Updates to the Injurious Wildlife List Could Impact $100M in Trade

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is preparing to issue a new rule that could add as many as five additional species of snake to the Injurious Wildlife List as defined under the “constrictor rule” of the Lacey Act.

The species under consideration include the reticulated python, DeSchauensee’s anaconda, green anaconda, Beni anaconda and boa constrictor.

The United States Herpetoculture Alliance estimates that the species proposed for inclusion amount to an annual trade of $100 million in the U.S. each year, and is urging legal action against the new regulation out of fear that it will destroy the trade in such species.

“The reptile and pet trade associations cannot sit fat, dumb and happy while the rights of herpetoculturists are regulated into oblivion,” wrote the Herp Alliance on its website. “By the time the collective coma is shaken off, the days of breeding Burmese pythons, reticulated pythons and boa constrictors may be lost forever. It is the opinion of the U.S. Herpetoculture Alliance that the only real recourse is for one or both of the trade associations to file a federal lawsuit against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, challenging the merits of the original ‘Constrictor Rule’ of 2012.”

The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK), likewise, is blasting the proposed move as unfair to lawful breeders and the industry in which they ply their trade.

“This rule is an unnecessary federal intrusion into state wildlife management and misuse of the Lacey Act,” a posting on USARK’s website, said. “Listing of these snakes will create felons out of tens of thousands of pet owners, hobbyists and collectors, and will destroy small businesses across the country in states where there is zero likelihood of captive-bred snakes establishing themselves in the wild.”

Central to USARK’s argument is the contention that captive-bred snakes among the species listed are incapable of establishing themselves in the wild throughout most of the United States, and thus, could not be a threat to the public.

“There is absolutely no evidence showing these species to be a threat to public safety and no science to support the fact that these species can become injurious throughout the United States,” USARK asserted. “The only potentially habitable climate lies in extreme southern Florida, and the issue has been addressed locally by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.”

The proposed rule is expected to be finalized early in 2014.

– Dan Calabrese

Bravo Pet Foods Unveils New Logo, Packaging

Bravo Pet Foods, the purveyor of an extensive, natural line of dinners and treats for dogs and cats has introduced a new logo, slogan and packaging design.

The image overhaul was developed with strategic guidance from Matrix Partners to make a compelling connection between the exceptional quality of Bravo products and the emotional reward pet owners feel when serving their pet the company’s dinners and treats.

The updated logo features a brilliant red color that has become synonymous with the Bravo brand for easy recognition, while contemporizing the insignia with a softer, more approachable font. A canine and/or feline silhouette will accompany the new logo for easy product differentiation.

These illustrated pets feature an activated color palette to signify the brand’s various nutritional benefits.

The new slogan, “make good happen,” was developed to reflect the company’s commitment to offer only the finest quality, healthiest and tastiest dinners and treats for pets; communicate the brand’s feel-good mission and ongoing commitment to the community and rescue shelters, and resonate with the brand’s target market.

For continuity, consistency and heightened point-of-sale impact, the entire Bravo line will receive updated packaging in 2014. The new designs are tailored to create a billboard effect when merchandised, with appropriate violators and highlighted sales points to distinguish each product’s protein, purpose and benefits.

All of these elements work together to maximize shelf and freezer impact, simplify consumer shopping and increase retail sales.

Bravo is a family-owned company located in Manchester, Conn.

Coastal Pet Products Gives Back to Stark County Human Society

More than 100 Safari Shed Magic grooming tools by Coastal Pet Products were donated to the Stark County Human Society.

“The shelter provided a perfect setting for Coastal to efficiently groom many different dogs and cats with various coat types with many different Shed Magic tool variations in a short period of time,” Mark Weber, product and program developer for Coastal Pet Products, said. “The staff at the Humane Society was very helpful. We told them what coat types we wanted to test the tool on and they quickly brought dogs and cats to an area one by one for us to groom.”


Loyal Biscuit Co. Raised More Than $650

For the month of September, Loyal Biscuit Co. asked its customers if they would like to “Round Up” their purchase to benefit a local charity, with P.A.W.S. Animal Adoption Center being the recipient. The final tally: $679.12 raised for P.A.W.S.

Loyal Biscuit Co. will be running the Round Up promotion again in the near future.

Dedication to Companion Animals

HomeAgain Pet Recovery Service has named its Hero of the Year Award recipient.

Theresa Strader, founder of Colorado-based National Mill Dog Rescue, received the award because of her dedication to companion animals and the significant impact she has made in her community.

Strader has rescued nearly 8,000 dogs from puppy mills across the United States. In addition to saving the dogs, she also rehabilitates and finds homes for them across the country. HomeAgain will make a $10,000 donation in her name to the National Mill Dog Rescue.

“Our communities are filled with people who make a difference in the lives of animals, but so many of their efforts go unsung,” Linda Block, marketing director for HomeAgain, said. “HomeAgain is proud to be able to recognize Strader and help shed a light on the tremendous animal well-being efforts being carried out every day throughout our country. Strader is an outstanding example of the impact one person can make on the lives of animals, and we are honored to call her a hero.”

Advocating for Pet Owners’ Interest

The Pet Leadership Council recently met in Dallas with 32 industry leaders in attendance to discuss various issues facing the pet industry.

The Pet Leadership Council members represent manufacturers, distributors, retailers, veterinarians and breeders. Companies such as Nestle Purina PetCare Company and Central Pet and Garden were represented, as well as industry trade organizations such as American Pet Products Association, American Veterinary Medical Association, Pet Industry Distributors Association, Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council and World Pet Association, among others.

“Pets are part of the fabric of American life, a force for good in American society, and a tradition older than America itself,” Bob Vetere, president and CEO of American Pet Products Association and founding member of the Pet Leadership Council, said. “Pet ownership makes people happier and healthier. And pet owners create a better life for the animals they love.

“The pet industry is overflowing with people who care deeply about pets and pet owners. But our industry historically has operated in a fragmented way, with each industry group representing narrower concerns. They deserve a unified voice. And they gain that unified voice with the Pet Leadership Council.”

Among the initiatives the Pet Leadership Council intends to address over time are: Advocating for the interests of pet owners and highlighting the virtues pet ownership brings to our society and our quality of life; articulating clear animal-breeding standards that protect breeded pets and help society to crack down on “puppy mills” and the bad actors that have given that term rise and, lastly, exploring opportunities to consolidate the industry’s myriad advocacy groups in a more concentrated and effective structure.

New Store Opening

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming has opened a new store in Jupiter, Fla.

Woof Gang Bakery Jupiter is a locally owned small business, providing a one-stop shop for all pet care needs, including healthy, natural pet foods, and treats and grooming services.

Woof Gang Bakery & Grooming currently has more than 50 franchises throughout the U.S.

Educating Through Games

ThunderWorks has launched a new app, ThunderRush, to Android and Apple users that offers a fun, interactive way to educate individuals about pet anxiety.

To play ThunderRush, gamers must help ThunderDog find his family before he is overcome with anxiety.

The “running” style game features a user-controlled ThunderDog, who must earn ThunderTreats and ThunderToys to calm his anxiety and make it home safely. Players must make it through different levels in a certain amount of time to advance to the next level.

K9 Cloud 9 Adds Distributor

Natural Animal Nutrition will help support distribution in the Mid-Atlantic states for K9 Cloud 9, following a new partnership.

K9 Cloud 9 products are made with raw human-grade ingredients that are sourced locally. Flash -freezing preserves the natural juices and flavors of the fresh raw human-grade ingredients that K9 Cloud 9 uses without additives.

Pets for Vets Founder Wins Award

The founder of Pets for Vets has won the Cigna GO YOU Award.

Clarissa Black, an animal trainer, founded Pets for Vets after she visited VA Long Beach Healthcare System’s health facility with her dog, Bear. She saw the positive effect a dog can have on veterans suffering from PTSD and other conditions. The organization now has 19 chapters in 17 states.

“For us at Cigna, one of the best parts of the GO YOU Awards process has been connecting  with individuals who’ve turned their personal passion into effective action,” David Figliuzzi, executive director of the Cigna Foundation, said. “To know that Clarissa will now be using her GO YOU grant to transform her passion into better lives for even more of our veterans is especially exciting.”

The GO YOU Award comes with a $50,000 Cigna Foundation grant for Pets for Vets. Black said she will use the money to form additional chapters in other states and to match more shelter pets to veterans.
Facebook users chose Black as the GO YOU Award winner via an online vote held Nov. 4-11. She was one of four nominees for the award, all of whom previously received $20,000 Cigna Foundation grants for their charities. Black and Pets for Vets won handily with 70 percent of the Facebook vote.

“Bringing our brave veterans together with some wonderful  animals is reward enough, but it’s always energizing to know that people appreciate what Pets for Vets does,” Black said. “I want to thank everyone who voted, and to thank the other GO YOU Award nominees. We’re all in this for the same reason, helping others.”

Distributors for Paw Pods

Paw Pods has four new national distributors and retailers, including Hindsdale Pet Cemetery, Partridge Enterprises, Kap-Lind Enterprises and Amazon.

“We are very excited about these new national partnerships,” Ben Riggan, managing partner of Paw Pods, said. “Exposing more people to alternative, ethical and environmentally friendly pet aftercare solutions is our primary goal, and these new distributors and retailers will greatly support this mission.”

Paw Pods offers six sizes of pet burial pods, two sizes of urns, a fish pod and a heart-shaped pod, each made from all-natural, biodegradable materials such as bamboo and rice husk.

Their products are 100 percent eco-friendly, and can hold the smallest goldfish, to an extra-large dog breed or a cremated pet’s ashes.

New Training Program From Bravo!

Bravo! is offering a new interactive training program accessible through the company’s website that will provide distributor sales representatives, retail store associates and product demonstration teams with the knowledge they need to inform their customers about the benefits of Bravo!

After viewing a 10-minute video session and completing a brief, 15-question quiz, successful test takers will receive a personalized certificate of completion plus a complimentary $15 Starbucks gift card.

“This program was developed to help sales professionals become more knowledgeable about our line,” Michelle Carter, Bravo! vice president of sales, said. “So they can detail pet parents about the many benefits of the Bravo! product lineup and answer frequently asked questions with confidence.”

Ethical Products Purchases the Assets of M2

New Jersey-based Ethical Products, Inc. has acquired the assets of M2 Corporation, which includes all molds, patents and trademarks for the innovative line of M2 grooming brushes and feeding bowls.

“M2 is a company I have known since its inception and have been close to its ownership and key employees for years,” Jonathan Zelinger, president of Ethical Products, said. “M2 brings excellent brands and patented problem-solving products to our growing organization, and this acquisition reinforces our plan to scale up our business.”

M2 products will undergo a packaging update and integrate with the Spot line over the coming months. The acquisition will enable them to distribute the M2 product line through their wide and varied distribution channels, and provide the unique problem-solving products their customers are looking for in a solid and growing partner.

Ethical will begin marketing the M2 grooming tool line of easy-clean brushes and bowls at current and upcoming trade shows, including the Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Fla.

Ethical Products, located in Bloomfield, N.J., and established in 1954, is a leading supplier of innovative pet accessories.

For more information, call 1-800-223-7768.

Chicago Pet Video Changes Name to ReelPaws Productions

Chicago Pet Video, the country’s only production company focused exclusively on animal-focused businesses, recently changed their name to ReelPaws Productions to more clearly reflect the company’s in-house creative and technical abilities, and national reach.

Andrea Fischetti, managing director of ReelPaws Productions, believes the name change was instrumental to demonstrate its leadership in the pet industry.

“Businesses were under the assumption that we only work in the Midwest region, when in truth we serve clients nationwide and internationally,” Fischetti said. “ReelPaws Productions better represents our expanded capabilities.”

In the past year alone, ReelPaws Productions has brought on an Emmy-nominated director of photography, added animation services and successfully created the first interactive video portal at one of the industry’s largest events, the Backer’s Total Pet Expo.

“We are proud to bring the pet industry our expertise in creating multimedia campaigns targeting consumers in the online space,” Fischetti added.

ReelPaws Productions is an industry leader in video production for animal exclusive businesses. ReelPaws are experts in online video, including creating content for social media, product demonstrations, overview videos, web series, live streaming, motion graphics, and commercial services.

ReelPaws also produces videos for Pet Age, while Fischetti frequently contributes to the magazine.

Oscar Nominees’ Gift Bags Help Shelter Pets

This year, celebrities who don’t take home the Oscar Gold at the  Oscars will still be winners in the pet community, as Oscar host Ellen DeGeneres’ pet food company, Halo, Purely for Pets, in partnership with Freekibble.com, is giving 20 non-winning Oscar nominees 10,000 meals of natural pet food to donate to the animal shelter or rescue of the celebrity’s choice.

The gift is part of the coveted $55,000 nominee “Everyone Wins at the Oscars” gift bags from Distinctive Assets, the LA-based marketing firm that launched the craze of celebrity swag 15 years ago, and will once again be consoling non-winning Oscar nominees in the Best Actor/Actress, Supporting Actor/Actress and Director categories with an array of special products and services.

The Halo and Freekibble.com gift makes a notable departure from the typical expensive gift bag products geared toward leisure time and pampering and taps into the penchant of many celebrities for giving.

With this in mind, the 10,000-meal donation to the animal rescue or shelter of the recipient’s choice is one of the most expensive items in the gift bag, a $6,100 retail value.

“We know many celebrities are extremely generous,” said David Yaskulka, Halo’s vice president of marketing communications. “So we decided to gift them with something different that we think will mean a lot to them. We’re looking forward to making those donations!”

Well known for its year-round philanthropic efforts, Halo, Purely for Pets partners with Freekibble.com to donate more than 1.5 million meals to shelter pets each year.

The company also donated 1 million meals to shelter pets for the U.S. Postal Service Adopt a Shelter Pet Stamp Program, and sponsors the acclaimed PBS series “Shelter Me.”

Celebrity recipients will also receive some Halo Spot’s Stew food and Liv-a-Littles treats for their own pets to enjoy.

In addition to Halo and Freekibble.com’s donation, lucky “losers” will receive luxury items like Chocolatines chocolate, Slow Watches, the PolarLoop activity tracker, luxury trips and more.


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