Lauren Does Anything For Pets - How Summer Intern Rescues Abandoned Pups in the Desert

Lauren is a Summer 2022 intern on the Customer Experience team at the Phoenix Home Office, but she was living our Anything for Pets brand promise before she ever stepped foot in the office.


In fact, it was actually on her long drive (30+ hours) from her hometown of Columbus, Ohio, to Phoenix, Arizona for her summer internship, that her life was changed in an unexpected way.


Near the border of New Mexico and Arizona, Lauren saw a few young dogs in the middle of the highway. “I thought they were goats at first,” she recalls. “I couldn’t fathom they were actually puppies abandoned in the middle of the desert.”


Concerned for their safety, and acutely aware that there were no rest stops, gas stations, or truly any civilization within an hour of their immediate location, Lauren immediately knew how lucky they were to be alive.


In total, there were four young dogs, three girls and one boy, estimated to be about five months old. They appeared to be Border Collie/Cattle dog mixed breeds. She loaded the dogs into her passenger seat, while her car was packed to the brim for her cross-country move, and she drove to the nearest gas station. “I bought all the dog food the gas station had. I was calling non-kill shelters but most were completely full, plus I wanted to make sure they could get immediate medical care.”


Before Lauren even got to her brand new apartment, she found herself at Maricopa County Animal Care and Control (MCACC) in Phoenix. One of the female pups particularly clung to Lauren, and she knew in that moment that she never wanted to leave that pup again.


She visited and called to check in on the pups during their 17-day medical quarantine and treatment at MCACC, and once it was concluded, the pups were eligible for adoption. Lauren returned that day to adopt the one she had bonded with at drop-off, and named her Arizona. Lauren helped network and ensure quality adopters for all of Arizona’s siblings through co-workers, friends, and family.

Now, all four pups are loving their new families. Arizona is a staple at the Phoenix Home Office this summer and the perfect office pup working alongside Lauren this summer.


I love my #LifeAtPetSmart because everyone has similar priorities and is passionate about helping animals. Doing meaningful work that helps give back to create a better opportunity for pets and their parents? Doesn't get better than that! I get not only to bring my pet to work every day but also see all the wagging tails around the office. 🐶
Ever since I was little, animals brought me joy, and I would feel connected to them. I would literally do #AnythingForPets, and now I get to work in a place that lives that everyday. ☺️

- Lauren, Customer Experience Intern