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When Disaster Strikes, the Pet Industry Responds


October 3, 2017

I was in New Orleans, Louisiana, viewing the exciting new aquatic products at MACNA in August when Hurricane Harvey made landfall. While New Orleans was spared Harvey’s wrath, the hurricane devastated Texas, and it’s expected to be one of the costliest storms in U.S. history, causing approximately $180 billion in damage.

Before the exact magnitude of Harvey’s disaster could even be assessed, members of the pet industry were rallying together to provide food, supplies and medicine to rescue organizations and evacuation shelters to help the injured and displaced pets that were facing extraordinary hardships in the aftermath of the hurricane.

The outpouring of care and support for these pets has been nothing short of amazing. Pet Age has gathered reports from retailers, manufacturers, distributors and associations to publish a compilation in our Good Deeds section that reveals how the pet industry has responded. However, we acknowledge our list of contributions is only the tip of the iceberg, and there have been countless additional donations that have occurred without public announcement.

And as incredible as it might sound, the nightmare doesn’t end with Harvey. As this issue of Pet Age goes to print, Hurricane Irma has battered Florida, leaving flooding and power outages in its path, and Hurricane Jose is also threatening an already-battered East Coast. Our prayers and thoughts go out to the victims affected by these storms.

Despite the somber tone that has been caused by Harvey, Irma and Jose, Pet Age continues to deliver another jam-packed issue. Pet Obesity Awareness Day falls on October 11, so Alexandra Wepner investigates this leading pet health issue in our cover story. We also report on the topic of the benefits of a raw food diet, which was the subject of Pet Age’s inaugural informational seminar.

This month’s Back Story shines the spotlight on DogStar Kitchens, a state-of-the-art facility that was unveiled by Champion Petfoods in 2016, while our What’s In Store subject for October is Chi-wa-wa Ga-ga co-owner Justine Roig, who explains how pet costumes have grown steadily in popularity since Paris Hilton dressed up her chihuahua on “Th e Simple Life.” And Chuck Simons, CEO of Groomers Helper, offers some valuable insight into how he’s become such a trendsetter in the grooming area of the industry.

Do you want more? Well, we’ve got more. All you need to do is turn the page. Enjoy!

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