A Q&A with Peter H. Reid, president and COO of Marshall Pet Products.
Q How has the small animal category changed since you joined Marshall in 1988?
A It has changed quite significantly: increased government regulations, fewer breeders, increased demand with lower supply, fewer retail outlets selling companion pets and challenges transporting via airlines are just a few changes. The fact remains that small pets still remain an excellent first pet for many homes and often lead to a lifetime of pet households.
Q How does being a ferret breeder benefit Marshall as a pet product manufacturer?
A Well, the primary benefit is that we know every aspect of a ferret—from the time it is born to their later stages of life. With this knowledge and the constant feedback from consumers, we are able to make and design products that are the most effective and beneficial for both the ferrets and the pet parent.
Q What is the most rewarding part of being president of Marshall Pet Products?
A I have to say that it is knowing that every ferret that is placed in a home is making a positive impact on people’s lives. The daily stories and positive posts from our customers just add to that. Hearing how a ferret has helped children with autism, anxiety or depression is so rewarding, and it confirms that you are making a small positive difference in this world. Another rewarding point along this journey has been meeting and getting to know so many people in and around our industry; I feel really blessed to be a part of this great marketplace.
Q How do you value your retail partners?
A Our retail and distributor relationships are true partnerships. We do not take it lightly; we work closely to find solutions to challenges with them in addition to helping them achieve their goals with our products and services. Many of our customers have been loyal to us for over 30 years, and it is a pleasure to work with both the experienced and helping to set up the new retailer. We have tremendous knowledge of the ferrets from our 79 years of breeding experience, and we are often used as a resource they can rely on for customer service.
Q What makes ferrets such great pets?
A If you asked that question to 10 different people you would get 10 different answers. They are inquisitive, funny, affectionate, full of energy and easy to care for. Every ferret has their own personality, so they are unique. Most people who get one often get another one within weeks. The reality is the human animal bond is very evident when you have ferrets as pets. They have the best qualities of a dog and a cat, just in a smaller package