Hometown Hero introduces customers to dogs who need families

Janice Pettola takes dogs out of the shelter for a day, and lets them roam around her Canfield store


CANFIELD, Ohio (WYTV) – Janice Pettola, who owns From the Heart Floral & Gift in Canfield, is doing more than arranging flowers at her shop.

Janice helps animals while running her business by bringing them there.

“She likes to go to the kennel and take dogs that maybe just need a day out or some decompression,” said Amy Manolio, Vice President of Animal Charity Humane Society.

But she isn’t just taking the dogs on a walk – she takes them to the shop all day.

“Janice is a very kind, loving person. She loves animals so much, genuinely. She does anything she can to help them,” said employee Mary Jo Valvo.

Dexter, who’s been at Animal Charity the longest out of any of the dogs there now, is one of the animals in need of a break. So Janice went and got him.

“I would take a different dog, whichever one was stressed, or having a bad day or was scared. That was the one I took to kind of give it a break,” she said.

It all started because Janice wanted to do more.

She didn’t have enough free time to foster pets regularly, so she thought of a different way to give back.

“I can bring a dog to the shop for the day, and I can just take it back and do it that way,” Janice said. “That’s what I’ve started to do and it worked out very well.”

Amy said Janice and her employees love the dogs.

“She’s always showing pictures and trying to link these dogs up with people.”

Janice has been successful arranging a few dog adoptions. Amy said getting the dogs out of the shelter setting brings out their personalities.

“People see them out of the shelter, they open their hearts maybe a little bit more to them because they’re in a warm, nice setting. They’re calm, they’re not barking.”

Taking them from the shelter for a day is just one way Janice helps out.

At her Christmas open house, she had a giving tree and a bin for people to donate to the shelter. Janice also invited Animal Charity to bring some of the dogs to her shop in the hopes of getting them adopted.

It worked.

“We brought four dogs into her shop and now all four dogs have homes, so it’s powerful,” Amy said.

Janice said everything she does goes back to her love for the animals.

“I love what I do and to have an award for it…I mean, I would never expect that, because I do it because I love the dogs.”