Furburbia at the Tanger Outlet in Park City, Utah
NOTE: Since this story was written, Furburbia and Friends of Animals in Utah (FOAU) have been rebranded and renamed Nuzzles & Co.
Furburbia has all the trappings of many for-profit pet stores: available animals in pristine glass enclosures, friendly staff keen on customer service, and store hours to accommodate the public. But the similarities end there as it is run by Friends of Animals Utah (FOAU) and it’s stocked with rescued animals looking for homes.
This No More Homeless Pets Network partner is dedicated to saving the lives of homeless pets in Northern Utah. A few years ago, they took over the Furburbia at the Tanger Outlet in Park City, Utah, from No More Homeless Pets in Utah. Originally, different animal organizations used the space to feature their adoptable pets, but to streamline the lifesaving efforts, Furburbia transitioned over to FOAU and they’ve been making the most out of the space ever since. In 2011 alone, 547 dogs and 470 cats found their forever family thanks to Furburbia.
Furburbia: Adoption venue and dog training classes
Bowie wins big thanks to Furburbia.
Cathy Clark, director of operations for FOAU, is ecstatic about what Furburbia has enabled them to accomplish. In addition to an adoption venue, Furburbia also offers three dog training classes per week, with discounts for animals adopted from FOAU.
"Furburbia has given us a way to take our pets that are ready for adoption out of our Rescue & Rehabilitation Ranch and straight to the public. Small dogs, big dogs, seniors, juveniles, and the array of cats we have available are displayed in our friendly, upbeat environment, and they’re finding great homes," shares Cathy.
FOAU has been saving animals from shelters in Northern Utah, with half the pets coming from the Salt Lake City area. Furburbia then uses various strategies to help get the animals into forever homes.
Cathy explains, "We’ll take 100 cats from West Valley and many of them are pregnant, so in reality we’re rescuing more. So having this hopping adoption facility is really important. Furburbia also exposes us in another way — through our Facebook page. We can get animals into foster homes quickly thanks to the social networking side of Furburbia. Furburbia is a name people trust and that’s one key factor to our success."
Special pets, special treatment
Furburbia gives pets a second chance.
The organization treats each adoption as a unique opportunity to get the right pet into the right home.
Bowie is the perfect example of the work they do and why they’re so successful. A beautiful but skittish German shepherd and husky mix rescued from Summit County Animal Control, Bowie was adopted out by FOAU to an avid runner. After Bowie's adoptive home returned him due to his new person’s knee operation, Bowie was fostered by a family who exposed him to all kinds of new things. Bowie learned to trust people and other dogs.
One day, a couple came in to Furburbia with their five-year-old daughter and fell in love. Thankfully Bowie’s foster family had given him the skills to fall in love back.
"That day as Bowie was leaving the store, I could see through the front window, the little girl opening their bag of treats to give him one — he immediately sat down and took the treat so gently. It gave me that moment of ‘this is why we do what we do’ and Furburbia allows us to do it a lot better," says Cathy.