Earl Stewart Toyota
Stop by Earl Stewart Toyota on any given Thursday and you’ll see a 100-pound Terrier mix roaming the halls greeting customers.
That’s Simon. And he’s become an inspiration for the family owned-and-operated dealership.
“I saw Simon and I just knew,” says employee Stephanie Aguirre. “He really was the one who picked me. We’ve been together three years now.”
Aguirre adopted Simon during the North Palm Beach, Florida dealership’s weekly call to action. Under their partnership with Big Dog Ranch Rescue (BDRR), the Stewart family sponsors a dog in need of a forever home each week. Using a live Facebook feed, patriarch and Dealer Principal Earl Stewart and his wife Nancy introduce a new rescue and pay the $200 to $300 adoption fee. Within minutes of repeating his familiar tag line - “As always at Earl Stewart, there are never any dealership fleas” — calls to adopt come into BDRR within that very hour.
“They are simply phenomenal,” says Robin Friedman, who oversees philanthropy for the cage-free organization. “With their support we have about a 100 percent success rate finding homes for these dogs.”
During the five-year partnership, Earl Stewart Toyota has helped to save the lives of 3,000 dogs. The Stewart family has also donated four vehicles to help pick up stray dogs in the Bahamas, where thousands have been displaced by Hurricane Dorian.
“I love it,” says co-General Manager Josh Stewart. “Every week we get to meet a new dog. Every week I fall in love. It’s so important to take care of these little guys.”
He now fondly regards Simon as the dealership mascot and a symbol of the family-friendly culture that makes Earl Stewart an inviting place to work and to do business.
“It’s so rewarding,” says Stewart. “It allows me to drive to work with a smile on my face knowing that we are really making a difference.”