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Challenge Raises $1.5M for U.S. Shelters

It involved 644 animal welfare organizations and thousands of donations from animal-loving people across the country.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Michelson Found Animals, a nonprofit committed to saving pets and enriching lives, and NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations (NBC and Telemundo stations) announced that $1.56 million was raised in the inaugural Fund the Shelters Challenge on Crowdrise by GoFundMe, the world’s largest social fundraising platform dedicated to charitable fundraising. The monthlong online competition involved 644 animal welfare organizations and thousands of donations from animal-loving people across the country.

“We’re humbled and inspired by the amazing passion and hard work shown by the organizations involved in Fund The Shelters, along with all the generous, caring people who donated,” said Gary Michelson, founder of Michelson Found Animals Foundation. “We, along with our partners, NBC and Telemundo stations, are committed to helping pets find forever homes and are thrilled to be able to support the incredible work of the wide range of organizations involved in this challenge, all working toward a shared goal.”

“Thanks to the generosity of thousands of individuals and the incredible support of Michelson Found Animals Foundation, animal shelters and rescues are receiving the resources they need to continue their lifesaving programs to rescue and care for pets who are looking for their forever homes. We are thrilled with our first ever Fund The Shelters Challenge and consider it a great success,” added Valari Staab, president, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations.

Through the competition, which was based on the Michelson Found Animals Saving Pets Challenge fundraising model and precedes the return of NBC and Telemundo stations’ fifth annual Clear The Shelters nationwide pet adoption campaign in August. For the Fund the Shelters Challenge, nonprofits raised money for their own organizations, and competed for grants and bonus prizes on Crowdrise by GoFundMe from Michelson Found Animals, with all the money raised going toward life-saving programs for shelter pets. The grand prize winners, which all received cash prize donations are:

  • 1st-The Stray Cat Alliance, which raised $266K
  • 2nd-Friends to the Forlorn Pitbull Rescue, which raised $221K
  • 3rd-Rescued Pets Movement, which raised $146K
  • 4th-Fort Collins Cat Rescue & Spay/Neuter Clinic, which raised $137K
  • 5th-New York Bully Crew, which raised $68K
  • 6th-PET Rescue (Maine Coon Adoptions), which raised $55K

“We are so excited to have won the challenge. We were able to raise $266,000 in addition to the prize money from Michelson Found Animals,” said Christi Metropole, founder and executive director of Stray Cat Alliance. “This will allow us to save the lives of more than 1,000 kittens, which will have a huge impact in our community this kitten season. Thank you to all the donors and everyone on social media who made this possible.”

Over five seasons of Saving Pets Challenge along with this inaugural Fund The Shelters Challenge, over $8 million has been raised plus $1 million given by Michelson Found Animals in grants, all going to help shelter pets.

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Fund the Shelters helped organizations prepare for NBC and Telemundo stations’ 2019 Clear The Shelters pet adoption campaign by raising funds to not only support their programs, but also offset reduced or waived adoption fees during Clear The Shelters Day 2019, Aug. 17. Since 2015, more than a quarter-million pets of all types have been adopted through the campaign. For more information about Clear The Shelters, please visit cleartheshelters.com.

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Pet Connections ExpoAnnounces Retailer Boot Camp

This session will kick off on Oct. 16.

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International Conference Development has announced that registration is now live for its third annual Pet Connections Expo and introduces a groundbreaking 2½-hour Boot Camp for Independent Pet Retailers, Tactical Lessons to Drive More Sales this Holiday Season, facilitated by Lynn Switanowski of Creative Business Consulting Group. This session will kick off the second day of the show on Oct. 16 and be filled with easy-to-implement strategies that all businesses should be doing to drive more sales for the holiday season … and beyond. Attendees will leave with a list of simple things that every business owner/manager must do to compete with national chains and own their local markets.

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“I’m thrilled to be speaking at Pet Connections Expo – at such an important time of year and at such an important business building show,” Switanowski said. “The cost is free to attend, and the marketing lessons presented during the boot camp are focused on helping businesses maximize fourth-quarter sales, with actionable tips and tactics to be used immediately, and for years to come.”

The Pet Connections Expo will take place at the NJ Convention & Expo Center from Oct. 15-16. This year’s focus will continue to be on topics that are most important to independent retailers. Pet Connections Expo will bring together pet industry buyers and suppliers from around the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions, as well as the entire country.

“We are excited to add this valuable 2½-hour educational session to kick off our second day of programming with Lynn Switanowski. Stay tuned for announcements of additional high-profile, industry-leading speakers, including our Opening Panel on Tuesday, October 15, Half the Bark, Twice the Bite!, moderated by Antoine Seailles of Pet Food Experts, opening a discussion on Ways To Successfully Compete with Big Retail & Online, Despite Limited Budgets & Resources. Our goal continues to be to focus on the independent retailer and empower their success,” said Bill Doherty, ICDevents president and show director.

Further details on the 2019 Pet Connections Expo can be found at petconexpo.com.Information on The Retailer Boot Camp, Tactical Lessons to Drive More Sales this Holiday Season, can be found at petconexpo.com/retailer-bootcamp.

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Tiki Dog Launches 3 New Wet Pet Food Lines

They will be available in July.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Tiki Pets , leader of gourmet whole foods for pets, announced the addition of three new wet dog food lines, all continuing to offer complete and balanced nutrition. Tiki Dog Whole Foods, Tiki Dog Wildz and Tiki Dog Hearty will be joining the lineup to offer pets even more variety in their wholesome diets.

Tiki Dog Whole Foods offers dogs hand-packed high protein whole foods with shredded chicken and gourmet seafood, such as shrimp and crab, plus nutritious kale and brown rice in a luscious consommé. These products are made with non-GMO ingredients and no animal by-products, corn, wheat, soy or artificial preservatives, colors or flavors.

“Wet food is an important part of a dog’s diet as it provides hydration, flavor and can add variety to their diet,” says Laura Bogart, senior brand manager. “In addition, the large can format is appealing to pet owners for convenience, and allows for enough food for a hungry dog — as well as drives sales in the wet food category — 75 percent of wet dog food is sold in large cans.”

Tiki Dog Whole Foods is available in 13.6-ounce cans and in delicious flavors such as Chicken Recipe in Chicken Consommé, Chicken Recipe in Lobster Consommé, Chicken Recipe in Crab Consommé, Chicken and Tuna in Chicken Consommé. These flavors have a MSRP of $4.39.

Tiki Dog Wildz brings dogs real, clean and ethically-sourced ingredients from New Zealand, with more than 90 percent of protein in each variant. The products include free-range venison, cage-free duck, as well as grass-fed lamb and beef, all sourced from New Zealand — known for its high quality meat products and highest animal welfare standards in the world. This line contains no grains, artificial color or preservatives and is sold in 13.2-ounce cans. Flavors include Venison, Duck, Lamb and Beef and have a MSRP of $4.99.

Tiki Dog Hearty brings dogs ready-to-serve homestyle meals with shredded meats and diced vegetables, provide your pet with the ultimate comfort foods in satisfying recipes. These products contain no animal by-products, grains, corn, soy, white potatoes or artificial colors and flavors. These 12.5-ounce cans, MSRP of $2.99, are available in flavors such as Summer Grill, Winter Stew, Autumn Feast and Spring Grill — providing seasonal flavors and ingredients that dogs will enjoy, such as chicken, beef, lamb, apples, pumpkin, carrots and peas.

These three new wet food lines for dogs will be available in July.

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Petland Continues International Expansion

Pilot store opens in Saudi Arabia.

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(PRESS RELEASE) CHILLICOTHE, OH — Chillicothe-based Petland Inc. announces that the first Petland has opened in Saudi Arabia. In 2016, Petland announced the expansion into the Middle East North Africa region with the signing of a Master Franchise Agreement.

Petland has 135 locations in international markets, including stores in Brazil, Canada, Mexico, China, El Salvador and South Africa. Last year, Entrepreneur magazine ranked Petland #20 in the top global franchisees.

The master franchise agreement for Saudi Arabia includes rights to develop stores in United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Lebanon, Kuwait and Bahrain.

The store, located in Jeddah, opened May 26 and features a complete line of great pets and pet supplies. Petland offers many unique items for the welfare of animals that have never before been available in the Middle East.

“Finding the right partner takes time. We spent more than two years working with a family to determine the Petland Master Franchise was the right fit for a partnership and we have spent the past months developing a strong relationship with them planning and building their first store,” Petland Vice President of Business Development and International Relations Steve Huggins said

“We are excited to bring the unique Petland experience to the Jeddah community,” Petland President and CEO Joe Watson said. “Petland stores in Middle East will make a beneficial impact on pet retail and will provide a unique and personal pet shopping experience for families looking for a new pet or buying supplies for their current pets.”

Various members of the Petland team have made several visits to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia where they assisted with the planning, merchandising, sourcing and training for the Petland pilot store.

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