Tag Archives: pets

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UA looks to launch veterinarian program

University of Arizona officials want the Tucson-based school to establish a veterinary medical program and are asking the Legislature for a $250,000 state appropriation for an initial study.

Arizona now has no veterinary medicine school, but the state subsidizes some students who attend Colorado State University.

A National Research Council report issued last May concluded there’s no national shortage of veterinarians.

However, Agriculture and Life Sciences Dean Shane Burgess said the proposed veterinarian program would address shortages for large-animal vets and in vets for public health, disease research and food safety.

A veterinarian program proposal 20 years ago included building a veterinarian hospital and had a $200 million price tag.

The current proposal is based on a model in which students would meet residency requirements at private veterinary centers and clinics, the Arizona Daily Star reported Monday.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences already operates a ranch, an equine center and a Food Products and Safety Laboratory.

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Family Promise for Pets Helps Homeless Families Keep Their Pets

On October 1, 2012, at 3 p.m., a rope-cutting ceremony, complete with adorable pets, will take place at Family Promise for Pets, Arizona’s first emergency shelter for homeless families with pets. Countless pets are surrendered when their families fall on hard times and lose their homes. Homeless shelters have only offered space to people and not their pets– until now. PetSmart donated more than $33,000 to Family Promise of Greater Phoenix to create a pet area called Family Promise for Pets, complete with yards, crates and kennels as well as free food, spay/neuter services and vaccinations for pets of all kinds.

Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, a local not for profit organization that helps homeless families get back on their feet, has teamed up with Phoenix-based PetSmart Inc. to create Family Promise for Pets, located at, 7221 E. Belleview Street in Scottsdale. Karen Olsen, founder of Family Promise national organization, will be present to see this new program open it’s doors. Also the Mayor of Scottsdale W.J. “Jim” Lane, local PetSmart and Family Promise representatives will be on-hand at the Family Promise for Pets location to kickoff this exciting project.

Ted Taylor, director of Family Promise, said, ”We couldn’t have done this without PetSmart. Not only have they donated funds to get this project off the ground, they have volunteered their time to get this first emergency homeless shelter pet-ready.” He added, “This is exciting because it is the first of its kind in Arizona that allows our homeless families the option to keep their pets close to them while they work to get back on their feet and become self-sufficient.”

Family Promise for Pets anticipates serving 25 families with pets within the next 12 months, and their goal is to achieve a seventy percent success rate of graduating families into sustainable housing with their pets.

Offering pets a home so that they are not separated from their families helps ease the stress of all family members during their housing crises and decreases the number of pets potentially surrendered to already capacity-challenged animal shelters. Keeping their pet eliminates one significant disruption from the family’s rapidly changing lives and relieves the sense of abandonment of their beloved pets.

“This is not only an important day for PetSmart and Family Promise — it is a great milestone for our community as a whole,” said Joe O’Leary, PetSmart’s Executive Vice President of Merchandising, Supply Chain and Marketing. “Thanks to the amazing and truly innovative work of Family Promise, families with pets finally have somewhere to turn. It is a really proud day for all of us at PetSmart.”

PetSmart: Pets Hotel

PetSmart: Pampered Pooches = Profits

PetSmart now has a new trick up its sleeve: five-star pet hotels.

PetSmart, the largest chain of pet supply stores in the U.S., is undeniably a market force to be reckoned with. Pet parents have been pulling dog biscuits and kitty litter off PetSmart’s shelves since the company opened its doors in 1987. Since then, the retail conglomerate with more than 38,000 employees has expanded its predominantly “dog-centric” products and services to meet the needs of customers with cats, horses, fish, birds and more.

The first in-store PetHotel opened in 2002 and has proven to be PetSmart’s fattest cash cow, as it can increase individual store revenue by 29 percent.

The five-star quality boarding exclusively for dogs and cats offers salon luxuries that compete with those of people hotels: a shampoo, massage and blow dry package, hair brushing, nail trimming. Holiday waiting lists have exceeded 400, and due to robust demand, PetSmart plans to add more PetHotels, growing its current 90 to 292 by 2010. Ultimate build-out is expected to be 540.

“(PetHotels are) on fire now,” says PetSmart Chairman and CEO Philip L. Francis.

But market dominance isn’t guaranteed or permanent. Despite soaring success with PetHotels and a revenue of $4.3 billion in 2006, PetSmart recently reported sales and earnings will be lower than predicted for 2007. It forecasts third-quarter earnings of 17 to 20 cents per share, with yearly earnings coming in at $2.02 to $2.07 per share. That’s down from initial earnings predictions of 21 to 23 cents per share in the third quarter and $2.08 to $2.10 per share for the year.

Hence the importance of PetHotels to PetSmart’s bottom line. Francis says he anticipates pet parenting will peak in 2020. As a result, PetSmart started a two-year market research endeavor to discover other industry needs it can meet. He says PetSmart might provide in-home and in-office services in the future, such as poop scooping and aquarium care in places of business.

“Success” is a word that takes on a different meaning depending on who you ask. Francis summed it up in three letters: TLC, or total lifetime care for the pet and parent.

The company’s nonprofit PetSmart Charities Inc. started in 1994 and is fundamental to PetSmart’s overall mission, as its adoption programs help alleviate pet overpopulation. PetSmart has saved more than three million lives to date, or one life every two minutes, through adoption programs such as the one in which Francis got his own dog, Bit O’Honey, a mixed breed third in line to be euthanized.

Despite PetSmart’s positive impact on pet adoption, it has received criticism recently because it’s considering selling rabbits, one of the most abandoned animals in the U.S.

From July to December 2007, 25 PetSmart stores out of about 1,000 sold rabbits as part of its own study to learn if this is a feasible new market. Based on findings, PetSmart may decide to sell rabbits at specific locations. “There are no adoptable rabbits in some towns,” says Francis, explaining the company’s decision.

PetSmart wouldn’t release the locations of all test stores, but confirmed three are in Arizona: Phoenix, Glendale and Tucson.

Kim Dezelon is director of fundraising for the Brambley Hedge Rabbit Rescue in Phoenix and is also a PetSmart shareholder. The nonprofit has been adopting out rabbits through PetSmart for more than a decade, placing more than 1,700 rabbits in homes.

“If consumer demand was so strong, we could have worked with (PetSmart) more closely to meet that demand with the rabbits at our shelter,” Dezelon says. “We are extremely disappointed. We’ve had a long standing relationship with PetSmart.”

But Francis says no determination of the pilot program’s future has been made and all considerations will be taken.

“We’re in the information gathering stage,” he says. “Nobody knows the truth. When we know it, we’ll act responsibly. We’re (making) enough financially, we don’t have to grub for every penny.”

To learn more about PetSmart PetsHotel, visit petshotel.petsmart.com.