Marana greenhouse organizes donation drive for Humane Society of Southern Arizona 

A man wearing a mask is petting a white dog.

There were two things brightening Bayer’s Marana Greenhouse recently  


On June 23, 2021 the Greenhouse invited the Humane Society of Southern Arizona to the site as part of the Humane Society’s Pet VIP program. The program connects volunteers and their pets to community offices, hospitals, and other sites.   


From Pancho the Chihuahua to Sprit the Great Pyrenees-Border Collie mix, therapy dogs hung out in the office common area for employees to stop by and play with. Veronica Zimmerman, Pet VIP Lead, says she can see the change in mood every time they visit people.   


“Even though it is just for a little time, the dogs bring a lot of joy, motivation, comfort, and support to people,” Zimmerman says. “Even if they don’t have a direct interaction with the dogs, I can see people’s face light up just from seeing them walk by.”  


Rather than just having the animals come in, Bayer employees on site also brought donations to give back to the local community through the Humane Society. Donations included pet food, toys, and even cat towers. Christophe Valton, Donor Relations Manager at the Humane Society of Southern Arizona, says he was blown away by the amount of donations brought in.   


“We rely 100 percent on donations from people like Bayer, and this is much more than we were expecting,” Valton says. “The big thing for us is helping pets and the people who love them, so these donations are going to go a long way in helping us accomplish that.”   


Marana donation


The Humane Society helps save animals from life-threatening situations such as natural disasters and saving animals without homes, along with a myriad of others. The Southern Arizona division also hosts a donation day once a month, where community members can come get donated toys and food free of charge.   


“Everything that Bayer is giving us will go to our donation program to help low-income people in our community,” Valton says. “We realize, especially now with COVID-19, that if it is a choice between feeding a child or feeding a pet, it is a normal decision to choose the child. So, on the first Sunday every month we have free pet food for the community, so they do not have to make that decision.”  


Ryan Mertz, Agronomic Research Specialist at the Marana Greenhouse and an organizer of the event, says that giving back to the community in this way was an amazing experience for many on site.   


"The Marana site is very passionate about animal welfare, so we feel lucky that we got the chance to connect with the Humane Society of Southern Arizona,” Mertz says. “It was important for us to connect with the Humane Society so that we could give back to the community to such a great cause, and it was really fun to be able to play with the dogs.”