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E-Commerce Firm Buys Stake in Jolly Pets Parent Company

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Jolly Pets toys are sold in 50 countries.

NEW YORK — Tenth Avenue Commerce, a Connecticut- and New York-based e-commerce holding company, has acquired a majority interest in Horsemen’s Pride’s business, along with that of Jolly Pets.

“The investment in Horsemen’s Pride including Jolly Pets expands our suite of consumer goods companies,” said Michael Chapin, CEO of Tenth Avenue Commerce. “Jolly Pets joining the Tenth Avenue Commerce team means TAC now offers a variety of top-quality consumer and online products to all members of your family, including your pet. Jolly Pets is a pioneering company that will offer us an opportunity for growth in a new product category. I am proud to partner with Jolly Pets to offer innovative products, including the Jolly Ball, Jolly Tug and Jolly Bone.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Horsemen’s Pride, led by Robert Miavitz, was founded in 1976. In 1994, it saw an opportunity to expand its offerings from horses to dogs by creating Jolly Pets, which offers 20  dog toys. Jolly Pets toys are sold in 50 countries worldwide and are manufactured primarily in Ohio.

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“I am thrilled to join forces with TAC, as is the entire Horsemen’s Pride Team,” said Robert Miavitz, CEO of Horsemen’s Pride. “It has always been our mission to seek new and innovative ways to develop superior products for your companion. We’re always moving forward and raising the bar, which is why we have decided to partner with TAC, a leader in consumer-facing companies.”

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Dog Clothing Firm Gets $250K ‘Shark Tank’ Investment

Mark Cuban is taking a 25% stake in the firm.

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Dog Threads, a company that makes matching clothing for dogs and their owners, was awarded a $250,000 investment during an episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank.”

Scott and Gina Davis, founders of the Wayzata, MN-based firm, made a deal with Markk Cuban after their successful pitch, the Star-Tribune reports.

He agreed to invest the quarter-million and take a 25 percent stake in the company.

The episode was filmed in June but did not air until Sunday.

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“It was definitely surreal even seeing it now,” Gina Davis said. The couple kept quiet about the results for all these months.

The company sells items such as sweaters, T-shirts and plaid shirts. The founders expect sales to total $240,000 this year, the Star-Tribune reports.

Read more at the Star-Tribune

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Guy Smuggles Overweight Cat Onto Plane, Gets Stripped of Air Miles

His pet exceeded the weight limit.

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Russian airline Aeroflot has taken away a traveler’s loyalty miles after smuggling his cat onto the plane.

Mikhail Galin was headed to Vladivostok from Moscow and decided to bring his overweight cat, Viktor, along in the cabin, CNN reports.

The problem: The airline’s weight limit for pets in the cabin is 8 kilograms, or about 17.6 pounds. Viktor tipped the scales at 10 kilograms.

Galin didn’t want his cat to ride in the belly of the plane. He didn’t take the flight.

He wrote a Facebook post about the situation and asked for help finding a similar cat of lower weight. Someone came forward with an appropriate feline, and Galin returned for another try.

When it was time for the cat to be weighed, he presented the thinner substitute, according to CNN. Before boarding, he pulled the old switcheroo.

Galin and Viktor made it to Vladivostok without issue. But Galin’s viral Facebook post caught the attention of the airline, which then stripped him of his air miles.

He took the loss in stride, saying, “I got a penalty. It’s normal.”

Read more at CNN

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7 Pet-Friendly Trends Taking Hold Across America

Mars Petcare released a new report.

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FRANKLIN, TN — Mars Petcare and its Better Cities for Pets program released their first annual report, demonstrating how pet ownership is shaping communities. From housing and business policy to overarching economic health, pets “are making a profound impact on our lives and thus the decisions to be more inclusive made by businesses, shelters and government,” according to a press release.

As part of the report, Mars Petcare has identified seven emerging trends in pet-friendly cities that are leading the way.

“We’re excited to share the inaugural BETTER CITIES FOR PETS Annual Report, which highlights the latest trends in pet-friendly cities and what citizens want to see in their own communities,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “We created this report using data and insights from our collaboration with government officials and consumers across the country. We look forward to following the journey of these cities as they continue to make progress, and we hope that this report serves as inspiration for other communities looking to drive change and welcome pets.”

Here are the trends:

From “Pet-Friendly” to “Pet-Optimized” Pads: With the rise of people owning pets, rental property owners are increasing their pet-friendly amenities to offer more upscale, convenience-driven options.

Open for Business: Businesses are evolving their retail experiences and catering to pet owners by educating shoppers and offering new amenities like in-store pet-sitting and pet-friendly decals in their storefronts for easy navigation.

Pets as a Work Perk: An increasing number of employers are welcoming four-legged friends into the workplace to maintain and attract new talent and increase productivity.

Beyond Doggy Bags: Unique dining options for pooches and their human parents are growing across the country as pets on patio legislation becomes more popular.

Bringing Zen to Shelters: Shelters are sprucing up their environments to attract more potential adoptive families and make pets feel more at ease in their temporary homes.

Reclaiming Public Space: From Parklets to “Barklets”: Cities everywhere are transforming parking lots, street corners and sidewalks to establish gathering spaces for people and pets alike.

Pet “Paw-litics”: An increasing number of political leaders are advocating for animal rights and pet welfare as more of their constituents demand change.

This year, Mars Petcare introduced the Better Cities for Pets certification to celebrate cities that have implemented pet-friendly programs and policies and committed to expanding their efforts to make people and pets welcome. To become certified, cities shared data on existing and future pet-friendly features related to the 12 traits of a pet-friendly city across the areas of businesses, parks, shelters and homes. Similarly, the company rolled out a consumer assessment, allowing citizens everywhere to offer input on the status of their city and what they’d like to see change.

The Better Cities for Pets Annual Report leverages data and insights from certified pet-friendly cities, consumer assessments, a consumer survey and recent studies from the Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition and Banfield Pet Hospital.

Key data points within the complete Annual Report include:

Ninety-two percent of Better Cities for Pets certified cities surveyed said they have local programs that distribute pet food for families in need.

Eighty-seven percent of employers say being dog-friendly helps them attract and retain more talent.

A majority of cities (60 percent) say they’re now taking pets into account when planning their green space.

Only 41% of cities said pets are welcome in most rental housing.

Certified Cities:

To-date, 31 cities have received the Better Cities for Pets certification, including:

Arlington, TX
Bentonville, AR
Bloomington, IN
Calumet City, IL
Cleveland, OH
Dallas, TX
Downey, CA
Fort Wayne, IN
Franklin, TN
Gresham, OH
Hallandale Beach, FL
Henderson, NV
Houston, TX
Key West, FL
Laguna Niguel, CA
Meaford, Ontario, Canada
Memphis, TN
Miami, FL
Miami Lakes, FL
Nashville, TN
Oakland, CA
Plano, TX
Port St. Lucie, FL
Reno, NV
Rochester, MI
Royalton, MN
Santa Clarita, CA
Southport, NC
St. Petersburg, FL
Topeka, Kan.
Tucson, Ariz.

To view the full Better Cities for Pets Annual Report, visit http://bit.ly/BetterCities2019ReportPDF. For more information on the Better Cities for Pets program and how to become certified, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.

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