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Pet Companies Announce Merger

OurPet’s Co. will join with Hyper Pet.

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OurPet’s Co., a proprietary pet supply company, is merging with wholly owned subsidiaries of Hyper Pet LLC, a pet hardgoods and treats company located in Wichita, KS.

Hyper Pet has agreed to acquire all of the shares of OurPet’s common stock outstanding immediately prior to the effective time of the merger for $1 per share. The purchase price represents a premium of 53.8 percent over the closing per share price of the stock on Dec. 18, 2018.

Dr. Steven Tsengas, president and CEO of OurPet’s, said, “This merger validates the Company’s deep intellectual property portfolio, established brand equity, and diverse customer base. In partnering with Hyper Pet, we maintain our dedication to developing and marketing high quality, innovative products for improving the health, safety, comfort and enjoyment of pets.”

Tim Blurton, CEO of Hyper Pet, said, “We are very excited about the potential of bringing together these two great companies. Both have a history and reputation for bringing a broad range of innovative products to market to help families enjoy their pets. Adding the strength of OurPet’s in the cat category to the historic strength of Hyper Pet in the dog category will now enable us to provide a comprehensive range of products to all pet owners.”

The deal is structured as a merger of the company with a newly formed subsidiary of Hyper Pet. OurPet’s will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Hyper Pet.

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State to Consider Opening Medical Marijuana Program to Pets

The proposal would allow marijuana for dogs with epilepsy.

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A proposal in New Mexico would open that state’s medical marijuana program to pets.

The petition being presented to the medical cannabis advisory board would alllow marijuana to be prescribed for dogs with epilepsy, The Associated Press reports.

No state has legalized medical marijuana for pets, though proposals have come up in California and New York, according to the article.

New Mexico’s medical marijuana program includes about 78,000 people with a variety of conditions.

The proposal to open the program to pets arose as an anonymous petition. A public hearing on the proposal was delayed this week due to lack of a quorum of board members, AP reports.

Read more at The Associated Press

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‘Clean-Meat’ Pet Food Company Raises $1.2M

The seed funding will drive research and development.

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BOULDER, CO — Bond Pet Foods Inc., a Boulder-based company working with biotechnology to make “nutritious, animal-free and protein-rich pet food,” has raised seed funding totaling $1.2 million.

Employing the same fermentation technology that is used to produce ingredients for cheese-making or insulin for diabetics, Bond “adjusts the process to instead harvest high-quality meat proteins like chicken, turkey, beef, pork and fish, but without the animal,” according to a press release. Bond was co-founded by Rich Kelleman, CEO, and Pernilla Audibert, CTO, in 2017.

With its proprietary approach, animal muscle protein genes are taken from a farm animal and added to a microbe such as yeast, then put into a fermentation tank and fed simple sugars, vitamins and minerals. This produces proteins that are “nutritionally identical to their meat counterparts without the environmental, animal welfare and safety downsides,” according to the company. The ingredients are then used as the foundation of Bond’s complete recipes.

The Seed round is led by Lever VC, a venture capital fund specializing in alternative protein investments, with Agronomics, KBW Ventures, Plug and Play Ventures, Andante Asset Management and others participating.

“What makes us so excited about Bond Pet Foods is that it’s the first clean-meat company producing meat protein in a way that doesn’t require major technological breakthroughs to get to price parity with conventional meat,” said Nick Cooney, Founder and Managing Partner at Lever VC. “We don’t think there’s any other company out there with the potential to disrupt the $100 billion pet food market as much as Bond Pet Foods.”

This round of funding will drive the research and development needed to develop and scale Bond’s animal protein production and to debut its first consumer product early next year, a protein-packed dog treat bar made with a pure yeast protein. It also serves as an important first step in elevating the use of ingredients made through microbial fermentation in pet food, and educating the public about its merits, according to the release.

“This raise gives us the capital to make strides with our technology and introduce pet parents to a new and better way of feeding their dogs and cats,” Kelleman said. “We started Bond to deliver high nutrition to our pets without harm to other animals or to our planet, and we’re excited to bring our transformative products to the world in the months ahead.”

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Top Dog and Cat Names of 2019 Revealed

Pop culture and celebrity news figured prominently.

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(PRESS RELEASE) SEATTLE – Rover.com, a network of pet sitters and dog walkers, unveiled its seventh annual report of the year’s most popular dog names with a new twist — the addition of the year’s most popular cat names. This year’s data shows that regardless of species or breed, pet names are a reflection of what owners care about most, from the foods they eat to the celebrities they love.

This year’s data reflected pet parents’ appetite for pop culture and what’s trending in the celebrity news scene. Names inspired by star-studded musicians like newcomer Lizzo (up 100 percent) and beloved Beyoncé (up 78 percent) made huge gains, and Taylor Swift’s reputation is on track with a 400 percent increase. Binge-worthy TV shows were also one of the top sources of inspiration for pet parents. The name Maisel of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel rose 1000 percent and Westeros-savior Arya Stark increased by 150 percent.

“The names we give our pets provide a peek into our passions, aspirations, happy places, and guilty pleasures, reinforcing what we at Rover know to be true: our pets are as unique as the names we lovingly bestow upon them,” said Kate Jaffe, trend expert for Rover. “That’s why we’re so honored that hundreds of thousands of pet parents trust us with their furry family members.”

The humanization of pets was another trend for 2019, a survey by Rover revealed. The majority of pet parents (55 percent) said their pet either has a human name or they would consider giving their pet a human name. Pet parents (25 percent) also would consider giving their pet a name they had considered for their child. Trending baby names that inspired pet names included Dorothy, Elaine, and Dennis.

What’s in a name, exactly? Rover examined this year’s data to learn where today’s pet parents are drawing inspiration.

Walk of Fame

2019 data continues to tell the story of what’s trending for dog names with celebrities and pop culture.

  • Who deserves the royal crown? Meghan — up by 42 percent — wins with dog owners compared to other royals of her generation, but nobody beats Diana or Queen Elizabeth. Both are up by 200 and 150 percent, respectively.
  • Celebrity baby names are also popular, with Chip and Joanna Gaines-inspired Crew up 411 percent, Kylie Jenner’s Stormi up 364 percent and Kim and Kanye’s Saint up 96 percent this year.

You are what you … name your pet? 

Whether we aspire to healthier habits or crave comfort foods, our pets reveal the quickest way to pet parent hearts.

  • Dog parents love pink wine and sweets. Rosé is up 183 percent and dessert-related names such as Cake, Croissant, and Cupcake increased.
  • For cat parents, it’s all about caffeine and cocktails. Cats are more likely to be given alcohol-inspired names than dogs, and 8 out of 10 drink-themed cat names were coffee-related such as Mocha, Kona and Latte.
  • It’s not all indulgences though; healthy habits are also on the rise for both cats and dogs. Dogs named Kale (up 70 percent) and Keto (up 57 percent) increased, while cats named Chia and Boba are also trending up.

Cannabis Craze

Marijuana-inspired products and services are surfacing at every turn as legalization grows in the U.S.—even in pet names.

  • Marijuana-inspired names like Budder, Dank, Doobie, Blaze and Kush are on the rise for dogs and Kush, Doobie, and Blaze are trending for cats.

2019 Top Names for Dogs and Cats

  • New for 2019 Favorite Felines: Luna, Bella and Kitty came in as the top three names for cats in 2019, a new data set for this year.
  • Top dogs stay on top: Bella, Luna, Lucy and Daisy kept the top spots for female dogs, with Max, Charlie, Cooper, and Buddy also keeping their top ranks for male dogs in 2019.

To celebrate this year’s launch of services for cats, Rover included trending cat names in its annual report for the first time. The report highlights top trends in the U.S. and in 25 key cities, as well as a new addition of top names in Canada and Europe. For more trends and top names, visit www.rover.com/blog/dog-names.

Methodology

The Top Pet Names 2019 report was developed by Rover between September and October 2019. Results are based on analysis of millions of user-submitted pet names provided by owners on Rover.com. Secondary data was collected by a Rover survey conducted via Pollfish among 1,500 U.S. adult pet owners in October 2019.

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