Row over selling puppies in pet shops rages on
The controversy over selling puppies in pet shops continues to rage on with TV vet Marc Abraham accusing the Pet Industry Federation of being the primary opposition to calls for a ban in stores...
The controversy over selling puppies in pet shops continues to rage on with TV vet Marc Abraham accusing the Pet Industry Federation of being the primary opposition to calls for a ban in stores.
The founder of PupAid says: “The huge pet shop demand for puppies sustains establishments that breed puppies in large quantities with minimal costs. Inevitably this results in low standards of welfare and is the generally accepted definition of a 'puppy farm.'
“These establishments must produce and sell large numbers of puppies to survive but do not have a sufficient customer base due to poor conditions and geographical location. As a result they depend on selling to pet shops.
“The baseline is that pet shops and intensive, low welfare breeding establishments are intrinsically linked as they need and support each other. Banning the sale of puppies in pet shops would greatly reduce, if not almost eliminate, the need for 'puppy farms' to exist.”
The TV vet's comments are made in a blog published on the Huffington Post website called: 'Why Does the Pet Industry Federation (PIF) Continue to Withhold Public Information?'
He claimed that PIF was still withholding public information, namely the criteria for the organisation’s Puppy Vendor Audit and identity of members that had successfully passed.
Marc added: “It is important to clarify that the term 'pet shop' is highly misleading as our research shows most premises selling puppies are actually private rather than traditional retail premises. The Pet Animals Act 1951 defines a pet shop very specifically: ‘The carrying on at premises of any nature (including a private dwelling) of a business of selling animals as pets.
“The fact that farms, riding stables, and residential homes can all be licensed as 'pet shops' means identifying 3rd party vendors becomes all but impossible for consumers. Mr Baker makes frequent reference to pet shop regulation but attempting to regulate the immense variety of premises that now sell puppies using the same basic parameters that apply to pet superstores and aquatic centres is never going to be effective.”
Marc finished his blog by saying: “We ask PIF to join with us, calling for an urgent review of areas where welfare is most compromised and bring pet retail into a new era.”
You can read the blog in full by clicking here
Pet Trade Xtra contacted the Pet Industry Federation but the organisation said it wasn't ready to give a response to claims made in the Huffington Post blog. It would be issuing a statement in due course.
Natures Menu, the Norfolk-based pet food manufacturer, is planning to build a new 90,000 sq ft factory costing £7 million.
The new factory would be based at Snetterton, about nine miles from the natural pet food company’s current base at Watton, and would created 30 extra jobs.
The expansion plans coincide with the firm’s impressive financial performance which has seen a 27% increase in turnover for the year ending March 31.
Natures Menu business development director Peter Roy said a growth in the natural food market had helped the business achieve a 36% year-on-year sales growth so far this year.
He said the new factory, which would be built on a 10-acre site, was in the planning stages, and if permission was granted it would be completed next year to run alongside the firm’s Watton operation.
“The pet food business for cats and dogs is worth £2.3bn in the UK, so the demand is there,” said Peter. “There is huge growth potential.”
Peter added that growth in natural pet food was partly thanks to trends in the US, which had filtered into the UK market. The market was worth 28% of total pet food sales in the US, but just 13% in the UK, allowing room for a greater market share.
If the new factory is given planning approval, Natures Menu would become the fifth largest manufacturer of pet food in the UK.
The firm, which feeds 110,000 cats and dogs across Europe, was founded in 1981 and sources its ingredients from farmers across Norfolk.
It won business of the year at last year’s EDP Business Awards, and has also collected national pet awards for its strong performance over the past few years.
The Times and Sophie Cornish have selected Pooch & Mutt as one of five businesses to focus on and help grow as a Ready Business finalist, following a day of pitches and deliberation at the national newspaper's head offices.
Guy Blaskey, founder of Pooch & Mutt, had the privilege to pitch to four judges including: notonthehighstreet.com founder Sophie Cornish, Times Business editor Richard Fletcher, business psychologist Tony Crabbe and Vodafone’s head of small and SME business, Jonathan Kini.
Pooch & Mutt will receive mentoring sessions from Sophie Cornish, founder of Not On The High Street, which is one of the UK’s most unique and established businesses. Cornish demands high quality and distinctive products which are integral to the ethos of her company and success.
There are many aspects of the company’s success which are comparable to the progress that Pooch & Mutt is currently experiencing, including over 100% year on year growth, strong presence in emerging export markets and an increasing public profile.
Sophie Cornish has been very successful in communicating with the public and media, which complement Pooch & Mutt’s growth in the public sphere.
Guy Blaskey states, “We’re really thrilled and honoured to have been chosen. I think Sophie is going to help challenge us and I can’t wait to see what she can do within Pooch & Mutt. It will be extremely helpful to have great advice and an established mentor”.
Pooch & Mutt’s mission is to help dogs lead happy, healthy lives by providing proper nutrition with natural, functional ingredients. Pooch & Mutt’s bestselling range of grain free, hypoallergenic foods include: Calm & Relaxed, Fresh Breath, Move Easy, Slim & Slender and Health & Digestion.
The company was chosen to receive mentoring based on their passion, drive and dedication to the growth of the business.
The mentoring will start in November, once it has been decided who will go into the process first.
As part of the process, Pooch & Mutt will be heavily featured in The Times, both online and offline, helping to develop brand recognition, spread the message that dogs should be fed healthy food and increasing sales in the pet trade industry.
As revealed in Pet Trade Xtra last week, The Apprentice screened on BBC1 last night saw candidates tasked with selling pet products to visitors at the London Pet Show.
Picking and then selling their creature comforts to customers turns out to be harder than expected.
To give you a flavour of what happened on week four of this series, here are some quotes from last night's programme:
Brett offers his support to the rabbit community: “We need to be upbeat on what the rabbit sector has to offer.”
Vana questions the hi-vis chicken jackets: “Is it actually about protecting the chicken when they are on the roads?”
April talks about the interesting names she has given her dogs: “My first dog was a Dachshund and her name was Anastasia Edwina Jackson and I now have a Yorkie called Diva.”
Mergim tries to charm the customers with his animal balloons: “Do you want to say hello to my giraffe?”
Claude’s thoughts on Ruth’s sales technique: “There’s a thing called golden silence in sales, where you make your pitch and then you’re quiet while the other people deliberate … she doesn’t stop talking … she confuses the customers. She’s not closing the sale. What she needs to do is to shut up a little bit more and sell that product.”
The two Co-Founders of Britain’s biggest manufacturer of eco-friendly pet products, Beco Pets, made their prime-time television debut on the hit TV show ‘The Apprentice’ last night (Wednesday).
George Bramble and his business partner Toby Massey (pictured above) received a VIP invitation to appear on the BBC entertainment series earlier this year.
The popular show, fronted by Lord Alan Sugar and watched by 7.4 million viewers, devoted an episode to focusing on the UK’s £4.6 billion pet sector, including a special visit to The London Pet Show.
Each week, the format of the reality game show invites a group of aspiring businessmen and women to compete for the chance to win a £250,000 investment from Lord Sugar to develop their chosen business project.
During the episode aired on BBC 1, Lord Sugar, who has reportedly amassed an estimated fortune of £1.04bn, and is ranked as the 101st richest person in the UK, challenged contestants to choose products that pet lovers attending the expo would be keen to buy.
Toby Massey, whose terrier dog Rupert was also invited to appear on the programme, said: “Everyone on the team at Beco Pets are massive fans of ‘The Apprentice’. We even have an Apprentice sweepstake running in the office to see who gets hired at the end.
“There is a lot of secrecy surrounding filming of the programme, so we are not going to say anything to give away or spoil any secrets. Let’s just say that we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
“Everyone at ‘The Apprentice’ was super-friendly and very professional to us when we attended the recording back in the spring. And, well, it’s not that often that Beco poop bags get an airing on BBC1, is it?”
Above: The award-winning Beco Pets team celebrate success at the PetQuip Awards in September.
Co-Founder George Bramble added: “As an entrepreneur, I was intrigued to meet other budding entrepreneurs on the show. I wasn’t entirely convinced that all of them fully understood how the UK pet trade works, but it was fun.
“A lot of hard work and preparation goes into making a television show like ‘The Apprentice’ and I’d also like to thank the producers for looking after us so well.”
In the programme, Lord Sugar is supported by his two aides, Karren Brady and Claude Littner, who are also both highly experienced business executives in their own right. It’s their job to monitor the candidates’ progress and report back to Lord Sugar. Both Brady and Littner are infamous for their plain speaking, sharp tongue and critical judgement, and they both have a fearsome reputation among the candidates.
But George Bramble (pictured above) said he was “surprised” during filming, and his experience of meeting them both turned out to be very different.
He said: “We met both Karren Brady and Claude Littner during filming for the show and both of them were utterly charming, in stark contrast to their television personas, which can be a little stern at times. I was quite surprised.”
Beco Poop Bags have proved a huge hit for the company, which was founded in 2009. The bags, which are fully degradable and extra-strong, have sold in dozens of countries around the world and have also helped Beco Pets win awards for export achievement.
The Beco Pets duo were also invited to attend a recording of the BBC’s follow-up programme ‘The Apprentice: You’re Fired!’, which is hosted by comedian Jack Dee.
Film footage from the first PATS show at Telford International Centre in September can now be viewed on video.
The exhibition, which broke all records in terms of the number of exhibitors, visitors and new products showcased, is captured in a special film commissioned by organisers Impact Exhibitions.
Gordon Thomas said: “This short video sums up what people thought of our first show at the Telford International Centre. We’ve had some great feedback from both visitors and exhibitors, and we believe the film captures the mood of the pet industry towards this exhibition.
A total of 2,036 visitors went through the doors at Telford International Centre, which was 6% higher than PATS Harrogate last year and the first time the two-day show had broken the 2,000 mark.
On the video both visitors and exhibitors give their reaction to the show, and they include Dr Trude Mostue, who starred in the TV hit show ‘Vet School’. She was exhibiting at PATS for the first time and she said on camera: “This is the perfect place to launch my new product, the KrillBar. I’m so glad I prioritised this show.”
The video will be uploaded to the PATS website www.patshow.co.uk and it can now be viewed at https://vimeo.com/141896219
Dates for the diary
PATS Sandown 2016 – Sandown Park, Esher, 22-23 March
PATS Telford 2016 – Telford International Centre, 25-26 September
Dates and venue fixed for AQUA 2017
Following a record-breaking show in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers earlier this month, AQUA has confirmed it will return to Telford International Centre in 2017...
Following a record-breaking show in terms of exhibitor and visitor numbers earlier this month, AQUA has confirmed it will return to Telford International Centre in 2017.
The latest edition of the UK’s largest and water gardening trade exhibition was hailed as a massive success by both suppliers and retailers with many exhibitors already stating their intention to return in 2017 when the event will take place on October 18-19th.
Simon Kilroy, CEO of KoralSea, summed up the mood of exhibitiors when he said: “We had a great response at AQUA 2015 and have been flat out ever since with stores seeking details of our range. We’re already looking forward to 2017.”
A total of 1,711 visitors attended AQUA 2015, a 9% increase on 2013. Added to the fact that this year’s event attracted the highest number of exhibitors (more than 80), there’s clear evidence the show was a huge success for everyone concerned.
“AQUA is a great showcase for a thriving UK market,” said Matthew Bubear, CEO of CASCO Europe. “It attracts a high-calibre of visitor and is right up there with other international shows. It just keeps getting better.”
Mark Winter, of Aqua One, added: “This industry is full of innovation and it needs an event like this to showcase everything that is being launched.”
Visiting retailers echo the positive comments from suppliers and agree the industry deserves a successful and high profile event like AQUA.
Peter Carey, the Aquatic Operations Manager at Pets at Home, said: “It seems to get even better every year. In a time when many trade shows are in heavy decline, or being cancelled, this show goes from strength to strength. I find it hugely valuable as it gives me a chance to catch up with all my suppliers in one place, and to see what is new and upcoming in the aquatics world. The evening gala event is an excellent opportunity to informally network and form new connections, which over the years I have been coming to AQUA, have proven hugely valuable. I am very much looking forward to the next show in 2017.”
And Jerry Arnold, managing director of Seapets, said: “This year’s AQUA exceeded my expectations in every way. It’s well worth the time and effort of every aquatic retailer to visit and it seemed as though they did.”
Organiser Annie Foord admitted she was delighted with the enthusiasm shown by exhibitors and visitors to our biennial event. “The record-breaking attendance proves that the format of AQUA is continuing to deliver the audience our exhibitors have come to expect from the largest show of its kind in the UK.”
More reaction to AQUA 2015 can now be seen on a special video of the event which can be found on www.aquatelford.co.uk or https://vimeo.com/143149628
Pets at Home will open a new £300,000 store in Clitheroe, Lancashire tomorrow (Friday) with the creation of nine new jobs.
The company received more than 800 applications for the jobs, which include new grooming and veterinary positions.
The Groom Room at the store will offer a wide range of services including full grooming, bath and blow dry, puppy grooming and nail clipping, which are all important to a pet’s health and wellbeing.
Area manager Gill Parry said: “There has always been a strong demand from Clitheroe pet owners for Pets at Home to come to town, and we’re very pleased to have been able to grant them their wish and open a brand new, purpose built store on Whalley Road.
“Pets at Home is committed to recruiting from the local area and I’m pleased we’ve found a team of talented individuals in Clitheroe. They’re all extremely passionate about pets and can’t wait to get started.”
Applicants go through a number of stages to assess their compatibility for the role. Those recruited are given the option to gain specialist qualifications in pet care during their career with Pets at Home.
Store manager Zofia Sulinski said: “It’s been a busy few months and now my team and I can’t wait to open the doors and welcome our new customers and their pets to the store.”
Hancock the superhero cat survives horror fall
Feline saved by PDSA vets after breaking two legs in 40ft plunge
A cat who shares his name with a Hollywood superhero survived a horror 40ft fall from a third floor window - and was back on four paws again within 24 hours...
A cat who shares his name with a Hollywood superhero survived a horror 40ft fall from a third floor window - and was back on four paws again within 24 hours.
One-year-old Shinji Hancock seems to share his movie namesake’s magic after amazing PDSA vets with his fighting spirit and powers of recovery – just like the superhero Hancock played by actor Will Smith.
The black-and-white cat was rushed to PDSA’s Stoke Pet Hospital by his owner Hannah (21), after a neighbour saw him fall from the kitchen window.
PDSA vets x-rayed him and discovered Shinji had broken his two front legs. Hannah, of Clayton, Newcastle-under-Lyme, was warned he would have to undergo emergency surgery to repair his shattered limbs.
Discussing the ordeal Hannah said: “When we got to PDSA I was absolutely hysterical and so shocked at what had happened.
“The vet team were amazing and managed to calm me down and put me at ease. I was so worried while the operation was taking place but thankfully Shinji was in good hands. I can’t thank PDSA enough for everything they’ve done, they’ve saved Shinji’s life and I can never repay them for that.”
PDSA Senior Vet, Duncan Senior, said it was a complex operation to perform:
“Thankfully we only see a very small number of cats who have been unlucky enough to break two legs at the same time.”
“Shinji’s x-rays showed clear breaks and his surgery was complex because of where the bone had fractured, but he had a lot of fighting spirit. Just 24 hours after the operation he was up on his feet again, albeit with the external fixators holding his broken bones in place. He’s a very strong cat and he’s doing remarkably well.”
Hannah said Shinji’s love of watching birds had probably led to his fall, but said she was now keeping a much closer eye on her curious cat:
“Shinji will often make a clicking noise at the birds while watching them through the window and he must have somehow pushed it open to try and chase them and fallen.
“Despite everything that’s happened he still likes to watch them but we’ve ensured the windows are locked and secure now so he can’t do it again.”
PDSA vets said Shinji is due to have his fixators removed in a few weeks’ time and they are hopeful he will go on to make a full recovery.
PDSA is educating pet owners on important aspects of pet health, including dangers around the home and garden. This work is being supported thanks to a £550,000 funding award from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. For more pet care tips log onto www.pdsa.org.uk/pethealth
Pet owners could see their insurance costs rise
A family with two cars, a pet and medical insurance could see their insurance costs surge by around £100 a year after a tax increase comes into force at the weekend, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is warning...
A family with two cars, a pet and medical insurance could see their insurance costs surge by around £100 a year after a tax increase comes into force at the weekend, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) is warning.
Millions of people, including motorists, home owners and pet owners face seeing their insurance costs increase.
The standard rate of Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) - the tax paid each time an insurance policy is purchased in the UK - will increase from 6% to 9.5% from November 1, as announced in the summer Budget.
The ABI said the change will affect 7.3 million car policies, 4.7 million household policies, three million pet policies and three million private medical insurance policies.
Any of the affected insurance policies with a start date after October 31 will have IPT charged at the new rate.
The ABI warned that the change is likely to add:
- Nearly £13 to the average comprehensive motor insurance policy
- More than £10 to the average combined building and contents coverMore than £10 to average pet insurance
- More than £40 to average private medical insurance
James Dalton, director of general insurance policy at the ABI, said: “Millions of people face being hit in the pocket by this rise.”The increase is expected to bring in an additional £8.1 billion for the Treasury by 2021.
Wheelchair tennis star and Paralympic hopeful Lauren Jones has agreed a sponsorship deal with Pets Corner.
The family run business and ethical pet retailer has pledged to provide Lauren’s assistance dog in training, Koda, with food for the next five years.
Twenty-year-old Lauren, who was paralysed from the waist down after an accident in 2009, only started playing wheelchair tennis just over four years ago after picking up a racket during her rehabilitation at Stoke Mandeville Hospital.
Since then Lauren’s talent and determination have shone through and she has risen quickly through the ranks achieving number 1 in the world junior players and World Junior Champion in 2013, and peaking at 25th in the world’s women in 2014.
Following an injury, Lauren was forced to take an 18 month break from the sport and was only declared fit to return to the tennis circuit in April. During her recovery period Lauren made the decision to find a puppy that could eventually accompany her on tours and assist with a number of tasks that she is unable to carry out alone.
After searching for the ideal doggy companion, Lauren found Koda – a Malamute Rottweiler crossbreed. Working with training and behaviour specialists, Doodley Dogs in Storrington, West Sussex, Lauren and Koda have spent the last six months preparing for a life travelling the world together as Lauren aims to conquer a non-stop schedule of tennis tournaments and fulfil her dream of qualifying for Rio in 2016.
Commenting on their respective journeys to the Paralympics, Lauren said: “It’s great to be sharing this amazing journey with Koda as we work towards achieving GB team status for the 2016 Paralympics.
"Koda is the first assistance dog on the circuit so she is certainly a unique addition to the sport. She still has six months more of training to complete before she can claim to be a fully-fledged assistance dog, however she has already learnt so much and is on schedule to complete her training by February.
"Pets Corner’s sponsorship is a very welcome contribution. Their help means that Koda will be able to support me while I focus every effort on improving my game and getting to the top.”
Dean Richmond, Managing Director at Pets Corner, added:c“Lauren is an inspirational young lady with an outstanding amount of determination and talent.
"We are absolutely delighted to be supporting her and her gorgeous dog, Koda. Working with home-grown stars of the future like Lauren and Koda is a perfect reflection of our passion for backing British wherever possible, and our belief that businesses have a responsibility to communities. We wish Lauren and Koda lots of luck for the future.”
To find out more and to follow Lauren and Koda on their path to the Paralympics visit www.petscorner.co.uk/sponsorship
Pet food brand IAMS issue fireworks advice
Veterinary Training Manager at IAMs, Kellie Ceccarelli, has put together some top tips on how pet owners should comfort and prepare their animals ahead of fireworks night...
Veterinary Training Manager at IAMs, Kellie Ceccarelli, has put together some top tips on how pet owners should comfort and prepare their animals ahead of fireworks night.
The sound of fireworks can be both frightening and distressing for pets. Noise phobias can affect cats and dogs of any age, breed, gender or neutering status. Kittens, puppies and elderly pets, as well as those with fearful temperaments or who have suffered a traumatic experience are also more likely to be sensitive to the loud bangs. In dogs, some breeds are more susceptible to noise phobias, such as German Shepherd Dogs, Border Collies and other herding breeds.
Kellie Ceccarelli shares her top ten ways to comfort pets, and avoid unnecessary stress this bonfire night.
1. Avoid displays: Noise phobic dogs should not be taken to firework displays in the hope that they’ll become used to the noise. Doing so will probably intensify their fears. Similarly, with cats, keep them safely in doors on bonfire night.
2. Modify the noises your pet can hear: Dogs can be positively trained to wear noise-cancelling headphones. If your pet suffers noise phobia you could try playing distracting sounds from your TV or radio, but be sure not to play it so loud that the background music itself worsens the problem.
3. Close doors and windows: Make sure all blinds, shutters, and curtains are shut during a fireworks event. Also, make sure your cat is micro-chipped in case he does escape as frightened and confused animals can easily get lost
4. Don’t use punishment: Avoid shouting at your pet if he reacts to the sound of fireworks. This will only make him more anxious and he may even react aggressively towards you.
5. Create a safe haven: for your pet with familiar, comforting items such as their blanket, cushion, a couple of toys and some treats. Encourage your pet to regularly spend time here before the fireworks season begins, then on the day of the event, attempt to settle your pet in this space a couple of hours in advance. Cats may choose their own hiding place as this is where they feel most secure.
6. Medication: Your vet may prescribe anxiolytic medication to aid treatment and minimise your pet’s suffering. The goal here is to reduce the intensity of your pet’s fears. These medications should be used in combination with a behaviour modification plan outlined by your vet.
7. Pheromones and homeopathic treatments: There is no scientific evidence to prove these are useful, but they’re worth investigating in less serious cases and before gaining a prescription from your vet.
8. Provide comfort: Try to be home or have someone stay with your pet during a fireworks event. It may help some dogs if you hold them firmly and lean into them. But only do this with dogs that approach you first and if you think it will benefit them. Release them if they struggle. Long firm massage strokes may also help. Whereas, fearful cats prefer to be left on their own.
9. Anxiety Wrap: There is no scientific evidence to show that wearing an Anxiety Wrap reduces anxiety amongst fireworks-sensitive pets. However, wearing a wrap may provide reassurance and comfort to pets that are used to wearing them. Just keep an eye on them in case of over-heating.
10. Play CDs of firework sounds: In some cases, behaviour modification techniques such as desensitisation and counter conditioning to sounds from a CD are effective. This involves getting your pet used to the sound of fireworks on a CD at a volume that doesn’t provoke a fearful or panicked reaction. Gradually work your way through the CD, offering rewards at various milestones, with the aim of teaching your to pet to be comfortable with the sounds.
Bonfire Night Warning: Garden hedgehogs at risk
The team at a leading cottage holiday provider and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society are urging Britons to stay cautious when building and lighting bonfires this year, in a bid to try and cut down on the number of hedgehogs being burnt alive in UK gardens after burrowing into pre-built bonfires this winter...
The team at a leading cottage holiday provider and the British Hedgehog Preservation Society are urging Britons to stay cautious when building and lighting bonfires this year, in a bid to try and cut down on the number of hedgehogs being burnt alive in UK gardens after burrowing into pre-built bonfires this winter.
After spending the last few months assisting a Devonshire based animal sanctuary crowdfund more than £2,500 in order to help rescue, treat and house injured hedgehogs, a UK-based holiday letting company is aiming to raise awareness of the dangers that bonfires pose to the creatures as November 5th approaches.
Using a themed infographic to outline the potential dangers Hedgehogs face during this time of the year, holidaycottages.co.uk are keen to highlight to British homeowners the simple steps they can take in order to prevent finding the unwelcome surprise of an injured or dead hedgehogs the night after any bonfire celebrations planned this year.
The team are also urging families to help hedgehogs find somewhere safe, warm and dry to rest and hibernate in by encouraging them to build their own hedgehog homes in order to give vulnerable creatures somewhere to keep shelter as winter approaches.
Please find a link here for an extensive selection of images of hedgehogs from the sanctuary enjoying one of the example hedgehog homes already built.
James Morris, Managing Director of holidaycottages.co.uk, made the following comment on the news of the bonfire night warning:
“As hedgehogs are nocturnal creatures known to travel up to two miles each night, bonfire night is a particularly dangerous time of the year for them. We have created our infographic in order to give some simple advice and tips to Britons planning to hold a party in the run up to Guy Fawkes night.”
He continued: “If you ever find a hedgehog out in your garden during the day you can contact either a local recuse centre or the British Hedgehog Preservation Society. As the animals are lactose intolerant, do not try to feed them milk, but instead attempt to source them caterpillars, beetles, earthworms, snails and slugs. Failing that, they are also able to digest cat biscuits or meat-based cat food.”
Fay Vass, Chief Executive of the British Hedgehog Preservation Society (www.britishhedgehogs.org.uk) said: "We are delighted that holidaycottages.co.uk is highlighting the plight of hedgehogs at this time of year, the more people we can reach with this message the better. Bonfire piles look like 5 star hotels to hedgehogs, so please do check carefully and when lighting light from one side only so as to provide an escape route for anything you may have missed.
Armitage Pet Care, the manufacturer behind the popular Rotastak brand, has launched a new range of small animal housing called ‘Home Zone’.
The Home Zone range is a bright and colourful collection of central units and interchangeable accessories suitable for hamsters, gerbils and mice. Owners can choose from a selection of four different main home styles (Starter, Maxi, Triple Pod and Cage) with RRPs between £29.99 and £42.99 depending on size.
The 10 fun-filled, interactive add-on units and accessories can be attached to any of the main units in a variety of ways to create a truly unique home design.
Armitage Pet Care will provide trade partners with eye-catching POS display, including a board featuring Home Zone branding to position in the relevant shelving area, allowing sample versions of each home in the collection to be kept out on display for customers to see, touch and feel.
A simple-to-use flip-book demonstrating how different layouts can be created, as well as offering ideas for how to extend homes, will also be provided. This can be placed next to the display unit for customers to look through.
Full details of the Home Zone range will soon be available to view and download from the Rotastak website. In-depth product information, instruction downloads, and inspirational images of amazing layouts will all be featured online.
A series of short video clips showing more detailed assembly instructions and a demonstration of a complex layout being constructed will also be available to view on the new site.
For further details call the sales hotline on 0844 375 7001, or email email@example.com.
Radio Systems Corporation, owner of the PetSafe brand and SportDOG brand, has appointed Therese Bosson to the position of Customer Operations Manager for Europe.
Therese will be heading up the Customer Operations team, with responsibility for the overall direction, coordination and evaluation of customer care for Europe. She will also ensure that high levels of customer service across European teams are maintained and strengthened if required.
With a strong track record in managing multiple customer service teams, Therese previously worked for Orica Chemnet in New Zealand, in which she lead the team to a national award for ‘Best Contact Centre in New Zealand.’
Therese said: “The challenging and exciting role of Radio Systems’ Customer Operations Manager is exactly what I’ve been looking for. Radio Systems is a dynamic company to work for and I’m very much looking forward to my new role.”
Radio Systems Corporation Vice President - International, Brad van der Veen, added: 2015 has been a great year for Radio Systems and we’ve made a few strategic appointments to ensure future growth. Therese’s role is key in helping to maintain high levels of customer care and we’re delighted to welcome her onboard.”
Radio Systems Corporation re-located its European headquarters including its multilingual customer services centre to Dundalk in 2012. There are currently 27 people based at the European operation in Dundalk, which trades as Radio Systems PetSafe Europe Limited.
Marion Boyd and her staff celebrated the 40th birthday of Marion’s Pet Shop & Dog Parlour in Middlesbrough by dressing up in animal onesies and having their faces painted.
They also held a raffle and gave out balloons to children.
“We are celebrating 40 years in business which is a rarity these days,” said Marion, who opened the shop in 1975.
“We also sold cupcakes in aid of the Great North Air Ambulance, who we have raised over £1,000 for over the years.”
Bethan Fitzgerald took home gold in the scooter event at the 2015 European Canicross Federation Championships held at Bowland Trails, Perthshire.
Bethan and husband Daniel race Scandinavian sled dogs(a precise combination of Norwegian Pointer, Greyhound and Alaskan Husky), an impressive athletic breed developed over many years for its speed as well as its pulling power.
She says: “The trail was hilly and thanks to a few days of rain, had some good muddy areas, this was a test of strength and fitness for both dog and athlete.
"Looking around in the start shoot, I couldn't help but look at how athletic the other dogs were and how long legged the human athletes were. But not to worry, our dogs were looking just as good - lean, shiny coated and full of muscle.
"The trail was hard with steep hills but our superstar, Charlie pulled like a train. He is known as the mud monster so I had to just let go of the brakes and go for it.
Charlie and I managed to storm way ahead of the competition and brought home gold.”
Not to be outdone Daniel and his bike dog Harry achieved 7th place in the men's bike class.
The National Sled Dog Sports Centre hosted the event on behalf of the British Sleddog Sports Federation, with the major financial and dog food product sponsor for the event being CSJ Specialist Canine Feeds.
For more photos and stories about Bethan and Danny’s other exciting wins visit http://www.csjk9.com/profiles/bethan-and-daniel-fitzgerald_p1217.html