A Note From President, Bob Vetere
Another Global Pet Expo come and gone, what a great 2018 it was. The Show was a success with 1,164 exhibitors, 272 first time exhibitors, 3,523 booths, 352,300 square feet and 6,508 buyers. It’s hard to believe that there are plans for the Show to grow even more in 2019!
Besides the big numbers, one of the outcomes from Global Pet Expo was the release of the consumer perception research we’ve been working on. The results present many opportunities for us as an organization. The research shows that consumers have neutral feelings towards the overall industry when welfare is included as part of the industry. But there are challenges with perceptions of some segments of the industry itself. But a key finding is and that most pet owners just want to take care of their animals and they want the industry to do the same. While PLC awareness may be low, we now know that consumers are open to hearing from a collective group once we’ve established their trust as a community that cares about pets.
Also, if you haven’t seen Kim Kavin’s expose on rescues purchasing dogs from auctions in the Washington post that ran yesterday, you’ll see that this article reinforces the fact that there are not enough dogs available in shelters and rescues and the need for responsible breeders and oversight. PIJAC has issued a call to action urging the USDA and state authorities to ensure that just like breeders, shelters and rescues are also properly regulated and transparent.
As always, it’s great to see the work being done by individual members and I hope you enjoy catching up with one another’s efforts with the articles below.
Dog Rescuers, Flush with Donations, Buy Animals from the Breeders they Scorn
An effort that animal rescuers began more than a decade ago to buy dogs for $5 or $10 apiece
from commercial breeders has become a nationwide shadow market that today sees some rescuers, fueled by Internet fundraising, paying breeders $5,000 or more for a single dog.
The result is a river of rescue donations flowing from avowed dog saviors to the breeders, two groups that have long disparaged each other. The rescuers call many breeders heartless operators of inhumane “puppy mills” and work to ban the sale of their dogs in brick-and-mortar pet stores. The breeders call “retail rescuers” hypocritical dilettantes who hide behind nonprofit status while doing business as unregulated, online pet stores.
Leading Companion Animal Advocacy Group Condemns Misleading Rescue, Shelter Practices Uncovered by The Washington Post!
A leading companion animal advocacy group representing pet owners and pet care professionals called for federal and state authorities to address the practices of 86 rescues and shelters uncovered by a Washington Post report.
“The Washington Post’s report on shelters and rescues buying dogs from auctions and characterizing them as ‘rescues’ is disturbing but unfortunately not surprising,” said Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) President Mike Bober. “At least 86 groups from across the country have engaged in this practice, including several named in the Post’s well-researched article.”
Labrador Retriever Remains Favorite Dog Breed; French Bulldogs Climb Ranks
The Labrador retriever has long been the preferred breed of American dog owners, and that hasn’t changed.
The Labrador has held the top spot every year since the American Kennel Club began tracking the most popular breeds in 1991. The AKC recently released its 2017 rankings, and the German shepherd retained the second-place position that it has steadily held for several years. The golden retriever ranked third out of the 190 breeds mentioned.
Beyond Gadgets and Gizmos
It seems the fitness tracker craze isn’t reserved for people. America’s seemingly endless love and fascination with pets has sparked a new trend: wearables. What impact this increasingly popular animal-centric technology will have on the practice of veterinary medicine remains to be seen.
A Shared Vision for the Human-Animal Bond
Ask any pet owner and they’ll agree, the relationship they have with their pets—the human-animal bond—is powerful. Their pets make them feel better physically and mentally. While individual stories are impactful, they are simply not enough if we truly want to make society a better, healthier place for pets and people.
Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference Experiences Attendance Growth at 2018 Show
Atlanta Pet Fair & Conference, which was held March 8-11 at the Georgia International Convention Center, saw a nearly 5 percent increase in attendance this year. Produced by World Pet Association (WPA), the specialty event is a trade show and conference for professional pet stylists and service professionals. The growing show provided grooming professionals with access to the latest products, education, pets and employee safety training, and networking to ensure they have the tools and insights to operate successful businesses, said show organizers.
Zoetis has long been dedicated to protecting the human-animal bond, and now it is introducing a new campaign to promote a growing body of research that shows how important that bond is to human health. The Pet Effect campaign aims to raise awareness about how pets make people healthier and how, by extension, veterinary professionals are key contributors to human health and to public health. Zoetis has partnered with the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI) to publicize this research.