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Pot, Pumpkins and Pigs: How a dispensary promotion is feeding local rescue animals

When a dispensary offered discounts for pumpkins, they got more than they bargained for
Posted at 5:51 PM, Nov 01, 2021

PORTAGE, Mich. — Over the last two weeks, Shane Martin, manager at Doja Dispensary, has watched his front lawn quickly disappear beneath a sea of orange.

“It just got bigger and bigger,” he said. “We knew about a week in that we were over our heads a little bit with the pumpkins.”

Two weeks before the holiday, Martin revived a promotion from last year that offered customers a $20 credit at the dispensary for bringing a pumpkin. In 2020, they got about 75 gourdes. This time around, they received somewhere north of 1,000.

“We had lines out the door every day, all day, everybody carrying two pumpkins with them as they came in and bringing friends with two pumpkins,” said Martin. “Last night until about midnight we had people lined up at the door and down the sidewalk.”

The result has been a pumpkin-takeover spread out across Doja’s lawn, drawing crowds of onlookers and a slew of new customers. But it’s now left Doja with a bit of a pumpkin problem – what to do with all of them.

The solution was about 20 minutes down the road, at Chubby Goat Acres, an animal sanctuary with a lot of rescues to feed.

“I was thrilled, I couldn’t have been happier honestly,” said Chris Kreutz, executive director and co-founder of Chubby Goat in Schoolcraft. “No hesitation, like, bring us the pumpkins or we’ll get them, whatever, that’s fine.”

Feed is the biggest expense for the sanctuary so having pumpkins to feed to their pigs, goats, steer, horses and chickens well into the winter is a massive help.

“It’s nutritious for them, it’s fairly easy on their bellies,” said Kreutz. “It provides great enrichment, it helps us save on feed bills, it’s a win for everybody.”

This is the first year Chubby Goat is partnering with Doja, but they’ll accept pumpkin donations from anyone who’s willing. They even had some of their own pumpkins grow near the enclosures after feeding them to the animals last fall.

For more information on Chubby Goat Acres, click here.

For more information on Doja Dispensary, click here.