MATAWAN, N.J. — We're all familiar with milk cartons showing missing children, but have you heard of placing missing pet flyers on pizza boxes?
That's what one New Jersey pizzeria decided to start doing.
John Sanfratello, the owner of Angelo's Pizza, said he got the idea after noticing that during a storm a woman had lost her cat which looked very much like their family cat, Max.
For a week, his family went through a lot of sleepless nights until they got him back.
He said he reached out and asked if he could help with putting out flyers at the pizzeria. Fortunately, the cat was found before the flyers could go out, but he said that's when he decided to expand it to help other animals and pets.
"It's all about raising awareness, we want to have other businesses pick it up and do it as well, to help reunite pets with their owners," Sanfratello told 10News. "It just warms my heart."
Now the missing pet flyers are part of their standard operating policy and the company just makes more copies as it runs out of flyers.
The pizzeria posted the offer on its Facebook page, offering to put the flyers out for missing pets free of charge. The original post now has more than 300 reactions, more than 110 comments, and more than 1.4K shares.
"We're getting so much feedback, it's overwhelming, it's amazing and surprised me in a good way to see the community respond in such a positive way," he said. "We just appreciate the community getting behind the idea."
Now the idea has grown wings and flown to a location here in Florida.
Sanfratello's sister, Rosalia Difede, has also started offering to put out flyers of missing pets on pizza boxes for free at her Stuart, Fla. pizzeria, La Forchetta Ristorante Pizzeria.
"I wish we had thought about it before -- even if the pizzeria is just sending out 30 flyers on a Monday, 80 on a busy night, it can help reunite pets with their owners," Difede told 10News.
She said it's a mission with a personal connection for her as well after her little dog went missing for two days.
"We thought we were never going to see him again," she said. "This was a few years ago, so we didn't think about putting it on our pizza boxes which go out 30 to 40 boxes a day."
It's a simple act that she, too, hopes spreads to other companies and businesses.
As far as the response, she said her customers are responding to the idea very well.
"We had no idea this was going to get this big," She said. "We're happy, we're hoping from here on, other pizzerias, bakeries, and other businesses which put out products will help put out flyers to the community."
She said it's a simple act with a huge mission of reuniting pets with their families and every business and person can find a way to do their part.