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PETS+ Named Finalist for One of B2B Publishing’s Highest Honors

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It’s a contender for ‘Best Single Issue’ in the Neal Awards.

MONTCLAIR, NJ – Though barely over a year old, PETS+ has been named one of the finalists in a key category of the most prestigious awards in business-to-business journalism, the Jesse H. Neal Awards.

PETS+ was honored in what is almost certainly the Neal Awards’ most hotly competed category – Best Single Issue of a Tabloid/Newspaper/Magazine. Other finalists in the revenue category (under $3 million) include Foodservice Equipment Reports, Plate, and Teacher. 

The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in New York City on April 5, 2018.

PETS+ was recognized for its July-August 2017 “America’s Coolest Stores” issue. In that issue, Editor-in-Chief Ralf Kircher, Senior Editor Pamela Mitchell and the rest of the PETS+ team solicited dozens of entries from some of the country’s most innovative pet stores and pet service providers, then let a team of industry and expert judges vote on the very best of the best. The competition’s three top winners received in-depth coverage in the July-August issue, with honorable-mention winners featured throughout the rest of the year. The lead feature’s fun, energizing design was provided by SmartWork Media design editor Victor Cantal.

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“To be considered for a ‘best single issue’ award at such an early stage of the magazine’s existence just shows what an amazing publication our team is putting out,” said David Squires, SmartWork Media group editorial director. “I couldn’t be prouder of Ralf, Pamela, Victor and the whole PETS+ team.”

It’s not the first time PETS+ has been lauded for excellence. In 2017, the PETS+ Online Bulletin took first-place honors in Folio’s Eddie & Ozzie Awards for best business-to-business digital newsletter.

“In 35 years in the pet industry, I have never seen a brand-new magazine earn as many awards and nominations as PETS+ has earned in publishing competitions this year,” said Craig Rexford. “It shows that the pet industry finally has a truly great voice that needs to be heard.”

Launched in January 2017, PETS+ has received a wildly enthusiastic reception from 30,000 pet-industry readers around the country. (See dozens of “Reader Raves” about PETS+ here.) 

In addition to the finalist nod for PETS+, SmartWork Media’s oldest publication, INSTORE, received three additional nods. The magazine for jewelry retailers was named a finalist in the categories of best website, best instructional content and best editorial use of data.

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The four honors were SmartWork’s highest number of nominations ever from the Neal Awards.

The company has earned 111 awards since 2004, making the company one of the most highly decorated publishers, per title, in the world.

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FEATURED VIDEO

PETS+ Live with Candace D'Agnolo

Learn More About America's Coolest Store Winner, Bar K

Catch the replay of this PETS+ Live! Lunch & Learn webinar hosted by Candace D’Agnolo of Pet Boss Nation. This episode featured Candace on location at Bar K in Kansas City, MO. Find out how owners Leib Dodell and David Hensley implemented their idea for a dog park/restaurant/bar that owners enjoy as much as their pets do — and learn why the business took top honors in the 2019 PETS+ America’s Coolest Stores contest.

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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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