ETX couple creates business to help animal shelters nationwide -, Longview, Jacksonville, Texas | ETX News

ETX couple creates business to help animal shelters nationwide

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ETX couple creates business to help animal shelters ETX couple creates business to help animal shelters

About two years ago, Chris Ruben and his wife Angela realized an increase in the demand for animal shelter services.

"Especially since 2008 with the economy, donations are down, the demand for services because people are losing their homes are having to give up animals for economic reasons," Ruben explained. 

So, they created a business model similar to Google.

"When you get a desire to buy something, and you type on Google "weed eater" and it takes you to the first list of merchants, and then you pick Home Depot, and you buy that weed eater, Home Depot is paying Google a commission. This is the basic same principle, only we don't keep the commission, we redirect it to the shelter of the user's choice," Ruben explained. 

Customers can log onto Then they pick an animal shelter, or add their favorite if they do not already see it on the list. Next, they can choose to shop from 400 retail merchants like Amazon, Walmart and iTunes. 

Anything the customer purchases earns a donation for the animal charity of their choice without them having to pay a dime. 

The SCPA of East Texas and Pets Fur People are just two of about 1,500 animal charities on the list. 

"We just sit back and hope that people will shop and we receive a check every quarter," said Gayle Helms, the Executive Director of Pets Fur People. 

"We received about $700 through, and that was without a lot of publicity, so we are hoping that people can really understand and really grasp the concept and do their online shopping through," she said. 

This no-kill animal shelter reportedly houses about 75 dogs and 20 cats at any given time, so the cost can add up. 

"Probably $150 per animal, just for the man hours and for the food and the vaccinations. Donations are critical and to be creative with a program like this, I mean this will possibly help us keep our doors open," Helms explained. 

That is exactly what the Rubens intend to do. 

They said their profit does not come out of the commission from the customer's purchase. They said each retail merchant gives them an additional percentage, which they use to run the business. 

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