Just Pizza and time for the animals

CONTRIBUTEDMary Alloy, owner of Just Pizza in Amherst, has been showcasing dogs available for adoption through the Niagara County SPCA by putting their "specs" on flyers attached to pizza delivery boxes.

Operating a pizzeria keeps Mary Alloy perpetually busy, but those who know Alloy know she always has time for the dogs.

The keeper of a rat terrier/jack russell mix and 14 cats, Alloy jokes that she should get a farm.

Alloy has been in the national spotlight since her pizza shop in Amherst began showcasing adoptable dogs at the Niagara County SPCA, by way of flyers fastened to pizza boxes, earlier this year. News outlets including CNN and Good Morning America have featured the endeavor and last week Alloy was set to give an interview to Animal Planet.

To date, Alloy's endeavor has resulted in 25 dogs being adopted. 

Seeing the adopters come into her pizzeria with the gift certificate they received from her business, and hearing about how each featured dog is getting on with its new life, is a real treat for Alloy. So much so, she recently decided to give a $50 gift certificate to anyone who adopts a dog at the Niagara County SPCA, whether they ever bought pizza from her or not.

"It's a little extra," she said. "I want the dogs to get adopted, so I give."

Kimberly LaRussa, event coordinator for the Niagara County SPCA, can't say enough about Alloy, her generosity and authenticity as someone with few words, but a big heart.

Pizza-box showcasing of dogs that need homes "was an idea that got so much traction and became so much larger than we thought it ever could." LaRussa said. "The fact that (Alloy) continues to do it and promote our shelter animals even during a pandemic is just amazing to us. She hasn't gone a day without putting a shelter animal on her box. That's just one of the many things Mary does for the shelter."

Alloy has been driving to the shelter to give the staff food from her restaurant on a regular basis, according to LaRussa. Alloy claims she's actually visiting the animals, but usually has food with her.

"I just do little bits and pieces to help," she said.

Of Alloy, LaRussa says, "We thank her so much for everything she's done ... . She really loves the animals."

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