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Dog Marketplace Launches with $6.7M in Funding

It’s ‘bringing transparency and accountability to the often complicated and frustrating process of getting a dog.’

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Good Dog, which bills itself as “the first marketplace to use expert-backed vetting standards to make it simple to get a dog from a responsible breeder, shelter or rescue,” launched nationally on Tuesday.

The company said it had raised $6.7 million in funding from investors including BoxGroup, Felicis, Slow Ventures, Fuel Capital, BarkBox and SV Angel, as well as angel investors including the founders of Warby Parker, Harry’s, Eventbrite, Flatiron Health, PillPack, LearnVest, and DogVacay.

Financing will be used to scale the business and grow the Good Dog team, according to a press release.

Founded by Josh Wais and Lauren McDevitt, early Jet employees and former co-founders of Wantworthy, Good Dog “is bringing transparency and accountability to the often complicated and frustrating process of getting a dog,” according to the release. With 9 million dogs being brought into new homes each year, Good Dog is “centralizing the search onto one platform where only responsible sources are included.”

Each breeder, shelter and rescue that’s listed is vetted based on a set of standards created by Good Dog’s advisory board of veterinary and academic experts.

“As the process of getting a dog moves increasingly online, it’s becoming easier for puppy mills and other disreputable sources to pass themselves off as trustworthy and reliable,” said Wais, co-founder and CEO of Good Dog. “At Good Dog, we help connect prospective dog owners with only reputable, vetted breeders, shelters or rescues, so that each dog has the best chance of a healthy, well-adjusted life.”

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Through the Good Dog platform, potential dog owners have access to comprehensive profiles of Good Dog’s community of partners and can connect with each of them directly. Prospective owners can browse the Learning Center and when they’re ready, can submit their application to one of Good Dog’s partners. Good Dog partners get all the information they need about each potential owner to determine whether they are the right fit for their dogs. Good Dog then helps to facilitate everything from communication to helping owners get their new best friend home.

“I’ve been fortunate to be involved with Josh and Lauren since the inception of Good Dog,” said David Tisch, managing partner of BoxGroup and Good Dog Chairman. “As I was embarking on my own dog search, it quickly became clear that this was a totally broken process, opening up a massive opportunity within the $72 billion dollar pet market. Good Dog is positioned to become the authority in dog ownership, helping to streamline each step of the process.”

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State Bill Would Ban Pet Leasing

A few other states already have similar laws.

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A proposed law in Connecticut would ban the practice of pet leasing.

The legislation seeks to outlaw leases in which the new pet owners accept high interest rates and believe they are agreeing to a payment plan, the Connecticut Post reports.

Such agreements open the possibility of the pet being repossessed at a later date, according to the publication.

The state Senate approved the ban last week. The proposed legislation will now be considered in the state House.

Bob Duff, a Democrat serving as Senate majority leader, said: “As a pet owner myself, I could never imagine leasing a pet and then after six or nine months or whatever it is, giving it back. They might actually think they own the pet instead of leasing the pet.”

According to the Post, pet leasing has already been banned in Nevada, California and New York.

The Connecticut proposal would still allow for certain types of pet leases, including “those for breeding purebred dogs, renting show animals or obtaining guide or law enforcement dogs,” according to the Post.

Find out more at the Connecticut Post 

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Chewy to Open $55M Facility, Creating 1,200 Jobs

It’s planning a fulfillment center.

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Chewy, an online pet supply retailer, has selected Rowan County, NC, for its new fulfillment center, with plans to create 1,200 new jobs and invest $55 million.

“Chewy selected North Carolina because from our infrastructure to our workforce, we have everything businesses need to succeed,” said Gov. Roy Cooper. “These new jobs will make a positive impact on Rowan County and the surrounding area.”

The e-commerce company will locate in Salisbury, NC.

Chewy is dually headquartered in Dania Beach, FL, and Boston, MA. It has customer service centers in Dallas, TX, and Hollywood, FL, and eight fulfillment centers around the country.

“We’re excited to expand Chewy’s fulfillment operations to North Carolina, our first in the state and ninth in the country,” said Pete Krilles, vice president, corporate real estate and facilities, for Chewy. “We greatly appreciate the partnership with the City of Salisbury, Rowan County, the Salisbury-Rowan Economic Development Commission, North Carolina Department of Commerce, and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina.

“We look forward to making a positive economic contribution to the region with the creation of 1,200 new jobs. In addition to job creation, our new fulfillment center will enhance our delivery network across the southeastern United States, allowing us to better service Chewy customers with even faster delivery times.”

“Companies like Chewy will find success in North Carolina because we have a strong workforce and desirable business climate,” said Secretary of Commerce Anthony M. Copeland. “Pair that with our location and quality of life and you’ve got a winning formula.”

The North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of NC were instrumental in supporting the company’s expansion decision.

A performance-based grant of $166,650 from the One North Carolina Fund will support the creation of 150 of the new jobs, facilitating Chewy’s establishment of the facility in North Carolina. The One NC Fund provides financial assistance to local governments to help attract economic investment and to create jobs. Companies receive no money upfront and must meet job creation and capital investment targets to qualify for payment. All One NC grants require a matching grant from local governments and any award is contingent upon that condition being met.

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Pet Store Chain Files for Bankruptcy

Its owner died in January.

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Petland Discounts, a chain that operated in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy.

The action follows the January death of the company’s owner, Neil Padron.

The company has closed its stores.

Notices with each of the three states’ labor departments indicated that more than 300 jobs could be lost across 70 store locations.

The bankruptcy petition was filed in New York Eastern Bankruptcy Court.

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Padron started the business in 1965. He died of bladder cancer on Jan. 14.

Details of the bankruptcy case are available here.

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