Sell One, Give One — Scottsdale Company Supports Area Animal Rescues

—By Jeff Rosenfield

Max and Neo, a for-profit online dog accessory store with a warehouse based in Scottsdale Airpark in North Scottsdale that donates weekly to 3,500 rescues around the United States, will be donating an extra “Christmas” box of pet supplies — each box worth about $275 — for the second year in a row.

Kenric Hwang stands next to three towers of Max and Neo Christmas donation boxes at the Max and Neo warehouse in the Scottsdale Airpark. Max and Neo will donate 3,500 boxes like these this December.

Since being founded by Kenric Hwang in September 2015, Max and Neo has made weekly donations to all the animal rescues on their list, over 100 of which are Arizona-based. For every one product they sell, they donate one item to an animal rescue.

Hwang said Max and Neo donates because he wanted to find a way to help rescues and customers both benefit from donations; the rescues receiving free items for their animals and customers buying an item and knowing another item will be donated too.

“At the end of the month we add up all the collars we sold and then we donate that many collars out and spread it amongst the rescues on our donation list,” Hwang said.

By the end of the year, Max and Neo will have donated over 180,000 pet products — worth nearly $3 million in retail — to rescues around Arizona and the United States in 2019, owner Hwang said.

On average, Max and Neo donates about 125 boxes of supplies — worth $47,000 in retail — per week to rescues, Hwang said.

Max and Neo keeps a list of 3,500 rescues it donates products to, which is available on the business website. They give to between 125 and 150 rescues each week, according to Hwang.

“We try and make it fair so that every rescue gets at least three boxes a year from us,” Hwang said.

These donated boxes — each worth between $350 and $400 — contain eight leashes and 12 collars of varying size, supplements, toys and other items, Hwang said.

Max and Neo asks each rescue to choose from 10 different boxes to best suit their needs.

“Some rescues only use harnesses; some rescues are really particular about their collars,” Hwang said.

For those rescues, Max and Neo will donate a box with only leashes upon request, Hwang said.

There are four boxes that contain all sizes of collars and leashes, for rescues working with more than one size dogs. Five boxes contain collars and leashes in the sizes: extra-small, small, medium, large or extra-large for rescues specializing in one size of dogs, Hwang said.

“A chihuahua rescue is not getting any collars larger than a small. They’re not getting dog toys that only a big dog can chew up.”

Hwang said he feels “fulfilled” for donating to rescues and that he is sure they are making an impact.

Liz Stegmeir, the founder of the AARF Animal Rescue and Sanctuary, based in Mayer, north of Phoenix, agreed.

“They’re helping a lot,” she said. “There’s $300 worth of items here. That helps us not having to go out and buy collars for the dogs.”

“That’s just in one box. They’ve sent us three different boxes. That’s almost $1,000 worth savings for us,” Stegmeir said.

A Christmas donation box, including a chew toy, a bag of holiday-themed leashes, a bottle of fish oil and more at the Max and Neo warehouse in Scottsdale Airpark.

Hwang said that the Christmas boxes are smaller than Max and Neo’s standard donation box, containing 18 holiday-themed items instead of 25 regular items because their donation list increased more than sales did.

“The collars are green and red and there’s a custom dog toy in there for Christmas,” Hwang said.

Hwang said the holiday-themed items were made by Max and Neo staff uniquely for the Christmas box.

“You couldn’t find the same leash or dog toy in our store,” Hwang said.  “They were only made for the donation boxes.”

Stegmeir said she was excited when she received an email from Max and Neo saying their Christmas box would arrive.

“We just got one less than a month ago, so I was shocked we’re getting another one so soon, and I think it’s great,” she said.

Karen Franklin is the founder of the Arizona animal rescue 2DaRescue, based in Gilbert.

Joining Max and Neo’s donation list a year ago, her group has received three small boxes with pet toys, leashes and collars, Franklin said.

“Their products are really good quality and we appreciate their help,” she said.

Last year was the first time Max and Neo tried donating to every rescue on their list during the holiday season. They only had about 2,000 rescues on their list and the boxes were brown instead of green with shapes such as bells, reindeer, snowflakes, presents and socks on the side.

“It gets harder as more and more rescues get on the list,” Hwang said.

“We just gotta get our sales to catch up to the number of rescues that are on the list.”


Jeff Rosenfield is a student at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

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