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Pet Healthcare Firm with Subscription Model Raises $4.5M

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It has also launched a mobile app.

Subscription-based pet healthcare company Fuzzy Pet Health has closed on $4.5 million in seed round financing, at the same time launching its mobile app and expanded in-home vet care options.

The company said in a press release that the financing will enable it to continue expanding its veterinary services and geographic markets, keeping up with growing customer demand. The round was co-led by Eniac Ventures and Crosscut Ventures, with participation from Precursor Ventures, SV Angel, Accelerator and FJ Labs.

“As self-proclaimed dog lovers, Eniac is excited to support Fuzzy’s quest to improve the pet health ecosystem,” said Nihal Mehta, founding general partner, Eniac Ventures. “Proprietary software and a unique business model enables Fuzzy to deliver affordable and comprehensive care at scale. The company’s rapid growth in the Bay Area alone is reflective that pet owners are looking for more advanced, personalized care.”

Through the new Fuzzy mobile app, members get direct access to Fuzzy vets whenever they need it, according to the release. Members can chat with vets in real-time, ask for diagnoses and prescriptions, and get recommendations for products and services based on their pets’ lifestyle.

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The app is available free in the Apple App Store and Google Play. Fuzzy is available in the San Francisco Bay area, with plans to expand to additional cities in the U.S. in 2018.

“Fuzzy’s membership model enables vets to engage pet parents much more frequently and personally when compared to care delivered in a traditional clinic,” according to the release. Memberships cover in-home checkups, medications, vaccines and telemedicine (care delivered remotely via email, chat or video).

Additionally, the new Fuzzy Plus membership is designed for pets that “need a bit more TLC,” according to the release. Fuzzy Plus “focuses on curative care and diagnostic services, such as in-home cold laser therapy for pain and inflammation and regular blood panels.”

“We designed Fuzzy Plus to make sure that our membership could also benefit patients that require closer supervision, and to make it significantly easier for pet parents to do the right thing for their pets without paying more out of pocket,” said Dr. Robert Trimble, head of Fuzzy’s veterinary services.

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78 Animals Rescued From Fire at Pet Resort

Some pets were treated for smoke inhalation.

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Firefighters rescued 78 animals from a fire at Pet Paradise, a pet resort in Charlottesville, Va., on Sunday.

Dogs and cats were taken to local veterinary clinics in the area to be treated for smoke inhalation, CBS 19 News reported. (Watch a CBS 19 News video about the fire below.)

The Daily Progress reported that about 10 animals were in critical condition. Some animals were being taken to the Greenbrier Emergency Animal Hospital, and some were going to shelters and foster homes.

In a message on its website Monday morning, Pet Paradise Charlottesville stated:

Our management team continues to be focused on ensuring the safety of all the pets at Pet Paradise Charlottesville after this emergency. As of this morning, we have contacted all the owners and notified them of their pets locations. The pets previously reported in critical condition are now in stable condition and being cared for by local veterinary hospitals. We currently have 2 cats and 1 dog that escaped during the emergency last night. Our team members spent the night searching for these pets and our number one priority is locating them and safely returning them to our owners. Our efforts today will be focused on locating these pets.

Firefighters were called to the blaze at about 6:25 p.m. and had extinguished it by 8 p.m. One firefighter was taken to the hospital after suffering heat-related injuries, according to CBS 19.

It’s still unknown what caused the fire.

Watch a news video about the fire:

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$20M Pet Nutrition Facility to Focus on Needs of Small Dogs

It will be home to 80 small dogs under 12 pounds.

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TOPEKA, KS — Hill’s Pet Nutrition held a groundbreaking ceremony for a $20 million, 25,000-square-foot nutrition facility focused on the needs of small dogs, along with a center developed for veterinarian and other pet caregiver engagement.

“Hill’s is excited to announce the expansion of our world-renowned pet nutrition center to focus on the special needs of small dogs and also to enhance our involvement with those who care for pets through the new engagement center,” said Hill’s President Jesper Nordengaard. “We are always investing in research and development to serve the nutritional needs of pets as well as learning from veterinarians, customers and caregivers through their experiences.”

The new Small Paws center will be home to 80 small dogs under 12 pounds who will benefit from nutrition developed to their unique needs. The center will be devoted to exceptional veterinary care and offer indoor and outdoor enrichment activities that the dogs can choose during the day, including an outdoor Bark Park. The engagement center will have dedicated space to host educational seminars and continuing education programs for veterinary students and professionals.

“All around the world, there’s a steady increase in the popularity of small dogs. Our investment in this specialized facility will help us develop food with the taste and aesthetics that small dogs prefer and that works best with their distinctive behaviors and unique physiology,” said Dave Baloga, vice president, science and technology, for Hill’s. “The Small Paws center will allow us to better understand their needs and discover new ways to help them lead happy, healthy lives.”

Today, more than half of dogs in the U.S. are small and miniature, and the percentage is growing, notes Hill’s, which is part of Colgate-Palmolive Co. These small dogs have distinct needs compared to their larger cousins. For example, small stomachs mean they graze throughout the day, rather than eat one or two big meals like larger dogs. And because of their higher mass-specific metabolism, pound for pound, small dogs eat more than big dogs.

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State Makes It a Crime to Have a Fake Service Animal

Violators face fines and community service.

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Alabama is instituting criminal penalties for anyone who misrepresents a pet as a service animal.

The legislation takes effect Sept. 1. It makes such representation a Class C misdemeanor that leads to a $100 fine and 100 hours of community service, Al.com reports.

Under Alabama law, only dogs and miniature horses can qualify as service animals. They have to be trained specifically to help people with disabilities — emotional support animals do not count.

The law allows for signs to be posted in public places with this wording: “Service animals are welcome. It is illegal for a person to misrepresent an animal in that person’s possession as a service animal.”

According to Al.com, Alabama is one of 25 states with laws related to misrepresentation of service animals.

Read more at Al.com

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