Caru Donates Nearly 350 Cases of Food to Pets Affected by Hurricanes

In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma, Caru Pet Food has donated 348 cases of food to shelters in need, providing more than 4,000 meals for needy dogs. The Florida-based company sent donations of its Classic Stews and new Daily Dish Stews to strongly affected areas in Texas, in addition to nearby Florida shelters in the local community. In total, Caru donated over $14,500 worth of food to rescues in these hurricane-ravaged areas.

The following shelters received food from Caru: San Antonio Humane Society in San Antonio, Texas; Sophie’s Circle in New Smyrna Beach, Florida; and Humane Society of Vero Beach & Indian River County in Vero Beach, Florida. Each of these organizations have been directly involved in the efforts to support animals in need after the repercussions of these natural disasters.

“The devastation brought on by these massive storms greatly affected our area,” said Adrian Pettyan, CEO and co-founder. “We wanted to be able to help in any way we could during this time of crisis, and we’re grateful to all of the shelters caring for displaced and homeless animals in Texas and Florida.”

Caru’s mission is to provide the best nutrition for the health and happiness of pets. Both the Daily Dish and Classic Stews are made with human-grade ingredients sourced in the U.S.A. They’re full of flavor as well as vitamins and nutrients needed for a healthy, active lifestyle.


Industry Veterans Join Pet Supplies Plus

As the next step in the company’s initiative to drive growth and support its current base of store owners, Pet Supplies Plus has announced the hires of three industry veterans to its already talented, pet-friendly network.

The new trio, consisting of Stephen Ritley, Jason Paulo and Christine Schultz, will put a concerted effort into driving the Pet Supplies Plus franchise opportunity in neighborhoods all over the country while also ensuring its current franchisees have the necessary corporate support for sustained success.

Pet Supplies Plus reached the 400-store milestone during the summer of 2017 and has 11 stores slated to open before the close of the year. The pet retail store is currently providing “Minus the Hassle” service in neighborhoods across 32 states.

“Stephen, Jason and Christine bring many individual strengths to the Pet Supplies Plus brand, and we are excited to utilize all of them within our team,” Pet Supplies Plus Chief Executive Officer Chris Rowland said. “We are a growing brand in an industry with year over year growth for more than two decades, and by bolstering our corporate staff, we will ensure Pet Supplies Plus is a common name in neighborhoods all over the country and our existing franchisees will retain the same success they’ve seen over the last several years. Our studies show we have hundreds of opportunities for additional stores in underserved markets across the country. We also have a proven model for conversion opportunities for independent pet stores interested in leveraging the power, economies of scale and the buying power of the Pet Supplies Plus brand.  With our new prototype layout that can range from 3,000 to 10,000 square feet, I feel there is a lot of room to grow and these individuals will help lead us in finding great franchisees that want to invest in our brand.”

The new additions to the Pet Supplies Plus franchise team include:

  • Stephen Ritley, Director of Franchise Development: Prior to joining Pet Supplies Plus, Ritley served as the senior franchise development director at FASTSIGNS, where he spearheaded the growth of the custom signs retailers for over four years. He also worked eight years as the director of franchise sales for Merrymeeting Group and will now work with Paulo and Schultz to lead Pet Supplies Plus to the next major company milestone of 500 openings and beyond.
  • Jason Paulo, Director of Franchise Development: Paulo has been in the franchising industry since 2003. He is the founder of a company that he franchised, leading it through the recession with strong growth to make the Entrepreneur Magazine Franchise 500. After selling his company, he took his passion for franchising and started a consulting company working with emerging businesses to help them grow through franchising. In addition, he served as development manager for Rhino 7 Franchising over the past year, working with two national brands. He will use his strong franchising and business expertise to develop the Pet Supplies Plus brand at the national level.
  • Christine Schultz, Marketing and Franchise Development Support Specialist: Schultz joins Pet Supplies Plus with extensive experience in the advertising field and will now be tasked with expanding the pet store’s brand in the franchising arena. Schultz worked eight years as an advertising director at American Media, Inc. before tenures at InterMedia Outdoors and sales management at All You, Cooking Light & Health. Most recently, Schultz served as an account director at MaxPoint in the Detroit area.

New Item Added to Ello’s Petabis CBD Line

Ello Pet Supply will add Petabis 300 MG Organic CBD Hemp Oil Topical for dogs and cats.

The salve is gentle yet effective for all breed dogs, cats, and small animals, with no essential oil or scent barriers. It can help support pain relief related to skin irritations, insect bites and wounds; help ease itchy, flaking skin and coat as well as may help to promote wound healing.

It is non-GMO, 100 percent organic with no alcohol, glycerin or chemical preservatives; is natural; and sustainably grown in Colorado.

“There is an increasing demand for organic hemp CBD topical formulations in the marketplace and we are pleased to make this addition to the Petabis Organics line for our customers,” said Jaime Rowe, president of Ello Pet Supply.

LiveAquaria Debuts Professional Reef Salt

Online fish and coral retailer LiveAquaria recently introduced its first private-brand Professional Reef Salt Mix, making available to home aquarists the same exclusive salt mix used at the LiveAquaria Coral Farm & Aquatic Life Facility.

Formulated for all marine aquariums, including coral reef, fish-only-with-live-rock and fish-only systems, the Professional Reef Salt Mix contains all essential major, minor and trace elements found in natural seawater. Enhanced calcium, magnesium and potassium levels—in carefully balanced ratios—support vibrant growth in reef aquariums.

Before release to the public, LiveAquaria Professional Reef Salt Mix had to pass rigorous testing criteria to meet the 30,000-gallon coral farm’s high-volume demands. It had to mix clean and clear with no residue, it had to be formulated with the highest-quality raw materials, and it had to be made in small batches to ensure consistency. The result is a salt mix perfected for show aquariums of all sizes.

Advanced reefkeepers will especially appreciate LiveAquaria Professional Reef Salt’s finely tuned parameters.

“It mixes up at much lower alkalinity than other brands (around 9 dKH), which I think is perfect for hobbyists who primarily grow Acropora and other Small Polyp Stony corals,” LiveAquaria Director and 2012 MACNA Aquarist of the Year Kevin Kohen explained. “Furthermore, if you’re already a LiveAquaria customer and begin using our salt in your home aquarium, you’ll be giving new arrivals a head start on acclimating safely, since the salt parameters will be better calibrated between our reef systems and yours.”

LiveAquaria Professional Reef Salt Mix is available starting in October 2017 from and in three sizes: as a 53-gallon bag, 180-gallon bucket, or 205-gallon box.

Pet Food Experts Donates Food to Puerto Rico

Thousands have fled Puerto Rico in the three weeks since Hurricane Maria hit, but for the millions remaining on the island, the struggle for life’s basic necessities is ongoing. Power outages and a shortage of drinking water have plagued the island, and many communities remain cut off from the world, with no cell phone service and roads blocked. There are countless Americans aiding in relief efforts both in the U.S. and on the ground in Puerto Rico, supplying basic necessities and support to those affected by the Hurricane.

On October 11, over 40,000 pounds of cat and dog food from Pet Food Experts was sent to help feed the thousands of pets in need on the devastated island. (add)ventures, a brand culture and communications agency headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, connected Pet Food Experts to those assisting in relief efforts in Puerto Rico.

The (add)ventures team in Miami coordinated the shipment of 21 pallets from Pet Food Experts’ distribution center in Denver, Pennsylvania, to Miami, which will then be sent to Puerto Rico with the help of Bethenny Frankel, star of “Real Housewives of New York.”

Since the hurricane hit Puerto Rico on September 20, Frankel has chartered a total of four planes leaving from Miami, Fort Lauderdale and New Jersey to distribute more than 20,000 pounds of donated medical and survival supplies: water, canned goods, diapers, baby food, medical supplies, toys, insulin (courtesy of Univision)—plus 2,000 pounds in non-perishable, nutrient-dense meals from Feeding America and City Harvest, $25,000 in cash gift cards and cash (courtesy of Yieldstreet) and $30,000 in Costco gift cards.

This post originally appeared on the Pet Food Experts site

Nulo Founder named ‘Best CEO’

Michael Landa, founder and CEO of Nulo Pet Food, was named “Best CEO” by the Austin Business Journal, in the Mid Cap category. Nulo Pet Food is one of the fastest growing pet food brands with industry-leading nutrition for dogs and cats and has seen explosive growth over the past year.

“Texas has been home to Nulo Pet Food for over seven years, so it’s an honor to be selected by the Austin Business Journal for this award,” Landa said. “My mission and passion has always been to be an advocate for pet nutrition and to make sure every dog and cat has a healthy option in their bowl. It has been the ultimate reward to watch Nulo raise the bar in our industry and community in terms of product innovation, ingredient standards, sourcing and business integrity.”

Under Landa’s leadership, Nulo has experienced a landmark year in new product development, retail distribution and consumer marketing. In 2017, Nulo developed over 100 new innovative products, including three new categories for the company such as functional treats, limited ingredient diets and freeze-dried recipes. The brand increased distribution significantly and became international when it launched in Canada in September. In addition, Landa has built a community of 22 Olympic and elite athletes who are evangelists for the brand and its mission.

“Michael is an outstanding CEO that exemplifies perseverance, leadership and drive,” said Zac Fellabaum, CFO and COO of Nulo Pet Food. “He has built a company from nothing to an internationally recognized brand in one of the most competitive industries around. I’m proud to work for him and am very much looking forward to the bright future ahead for Nulo.”

The evening’s four award recipients were selected from 74 finalists in the Central Texas area.  Judges selected the winning CEOs in each category—Non-Profit, Small Cap, Mid Cap and Large Cap—by evaluating various areas including revenue growth, company culture, community involvement and more in order to determine the final CEO selections.

Pura Naturals Pet Nets More Awards

Pura Naturals Pet recently received four product awards for its signature pet Grooming and Health & Wellness line, as well as three leadership awards. The awards promote innovative pet products along with environmental sustainability.

Pura Naturals Pet Product Awards

Pet Age Readers’ Choice Award – Nose to Tail Pura Wipes™ Singles

Family Choice Award – Nose to Tail Pura Wipes™ Singles

Family Choice Award – Hypo Allergenic USDA Certified Organic Shampoo

Eco Excellence Best Pet Grooming Award – USDA Certified Organic Paw Rescue

“It’s been an incredible season of awards for our company. Having so many products receive awards is a true testament to our R&D and quality–especially since most awards are voted on by consumers and retailers,” VP of Sales and Marketing Julie Creed said.

Leadership & Philanthropy Awards

California Legislature Certificate of Recognition – for efforts with philanthropy

Pet Age, Forty Under 40 – Libu Chacko, vice president of Information Technology

Pet Age ICON AWARD – Beth Sommers, president and chief merchandising officer (pictured here)

“It’s also rewarding to see two members of the Pura Naturals Pet senior leadership team be recognized by the pet industry for their continued contributions to our trade as a whole,” Creed said. “Being able to be commended by the California Legislature for our endeavors with our new philanthropy program and Karma Rescue’s Paws for Life program was a true honor and unexpected surprise. Pet wellness is paramount in all facets of our business.”

Michael Phelps Teams Up with Nulo Pet Food

Today, Nulo Pet Food launched WE DECIDE, its most expansive pet marketing campaign to-date, which is led by 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps and his French bulldogs Juno and Legend. WE DECIDE celebrates the special bond between parents and their pets and highlights Nulo’s commitment to providing superior nutrition for dogs and cats. Phelps, who is also an investor in the company, will spearhead the effort with the help of professional football player Ryan Kerrigan and the 2017 world silver medalist in figure skating, Kaetlyn Osmond.

“Pets rely on us to make the best decisions for their health and happiness, including what we decide to put into their bowl every day. As an athlete, I understand the importance of fueling my body with the right nutrition, and I feel the same way when it comes to Juno and Legend,” Phelps said. “I’m excited to partner with Nulo to share the importance of pet nutrition and to remind pet parents that ‘We Decide’ how healthy our pets live.”

The creative elements of the campaign tap into the new pet food consumer—those compelled to improve the world they live in, who demand more transparency and who seek brands capable of disrupting a complacent category with better-for-them foods. Nulo and team hope to inspire a new generation of “deciders” by arming them with the right tools, comparisons and nutritional facts on

“We are honored to have an exceptional athlete like Michael join our team and to lead the WE DECIDE campaign alongside Ryan and Kaetlyn,” said Michael Landa, Nulo’s founder and CEO. “Their desire to make a difference in the lives of dogs and cats exemplifies what this campaign represents—a passion to inspire others to live active, healthy lives—and to provide their pets the same opportunity.”

ThunderWorks’ Informational Seminar on Pet Anxiety

On October 12, independent pet retailers gathered at the Pet Age offices for an informational seminar on pet anxiety, led by ThunderWorks creator Phil Blizzard.

2017 LADS Pet Supplies Open House

LADS Pet Supplies, a division of Animal Supply Company LLC, held its Open House at Holiday Valley Resort in Ellicottville, New York, on August 28 and 29.

Pet Valu to Hold its Halloween Spooktacular

Pet Valu nationwide are holding the annual Halloween Spooktacular October 20-22. It is an entire weekend where customers are invited to bring their pets in costume to the store. There will be games, food, photo ops and a chance to win a $50 treat pack (one winner will be chosen at every store).

They can also check out Pet Valu’s new costumes like a glow-in-the-dark skeleton, doggy devil and Wonder Woman, plus all-time favorites like the hot dog. There will also be Halloween toys and pumpkin and apple-flavored biscuits.

Purina, Urban Resource Institute Raise Awareness of Connection Between Domestic Abuse and Pets

Urban Resource Institute (URI), a leading provider of domestic violence programs and services in New York City, has worked with Purina over the course of many years. URI is one of the only providers of domestic violence shelters that allows victims of abuse to co-shelter with their pets through its PALS (People and Animals Living Safely) program. Both URI and Purina recognize that pets can be victims of domestic abuse, as well as the importance of the human-pet bond as a source of healing during times of physical, emotional and mental recovery.

URI and Purina launched a pet-centric social media competition at the beginning of October (Domestic Violence Awareness Month) to raise awareness around the fact that many perpetrators of domestic violence threaten or harm pets as a method of further controlling their victims.

URI and Purina are using the tag #ForeverPALS to shine a light on the unbreakable bond between humans and pets. Those who fulfill the competition guidelines below are eligible to win a free year’s supply of Purina pet food, fulfilled as coupons.

“URI and Purina are committed to raising awareness about the role pets play in domestic violence and the importance of the bond between humans and animals. Far too often, abusers will threaten or harm their partners’ pets as a method of control, and up to 48 percent of individuals stay in abusive situations to avoid leaving their beloved pet behind,” said Nathaniel Fields, president and CEO of URI. “Purina continues to be a key supporter and partner of URI’s PALS… The #ForeverPals campaign is an effort during Domestic Violence Awareness Month to draw attention to the incredible power of pets to provide physical and emotional healing during times of need.”

To enter, post a picture of your pet that makes you smile, tagging #ForeverPALS. Follow @URI_NYC and @Purina on Twitter and Instagram (@URI_NYC and @Purina) and like Urban Resource Institute and Purina on Facebook.

Contest terms and conditions can be found here.

In the spring of 2014, Purina sponsored the creation of the “Purina Pet Haven” at URI’s Safe Haven shelter in Brooklyn, the first-ever dog park at a domestic violence shelter in New York City, designed to provide domestic violence survivors and their pets a safe place to play and heal together while in shelter. Purina has since funded the design and construction of two additional dog parks at URI shelters.


Matrix Partners Wins Platinum Public Relations Award

Matrix Partners, a pet-centric brand strategy and communications firm, recently received a Platinum Hermes Award in the Pro Bono Public Relations category for staging a comprehensive program to promote the Internet Cat Video Festival in Chicago. This highly popular event was hosted by two prominent local rescue organizations, the Chicago Cat Rescue and Tree House Humane Society. The 75-minute screening of “best of the net” videos was preceded by a meet and greet with Lil BUB herself.

To spread the word about the festival, the Matrix Partners public relations team reached out to targeted local television and radio broadcasters, as well as newspapers and other national publications. As a result of their creative and logistical efforts, news of the event generated more than 175 million impressions. Proceeds from the event went to Chicago Cat Rescue, Tree House Humane Society and Lil BUB’s Big Fund for the ASPCA.

Matrix Partners has always been committed to supporting animal rescues. Members of the team actively attend and promote fundraising and awareness events, and the company also frequently helps initiate client/rescue relationships within the community.

Tickners Pet Food Supplies and Distribution Buying Show

Tickners Pet Food Supplies and Distribution held its buying show on October 15 in Independence Township, New Jersey.

Reptile Hobbyists, Professionals Raise $45K for Family that Lost Daughter to Illness

Reptile hobbyists, business leaders and pet owners raised $45,000 to help a St. Louis-based reptile hobbyist-turned-professional whose 8-year old daughter died on September 28 after developing Pantothenate Kinase-Associated Neurodegeneration (PKAN).

The $45,000 raised for Anna Hupp, her father Joe, and the rest of the Hupp family was gathered through cash donations and an auction at the Tinley Park, Illinois, NARBC show on October 7-8. The conference is the largest held at the Chicago suburb’s Convention Center. Approximately 8,000 people attended, including several thousand Chicago-area residents.

“Joe Hupp was a hobbyist who went into full-time reptile breeding because it allowed him to stay home with Anna,” NARBC co-organizer Bob Ashley said. “The financial toll was significant, and Joe temporarily closed his business as Anna entered her final days. Anna, Joe and the rest of their family are in our thoughts and prayers. We are so grateful for the charity and kindness of those who attended Saturday’s auction, and for the Holiday Inn Convention Center which has always opened its door to us.”

The auction takes place at each of the four NARBC conferences held annually. The money raised normally goes to the U.S. Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK) for its work on behalf of reptile awareness, responsible care and professional unity. However, NARBC’s Brian Potter announced during a moving speech that part of the auction would focus on helping a community member in need. The decision to dedicate auction funds to the Hupps was fully supported by all of the auction’s 450 VIP attendees.

“USARK is heartbroken at Anna’s passing,” USARK President Phil Goss said. “Joe and his family have long been beloved by the reptile community. We are beyond proud of everyone for coming together to help one of our own.”

The funds raised at the auction are the latest sign of support for the Hupps. A GoFundMe fundraiser held shortly before Anna’s passing by friends of the family raised over $6,000, and thousands more were raised earlier in the year through other fundraisers. NARBC is encouraging people to continue sending money to the Hupps through PayPal.

“NARBC’s recent Arlington, Texas, show raised $12,000 for Hurricane Harvey victims, in part thanks to a Pappadeaux Restaurant donation of $6,000,” Goss and Ashley said. “Anna’s memory and her family’s love will live on in the hearts and minds of her family and friends, and we cannot thank everyone who came to the auction and those who have donated elsewhere for their generosity to one of our own.”


Purchase Tickets for the PA Garden Expo
Business Webinar Series
View recaps of our latest webinars here. Learn More