By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
When you stay at a hotel and read the card on the bed that asks guests to care about the environment by hanging up towels instead of having them washed after one use, I imagine everyone doing this for the betterment of our planet.
Scott Chapman does too. As founder and president of Hospitality Industry Partnership for Pets (HIP for Pets), Scott is combining his current job with his past. Before joining PetSmart as Learning and Development manager where he oversees training for PetSmart personnel, he spent 20 years in the hospitality industry.
“Working with PetSmart Charities, I see a great need for supplies at shelters across the country,” he says. “My background in the hospitality industry made me think about the towels, sheets, blankets, and other supplies that hotels discard. These items could be going to animal shelters. Many of these items don’t go to human shelters because they may have stains or holes in them. The items are laundered and in fair to good condition and the staffs at shelters welcome getting them.”
“Just think of all those towels at hotels,” says Scott. “In a 500-room hotel, we have about 1500 towels in one corridor that need to be switched out. There are towels in the room, in the laundry, in storage and on the shelf. And hotels with pools have even more towels.
Hospitality and Shelters: A Good Match
HIP for Pets is a separate entity from PetSmart. Scott is doing this with the help of his wife, Ellyn, who works as a groomer at a PetSmart in Phoenix. Ellyn serves as vice president of the company. Also on board are a number of animal activists, trainers, groomers and business people—from the hospitality industry to volunteers at shelters. “It just makes a lot of sense to put animal shelter workers together with people in the hospitality industry,” says Scott.
The word is spreading to major hotel chains and airlines. (Scott says those airline blankets are just the right size for kennels.) He has a number of big name chain hotels ready to come on board, and has a list of shelters that have already signed up.
You Can Join
The program is free. If you are in the hospitality industry—whether you are a small Bed & Breakfast or a large hotel chain, restaurant, airline or other hospitality-related business, visit the online site and click on the words “Everything Counts” in the “Your Donations” column. A list of items from shampoos to newspapers to towels and more pops up. Click on what you can donate, and then put in your zip code. A list of local animal shelters will appear on the screen. Pick one or a handful, and contact them to pick up these items.
Animal shelters can join by clicking on the “Contact” button. Donors can join here too. Fill out the information to be a donating or receiving partner with HIP for Pets. It’s that easy.
Recycling Means Everyone Wins
Animals win, shelter workers win, hospitality workers wins, and our planet wins.
Please share this post with your local animal shelter, and if you know anyone who can donate anything from office supplies to linens to cleaning supplies, have them read this post and then log onto the HIP for Pets site.