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Study Reveals 10 Most Pet-Friendly Airports in US

They’re equipped with pet-relief stations and pet parks.

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AUSTIN, TX — A new study identifies the “10 most pet-friendly airports” in the U.S.

Results from the study by Upgraded Points “illustrated a growing number of pet-friendly airports, each fully equipped with pet-relief stations and pet parks,” according to a press release from the company.

For those who travel through airports with pets, finding terminals to accommodate these special travelers can be a stressful event, the firm notes. New federal regulations requires each airport that serves over 10,000 passengers a year must maintain pet relief stations to provide for service animals of all types. The Upgraded Points study evaluated these larger airports and their current facilities.

The study “avoided awarding merit points for simple compliance with the federal mandate,” according to the release. Instead, points were awarded for those airports that went above and beyond regulations — for example, by extending pet relief stations to include law enforcement dogs, emotional support animals and transit pets.

The company adds: “Similarly, many pet relief areas were rather rudimentary, using fake grass, or those areas were hidden in out-of-the-way places within terminals. As a result, points were also awarded in the study to those airports that offered pet parks with real grass, faux fire hydrants, ease-of-accessibility and ample space for pets to run and play.”

Other amenities also played into the points awarded, like fully fenced areas, available water fountains or onsite boarding and daycare facilities.

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The top pet-friendly airport is John F. Kennedy International Airport. The release explains:

“With multiple terminals that have access to post-security pet relief areas, JFK ranked highest in the Upgraded Points study. One terminal boasts a 4,000 square foot outdoor garden patio that is open to both passengers and pets. This area contains tables and chairs, with a seating capacity of around 50 people. Other areas have pet bathrooms set with artificial grass (with built-in drainage), replicas of fire hydrants, sinks and waste receptacles.”

JFK also offers 24/7 animal care and veterinary services for all kinds of pets: dogs, cats, horses, birds, livestock and exotic animals. In addition, American Airlines has installed a pet relief area at its terminal departures level, with a 1000-square-foot grassy area for pets to relax after a long flight.

The top 10:

  • John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
  • Austin–Bergstrom International Airport
  • Reno-Tahoe International Airport
  • Dallas Love Field Airport
  • Denver International Airport
  • Dallas/Ft. Worth International Airport

The study further details other airports’ pet facilities across the country.

“From Denver to JFK, there were many outstanding airports featured in our article,” said Upgraded Points founder Alex Miller. “Though required by law, many airports choose to offer services beyond what is necessary. They go out of their way to accommodate not just necessary service animals, but also beloved pets of all types.”

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More information on the study is available here.

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Pet Food Company Moves HQ and Warehouse to Pittsburgh

It also announced a new partnership.

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PetGuard, a maker of food and care products for dogs and cats, announced that its corporate headquarters has moved to Sewickley, PA, a suburb of Pittsburgh.

Additionally, the company stated that it has joined forces with Erie-based Team Hardinger, a third-party logistics provider that offers trucking, warehousing and brokerage services backed by industry-leading technology and processes.

“We partnered with PetGuard to customize a warehousing and distribution solution that supports their immediate business and enables their growth,” said Barry Sherman, director of business development and marketing at Team Hardinger.

“Our ability to scale our solution and integrate with their software platform allows PetGuard to focus on product development, production, and their customers. We’re proud and excited to be a part of their journey.”

Since 1979, PetGuard has been developing and marketing products such as food, treats and supplements. As one of the first brands to offer consumers limited-ingredient, all-natural diets made with real meat and no artificial preservatives, the company plans on expanding its retail distribution and brand offerings.

PetGuard recently hired four business and operations executives to play key roles in supporting its growth.

Cameron Palmer, vice president of supply chain at PetGuard, said, “This move reflects our dedication to significantly expand our company’s footprint.

“The northeast location improves our supply chain and logistics footprint, while affording us the opportunity to attract top management talent who will help us dramatically increase our sales growth. We are committed to continuing the great legacy of this brand and making our unique product offerings available to more consumers throughout the United States.”

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Biotech Firm Raises $16M for Vegan Dog Food

The food is made from an ‘eco-friendly and renewably sourced fungi.’

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BERKELEY, CA – Wild Earth Inc., a biotech startup company focused on pet food, has closed on $16 million funding.

The company announced this week that it had closed its Series A with an investment of $11 million led by VegInvest, a venture capital firm supporting early-stage companies striving to replace the use of animals in the food system and other industries. This is VegInvest’s second investment in Wild Earth.

Other current investors include Mark Cuban’s Radical Investments, Felicis Ventures, Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund and Mars Petcare, bringing total funding to $16 million.

The investment is being used to accelerate Wild Earth’s development of its no-meat food for dogs made from an eco-friendly and renewably sourced fungi, a “complete protein containing all ten essential amino acids,” according to a press release. The company expects the dry kibble formula to be available in the second half of 2019.

Wild Earth also announced it has moved into its new headquarters in Southwest Berkeley at Outermost House, significantly expanding its R&D and business facilities. Outermost House, located in a historic space of a former chocolate factory, was envisioned by VegInvest in 2017 as a global innovation hub for vegan food tech companies.

“Wild Earth and VegInvest share a foundation of values and innovation in this effort to achieve a food system that works better for people, the planet, and animals,” said Wild Earth CEO Ryan Bethencourt. “Their experience helping future-of-food companies reach the market will absolutely increase our timeline for commercial availability of our dog food with fungi protein.”

Amy Trakinski, managing director of VegInvest, who joins Wild Earth’s board of directors, said,
“Given the shocking amount of animal farming required for pet food, and the environmental strain caused by feeding companion animals, Wild Earth represents an important component of a more sustainable and humane food system. We’re investing in Wild Earth not only to impact this market but because Ryan and his team can provide valuable leadership to other companies in the plant-based innovation space.”

New York-based VegInvest provides early-stage capital and guidance to companies in industries like vegan food products and food technology, alternatives to animal testing, and restaurant chains. By replacing the use of animals, VegInvest sees financial opportunities as well as more sustainable and scalable solutions. Current investments include JUST and Veggie Grill.

Wild Earth also welcomed global investors in its funding round. Shanghai-based Bits x Bites is China’s first future-of-food fund. VECTR is a private equity group based in Hong Kong. Berlin-based P.O.V. is one of Germany’s leading food funds.

Wild Earth said its fungi-based products require fewer resources than farming animals to produce the same nutritional value. In addition to a complete protein without animal ingredients, the veterinarian-developed formula offers omega fatty acids, digestion-boosting enzymes and prebiotics to support gastrointestinal microbiomes. Since 25-30 percent of meat’s environmental impact in the U.S. is attributed to pet food, Wild Earth believes its Koji protein “is necessary if we hope to sustainably feed more than a billion pets expected by 2050.”

Wild Earth treats are available online at WildEarth.com, Amazon.com, PupJoy.com, select brick-and-mortar retail stores, and wholesale to pet food retailers.

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Journalist Gives ‘Human-Grade’ Dog Food a Try

He and his pet performed a taste test.

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A New York Post writer recounted his experience trying “human-grade” dog food alongside his canine companion.

Journalist Eric Hegedus and his Maltipoo, Duncan, tried out a Just Food For Dogs takeout spot located within a Petco store in New York.

Hegedus notes that Just Food’s kitchen staff uses U.S. Department of Agriculture-approved ingredients, meaning the company’s recipes are “technically OK for humans to eat.”

He tried a venison dish made with sweet potatoes, butternut squash, cranberries and brussels sprouts. He found it to be “a mushy gruel in need of seasoning — maybe some garlic, a handful of basil, definitely a generous sprinkle from Salt Bae.”

The company’s recipes tend to be bland because spices aren’t necessarily good for dogs.

Duncan, age 11, loved the venison dish, and he was fond of a chicken-and-rice recipe, as well.

“[Dogs’] taste buds and preferences are designed to enjoy eating a real cut of meat,” said Dr. Oscar Chavez, the company’s chief medical officer.

Many pet owners are saying, “I want to feed my four-legged family members the same quality food that I feed my two-legged family members,” he noted.

Read more at New York Post

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