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Check Out the 2017 Charitable Honor Roll




The pet industry has been generous this year.

2017 may have brought some of the worst weather we’ve seen, and it may have seen a continued need to support shelters and other animal welfare organizations, but the pet industry rose to the occasion. Manufacturers and retailers alike jumped into action after hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. And they continued their support of helping local and regional organizations.

We list below all the contributions we could find in our archives in 2017. If we’ve left you out, let us know and we’ll add you to the honor roll: Email a one- or two-sentence explanation of your charitable efforts or acts of kindness that includes the amount donated — whether that be in pounds, dollars or man hours — as well as the name and location of your pet business.

Now, on with the honor roll:

  • American Humane Association’s animal first responders deployed in Texas to provide rescue rigs, rescue staff, and trained first responder volunteers.
  • American Pet Products Association coordinated more than 1,200 manufacturers to solicit donations and supplies, and to assist in hurricane relief.
  • American Veterinary Medical Association contributed $100,000 to Hurricane Harvey relief efforts.
  • Barkworthies helped place more than 100 shelter dogs in their forever homes in Chicago, IL, and Austin, TX, as part of the brand’s Chews Rescue shelter campaign, covering over $22,000 in adoption costs over the last weekend of April.
  • Canidae Pet Food partnered with SaveARescue, delivering 25,000 units of dog and cat food to Texas shelters.
  • Caru Pet Food donated 348 cases of food to shelters in need, providing more than 4,000 meals for needy dogs in Texas and Florida.
  • Champion Petfoods, with distributor Bark To Basics, donated thousands of pounds of Orijen and Acana pet food to Harvey-impacted animals.
  • Chicken Soup For The Soul Pet Food and American Humane delivered 100,000 pounds of dog and cat food to Texas and Louisiana. Additionally, as part of its Fill A Bowl … Feed a Soul initiative, the company donated 40,000 pounds to Florida shelters.
  • Dog Daycares Supporting Houston’s Pets Youcaring campaign had raised $21,000 as of press time for Lone Star Animal Welfare League.
  • Ethical Products earmarked truckloads of dog and cat beds to help animal welfare agencies that rescued and cared for pets that were left homeless due to Harvey.
  • Fluff & Tuff held a monthlong social media campaign to raised 745 toy donations.
  • Katie’s Pet Products gave 10 percent of all sales from Sept. 10-17 to Best Friends Animal Society efforts in Florida.
  • Kaytee donated pet and wild bird food to shelters in impacted areas.
  • Lucy Pet Foundation provided veterinary care and flew 70 adoptable cats and dogs from Texas animal shelters to California, with none other than Katy-born Renee Zellweger helping with the efforts.
  • Manna Pro sent $150,000 in pet products to animal-welfare organizations in Houston; matched employee donations to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, American Red Cross and Houston SPCA; and donated more than 20,000 Nutri-Vet items.
  • Mars Petcare sponsored National Disaster Search Dog Foundation teams and coordinated with Rescue Bank.
  • Mars Petcare deployed sponsored canine search and rescue teams from National Disaster Search Dog Foundation to Texas. The company coordinated with’s Rescue Bank program to send more than 40,000 pounds of food.
  • One Fur All donated 20 percent of online sales Sept. 20-30 to Best Friends Animal Society and SPCA of Texas.
  • Oxbow Animal Health, through its Sharing Our Garden Animal Rescue Giveback, donated $6,000 to six shelters across the U.S.
  • Pawluxury, a manufacturer of wholesome chews and treats, donated 20 pallets of rawhide, equaling a retail value of $59,000, to rescue dogs affected by hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
  • Pawtree donated two weeks’ worth of pet food to feed the estimated 5,000 pets displaced due to Hurricane Harvey.
  • Pet Food Experts partnered with Bentley’s Pet Stuff, Bad Dog Frida and other stores to ship pet food to Texas shelters. Additionally, the company sent more than 40,000 pounds of cat and dog food to Puerto Rico.
  • Pet Industry Wholesalers — including Auburn Leathercrafters, Cat Dancer, A Tail We Could Wag, Luxe Pets, Scout & Zoe’s, Earth Heart, The Good Dog Company, Aroma Paws, Olly Dog, Animal Rescue Fund Muncie and Paws Stop Indianapolis — donated products to Hurricane Irma Shelters for Pets via Patrick Caprez, owner of Natural Cravings Pet Treats, and Cindy Dunston Quirk, owner of Scout and Zoe’s.
  • Pet Leadership Council partnered with to manage distribution of items from PLC members to areas impacted by hurricanes.
  • Pet Sitters International raised $20,010 for SPCA of Texas/Hurricane Harvey relief.
  • Petco Foundation committed $2.3 million with product donations or grant support to nearly 20 organizations affected directly by Harvey.
  • Petland Inc. kicked off its new charitable giving organization, Petland Charities, at its flagship store in Chillicothe, OH, raising funds for the local Humane Society and the local K9 unit.
  • Petmate sent supplies to Dallas-Fort Worth shelters and rescues, as well as to the MuttNation and Jackson Galaxy foundations working in the Houston area. The company also sent boxes of dog and cat toys to me, which went to El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Cafe, Friends for Life and K-9 Angels Rescue in Houston.
  • Pets Best added a call to action on its website, sending visitors to Austin Pets Alive! to make donations.
  • PetSmart Charities allocated $1 million in emergency relief to help families and pets impacted by Hurricane Harvey.
  • Phillips Pet Food & Supplies provided storage and delivery of donated items in and from its Arlington, TX, facility; it also donated crates for transport.
  • Posh Pet Hotel in West Palm Beach, FL, donated three truckloads of dog food, diapers, cages etc. to the people in Houston.
  • Puppy Parties NYC raised $2,000 for Austin Pets Alive!, with help from donated raffle items from Poochieboots and other brands.
  • Pura Naturals Pet partnered with Karma Rescue to fly 34 adoptable dogs from Texas shelters to California.
  • Purina donated 1,900 pounds of pet food and 6,000 pounds of cat litter to the Humane Society of Greater Miami; pet food, litter and probiotic supplements to Rescue Bank; and $50,000 to for Harvey and Irma relief.
  • Rubie’s Pet Shop Boutique in New York, NY, donated proceeds from the 27th Annual Tompkins Square Halloween Dog Parade to the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation for the maintenance and upkeep of the newly restored Tompkins Square Dog Run.
  • Simba’s Barkery in Dallas, TX, sent 50 percent of its profits Aug. 27-Sept. 10 to Houston rescues.
  • Sitstaygo in Montclair, NJ, is donating a portion of sales through the holidays to Houston SPCA.
    Solvit sent 1,500 pet bowls and 400 pet food storage bags to Houston SPCA.
  • Spectrum Brands donated flashlights, insect repellent, and pet grooming and care products to relief organizations.
  • Swanky Paws Pet Spa in Lawrenceville, GA, offered a Spa for a Cause Hurricane Package, with profits going to rescues in Texas and Florida.
  • Treatibles, an industry leader in PCR hemp wellness products for pets, donated nearly 300 pounds of chews to rescue organizations helping pets in Florida, Texas and California.
  • Tropiclean Pet Products sent products to the San Antonio Humane Society, National Disaster Dogs and the FEMA Task Force.
  • Tuffy’s Pet Foods raised more than $15,000 (as of press time) for Corridor Rescue’s relief efforts in Houston.
  • Van Ness Pet Products donated $1,000 worth of pet beds to the Montclair (NJ) Township Animal Shelter.
  • Vitakraft Sunseed donated 2,000 pounds of bird and small animal food and hay bedding.
  • Wag Central in Stratford, CT, raised $900 for U.S. Humane Society’s Harvey relief.
  • WellPet sent volunteers and 30 pallets of food and treats to the Houston area; donated $10,000 through its Foundation to American Red Cross and Austin Pets Alive!; matched $5,000 in employee donations; and reimbursed and donated food to employees who fostered or adopted a Harvey pet.
  • Your Hipster Pet in Houston washed nearly 100 Harvey-displaced dogs at George R. Brown Convention Center’s emergency shelter.
  • Worldwise made a monetary donation to Hurricane Harvey Humane Society relief, and employees donated $1,600. The company also sent Sherpa carriers and boxes of dog and cat toys that went to El Gato Coffeehouse Cat Cafe, Friends for Life and K-9 Angels Rescue in Houston.




Pet Sustainability Coalition

Pet Sustainability Coalition Presents: Critical Sustainability Strategies for Retailers

This webinar, held on November 7, 2019, is the second in a series from PSC discussing how retailers can establish sustainable practices in their business. Moderated by PSC’s Andrea Czobor, the webinar unveils data behind the increasing consumer demand for sustainable products, what retailers have to gain from connecting with these purpose driven consumers, and a new PSC program that makes finding these products easier for retailers.

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US Total Pet Spending Climbs to $78.6B

Growth was muted compared to the prior year.




Total pet spending in the U.S. climbed by 1.9 percent in 2018 to reach $78.6 billion, according to the Pet Business Professor blog.

The $1.47 billion increase was well below the $9.84 billion jump seen in 2017, the blog’s John Gibbons writes.

Here’s how the market shook out by segment in 2018:

  • Food: -$2.27B (-7.3%) decrease
  • Supplies: $1.22B (+6.6%) increase
  • Veterinary: $0.56B (+2.7%) increase
  • Services: $1.95B (+28.9%) increase

A mix of factors led to the relatively muted growth.

“The FDA warning regarding grain free dog food wreaked havoc in the second half and the new tariffs on supplies flattened spending during that period,” explains. “Veterinary prices turned up again resulting in a net “no gain” in the amount purchased by consumers.”

Additionally, he said, many young adults who’d been living with their parents ended up moving out with their pets in tow.

Services segment “saved the year with a spectacular increase in spending as consumers finally responded to the convenience of significantly more outlets,” he writes.

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Purina Opens $320M Factory

Currently nearly 200 employees work at the plant.




HARTWELL, GA — Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. recently commemorated the opening of its 21st factory in the U.S. in Hartwell, GA.

With a total investment of more than $320 million, the new Hartwell factory is Purina’s first new U.S. factory in two decades and represents Nestlé’s single largest investment in a pet care facility in the last decade in the U.S., Canada and Latin America. Currently nearly 200 employees work at the Hartwell facility, and the number will grow to 240 as new lines and other expansions at the site are completed over the next few years, the company said in a press release. Purina also operates a manufacturing facility in Fairburn, Georgia, which employs 350 people.

“Nestlé Purina is focused on delivering world-class products and is one of our key growth pillars for Nestlé,” said Laurent Freixe, Nestlé CEO for the Americas. “Purina is in a position of strength for long-term sustainable growth and this investment in Hartwell demonstrates Nestlé’s commitment to continually innovate and shape the future of pet care.”

Purina announced its investment in Hartwell in 2017 and began initial operations of a distribution center at the site in spring 2018. The company purchased a long-idled textile facility that it set out to remake and rebuild with the installation of modern equipment and technology for production of brands including Fancy Feast. The opening marks the first step in launching the Hartwell factory’s production.

“Through this investment in Hartwell, Purina is continuing to deliver science-based nutrition made to the highest standards of quality and safety that pet owners have come to trust for more than 90 years,” said Joseph Sivewright, Purina CEO. “Purina’s Hartwell team is critical to helping us deliver quality nutrition so pets can live longer, healthier lives with their owners. We’re very excited to be a part of the Hartwell community, and we’re proud of the great teamwork by everyone involved to build a world-class facility that will operate in a sustainable way.”

The Hartwell factory is using innovative water conservation and treatment methods, aims to be powered by 100 percent renewable electricity in the near future and currently sends zero waste for disposal to traditional landfills, instead utilizing composting, recycling and energy recovery, according to the release.

Purina’s investment in Hartwell also makes a significant contribution to the local economy and community. Purina has engaged with the community since work began in early 2018 by actively supporting local pet shelters and rescues, education, civic causes and hunger relief.

At the grand opening ceremony for the new factory, Purina also announced a $20,000 donation to the Northeast Georgia Council on Domestic Violence as part of its Purple Leash Project, a partnership between Purina and national non-profit RedRover.

“I am proud to congratulate Purina on the opening of their 21st U.S. factory in Hart County,” said Georgia Gov. Brian P. Kemp. “As one of the nation’s leading pet food companies, Purina’s expansion into Hartwell and continued commitment in Fairburn are creating exciting opportunities for hardworking Georgians and their families, and I am grateful for their investment in our state. I am excited to see another member of the Georgia Made family grow their operations, and I have no doubt that our top-notch workforce will ensure Purina’s continued success in the years ahead.”

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10,000 Dogs Wanted: Study Will Look at Canine Aging

It’s called the Dog Aging Project.




(PRESS RELEASE) Everyone who loves a dog wants the animal, whether pet or work companion, to enjoy as many years as possible. Learning the whys behind the length and strength of dogs’ lifespans has become the impetus for the largest research data-gathering program of its kind, the Dog Aging Project.

The initiative is jointly operated by the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. It will create a national community of dogs, owners, veterinarians, researchers and volunteers, all working together to advance knowledge about how genes, habits and the environment influence dog aging.

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Although the project has been in its preliminary stages for a while, its full-throttle launch was announced Nov. 14 at the annual Gerontological Society of America meeting in Austin, TX. After that date, owners can nominate their canine as a candidate on the Dog Aging Project website.

Nomination involves creating a secure user portal and providing comprehensive health and lifestyle information about the dog through questionnaires and the sharing of veterinary medical records.

Dogs of every age, from puppy to senior; all sizes, from miniature to huge; male and female; neutered or not; and living in all types of locations are invited to be nominated. Healthy dogs and those with chronic illness will be considered.

“All owners who complete the nomination process will become Dog Aging Project citizen scientists and their dogs will become members of the Dog Aging Project ‘pack.’ Their information will allow us to begin carrying out important research on aging in dogs,” said one of the project’s trio of directors, biology of aging expert Daniel Promislow, professor of pathology at the University of Washington School of Medicine and a UW professor of biology.

Also leading the multi-institutional project are veterinarian Dr. Kate Creevy, associate professor of veterinary internal medicine at the Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, and longevity and healthspan researcher Matt Kaeberlein, a professor of pathology at the University of Washington School of Medicine. More than 40 other researchers from a variety of fields and institutions will join them in this endeavor.

“Aging is the major cause of the most common diseases, like cancer and heart problems. Dogs age more rapidly than people do and get many of our same diseases of aging, including cognitive decline,” said Kaeberlein. “They also share our living environment and have a diverse genetic makeup. This project will contribute broadly to knowledge about aging in dogs and in people.”

Over the 10-year project, scientists will gather information on the 10,000 enrolled dogs in a collaborative, open-data platform. This means that, like the Framingham Heart Study and the All of Us research program, the massive amount of data can be analyzed by scientists around the world in a variety of ways. For this study, the largest of its kind ever undertaken, the dogs will be followed throughout their lifetimes.

“We are excited to work with companion dogs in this research program. As a veterinarian, it is important to me that our work benefits dogs directly. But our work with dogs has the added value of shedding light on the human aging experience as well,” Creevy said.

The researchers emphasized that their goal is not merely to increase life expectancy; their target is not lifespan, but healthspan, which refers to the period of life spent free from disease. Improved quality of life in advanced age is a goal many people have for their dogs and for themselves.

The Dog Aging Project will have four key endeavors:

  1. New metrics of canine aging: The research team will develop tests to measure each dog’s changes in physical function as it gets older. There are such tests in older human adults, like moving from seated to standing, grip devices, or age-specific normal ranges on blood chemistry values. For dogs, however, aside from owner observations, there are few standardized assessments.
  2. Genetics of aging: Genome sequencing data from all 10,000 dogs will be integrated with health measurements and behavioral traits in comprehensive genome-wide association studies.
  3. Systems biology of aging: Scientists will look for molecular predictors of disease, decline or longevity.
  4. Medication intervention study: About 500 middle-aged dogs will be part of a trial to assess the effects of rapamycin on cognition, heart function, healthspan, and lifespan.

The project is supported by a federal grant from the National Institute on Aging at the National Institute of Health (UI19AG057337) and private donations.

The participating institutions are:

Core Research Leads

Purdue University

Princeton University

Texas A&M University

Arizona State University

Cornell University

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

University of Washington College of Arts & Sciences

University of Washington School of Medicine

University of Washington School of Public Health

Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center

Seattle Children’s Hospital

Veterinary Schools

Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine

University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine

North Carolina State College of Veterinary Medicine

Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

Oregon State University Carlson College of Veterinary Medicine

Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Credit: UW Medicine

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