Pet Product News-March 2013-Comp : Page 4

4 Viewpoint Pet Product News International | March 2013 March 2013 Vol. 67 No. 3 THE LEADER IN PET SUPPLIES MARKETING FOR 67 YEARS Market Outlook Fish, Birds, Reptiles and Small Animals: Critical Components of the U.S. Pet Market By David Lummis Population-wise, dogs and cats represent the lion’s share of the U.S. pet market, numbering 141 million as of 2011. But it isn’t raining cats and dogs only. Another 116 million “other pets” inhab-it American households, according to “Pet Popu-lation and Pet Owner Trends in the U.S.: Fish, Birds, Reptiles, and Small Animals,” a new first-edition report from Packaged Facts. Accounting for the largest share of the non-dog/cat population are fish at 84.3 million, followed by birds at 11.4 million and reptiles at 3.9 million, plus a wide range of other pets, including about 5 million rabbits and hamsters. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of households owning fish, birds, reptiles and “other” animals showed a persistent decline, according to Experian Simmons national consumer surveys. However, pet ownership might have turned a corner in 2011, when the number of households declined for reptiles and “other” pets but increased for fish, birds, rabbits and hamsters. This is, at least in part, good news for the non-dog/cat segment of the U.S. pet market. If this segment is to fully recover, however, marketers cannot rely on the same approaches used to woo dog and cat owners. Rather, they must adopt strategies that take into account the more youthful and multicultural profile of owners of pets other than cats and dogs. These pet owners are, for example, much more likely than dog or cat owners to be under the age of 35 and much less likely to be non-Hispanic white. Pet owners without dogs or cats are three times as likely to live in an apartment and twice as likely to live in the Northeast, and they are 73 per-cent more likely to be Hispanic and 88 percent more likely to be non-Hispanic black or Asian. Given their relative youth, owners of fish, birds, reptiles and small animals are more engaged with social media than are pet owners on average, with bird owners 37 percent more likely to agree that they are prone to purchase products advertised on a social sharing website. Dogs and cats are also the lion’s share of the U.S. pet market dollar-wise. As of 2012, they accounted for about $57 billion in U.S. sales of pet products and services compared with $3 billion for fish, birds, reptiles and other small pets. But the importance of the non-dog/cat population goes beyond their short-term dollar sales. These smaller and more affordable pets are often the entry point for children and young families, and upon the shoulders of these youngsters—to be converted, ideally, into life-long pet owners, including of dogs and cats—stands the future of the overall pet market. David Lummis is the lead pet-market analyst for Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com. His latest report is “ Pet Population and Pet Owner Trends in the U.S.: Fish, Birds, Reptiles, and Small Animals” (January 2013). Sr. Associate Print/Web Editor Associate Editor Art Director Special Projects Editor News Editor Deputy News Editor Production Coordinator Editorial Director, Internet Group Editor Circulation Manager Trade Titles Specialist Stephanie Brown Carrie Brenner Phil Moffitt Sandy Chebat Ken Niedziela Clay Jackson Kathie Kudlo Melissa Kauffman Marilyn Iturri Agnes Matic Warren Tang Corporate Vice President of Ad Sales and Group Publisher of Pet & Trade Titles Desireé Lynch Central Regional Manager Bill Rauch Eastern Regional Manager Trish Rodriguez Pacific Regional Manager Marty Candiotta Advertising Sales Reps Ziva Palmer, Erwin Laner Marketing Director Lisa MacDonald Collateral Sales Collateral Sales Director Susan Roark Collateral Sales Operations Manager Michael Pavia Class. Sales Representative Angela Williams Sales Support/Coordinator Shawna Sandoval Classified Designer Terri Wazny Manufacturing Karen Bartz, Gina Cioli (I-5 Studio), Shawn Fung, Jessica Jaensch, Jorge Lopez Pet Product News International is published by Editorial To contact the Pet Product News International editorial staff: Editor, Pet Product News International P .O. Box 6050, Mission Viejo, CA 92690-6050 Ph. (949) 855-8822; Fax (949) 855-3045 ppneditor@i5publishing.com News Submissions: Send news items to kniedziela@i5publishing.com Product Submissions: Product submissions are reviewed and published on a first-come, first-serve basis. Submit one press release and one image (at minimum) for each product. The press release should include a publishable website and/or phone number, as well as a media contact name and phone number. The image must be high resolution (at least 300 dpi), at least 4x5 inches and in jpg, tiff, eps or pdf format. Email submissions to ppnpro ducteditor@i5publishing.com or upload them at www.petproductnews.com. Chief Executive Officer Mark Harris Chief Strategy Officer, Digital and Advertising Daniel Ambrose Chief Financial Officer Nicole Fabian Chief Content Officer June Kikuchi Vice President, Consumer Marketing Dolores Whitlo Marketing Director Lisa MacDonald Production Manager Laurie Panaggio Controller Craig Wisda IT Director Charles Lee Human Resources Director Cherri Buchanan Administration and Facility Director Pam Corliss Sales Territories Western: P .O. Box 57900 Los Angeles, CA 90057-0900 (213) 385-2222 Fax (213) 385-0335 Publisher: Desireé Lynch Pacific Regional Manager: Marty Candiotta Advertising Sales Rep: Ziva Palmer Advertising Sales Rep: Erwin Laner Sales Assistant: Chan Ry Central: 477 Butterfield, Suite 200 Lombard, IL 60148 (630) 515-9493 Fax (630) 515-9784 Central Regional Manager: Bill Rauch Sales Assistant: Tina Pelletier Eastern: P .O. Box 6040 Mission Viejo, CA 92690 (949) 855-8822 Fax (949) 855-3045 Eastern Regional Manager: Trish Rodriquez Sales Assistant: Chan Ry Asia: aho@i5publishing.com Ph. 852-9680-6372 Fax 852-2334-8332 Regional Manager: Agnes Ho Pet Industry Expert Leslie May Looks to 2013 and Beyond By Clay Jackson Big-box stores and supermarkets will begin to devote more shelf space to healthier pet products, marketing consultant Leslie May predicted. May, the owner of Day-ton, Tenn.-based Pawsible Market-ing, also predicted on her blog in January more strategic mergers and acquisitions in the pet indus-try as well as an increased num-ber of co-branding, licensing and private-label affiliations. She identified what she called other ongoing and emerging trends in the multi-billion-dollar pet industry: • A shift will occur among pet product buyers—from Baby Boomers to younger, more tech-savvy Gen Xers and Millenials. • A flattening of the U.S. pet mar-ket will continue as Boomers age and forgo replacement ani-mals when pets die. • Younger pet owners, who are active on social media and have less brand loyalty, will look for companies that invite them into the development phase of prod-• Demand for U.S.-made products will rise. • A rise in complete wellness centers for pets will be part of a greater holistic approach to pet wellness. • Owners will ask for more and better pet healthcare insurance. • Services for aging pets, such as in-home hospice and senior care, will increase. • Healthier organic pet foods and treats, as well as species-and lifestyle-appropriate foods, will be in demand. • Pet services that offer conven-ience and one-stop shopping will be in greater demand. • Pet retailers looking to compete better will build a strong online presence to go with their brick-and-mortar operations. • U.S. pet product manufacturers will look to growing overseas markets, especially China, Japan, India, Brazil and Russia. “Opportunity abounds for those willing to change, adapt, reinvent and think outside the box,” May concluded. RETAIL ADVISORY BOARD 2012-2013 Renae & Scott Click Retailer of the Year Tomlinson’s, Austin, Texas Susan Parker, EVP/COO Cutter’s Mill Chalfont, Pa. Bob Smith Jungle Bob’s Reptile World Centerreach, N.Y. Greg Phillips & Joe Borzoni Gone to the Dogs Boutique St. Pete Beach, Fla. Andrew Kim & Mark Boonnark Healthy Spot Santa Monica, Calif. Mark Van Wye Zoom Room Los Angeles, Calif. Janene Zakrajsek & Rob Gaudio Pussy & Pooch Los Angeles, Calif. Jusak Bernhard & Jeffrey Manley TailsSpin Savannah, Ga. Cole Wolfson Petagogy Pittsburgh, Pa. Christopher Watts The Petropolitan Dallas, Texas AdreAnne & Andy Tesene Two Bostons Naperville, Ill. Laura Clark Wylie Wagg Arlington, Va. Leslie May and two of her Pawsible Marketing cohorts. ucts or services through social media interaction. • Businesses outside the industry increasingly will offer their own pet offerings. • More eco-friendly products and services will come to market. • Pet products will see a greater use of technology. • More intelligence-promoting pet toys, such as puzzles, will be introduced. Products included in Pet Product News International are for Occasionally, we make our subscriber list available to carefully information purposes only and do not constitute an endorse-screened companies that offer products and services that we ment by the magazine or its staff. believe would interest our readers. If you do not want to receive these offers and/or information, please write us at Privacy Policy, Pet Product News International (ISSN 1935-6323) is pub-P .O. 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Market Outlook

David Lummis

Fish, Birds, Reptiles and Small Animals: Critical Components of the U.S. Pet Market

Population-wise, dogs and cats represent the lion’s share of the U.S. pet market, numbering 141 million as of 2011. But it isn’t raining cats and dogs only. Another 116 million “other pets” inhabit American households, according to “Pet Population and Pet Owner Trends in the U.S.: Fish, Birds, Reptiles, and Small Animals,” a new firstedition report from Packaged Facts.

Accounting for the largest share of the nondog/ cat population are fish at 84.3 million, followed by birds at 11.4 million and reptiles at 3.9 million, plus a wide range of other pets, including about 5 million rabbits and hamsters. Between 2007 and 2012, the number of households owning fish, birds, reptiles and “other” animals showed a persistent decline, according to Experian Simmons national consumer surveys. However, pet ownership might have turned a corner in 2011, when the number of households declined for reptiles and “other” pets but increased for fish, birds, rabbits and hamsters.

This is, at least in part, good news for the nondog/ cat segment of the U.S. pet market. If this segment is to fully recover, however, marketers cannot rely on the same approaches used to woo dog and cat owners. Rather, they must adopt strategies that take into account the more youthful and multicultural profile of owners of pets other than cats and dogs.

These pet owners are, for example, much more likely than dog or cat owners to be under the age of 35 and much less likely to be non-Hispanic white. Pet owners without dogs or cats are three times as likely to live in an apartment and twice as likely to live in the Northeast, and they are 73 percent more likely to be Hispanic and 88 percent more likely to be non-Hispanic black or Asian. Given their relative youth, owners of fish, birds, reptiles and small animals are more engaged with social media than are pet owners on average, with bird owners 37 percent more likely to agree that they are prone to purchase products advertised on a social sharing website.

Dogs and cats are also the lion’s share of the U. S. pet market dollar-wise. As of 2012, they accounted for about $57 billion in U.S. sales of pet products and services compared with $3 billion for fish, birds, reptiles and other small pets. But the importance of the non-dog/cat population goes beyond their short-term dollar sales. These smaller and more affordable pets are often the entry point for children and young families, and upon the shoulders of these youngsters—to be converted, ideally, into life-long pet owners, including of dogs and cats—stands the future of the overall pet market.

David Lummis is the lead pet-market analyst for Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com. His latest report is “Pet Population and Pet Owner Trends in the U.S.: Fish, Birds, Reptiles, and Small Animals” (January 2013).

Read the full article at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/Market+Outlook/1321002/148349/article.html.

News Begins

Pet Industry Expert Leslie May Looks To 2013 And Beyond

by Clay Jackson

Big-box stores and supermarkets will begin to devote more shelf space to healthier pet products, marketing consultant Leslie May predicted. May, the owner of Dayton, Tenn.-based Pawsible Marketing, also predicted on her blog in January more strategic mergers and acquisitions in the pet industry as well as an increased number of co-branding, licensing and private-label affiliations.

She identified what she called other ongoing and emerging trends in the multi-billion-dollar pet industry:

• A shift will occur among pet product buyers—from Baby Boomers to younger, more techsavvy Gen Xers and Millenials.

• A flattening of the U.S. pet market will continue as Boomers age and forgo replacement animals when pets die.

• Younger pet owners, who are active on social media and have less brand loyalty, will look for companies that invite them into the development phase of products or services through social media interaction.

• Businesses outside the industry increasingly will offer their own pet offerings.

• More eco-friendly products and services will come to market.

• Pet products will see a greater use of technology.

• More intelligence-promoting pet toys, such as puzzles, will be introduced.

• Demand for U.S.-made products will rise.

• A rise in complete wellness centers for pets will be part of a greater holistic approach to pet wellness.

• Owners will ask for more and better pet healthcare insurance.

• Services for aging pets, such as in-home hospice and senior care, will increase.

• Healthier organic pet foods and treats, as well as species- and lifestyle-appropriate foods, will be in demand.

• Pet services that offer convenience and one-stop shopping will be in greater demand.

• Pet retailers looking to compete better will build a strong online presence to go with their brickand- mortar operations.

• U.S. pet product manufacturers will look to growing overseas markets, especially China, Japan, India, Brazil and Russia.

“Opportunity abounds for those willing to change, adapt, reinvent and think outside the box,” May concluded.

Clothing Executive Named CEO of Central Garden & Pet

John R. Ranelli was named president and CEO of Central Garden & Pet Co., a manufacturer and distributor of products under brands such as Aqueon, Zilla, Kaytee, Super Pet and Nylabone. Ranelli, whose appointment was to become effective Feb. 11, replaced Bill Brown as CEO, the Walnut Creek, Calif.-company announced in early January. Brown will remain chairman of Central Garden & Pet.

The new executive served as a Central Garden & Pet board member and most recently was CEO of Woolrich Inc., an outdoor clothing company based in Woolrich, Pa. He previously was CEO of the dinnerware and home accessories company Mikasa Inc. and of the optical company FGX International.

Brown called his successor “a leader on our board and a trusted partner.”

“His close to 40 years of experience in building consumer products companies will be invaluable as we position Central for the next phase of growth and continue our transition to an integrated branded consumer products company,” Brown said.

Ranelli, 65, signaled that he would continue Central’s investments in marketing and new products.

“I am confident that as we strengthen our customer relationships, develop stronger ties with the consumer and continue to improve our execution, we will deliver the sustainable,profitable growth that we expect of our company and create meaningful value for our shareholders,” Ranelli said.

New Phelps Owners Planning for Bright Future

Dog treat maker Phelps Industries LLC was sold to an investment group made up of Phelps management and Wafra Partners LLC, the new owners reported Jan. 11. Terms were not disclosed.

Based in Wakefield, Mass., and Rockford, Ill., Phelps makes treats and chews for sale in supermarkets and pet stores across the United States and internationally. The company makes in-house and privatelabel treats as well as goods on behalf of other manufacturers.

“Given our growth plans and the opportunities that lie in front of us, it was important for us to partner with a group that understood and appreciated our existing capabilities and team,” said Vin Foley, Phelps’ president. “Additionally, this transaction will provide us with the professional and financial support to take Phelps to the next level.”

Ryan Wierck, a managing director at New York-based Wafra, said the investors intend to fund “internal growth opportunities and follow- on acquisitions.”

“Phelps is the ideal platform on which to build a large, diversified manufacturer, importer and marketer of pet treats and chews and other products for household pets,” Wierck said. “We look forward to building on Phelps’ manufacturing and marketing capabilities.”

Bully Sticks Might Pack on Calories, Study Finds

Tufts and University of Guelph researchers reported Jan. 28 that many veterinarians and pet owners could not identify the source of bully sticks and did not realize that the popular dog treats quickly add calories to an animal’s diet. The study, published in the January issue of the Canadian Veterinary Journal, also noted that some of the bully sticks tested were contaminated by bacteria.

Bully, or pizzle, sticks are made from the uncooked, dried penis of a bull or steer.

The researchers, representing the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University and the University of Guelph, examined 26 bully sticks purchased from retailers in the United States and Canada and made by different manufacturers. Random testing of the bully sticks found that they contained from nine to 22 calories per inch, or 88 calories in the average 6-inch stick.

Eighty-eight calories is equal to 9 percent of the daily calorie requirements for a 50-pound dog and 30 percent for a 10-pound dog, the researchers stated.

“While calorie information isn’t currently required on pet treats or most pet foods, these findings reinforce that veterinarians and pet owners need to be aware of pet treats like these bully sticks as a source of calories in a dog’s diet,” said Lisa M. Freeman, DVM, Ph.D., Dipl. ACVN, a professor of nutrition at Tufts. “With obesity in pets on the rise, it is important for pet owners to factor in not only their dog’s food, but also treats and table food.”

She co-authored the paper with J. Scott Weese, DVM, DVSc, Dipl. ACVIM, a professor in the Department of Pathobiology at the University of Guelph, and Nicol Janecko, a research associate at the Canadian university.

All 26 treats were tested for bacterial contaminants. One stick contained Clostridium difficile; one had methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), a staph bacterium resistant to certain antibiotics; and seven had Escherichia coli, including one tetracycline-resistant sample. The researchers acknowledged the small sample size and that not all of the bacterial strains discovered are shown to infect humans.

The study included a 20-question Web-based survey designed to measure veterinarian and pet owner perceptions of dog foods and treats. More than 850 adults, mostly female dog owners, responded from 44 states and six countries.

“We were surprised at the clear misconceptions pet owners and veterinarians have with pet foods and many of the popular raw animal product-based pet treats currently on the market,” Freeman said. “For example, 71 percent of people feeding bully sticks to their pets stated they avoid byproducts in pet foods, yet bully sticks are, for all intents and purposes, an animal byproduct.”

When it came to identifying the source of bully sticks, the researchers said they were surprised. Only 62 percent of veterinarians knew that a bully stick came from a bull penis, compared to 44 percent of the general respondents.

Twenty-three percent of the respondents reported feeding bully sticks to their dogs.

Further research with a larger sample size is needed to determine whether the reported calorie content and contamination rate are representative of all bully sticks and other types of pet treats, the authors added.

Bully sticks can add calories and carry bacteria, university researchers report.

Backer Christmas Shows Set Through 2020

H. H. Backer Associates, which sponsors the annual Pet Industry Christmas Trade Show in Rosemont, Ill., announced Jan. 11 that the show will take place every September through at least 2020.

The trade show had been staged each October until this year. The 2013 exhibition is set for Sept. 20 to 22 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

The set dates for 2014 and beyond are Sept. 19 to 21, 2014; Sept. 18 to 20, 2015; Sept. 23 to 25, 2016; Sept. 15 to 17, 2017; Sept. 28 to 30, 2018; Sept. 20 to 22, 2019; and Sept. 25 to 27, 2020.

“We’re pleased to be able to confirm earlier show dates for eight consecutive years to make it easier for retailers to plan holiday orders and for exhibitors to deliver merchandise,” said Colette Fairchild, trade show director for H. H. Backer Associates.

Backer’s spring show is scheduled for April 9 to 11, 2014, in Atlantic City, N.J., and will be held every two years.

Heil Steps Down as President of United Pet Group

John A. Heil will retire March 31 as president of United Pet Group, a manufacturer of product lines such as Tetra, Marineland, Nature’s Miracle, Dingo, 8-in-1 and Furminator, parent company Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc. announced Jan 3. Heil is retiring for personal reasons and will stay on as a consultant to Spectrum CEO Dave Lumley, the company reported.

“John has made significant, valuable and lasting contributions to the growth and strategic development of our company,” Lumley said. “John recently completed the pet division’s multi-year global integration and reorganization, and the pet division delivered record sales and profits in fiscal 2012.”

As part of the reorganization, Barry Seenberg, vice president and general manager of United Pet North America, will assume responsibility for the division’s North American business and oversee global financial consolidation. Managing director Andreas Rouve will maintain responsibility for the European and Asian pet businesses.

Heil, 60, joined Spectrum Brands upon the company’s February 2005 acquisition of United Industries, where Heil had been serving as president and CEO of United Pet Group. He formerly worked 25 years at H.J. Heinz Co. In roles ranging from president and managing director of Heinz Pet Products to president of Heinz Specialty Pet.

Cincinnati-based United Pet Group recorded fiscal 2012 net sales of $616 million.

OurPet’s Wins Patent Suit

OurPet’s Co. Of Fairport Harbor, Ohio, reported Jan. 28 that it settled a patent infringement lawsuit filed against pet products competitor Bergan LLC.

The plaintiff accused Bergan, based in Monkey Island, Okla., of violating an OurPet’s patent for food and water bowls under the Durapet label. The utility patent, No. 8286589, was received in October and related to “non-skid material permanently bonded to the base of metal pet bowls.”

OurPet’s stated that it was compensated by Bergan and that Bergan agreed to stop selling specific rubber-bottomed bowls.

Abergan spokesperson declined to comment.

Chicken Treats Pulled From Shelves

Three manufacturers became entangled in product withdrawals or recalls in January when the Chinaraised chicken in some of their treats was found to contain unapproved residual antibiotics. Tests conducted by the New York State Department of Agriculture discovered the residue through “a new, reportedly more sensitive method,” the U.S. Food and Drug Administration reported.

The FDA added that the test results did not raise health concerns and were “highly unlikely to be related to the reports of illness FDA has received related to jerky pet treats.”

Milo’s Kitchen, a brand of San Francisco-based Del Monte Corp., voluntarily recalled Chicken Jerky and Chicken Grillers Home-style dog treats Jan. 9. The same day, St. Louis-based Nestlé Purina PetCare Co. Withdrew all Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch dog treats sold in the United States.

Nestlé Purina was careful to call its action a product “withdrawal” rather than a “recall” and noted that the products posed no health risks.

“Waggin’ Train and Canyon Creek Ranch products are safe to feed as directed,” the company stated. “However, due to regulatory inconsistencies among countries, the presence of antibiotic residue is technically considered an adulteration in the United States.”

The residue was measured in relatively low parts per billion, the company stated.

“These antibiotics are approved for use in poultry in China and other major countries, including European Union member states, but are not among those approved in the U. S.,” Nestlé Purina added.

More than two weeks later, on Jan. 25, Secaucus, N.J.-based Hartz Mountain Corp. removed two treats from store shelves: Chicken Chews and Oinkies Pig Skin Twists wrapped with chicken.

“Even though two-thirds of the products we tested did not contain antibiotic residues, we would rather be overly cautious by voluntarily withdrawing these products from the market,” the company stated.

No other products made by the three companies were affected by their actions.

White House Petition Seeks Legal Status for California Ferrets

While pet ferrets are illegal to own in California, many people keep them anyway.

LegalizeFerrets.org, an organization formed in 2005 with the goal of changing California law, started a petition Jan. 6 at Petitions.White House.gov, a website managed by the White House. The campaign needed 25,000 signatures by Feb. 5 but received only 2,294 a week before the deadline.

The White House promises an administration review of any petition that reaches the signature threshold.

The effort appeared to be falling short despite a new round of media coverage, including reports in the Los Angeles Times, Steve Dale’s Pet World, eNewsChannels and even the BBC.

Pat Wright formed Legalize Ferrets.org, based in La Mesa, Calif., after a bill that would have legalized ferrets got to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s desk in late 2004. Schwarzenegger vetoed the measure, citing the need for less bureaucracy and for an environmental impact report.

The environmental report was delivered in 2010, and a California Environmental Quality Act checklist followed a few months later.

“We’re asking them to give the issue a fair hearing,” Wright said. “It’s falling not on deaf ears, but on hostile ears. That’s why a little nudge from the White House, an acknowledgment that we’re being treated unfairly, would be extremely welcomed by California’s besieged ferret owners.”

All American Pet Feuds With Former Controller

By Ken Niedziela

Awar of words and a lawsuit have erupted between All American Pet Co. Inc. and its former controller, who accused company executives of overstating production and sales figures and misusing investor funds.

The Los Angeles manufacturer of all-natural food and wellness products for dogs blasted Eric Grushkin for what it called his “libelous statements and meritless accusations regarding its chief executive and president.”

The dispute became a legal matter Jan. 18, when All American Pet sued Grushkin in Los Angeles County Superior Court, accusing him of breach of contract, misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and computer fraud.

Grushkin could not be immediately reached to comment, but in a statement posted Jan. 16 on InvestorHub.com he spelled out why he leveled the accusations.

“Many people have questioned my motives for taking these actions, and I want those motivations to be known by everyone,” he wrote. “I believe that AAPT has developed quality products, and I believe that the company might be successful in the future, and I do not believe that that success would be possible with the current set of officers/directors.

“I also could no longer tolerate seeing investors, vendors and my fellow employees continue to be hurt financially by the repeated actions of these two individuals,” he added.

Grushkin’s accusations involve CEO Barry Schwartz, president Lisa Bershan and company news releases that announced production, distribution and sales milestones. The company makes high-protein NutraBar power bars for dogs, Pawtizer antibacterial wipes and sprays and Chompions dog food.

Among Grushkin’s allegations:

• In a statement released Sept. 27 and titled “No, Not a Million Bars a Month, Amillion Bars a Week!” the company raised its estimate of the number of stores that would stock its power bars by year’s end from 40,000 to 60,000. “Promising 40,000 retailers by year end was misleading,” Grushkin wrote. “A retraction of this statement should have been made when it became known that 40,000 stores was grossly overstated and totally unachievable.”

The company website in late January linked to sites operated by five retailers: Walmart, Amazon, Marshalls, TJ Maxx and Giant Eagle supermarkets, none of which showed NutraBar for sale. Amazon.Com offered Pawtizer products.

A spokesperson for Marshalls and TJ Maxx declined to comment. A Giant Eagle spokesperson said NutraBars were not sold in any corporate-owned stores, or about half of the chain’s 230 locations.

Aspokesperson for Bentonville, Ark.-based Wal-Mart Stores Inc. confirmed that NutraBars would be sold starting in February in about 1,000 of Walmart’s nearly 4,000 U.S. locations.

In a statement released Jan. 31, All American Pet reported it was “fulfilling its first purchase order with the world’s largest retailer,” and Schwartz added, “It took us a little longer than promised, but we did what we said we would do.”

• Schwartz stated in a news release Jan. 11 that “I am overseeing the production of millions of food bars and tons of treats to meet retailer demand.” According to Grushkin, the Manhattan, Kan., plant “does not have the most critical production items necessary to manufacture the dog bars as well as other important pieces of equipment.” Production runs in Manhattan on Jan. 9 to 11 “consumed less than 2. 7 tons of raw materials and thus produced less than 22,000 dog bar units,” Grushkin stated, adding, “No treats were produced [the previous week].”

• More than $1 million was “improperly converted to a Wells Fargo Bank account” belonging to a Nevada corporation “controlled by director Barry Schwartz.” “Transfers to this…account occurred during every month of my employment,” Grushkin added.

Schwartz declined to address specific allegations.

“Let me answer all those questions with a simple answer,” he said. “All the filings sent to the [U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission] were factual. And Eric Grushkin, before he became a disgruntled employee, was responsible for those filings.”

Asked whether he runs an honest, reputable company, Schwartz responded, “That’s exactly right.”

Grushkin reported that he was fired Jan. 10 and that “prior to my termination I requested the immediate resignations” of Schwartz and Bershan. He added that before his departure he “composed and delivered a letter…to all shareholders of record and as many private placement investors as I could contact by email.”

The company responded Jan. 11, calling Grushkin’s charges “reckless and unscrupulous.”

Study Calls Out Cats as Prolific Killers

By Clay Jackson

Backyard and feral cats are serial killers of small mammals and birds, according to a study published Jan. 29 in the journal Nature Communications. The study’s figures indicated that 2.4 billion birds and 12.3 billion small mammals, such as mice, voles, squirrels and rabbits are killed every year by U.S. cats, the researchers reported.

Those are median figures. The study’s bell curves top out at 5 billion and more than 25 billion, respectively, for birds and mammals.

“This study…demonstrates that the issue of cat predation on birds and mammals is an even bigger environmental and ecological threat that we thought,” said George Fenwick, Ph.D., president of the American Bird Conservancy in Washington, D.C.

Peter Marra and Scott Loss of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute and Tom Will of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds crunched numbers from 90 previous studies on cat predation to come up with their findings. While backyard cats kill their fair share, an estimated 80 million farm cats, strays and feral felines are responsible for 69 percent of bird mortality and 89 percent of mammal mortality, according to the study.

“Despite these harmful effects, policies for management of freeranging cat populations and regulation of pet ownership behaviors are dictated by animal welfare issues rather than ecological impacts,” Marra and his coauthors concluded.

Alley Cat Allies, a Bethesda, Md.-based feline advocacy group, called the findings “part of the continuing propaganda to vilify feral cats.” President and co-founder Becky Robinson added that the study was “bad science” and “a veiled promotion by bird advocates to ramp up the mass killing of outdoor cats.”

Robinson’s group favors Trap- Neuter-Return (TNR) over euthanasia as the best way to deal with millions of feral cats that roam the country.

“Because of the success of TNR, which stabilizes and then reduces the population, places where there were once large colonies of feral cats have seen those colonies fade away,” Robinson said.

“There is good reason for cities to change from ‘catch and kill’ to ‘neuter and return,’” she added.

Team Charles

Charles the Labradoodle has an entourage attending to him. Bathers: Brittany Bennett, Phil Mike, Alexandra Taylor Groomers: Lana LaBelle, Daisy Wilson, Amanda Brown Muddy Paws’ owner: Mary Anne Jacobson Charles’ owner: Daniel Painter Charles’ webmaster: Natalie Painter

Labradoodle to Liondoodle

How Muddy Paws Turns Charles into Charles the Monarch:

1. Bathe

2. Blow or fluff dry (de-curl the hair)

3. Cut shoulders to tail, face and legs short

4. Leave feet fluffy to create the illusion of lion paws

5. Hand-scissor hair on neck, chest and ears into mane

6. Comb through mane to get rid of matting

7. Dye mane, tail and feet

8. Brush out

News Briefly

KIBBLE CAPER: Mojave Desert Animal Rescue in Apple Valley, Calif., was burglarized twice the weekend of Jan. 5, according to a Los Angeles television station. Thieves absconded with more than $10,000 worth of supplies, including clothing, sleeping bags and toiletries for homeless residents and leashes, food and treats for their pets.

Read the full article at http://mydigitalpublication.com/article/News+Begins/1321004/148349/article.html.

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