By Sara Macho, Sun News May 01, 2010, 12:34PM
Less than 20 percent of pets across the United States were adopted from animal rescue shelters. The remaining percentage are purchased from pet shops.
North Royalton resident Carianne Burnley is trying to change that statistic and make people think ‘rescue’ when searching for a family pet.
To do this, Burnley and her husband, Eric Mele, put their heads together two years ago and began to reflect on their many years of service work to the Humane Society of Greater Akron, of which Burnley serves on the Board of Directors.
“I thought that there has to be a way for people to think of animal rescue shelters first and go to breeders last,” Burnley said.
While on a cross-country road trip, Burnley suddenly got the idea to release a board game that is not only entertaining but also educates players about the ins and outs of owning a shelter.
Fur-Ever Home The Animal Rescue Game will be released next week through Burnley’s newfound company, Petsapalooza LLC. The game calls for its players to act as the owners of shelters in the imaginary “Straytown” where animals like “Spaghetti” and “Meatball” are lost and need to be taken in.
As part of her “Choose Rescue,” program, Burnley will give back $5 to a local animal rescue shelter of the customer’s choice for every game sold.
Creating a board game required a fair share of sacrifice from Burnley, who quit her job in marketing and management information systems to begin brainstorming.
Fur-Ever Home The Animal Rescue Game calls for its players to act as owners of animal rescue shelters.“I had it all drawn out on cardboard with index cards,” Burnley explained. “Once the numbers were working, I used LinkedIn to find and hire a graphic designer.”
Burnley’s search brought up Prescott Hill, an independent graphic design professional out of Atlanta. Hill has background in designing for Playskool, Milton Bradley and Hasbro Games. In other words, he was just what Burnley was searching for.
“We went back and forth on the concept and came up with ideas for the types of animals featured in the game,” Burnley said.
Once the pieces and parts came together, production started in Wisconsin at Grand Prix International, an industry leader in toy and game manufacturing..