National Pet Month Boosts Kansas City Initiative

May is National Pet Month. And if you’re a pet lover and owner, you get it. Our pets are part of the family. Sometimes, they’re more sensitive to our needs than even our human family. After all, they greet us when we come home, they comfort us when we’re down and they know just when to nudge us into play and exercise.

Not surprisingly, 68 percent of U.S. households own a pet. That’s 84.6 million homes! In 1988, only a little more than half of U.S. households owned a pet. And in the age-old debate of dogs vs. cats…dogs seem to be the favorite. Those statistics appear to ring true – but on a much smaller scale – in the Kansas City region. In fact, inside the Olathe, Kansas-based pet treats (and more!) business, PawsAbilities, a small contingent of special individuals is serving our canine friends and family.

PawsAbilities is a nonprofit organization designed to provide employment training to young adults with intellectual disabilities. The program operates out of its Olathe retail storefront, online and at special corporate and community events, such as the Olathe Farmers Market and Just For Her Event. Paws Participants handcraft the Paws inventory of specialty dog treats, custom doggie bandanas and old school pet toys. Each participant learns the skills to make the products, and then learns the skills to manage the inventory, stage the products, complete customer transactions, market the business, and interact with customers and more.

Each year, pet owners spend an average $72 on pet treats and another $47 on pet toys. Small businesses, such as PawsAbilities count on the purchasing power within their local and online communities. PawsAbilities’ boutique-style setting and innovative products add to its appeal.

Yet, it’s our employees who really make the difference. Our human customers love to chat and see our operation in person. Our loyal, four-legged friends have learned to sniff out a good deal and a worthwhile effort.

We encourage you and your pet to check it out for yourselves by visiting the PawsAbilities store in person or online. That keen sense of smell will awaken your senses to our products and the possibilities for the young adults we serve.