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P.L.A.Y. Names Winner of Scholarship Competition

Claire Binfield from Las Vegas, NV, won this year’s competition.

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(PRESS RELEASE) P.L.A.Y., Pet Lifestyle and You, has announced the winner of its sixth annual scholarship competition, Scholars Helping Collars. Each year, P.L.A.Y. awards one $1,000 scholarship to the student who best exemplifies the company’s core animal rights beliefs and who best describes, through an essay entry, the impact he or she has made on animal welfare in his or her community. Claire Binfield from Las Vegas, NV, won this year’s competition for her work with researchers on marine life preservation along with her role as a volunteer puppy raiser with Guide Dogs for the Blind.

Binfield has always been passionate about marine life, so in 2014 she self-funded a two-week Girl Scout Destination trip to Costa Rica and Panama to work with researchers on sea turtle preservation. During the trip, she participated in nightly beach patrols to protect sea turtles while they laid eggs, cataloged nests, evaluated unhatched eggs, and even helped release 100 hatchling sea turtles to the ocean. While in Panama, she also completed her open-water scuba certification, which will allow her to continue her work in marine life preservation.

In 2015, Binfield embarked on another Girl Scout Destination trip to Texas, this time for a 10-day marine science camp where she helped build and install monofilament fishing line recycle containers at a local pier. Through this volunteer work, Binfield also learned how providing the recycle containers allows fishermen to responsibly dispose of used lines and hooks that could otherwise harm the aquatic wildlife. Through both of these trips, Binfield solidified her desire to pursue a career in marine animal rescue and ocean preservation.

Binfield’s passion for animals has also extended into her role as a volunteer puppy raiser for GBD, a nonprofit providing free guide dogs to the visually impaired. Raising guide dogs opened her eyes to how service dogs can impact people’s lives through providing increased mobility and independence. This inspired her to create a social media awareness campaign, “Octaves Journey,” in order to provide schools and businesses with information about properly training service dogs and ADA accessibility rights.

“Claire’s passion for preserving and advocating for animals in her local community and around the globe is bound to impact the world in her future career as a Marine Biologist,” said Deborah Feng co-founder of P.L.A.Y. “Her drive inspired us to award her this scholarship and we are excited to watch her succeed as she begins her studies at Mitchell College.”

In addition to Binfield’s first place $1,000 prize, P.L.A.Y. also selected second and third place winners. Camille Hoffman from Carlsbad, CA, was awarded second place and will be receiving a set of 10 Warm Bellies Special Edition Chill Pads from P.L.A.Y. to be donated to the animal shelter of her choice — the NoWorriesMovement. Yasmin Ballew from Manteca, CA received third place — Ballew will receive a five-piece Garden Fresh plush toy set from P.L.A.Y. to be donated to the shelter of her choosing, Animal Rescue Tracy.

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Winners were chosen from a pool of more than 370 applicants from across the country. Each essay was judged by P.L.A.Y. representatives using the following criteria:

• Compelling and engaging description of volunteer efforts and their impact on the personal life of the student

• Thematic consistency throughout the submission around the central thesis

• Proper spelling and grammar usage throughout the submission

To read Binfield’s winning essay, as well as the second and third place entries, visit petplay.com/scholarship/winners.

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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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