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Doggone it, 1st Financial Federal Credit Union of Wentzville, Mo., scored well with pet lovers this month by sponsoring an “Adopt a Best Furrever Friend Day” at four branch locations.Teamed up with animal rescue firms, 1st Financial let the public pick and adopt dogs, all of them abandoned in foreclosed properties.“With the downturn in the economy many people have lost their jobs and had to leave their pets behind,” explained Nina Pilger, 1st Financial president/CEO. “By providing a pet adoption day, we continue our mission of serving and caring for our community.”On May 8, each of the branches found themselves with a handful of dogs brought there by rescue firms, and CU staffers set up baby gates and dog crates in the lobbies so the pooches could roam in marked-off areas, said Michelle Rosner, vice president of sales/marketing“The rescue organizations had staffers accompanying the animals at each branch so members could visit each animal, and then apply for an adoption on the spot,” said Rosner.The event was advertised in the CU newsletter, online, in lobbies with digital media ads, plus there were posters and “doggie bags,” plastic bags emblazoned with the 1st Financial containing a pet adoption flyer and special product offers geared toward local businesses.Joining in the Adopt a Friend Day were the St. Charles Humane Society, Mostly Mutts of St. Louis, Senior Dogs 4 Seniors and Love a Golden Rescue.Rosner said the idea for pet adoption came during a meeting of branch managers in which one of the fun committees suggested members be surprised with events “that exceed their expectations.”Given credit for the special day was Chief Operations Officer Mary Jo Garofalo, who noted the 32% foreclosure rate in the area and the plight of so many abandoned pets.The owner of one pet firm, Allison Bell of Yips and Yaps Pet Care, lauded the CU as an exciting and caring organization outside the pet care industry willing to raise awareness of adoptable pets.–[email protected]

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