FIRST-EVER COALITION OF PET INDUSTRY LEADERS BANDS TOGETHER TO CHAMPION PET OWNERSHIP Newly-formed Pet Leadership Council convenes in dallas to chart new activism
by TFH Magazine on November 20, 2013 at 12:44 pm
November 20, 2013 – Leaders of the industries and professions that serve American pet owners have banded together to engage positively and vigorously on the overarching issues that affect the 82.5 million American households enriched by pet ownership with the formation of the Pet Leadership Council.
The Pet Leadership Council members represent manufacturers, distributors, retailers, veterinarians and breeders – all of whom passionately and enthusiastically serve the cause of pet ownership and seek to improve the quality of life for pets and owners alike.
The Pet Leadership Council (PLC) met in Dallas on Wednesday, October 23 with 32 industry leaders in attendance. Companies such as Petco, Nestlé 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,” said Bob Vetere, President & CEO of American Pet Products Association and founding member of the Pet Leadership Council. “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 PLC intends to address over time:
- Advocating for the interests of pet owners and highlighting the virtues pet ownership brings to our society and our quality of life. “Promoting pet ownership is good for America – and for its citizens – and we will send that message everywhere we go,” said Vetere.
- 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. At the same time, the PLC will enthusiastically champion the vast majority of breeders who care deeply about animals, and who operate above those standards because they care about the animals they breed.
- Launching a full-throated defense for the right of American consumers to have choices when it comes to obtaining dogs and other pets, including the opportunity to buy the pet of their choice from a retail pet store. The remedy to the puppy mill problem must be clear standards and tough enforcement – not curtailing consumers’ right to buy the pet of their choice.
- Exploring opportunities to consolidate the industry’s myriad advocacy groups int a more concentrated and effective structure.
“The Pet Leadership Council was formed to give pet owners a voice. We will champion their virtues and assert their rights, and we will do this as a strong, unified front for the first time in industry history,” Vetere continued.
To aid in its mission, the PLC has retained Boston and Philadelphia based Allen & Gerritsen to assist in its communications.
“The Pet Leadership Council is a passionate organization that has something important to say – and that wants to start a conversation that needs to be heard,” said Allen & Gerritsen Principal Tim Reeves. “It is a privilege to help them fill that void.”