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Pet Food Startup Appears On ‘Shark Tank,’ Gets $550K Investment from Mark Cuban

The money comes from Mark Cuban.

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BERKELEY, CA — Wild Earth, a biotech startup company focused on pet food, announced that it has accepted an investment of $550,000 from serial entrepreneur, investor and owner of the Dallas Mavericks Mark Cuban on the ABC hit SHARK TANK. The episode premiered Sunday, March 17, and is available on demand at ABC.go.com for a limited time.

Cuban’s interest in Wild Earth stems from both his belief in scientific/technological solutions and his concern for environmental sustainability. Upon pitching the Sharks, Wild Earth had raised $4 million from both leading Silicon Valley and impact investors. Cuban’s ownership stake in Wild Earth is 10 percent.

“There’s an enormous potential market for lower-cost, sustainable protein to feed the growing worldwide pet population and Wild Earth is now the alpha dog in this space,” Cuban said.

Wild Earth’s treats, and its upcoming food for dogs, are made from eco-friendly and renewably sourced Koji (Aspergillus oryzae). Koji is a complete protein containing all ten essential amino acids dogs need, and requires dramatically fewer resources than farming animals to produce the same nutritional value. With 25-30 percent of meat’s environmental impact in the U.S. attributed to pet food, Wild Earth is developing alternatives to ensure we can sustainably nourish more than a billion pets by 2050.

“The Sharks were understandably tough on me, and questioned the need to create healthier and more sustainable products for our pets, but Mark, the biggest Shark of them all, understood our mission and the massive opportunity best,” said Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt. “Mark and his team’s impact has already been huge — since their investment, we’ve successfully launched our first three products and gone nationwide both online and in retail.”

Cuban, owner of the 2011 World Champion Dallas Mavericks and the bestselling author of “How to Win at the Sport of Business,” is owner and chairman of AXS TV (www.axs.tv). He co-owns the Landmark Theater chain, Magnolia Pictures, and Magnolia Home Video; founded HDNet, Broadcast.com, and MicroSolutions; other successes include Mahalo, JungleCents.commotionlift.comFilesanywhere.com, Naked Pizza and 140Fire.com. For more information visit markcubancompanies.com.

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Wild Earth’s Good Protein Dog Snacks are free of animal ingredients, antibiotics, growth hormones, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, artificial colors, additives, fillers, and mystery ingredients. The veterinarian-developed formula offers omega fatty acids, digestion-boosting enzymes, and prebiotics to support gastrointestinal microbiomes.

Wild Earth treats are available in five-ounce bags online at WildEarth.comAmazon.com, at select brick-and-mortar retail stores, and wholesale to pet food retailers.

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Pizzeria Helps Reunite Missing Pets With Owners

The effort is a hit with patrons.

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Angelo’s Pizza in Matawan, NJ, has launched an effort to get missing pets back with their owners.

It’s putting missing-pets posters on its pizza boxes, the New York Post reports.

The restaurant recently posted on Facebook: “Anyone in the Matawan/Aberdeen area who has a missing pet can drop off flyers for us to place on all your pizza boxes. No charge.”

In a later post, the restaurant wrote: “Thank you for your support and responses from all of you! This initiative has been very very successful and has raised a lot of awareness for missing pets. Thank you everyone! Let’s all keep helping pets be reunited with their families!”

The initiative has been popular with customers. One commented on the restaurant’s Facebook page: “It’s wonderful when businesses care about animals and their patrons.”

Read more at the New York Post

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25 Cities Honored for Pet-Friendliness

The certification was created by Mars Petcare and experts from the Civic Design Center.

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FRANKLIN, TN — Twenty-five cities throughout North America have landed on the inaugural list of Better City for Pets certified cities.

The certification “honors the work that has been done to create a friendly environment for two- and four-legged citizens and the commitment from each of these cities to continue improving their pet-friendly programs and policies,” according to a press release from Mars Petcare.

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Mars Petcare and experts from the Civic Design Center created the certification as an extension of the Mars Petcare Better Cities for Pets program. The program works with local governments, businesses and non-profits to provide resources, tools and grants that help communities make pets more welcome.

“On behalf of Mars Petcare, I want to thank and congratulate the 25 cities that have prioritized people and pets in their communities,” said Mark Johnson, president of Mars Petcare North America. “From helping people live healthier lives to creating social connections, pets can truly transform our communities. These certified cities are helping to make a more pet-friendly world and we hope that many more cities will join us in this commitment.”

The following cities share the honor of being the first to achieve the Better City for Pets certification:

  • Bloomington, IN
  • Nashville, TN
  • Calumet City, IL
  • Oakland, CA
  • Cleveland, OH
  • Plano, TX
  • Dallas, TX
  • Port St. Lucie, FL
  • Fort Wayne, IN
  • Reno, NV
  • Franklin, TN
  • Rochester, MI
  • Hallandale Beach, FL
  • Royalton, MN
  • Henderson, NN
  • Santa Clarita, CA
  • Laguna Niguel, CA
  • Southport, NC
  • Meaford, Ontario
  • St. Petersburg, FL
  • Memphis, TN
  • Topeka, KS
  • Miami Lakes, FL
  • Tucson, AZ
  • Miami, FL

Through an online assessment at BetterCitiesForPets.com, participating cities were asked to share data on existing and future pet-friendly features within three sections: city profile, survey and priorities. Cities were then evaluated based on 12 traits of pet-friendly cities across the areas of businesses, parks, shelters and homes. Cities that met the certification criteria and committed to continuing their progress in creating a welcoming community for people and pets received the Better City for Pets certification. All cities that completed the assessment received a personalized report outlining their strengths and areas of opportunity, along with resources and tools from the Better Cities for Pets program to help them on their pet-friendly journey.

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Here Are the Most (and Least) Expensive Cities to Own a Pet

6 of the most expensive cities to own a pet are in California.

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GOBankingRates has released rankings of the “most and least expensive cities in the U.S. to own a cat or dog.”

The top-10 lists are based on the cost of pet day care, pet insurance and overall cost of living. (To compile its ranking, GOBankingRates evaluated the 50 largest cities in the U.S.)

The most expensive city to own a pet, according to GOBankingRates, is San Jose, CA. The city has an average cost of pet day care of $40 and average insurance cost per month of $42.

San Francisco is the second most expensive city, with an average cost of pet day care of $36 and average insurance cost per month of $42.

In fact, the study suggests that six of the most expensive cities to own a pet are in California.

Out of the 50 cities, the city named “least expensive” to own a pet is Indianapolis, where the average cost of pet day care is $19, the average insurance cost per month is $31.50 and the general cost of living is comparatively low, according to the ranking.

Wichita is second on the “least expensive list,” with an average cost of pet day care of $22.67, an average insurance cost per month of $29.50 and a low overall cost of living.

Read more at GOBanking Rates

 

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