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Red Collar Pet Foods Makes Acquisition

Red Collar formerly belonged to Mars Petcare.

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FRANKLIN, TN — Red Collar Pet Foods has announced the acquisition of Hampshire Pet Products LLC.

Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Based in Joplin, MO, Hampshire Pet is a provider of baked and cold formed pet products and co-manufacturer of several of the nation’s leading branded pet treats. Red Collar is a manufacturer of premium and mainstream private label pet food and treat products.

With the acquisition, Red Collar expands its capabilities in the premium and super premium baked and cold formed treats category. The increased production capabilities will make Red Collar one of the largest private label and contract manufacturers of dog and cat treats in North America, according to a press release.

Red Collar President and CEO Chris Hamilton said, “We’re thrilled to welcome Hampshire Pet and its talented group of associates to the Red Collar family. The pet snack and treat market continues to grow at unprecedented rates and the Hampshire facility is one of the largest in the industry. Their commitment to food safety, quality and cutting-edge innovation make it a nimble, one stop manufacturing solution for brands and retailer partners alike.”

Red Collar is owned by Arbor Investments, a private equity firm that focuses on acquiring premier companies in food, beverage and related industries. Arbor acquired the private label pet food and treats manufacturing business from Mars Petcare in December 2018 and re-branded the new company Red Collar Pet Foods.

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Arbor Partner Chris Harned said, “We are excited to add Hampshire Pet’s well-regarded pet treat franchise to Red Collar’s treat business. Based right across the border in Miami, OK, the two treat businesses have complementary manufacturing capabilities, similar agile innovation-driven cultures and great track records of exceeding customer expectations. We look forward to continued growth and development of our two-plant pet treat ‘center of excellence’ together with veteran leader Julie Larson, who will report to Chris Hamilton, President and CEO of Red Collar.”

Tony Lang, one of the Lang family owners, said, “The entire Hampshire team has built an impressive business with innovative products for the right brands and retailers, and we are grateful to them for their hard work for over a decade. On behalf of the Ainsworth Family and our partners at L Catterton, we want to thank the entire Hampshire Family for many years of hard work and a great partnership. We are excited for them as they enter this next chapter, and we believe Red Collar Pet Foods has the right people, tools and experience to support Hampshire’s continued growth.”

Julie Larson, CEO of Hampshire Pet, said, “Over the past 18 years, we have experienced tremendous growth by adhering to our core principles and building great partnerships with our customers. By joining Red Collar, we now have an opportunity to accelerate that growth further with the combined scale of our businesses offering even more comprehensive and innovative manufacturing solutions for our customers. We are truly excited about this next chapter and are committed to ensuring a seamless transition to Red Collar in the coming months.”

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Pet Insurance Firm Says Anti-Vaccination Movement Poses Threat to Animals

The beliefs ‘are spilling over into pet parenting.’

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The anti-vaccination movement has spread to pets, and that could be dangerous, according to Healthy Paws Pet Insurance.

Rob Jackson, CEO of Healthy Paws, told People.com that his company has noticed a decline in dogs getting their “core” vaccinations. That includes vaccines against rabies vaccine, parvovirus, distemper and adenovirus-2.

“Anti-vaccination sentiments are spilling over into pet parenting,” he said.

A blog post on the company’s website states:

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Much like the human anti-vaccination movement, pet parents’ reasons run the gamut, but at the core they all lead back to a belief that vaccinations can be harmful to pets. Some are concerned that vaccines trigger immune disorders and life-threatening side effects, while others think pets can gain immunity much like humans can – through exposure.

The company also noted: “Our pets rely on us to take care and protect them, and vaccinations are one way we can fulfill this promise.”

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Internet Sensation Grumpy Cat Dies At Age 7

She was one of social media’s first pet influencers.

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Grumpy Cat, an internet sensation and pioneer of the pets-as-influencers trend, has died at age 7, CNN reports.

Her owner, Tabatha Bundesen of Morristown, AZ, wrote on Twitter:

Despite care from top professionals, as well as from her very loving family, Grumpy encountered complications from a recent urinary tract infection that unfortunately became too tough for her to overcome. She passed away peacefully on the morning of Tuesday, May 14, at home in the arms of her mommy, Tabatha.

The cat, whose real name was Tardar Sauce, rose to prominence on Reddit in 2012. At the time of her death, Grumpy Cat had 8.5 million fans on Facebook, 2.4 million followers on Instagram and 1.5 million followers on Twitter.

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CNN notes that she also “inspired art projects, perfumes, merchandise, Skechers shoes, comics and even a ‘Grumppuccino’ coffee.”

Grumpy Cat had feline dwarfism, and her owners said that’s likely what caused her distinctive appearance.

Read more at CNN

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Dog Pee Might Be Bad News for Cities — Here’s Why

A study suggests it harms ‘green infrastructure.’

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Dog urine may be undermining cities’ efforts to keep sewer systems from overflowing, a new study suggests.

Cities’ “green infrastructure,” such as street trees, helps to absorb rainwater, Popular Science notes. But these areas also happen to attracts lots of dogs that need to do their business.

And the urine might be making soil in those areas less absorbent because of its low pH and its nitrogen content, according to a study by Columbia University undergraduate and graduate researchers. It also may be causing the soil microbiome to become less diverse.

In areas such as sidewalk tree pits, ““the soils seemed barren, compacted, and the water from rainfall didn’t seem to penetrate very well,” ecologist Krista McGuire, who led the research, said of her reason for starting the project.

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The researchers explained in their paper:

“Our study investigated the effects of canine urine on the urban soil microbial communities in a greenhouse experiment by treating Liriope muscari, a common plant found in New York City green infrastructure, with different concentrations of canine urine for 4 weeks in an experimental setting. We found that urine application significantly decreased total soil microbial biomass and microbial richness, and increased water runoff volume.”

Read more at Popular Science

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