Food News

Cane Rosso's Jay Jerrier Is Using His Pizza Power to Get Stray Dogs Adopted

As if we needed another reason to thank Jay Jerrier for moving to Texas from Connecticut and bringing some of the city's best pizza along with him, now he's branching out to do some real, non-pizza-related good.

In the past several months, Jerrier has been working tirelessly to found Cane Rosso Rescue, a group that aims to support rescue groups, build a network of foster homes, and ultimately find "kick-ass forever homes" for dogs in need.

It's worth noting that Jerrier's restaurants have always been intrinsically linked to dogs. Cane Rosso, of course, means "red dog" in Italian, and the walls of Zoli's NY Pizza are lined with photos of their namesake, the first Vizsla that Jerrier ever owned. The menu is also full of references to the Jerrier clan's pups. Cane Rosso at White Rock Lake also frequently hosts Pups On The Patio, where local rescue groups can bring dogs for adoption.

The idea for Cane Rosso Rescue started when Jerrier first got to Texas. He bought a home with his wife, who has a dog allergy. After a lot of research, Jerrier landed on the Vizsla, a dog that has no undercoat to produce allergy-inducing dander. From there, the rest is history. Jerrier and his family got involved with local rescue groups and ended up adopting some really great dogs.

After he'd filled his home with Vizslas and a German Shorthair Pointer, his wife put the kibosh on any new critters coming into their home. "She said that I could give money," Jerrier says, "but you can't get any more dogs." At present, the Jerrier family has three dogs, and are currently in the process of adopting another. Now that his pack is full, Jerrier wants to use the money that's flowing from his wildly successful pizzerias to encourage more people to provide loving homes to rescued dogs.

"I didn't want this to be another organization that's asking for money," he says. "I can flow plenty of money from myself and my restaurants to keep the organization going." For Jerrier, keeping Cane Rosso Rescue going means paying for transportation, veterinary care, and other essential needs before these dogs are adopted by their forever families.

"Now that I've got a great team in place at all the restaurants, I wanted to focus more on helping dogs," says Jerrier. "I don't have to make pizza hardly at all anymore, and this is something that I've wanted to do for a long time." In just the first week after Jerrier took the group public on Facebook, he has already placed two rescued Vizslas with loving families, with plenty more to come in the future. Cane Rosso Rescue is currently attempting to home dogs from as far away as Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

If you're interested in providing a loving home to a rescue dog, there may also be a variety of perks in the form of free pizza. Fostering a dog through Cane Rosso Rescue will net you some gift cards and swag from Cane Rosso and Zoli's, and adopting a dog comes with a "Cane Rosso Black Card." This loyalty card, which may actually be more difficult to get than that American Express black card that rich people have, entitles the holder to free food at Cane Rosso, swag, and a host of other hush-hush details. Best of all, flashing that card at the Cane Rosso host stand means that you get to jump the line on even their busiest nights.

Even if you can't adopt a dog, there could still be free pizza in it for you if you can lend a hand. Outside of fostering and finding homes, Jerrier will also need people to help with transportation and occasionally walking or hanging out with dogs that are in transition from a shelter to their new home. A win-win if I've ever heard one.

If you're interested in helping out or looking for a sweet new dog, check out Cane Rosso Rescue on Facebook.

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Amy McCarthy