Puppy adoption highlights company’s commitment to charity

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Peanut with his adoptive family. Courtesy RNR Tire Express

The grand opening of a tire store in Wyoming had an unexpected outcome for a puppy named Peanut who was part of the festivities.

RNR Tire Express, 841 28th St. SW in Wyoming, invited Michele’s Rescue, a Grand Rapids animal welfare charity, to the grand opening held on June 25.

Adam Sutton, president of RNR Tire Express, a company that specializes in helping families access affordable tire options, said an associate named Amy Kidd came up with the idea to partner with an animal shelter at the Grand Rapids location to draw in new customers.

“It sounded like a great idea, but it wasn’t until I got there that I got it,” he said. “There were people coming in just for the adoption. The local pet store down the street was sending people to us. It helps us, and at the same time, it helps pets find a loving forever home.”

Little did Sutton know at the time that the loving forever home would be his.

“I made the mistake of bringing my wife to the event,” Sutton joked. She was seated at a promotions table near the pen that held several puppies and had fallen in love with the tiniest of them all. Sutton and his wife, Ashley, were scheduled to fly home to Florida that afternoon, so the idea of bringing the dog home with them was out of the question. Animals must be pre-booked to travel by airplane.

At 14 weeks old, Peanut had already traveled extensively himself. He was part of a litter of pups from Texas whose mother had died. The litter then was transferred to a shelter in Louisiana where they were nursed by another dog who had recently given birth.

Michele’s Rescue owner Michele Schaut retrieved the pups and brought them home to Grand Rapids, where she discovered they had parvovirus. Two of them died, and Peanut, who was the runt, needed to be held constantly.

“We were so worried about Peanut. He went everywhere with me,” said Schaut, who bottle fed and administered seven different daily injections until the pups were better.

Schaut played Beethoven to calm and soothe the pups, and after about 10 weeks of providing constant care, She got the “all clear” from the vet and sent them with a colleague to the RNR Tire Express grand opening.

The idea of owning Peanut tugged at Ashley Sutton’s heartstrings all the way home on the flight to Tampa, so her husband decided to organize a surprise. The first chance Sutton had to make a phone call in private was in the bathroom of a gas station on the way home from the airport where he called Michele’s Rescue and told her to hold onto Peanut for him. Later that evening he arranged for Peanut to be transported to their home in Florida. Two days later, he surprised Ashely and their children with the new family member.

“This event really fit in our culture. We are adopting out animals that maybe didn’t have a shot,“ he said, adding the company’s mission is to serve the communities in which they operate.

The Wyoming store is the first of five Michigan locations for RNR Tire Express. The Portage location, 6947 S. Westnedge Ave., will hold its grand opening Oct. 1. Michele’s Rescue will be in attendance.

Other RNR locations are slated for Muskegon, Battle Creek and Alpine Avenue in Walker.

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