After years of successful professional experience, Glenn Buckley, DVM and his brother, Scott, decided that they wanted to do something that truly makes an impact and is unique. After giving it some thought, they started a groundbreaking online pet pharmacy in which 100% of net profits (after expenses) go to animal rescues and shelters.
Life With Dogs is privileged to feature an interview with Glenn about this venture:
So, what was your motivation for beginning Pet Rescue Rx?
“For me, it was that I got a little frustrated with shelters and rescues having to constantly struggle for money and ask for donations…I volunteer for a shelter and we are always looking for additional sources of funding.
So, I thought about what could be done on a large scale to make an impact…I thought about the Paul Newman brand, in which he would donate the profits from a business to charity. So, I looked at this model and thought, ‘why can’t we do this for pets with the pet medication industry?’
The time I have spent volunteering at the shelter is bitter sweet…I can only give so much of my time and only to one shelter and there are probably over 4,000 in the country…People can only donate so much and most shelters just need more money…
So, if we can make a difference for the shelters on a large scale, that’s great and it’s what we are trying to do.”
So, how does this work?
“The process is that when someone buys something…they choose an organization or rescue to support and can track where their money is going.
The only requirement we have with an organization that wants to be listed is that they are a legitimate 501(c)3…that’s all we ask of them.
This isn’t about personal gain for myself or my brother…At this stage in our lives, we want to create something that makes a difference”
But how can you possibly run a for profit business without keeping some of the profits?
“It’s set up the same way as Newman’s Own is set up…We pay our expenses and pharmacists…Then whatever is left we use on organizations that need it.
Also, we are relying on social media to spread the word. We don’t have much to spend on advertising because the profits go to helping rescue organizations and so we depend on people to spread the word…
Scott and I take no compensation from Pet Rescue Rx. It is about giving back in the best way that we know.”
So, this is something new in the pet industry world, right?
“Yes, no one is doing this…A lot of companies give a small percentage of their profits, and every bit helps, but I felt we should do this 100%…
Now that Wal Mart and Costco and retail pharmacies are getting into the pet medication industry, the money is not going where it should. About 15 years ago things changed from people getting the medications from the veterinarians to now being able to purchase them online or at Costco and Wal-Mart… I’m hoping veterinarians will look at our model and see how they can build a better relationship with shelters and see how it will mutually benefit all involved…
So we put a plan together and opened up in June…We are licensed now in 22 states and have others pending…and we have over 180 shelters and rescues signed up with us to receive support…”
Have you seen results yet?
“Yes, we have been able to write checks to some of the organizations that have signed up… I’m happy with what we are seeing”
Do you carry most of the mainstream medications and treatments?
“Yes, most of what we have is also what you will find online or with your veterinarian.”
Is it ever tempting to just run a standard business or take more for yourself?
“Yes, it’s easy to think, ‘why don’t we just have a nice, easy life’ but when I walk into a shelter and see that the animals don’t have a nice, easy life, I can’t just have a nice, easy life for myself either.”
Do you have anything else to share?
“Just that we’re continuing to grow with more licensing in additional states…We are trying to be in all 50 states as soon as possible.
In the end, it comes down to if we do what we say we’re going to do, the business will survive and we will be able to get the money to the groups that need it…If we don’t-as we have had skeptics say-then we are just another online pharmacy out there, the benefit won’t get to the groups that need it and we will have done this for nothing. I know that I didn’t do this for nothing.”
You can visit Pet Rescue Rx’s website and order medications from: www.petrescuerx.com