serves as a heartwarming reminder of the impact these toys can have.