Record-Setting Pet Fair

The 2013 Bay Area Pet Fair & Adopt-a-thon had a record-setting 690 adoptions take place.

Of the adoptions in October, 465 of them were dogs, 175 were cats, 19 rats, eight rabbits, seven guinea pigs, five chickens, four hermit crabs, four king pigeons, two hamsters and one cockatiel.

Pet Food Express hosted and organized the event, as it has for the past 3 years.

Raising Money for Pet Cancer

The inaugural Woof Woof 5K Run/Walk over Pet Cancer raised $44,000 to benefit the Blue Buffalo Pet Cancer Research Foundation, Savannah’s Hope Chest Foundation, Savannah Area Pet Rescue Agencies and Jacob G. Smith Elementary School.

The event was held on Nov. 2, at Habersham Village and Ardsley Park in Georgia.

“This was such a great event, bringing awareness to the issue of pet cancer and memorializing our pets,” Jeff Manley, co-owner of TailsSpin, said.

The Woof Woof 5K Run/Walk also set out to break the Guinness World Record of Most Dogs in a Costumed Parade.

“We had about 500 people registered,” Manley said. “However, the count of dogs in costumes of at least two pieces ended up at 194. We are confident that we can break this record at next year’s Woof Woof 5K.”

Zuke’s Helps Beat Pet Cancer With Donation

Zuke’s donated more than $175,000 to the Dog and Cat Cancer Fund, a non-profit organization dedicated to understanding, treating and preventing canine and feline cancer.

The DCCFund was created by Zuke’s founder, Patrick Meiering, and his brother Chris Meiering, director of marketing, in 2007, after their childhood dog and, more recently, Zuke, the namesake of Zuke’s dog and cat treats, died of canine cancer.

“Zuke’s donates a portion of all product sales to the Dog and Cat Cancer fund,” Chris Meiering said. “We invest in this organization because we passionately believe that the ability to pay one’s vet bills shouldn’t be a factor in giving pets a fighting chance against this terrible disease.”

With Zuke’s support, the DCCFund has been able to increase the annual grant amount per pet from $700 in 2007, to $1,200 in 2011 and most recently to $1,500 in 2013.

The DCCFund estimates they will be able to help a record 100 pets this year alone, up from 42 in 2011 and 69 in 2012.

Since its inception, the DCCFund has helped a total of 250 dogs and cats nationwide.

KONG Sets Guinness World Record

The KONG Company set a world record for the most dog toys stuffed in one hour with a total of 1,975 toys during a event officially documented by Guinness officials at an August event in Riverside Park in New York City.

Volunteers from New York City area pet shelters, rescue groups and animal care organizations were joined by KONG team members to complete the attempt. These volunteers represented, Mayor’s Alliance for NY Animals, Humane Society of NY, Bideawee Animal Shelter, Animal Care & Control of New York, Puppies Behind Bars, Sean Casey Animal Rescue and Best Friends NY.

The idea for the record comes out of the proven benefits of stuffing a KONG toy, especially for dogs confined to shelters. Stuffed KONG toys can extend the joy of treat time and are mentally and physically stimulating for any dog. As the dog works to release the stuffed treats, they are moving and thinking. And once the treats are released, the KONG itself becomes a vehicle for fulfilling the instinct to chew.

Most importantly, each of the volunteers was able to take a portion of the 1,975 stuffed toys to their home shelter/rescue for the dogs.

Now that the record is official with Guinness, The KONG Company is throwing down the gauntlet. KONG challenges other groups to break this record for the benefit of pets everywhere.

For information and assistance on setting up an attempt, email

Redpaw Donates Dog Food to Oklahoma

Redpaw, Inc., a Milwaukee-area dog food company, in conjunction with Best Friends Pet Care, donated over 8,000 pounds of X-Series Premium dog food to the Oklahoma tornado relief efforts.

The food will provide over 25,000 meals for displaced dogs in need after the tornadoes in the Oklahoma City metro area.

It was delivered by Best Friends Pet Care to the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, Animal Resource Center of Oklahoma and Moore Animal Shelter.

Worldwise Helps Tornado Victims

Worldwise donated 100 Pooch Planet crate mats to the Oklahoma City Humane Society, after a devastating tornado ripped through the area, leaving many pets lost, injured and homeless.

The company contacted the group to see how they could provide the most assistance, and as a result they requested comfortable crate mats that could help ease the stress and anxiety of a pet when being placed in a crate.

Three different sized PoochPlanet CrateComfort mats were sent, and were put to immediate use.

Dog Wash Raises $1,500 for Rescue

Four Muddy Paws, in St. Louis, hosted a benefit dog wash for Partners 4 Pets, washing 99 dogs and raising over $1,500 for the rescue.

Volunteers from Partners 4 Pets washed and dried dogs for $15, with 100 percent of the proceeds benefiting the rescue, which also had pets up for adoption at the event.

Refreshments were provided by local businesses, including Wang Gang, Honeydip Cupcakes and Teaspoons Café.

The Crazy Pet Children’s Foundation Awards Grant

The Crazy Pet Children’s Foundation awarded a $5,000 grant to Freedom Service Dogs of Englewood, Colo. for their “Pawsitive Connections” program, a therapeutic dog training program, established to teach high risk Colorado youth to help train the dogs as part of their rehabilitation.

The youth, ages 11-18, are taught appropriate ways of handling the frustrations and learning the patience required for dog training, benefiting both the dogs and the kids.

They work with certified dog trainers to help provide the first phase of training to the rescued dogs, and also participate in exercises that help instill respect, responsibility, empathy, positive communication, self-control and social skills.

“We’re proud to contribute to Pawsitive Connection, a program whose philosophies we believe in and fully support,” Tony de Vos said. “We’ll also be sending them Crazy Dog Train-Me! treats to help shorten the learning curve in those dog training classes.”

The Crazy Pet Children’s Foundation, established by de Vos, owner of Cardinal Pet Care in Azusa, Calif., supports groups that help promote the values and life lessons that children learn from caring for a pet, using the foundation’s “Back Bones of Character” program.

The program encourages youth to: Be caring, contribute, have courage, be dependable, be fair and have respect.  The Back Bones of Character logo uses “bones” as symbols of the character values that are part of a spine or backbone – an icon that gives kids a memorable and positive vision of the strong character they can develop.

“Helping children and pets is a goal our two foundations have in common,” Sharan Wilson, the executive director of Freedom Service Dogs, said. “It’s so appropriate that a pet company that makes dog training rewards and has such an interest in kids and pets would sponsor our youth dog training program.”

To learn more about the Crazy Pet Children’s Foundation, visit

Pet Industry Helps Those Impacted by Tornado

As search and rescue teams combed the area looking for displaced pets after a tornado wreaked havoc on an Oklahoma community, companies and other groups within the pet industry started strategizing about how they could help.

This girl was found wandering carrying her ThunderShirt in her mouth, which is what is in the crate with her. She has been reunited with her family. (photo courtesy of Central Oklahoma Humane Society’s Facebook page)

For the makers of ThunderShirt that meant sending nearly 100 ThunderShirts to shelters including the Central Oklahoma Humane Society, the City of Moore Animal Shelter and the City of Oklahoma City(Animal Welfare Division).

“We are deeply saddened by the significant loss of life, and displaced animals due to this tragedy in Oklahoma,” Phil Blizzard, founder of ThunderShirt, said. “We’ve found that Thundershirts can provide real relief as communities work to rebuild homes and routines for their pets.”

Wondercide LLC, a producer of organic pest control and natural products for pets, people, and property donated their EVOLV flea and tick control to help 300 pets impacted by the tornado.

The donation was made to the Animal Resource Center in Oklahoma City, Okla., which is serving as the only temporary shelter for lost and harmed animals affected by the twister.

Given the volume of animals arriving at the shelter, flea and tick control products, as well as other pet care products, are in high demand.

“When tragic events like Monday’s twister occur, the devastation is felt by everyone in the family, including our pets,” said Wondercide CEO Stephanie Boone. “We at Wondercide send our deepest condolences and appreciation for those assisting in in the rescuing and rehabilitating of Moore.”

The Planet Dog FoundationPlanet Dog‘s non-profit grant making organization, donated $1,000 to the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation to help support their search dog teams that have been deployed to assist in the recovery efforts.

Salsa, a dog with the National Disaster Search Dog Foundation, searches the devastation left behind by the tornado. (photo courtesy of Planet Dog)

“The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation search dog teams are playing a major role in locating survivors and we are thankful we are able to donate funds to help support their lifesaving efforts,”  Kristen Smith, the executive director of the Planet Dog Foundation, said. “We couldn’t do it without the support from our customers whose purchases help raise money for PDF and enable us to provide grants to support the amazing ways service dogs are helping people in need.”

Paw Pods have also been filling request from shelters and groups in the Oklahoma area.

“The devastating loss of so many beloved family pets because of this storm has truly saddened pet lovers across the country,” Ben Riggan, managing partner of Paw Pods, said. “We’ll do whatever we can to help provide comfort and closure to the families grieving their loss, and trying to recover from the affects of this storm in general.” is donating 10 percent of its total sales the week of the natural disaster to the  Pet Food Pantry of OKC.

“This disaster has had a devastating impact not only on the people who live there, but on their pets as well,” Jared Katz, vice president of sales for “We feel it is part of our responsibility to do whatever we can to help out using the resources at our disposal, and we encourage our partner organizations in the area to do the same.”

On Wednesday, Freekibble donated 100 percent of the Halo kibble raised to the homeless dogs and cats impacted by the Tornadoes.

Banfield Pet Hospital is offering free physical examinations for pets affected by the tornado. More than 14 Banfield Pet Hospitals throughout Oklahoma will be providing office visits at no cost for pets in need.

This offer is good through the end of the day on Tuesday, June 4. They are also collaborating with other Mars Incorporated companies on broader relief efforts as additional needs are identified within the affected communities.

Jones Natural Chews is sending boxes of their all natural dog chews to the OKC Humane Society.

In addition, Pet360, BlogPaws and World Vets have teamed up to raise $25,000 to help animals impacted by the tornado.

Using the Blogger Disaster Response Network, a group of bloggers and writers who are interested in helping spread important ways to help when a disaster strikes anywhere in the world, they are reaching out to various groups to help reach their goal.





A Commitment to All Pets

Just after Christmas, we talked with Joey Herrick, the president of Dick Van Patten’s Natural Balance Pet Foods, about his passion for animals, the charities he is involved in and the advances Natural Balance are making in the pet industry.

He had just came from checking on Natural Balance’s Rose Parade float, that this year honored military dogs who risk their lives everyday to protect their handlers from harm.

We talked about everything from the float and their involvement with the Military Working Dog Monument to their spokesdog Tillman and the company’s Buy With Confidence program.

Michelle: How did Natural Balance get started?

Joey: I got the idea to start a pet food company in 1988, and went to actor Dick Van Patten, whom I had met previously, and asked if he would like to start a pet food company, and he said yes. I wanted to elevate pet nutrition. We led the way in pet nutrition, and we are the leaders in the limited ingredient diets. We’ve pioneered a lot of new formulas for pets.

I used to walk animals for animal charities on the weekend and always had two or three dogs. I loved them and wanted our goal to be to make the best possible food in the business, and not put junk in pet food. We set out to provide the best pet food possible, when others were using by-products and fillers. We never did that from the very beginning.

Michelle: Tell us about your Buy With Confidence program.

Joey: It started in 2007 when the entire industry was affected by the melamine incident. It was a horrible time for our industry. Dogs got hurt and nobody knew what it was in the beginning. There was a feeling that nobody knew what was safe anymore.I thought, “I never want this to happen again.”

We went out and spent $800,000 to build a laboratory and started testing for melamine, acid and other toxins in all our product batches. Today, our Buy With Confidence program tests every batch of our products for nine known contaminants including melamine and salmonella. It’s really expensive to do, especially for our products that are made in the east and has to be shipped to our lab [on the west coast]. But, nothing gets released until the batch goes through the lab and is confirmed safe for your pet.

If you look, every package has a date code, and the consumer can go on [our] website, select their formula, type in the date code number and get the actual laboratory results. It obviously takes a lot work, testing and data entry, but it’s something I would never, ever, ever stop doing. As long as I’m in the pet industry, that is what we will do.

Michelle: What goes into the making of your Rose Parade float?

Joey: It starts a year ahead of time. In fact, I told the builder what we are doing for 2014 today. Generally, I’m lucky enough that I always have an idea. This year is the most special float ever. I got involved with the first national monument that honors military working dogs. It has the same status as Mount Rushmore.  We were very instrumental in getting funded along with Petco and Maddie’s Fund. We decided to make our 2013 Rose Parade float a replica of the statue in flowers.

Michelle: Speaking of that, how did you get involved with the Military Working Dog Monument in Texas?

Joey: We were shooting an episode of our TV show, “Who Let the Dogs Out”  in D.C., and Tillman was skating in front of the White House when our PR people called me. They told me when we were done to go over to the Vietnam War Memorial in D.C. and meet John Burnam, he’s a Vietnam Vet and a dog handler who has been working for nine years to get a national monument for military working dogs.

He brought me a scale model of it and I loved it. I asked how it had to be financed and if he had raised any money yet. He said no. He had only talked to me for five minutes and I said, “this is what we’re going to do.” This is going to be a Natural Balance project.

Between us, Petco and Maddie’s Fund we raised the money to have it built. As soon as I heard it, I knew it had to be built. People realize dogs are an important part of the family, but they are also an important part of the military and save thousands of American’s lives. I’ve always felt they should be honored, and wanted to help make this become a reality.

To read the rest of this interview, which was continued on the Web Extra page, click here.


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