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Mars Petcare Acquires Animal Diagnostics Firm

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Mars hopes to advance precision healthcare for pets.

Mars Petcare has acquired Genoscoper Laboratories, a specialist in molecular diagnostics for companion animals.

The acquisition “will accelerate the pace of discoveries in genetics, to form the basis for future practical applications in enabling precision healthcare for pets,” according to a Mars Petcare press release.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Mars Petcare’s genetic testing unit Wisdom Health produces the breed-detection test WISDOM PANEL. Finland-based Genoscoper, in partnership with University of Helsinki, created the genetic health testing platform MyDogDNA. Since 2015, Genoscoper and Wisdom Health have partnered to discover new genetic health markers for companion animals and recently launched WISDOM PANEL Health for dogs, combining breed ancestry with detection of potential inherited health conditions.

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There is also a new test, OPTIMAL SELECTION Feline, developed by Wisdom Health and Genoscoper for cat breeders to identify more than 40 genetically associated conditions, over 20 traits, and genetic diversity information which can help identify potential mates through genetic compatibility.

“Our world-class genetics research is focused on helping pet owners and veterinarians improve the health of pets with tools that define their genetic predispositions for health and disease. Ultimately this will enable targeted and preventive veterinary care with pets getting individualized nutrition, exercise and treatment,” said Leonid Sudakov, president, connected solutions, Mars Petcare. “This is a critical time in the development of genetic testing for pets, which we believe is poised to expand dramatically as breeders, veterinarians and pet owners increasingly understand its benefits, exactly as it is currently happening for humans.”

The acquisition was finalized on Dec. 27, and the companies will manage the transition over the course of 2018.

“Through Genoscoper’s strong research expertise in companion animal genomics, we developed a unique concept that brings top level academic discoveries into practice enabling even further advances; not only scientifically speaking, but for the benefit of entire animal populations,” said professor Hannes Lohi, chairman of Genoscoper and leader of the University of Helsinki canine genetics research group. “Our long-term vision has been to adopt the biggest advances in canine genetics research to improve animal welfare, and that exactly is where I see this partnership leading.”

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Great Dane Puppy Born With Rare Green Color

The owner said the situation was ‘shocking.’

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A Great Dane puppy was born in Colorado with a highly unusual characteristic: She was green.

The pup, No. 8 in a litter of 9, came into the world on Oct. 14 WTNH-TV reports.

Caddy Williams, owner of the puppy’s mother, Ami, said the situation was “shocking.”

“Luckily, I had recently read an article about a green dog,” she said. “So at least I knew what was going on.”

Green puppies are thought to occur when biliverdin, a green pigment that is part of bile, comes into contact with light-colored fur, WTNH reports.

The resulting dye job lasts a few weeks and is harmless.

Williams named the dog Verdant.

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Dog Daycare Franchise to Serve 750 Employees on a Corporate Campus

It opened at Wolverine Worldwide in Rockford, MI.

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PHOENIX — The Dogtopia pet franchise has announced the unveiling of its first Dogtopia @ Work campus. The dog daycare and spa-only location is exclusive to the employees at Wolverine Worldwide in Rockford, MI, and will bring the company-subsidized dog daycare to its 750 employees.

With more than 100 locations across North America, the brand is “the fastest-growing provider of specialty dog daycare,” according to a press release. The Wolverine Worldwide dog daycare center is operated by franchisee Tim Parker, who also owns Dogtopia of Grand Rapids.

“Wolverine Worldwide’s employees asked, and the leadership team listened. Dog daycare was the top benefit request among its 750 workers. We’re thrilled to directly meet that need conveniently on site,” said Neil Gill, president and CEO of Dogtopia. “The corporate campus model makes perfect sense as companies seek to be pet-friendly without having to manage which dogs are current on vaccinations, remaining respectful to those with allergies and removing the risk associated with dogs of different sizes and temperaments in common areas together. This is a win-win as it provides these employees safe socialization, exercise and education for their dogs while providing Dogtopia a brand-new channel for us to share our quality daycare service.”

“It’s important for us to continue to invest in our workplace environment in a way that aligns with our values as an employer of choice, and enriches the daily experience and quality of life of our workforce,” said Blake W. Kreuger, Wolverine Worldwide Chairman, CEO, and President.

“We’re extremely excited to have Dogtopia’s presence and friendly staff at our global headquarters to provide pristine care for our employees’ pets while they help drive our business forward.”

 

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Holistic Pet Food Firm Acquired by CBD Company

The Halo management team will remain in place.

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NEW YORK — Better Choice Co. Inc., an animal health and wellness CBD company, announced an agreement to acquire holistic pet foods firm Halo, Purely for Pets.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

“Halo is a well-established, premium brand and falls squarely in line with our goal to build an all-encompassing, global, animal health and wellness consumer product goods company,” said Damian Dalla-Longa, CEO of Better Choice. “Over the last three decades, Halo has built a strong reputation and loyal consumer following, carving out a niche in the industry with high-quality animal products that contain whole food meat and fish and non-GMO ingredients. We look forward to working with their team to close the transaction and integrate their brand into our operating and marketing platform.”

The Halo management team, led by branded consumer food and animal health veteran CEO Werner von Pein, will continue to manage the Halo business. Halo’s name and brands are not expected to change as a result of the transaction.

“Better Choice is the ideal partner for Halo and this combination comes at an exciting time for our company,” said Werner von Pein, CEO of Halo. “As the Better Choice team brings a wealth of experience in animal health and growing consumer brands, we are eager to leverage that expertise and continue to expand our company’s footprint, while maintaining Halo’s unwavering commitment to product quality and to our pet parents’ experience.”

Bruce Linton, special advisor to the company, said: “This is a transformational acquisition for Better Choice that will help accelerate the build out of our animal health platform. The team, market and capital are aligned on the opportunity to create a world class business at BTTR, with responsible revenue growth and an ambitious research, data and analytics strategy.”

Better Choice Co.’s brands include TruPet, TruGold and Elvis Presley’s Hound Dog. Its product lines include ultra-premium, all-natural pet food, treats and supplements, with a focus on freeze dried and dehydrated raw products.

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