In late 2008, Cathy DiMatteo was browsing the aisles of Whole Foods in Princeton, New Jersey. An owner of three dogs, she mistakenly picked up a can of Spot’s Stew for cats. “When I placed it back on the shelf, a man standing there with a clip-board said ‘Excuse me, can you tell me why you put that can back?” recalls DiMatteo, who told the man she was looking for Halo dog food. “And the man said, ‘I’ll help you find it.'”

The man turned out to be Alan Kerzner, Halo’s president, visiting the store with other Halo employees. During this chance meeting, DiMatteo told Kerzner she was a volunteer at Sayreville Pet Adoption Center, a no-kill animal shelter in Sayreville, N.J. She told him that the center was always in need of food, and that when volunteers brought in cans of Halo, the cats went wild.

Kerzner, impressed that people were donating Halo, decided to make a much larger gift: Soon after that fortuitous meeting, Halo donated 100 cases of dog and 300 cases of cat Spot’s Stew to the shelter. “As animal lovers it makes us feel great,” Kerzner says. “It’s good to help any animal, and especially gratifying to help those in need.”

Barbara Keegan, director of the shelter, was ecstatic when a truck pulled into the shelter driveway. “That was such a blessing they gave us that food, beyond belief,” she says. “This is over and above anything we’ve ever been given.”

This good fortune for Sayreville almost didn’t happen. DiMatteo planned on shopping earlier in the day but a stroke of luck put her in the aisle with Kerzner. “It would have never have crossed my mind he was so high up in the company,” says DiMatteo, noting Kerzner never told her he was Halo’s president. “He was so down to earth.”

Sayreville, a privately-owned shelter, is completely dependent upon donations; one of its biggest expenses is for food at over $10,000 annually for the approximately 25 dogs and 170 cats that are there at one time. “So far this year,” says Keegan, “we haven’t had to spend a cent on food, which is awesome.”

When the cases of Spot’s Stew arrived in late January, so did a homeless American bulldog that the shelter staffers named Halo. “We really wanted to honor the company,” Keegan says. “And he was the number one lover of the Halo food.”

DiMatteo says that the shelter’s normally noisy cats now quiet down when it’s feeding time. “It’s so funny,” says DiMatteo, “everyone shuts up and eats. The cats are in heaven with the Spot’s Stew.”

The Halo donation has helped Sayreville care for what Keegan notices is a tremendous rise in homeless pets. “It’s very bad, especially now,” Keegan says. “We’re seeing more abandoned pets, animals being found in parking lots, animals that were clearly someone’s pets.” Why? “Because of the economy,” says Keegan, who has seen a spike in owners whose homes have gone into foreclosure come in to give away their pets. “It’s horrendous.”

Still, at least these strays will be well fed. One top feline aficionado of Spot’s Stew is Big Boy, a toothless Siamese mix cat with feline AIDS. Says Keegan: “He has no teeth left but he loves the Halo.”

This entry was posted in Cat Food, Giving Back, Healthy Dog Food, Holistic Cat Food, Holistic Cat Food and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.


  1. Storm says:

    Thank you, Halo and Mr. Kerzner, for doing this for this shelter! You ROCK!!

  2. Sharon says:

    I live near the Sayreville Animal Shelter, and I know the Whole Foods in Princeton. What a worthwhile donation to a well-deserved shelter. I own 2 dogs and four cats – all of which were rescues or abandoned strays. I’d take them all if I could. I’ve just tried Halo for the first time, and all my animals went crazy for it. I’m very particular about what I feed them as they all are various ages with various health issues. I was extremely impressed with the list of ingredients, which I hope will help with some skin and joint problems we’re having, especially for Sadie, my old lady….at 15, she’s hanging in there and I have a good feeling, based on all the research I’ve done in this area, that Halo is the product I’ve been searching for. Thank you for making a product I can feel good about using to maintain my pets health.

  3. Lisa says:

    Now THAT’S the kind of company I can get behind! One that doesn’t just put “holistic”, “natural” & “cruelty- free” on the label to sell the product. But that has a president who demonstrates what those principals mean: Helping real, living, breathing animals in need with a SUBSTANTIAL donation when & where it was needed.

    Thank you, Mr. Kerzner, for your positive leadership by example!

  4. Matt says:

    My siamese cat “Mythai” said to thank you Mr. Kerzner for your kindness and charity towards animals and our beloved pets. I thank you too!
    Examples like this will assure I return to purchase the Halo brand cat foods for Mythai, because I can feel good about the company and who’s behind it. Please continue to keep up the good work and may the Lord bless you to sir, for your contributions and commitment to our pets well being.


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