Companion News for May 7

Chewy takes first step toward initial public offering

Chewy, Inc. has taken the first step in preparation for an initial public offering (IPO), according to Pet Product News. The online retailer, which was acquired by PetSmart in 2017, has filed documents with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) relating to a proposed initial public offering of shares of its Class A common stock. 

Covetrus announces new partnership with Mars Petcare for GREENIES products

Covetrus announced a new partnership with Mars Petcare that will help U.S.-based veterinarians enhance dental health and medication compliance for their pet owner clients, according to a release. As of May 1, veterinarians can now purchase Mars Petcare’s GREENIES products for their in-clinic and online channels exclusively from Covetrus. The partnership includes the popular and widely-used GREENIES Dental Treats and the simple-to-use GREENIES™ PILL POCKETS™, a proven solution to make medicating pets easier. “With our customer reach, differentiated go-to-market strategy and our industry-leading service organization, Covetrus is uniquely suited to partner with Mars Petcare to drive increased adoption of dental health solutions and medication administration tools for our customers and their clients,” said Matt Leonard, executive vice president, president of North America and global supply chain officer at Covetrus. “This new partnership highlights the opportunity we have at Covetrus to continuously help support veterinarians deliver cost-effective solutions and enhance their client experience.”

Tammy Rice named director of marketing for Dechra

Dechra announced that Tammy Rice has accepted the role of director of marketing, effective May 1, 2019. Rice has achieved success in a number of roles in her 13 years with Dechra including marketing, distributor relations, product manager and top sales representative during her time in outside sales. In her current role, she has effectively managed corporate marketing, distributor relations and product management for the surgical suite portfolios and continues to achieve high level growth. In her new role, Rice will continue to report to Doug Hubert, VP of sales and marketing. She will plan and direct the marketing group activities of Dechra Veterinary Products for sales into the veterinary market and ensure the team is effectively promoting the company and targeting the appropriate audience in their campaigns. Rice will work in conjunction with the VP of sales and marketing, director of sales and the sales teams to support the strategic direction of the company and ensure sales are achieved or exceed sales budgets. She will expand her relationships with key distributors and support corporate accounts with additional marketing tools to support this segment. 

Zoetis becomes first Human-Animal Bond Certified company

The North American Veterinary Community (NAVC) and the Human Animal Bond Research Institute (HABRI), who jointly founded the Human-Animal Bond Certification program last year, announced that Zoetis has become the first Human-Animal Bond Certified Company. As part of the certification process, more than two dozen Zoetis employees successfully completed the certification program, receiving training on the science behind the human-animal bond and developing a deep understanding of how this science supports the practice of veterinary medicine. Zoetis is committed to ongoing training for additional employees.   

BabelBark application provides access to veterinary hotline, emergency response team

BabelBark, Inc. announced the launch of Alpha Pack, the premium upgrade to its free BabelBark application. Alpha Pack provides benefits for pet owners including 24-hour access to a veterinary helpline and a lost and found emergency response team. Alpha Pack is available by subscription for $34.95/yr., giving pet owners dedicated 24/7 access to a veterinary medical hotline to answer medical questions or concerns through whiskerDocs, the leading provider of telehealth support for pet parents, and a dedicated 24/7 call center to report lost or found pets and emergency response team through SmartTag, the leader in pet protection and identification products in North America. Alpha Pack is a paid subscription service available through the BabelBark app. The BabelBark app can be downloaded for free on the app store or on Google Play.

Rubicon Scientific names Dr. Lionel Reilly as president

Rubicon Scientific LLC (Rubicon) announced the appointment of Dr. Lionel Reilly as its president. Effective immediately he will assume the day-to-day leadership of the company, according to a release. Dr. Reilly is a graduate of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Kansas State University. His resume includes being a U.S. Army veterinarian, veterinary practitioner, technical services veterinarian and animal health pharmaceutical researcher. In his career he built the largest privately owned veterinary products distribution cooperative, the release said. Since retiring, Dr. Reilly has been active in numerous new product development projects.

Petco announces it no longer sells food and treats containing artificial ingredients

Petco announced it has made good on its November 2018 promise to no longer sell food and treats containing artificial colors, flavors and preservatives for dogs and cats. “As of May 1, 2019, Petco is the first and only major retailer of pet food and treats to take a stand against such ingredients by removing dog and cat food products that do not meet its nutrition standards at more than 1,500 retail stores nationwide and online at,” the company said in a release. The company worked closely with in-house and external veterinarians, nutritionists, and pet wellness experts to inform its decision and its new standards for pet nutrition. A full list of ingredients Petco has removed to date can be found here.

AAHA, VetBloom to launch exclusive AAHA member learning platform

VetBloom and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) announced the upcoming launch of the AAHA | Learning platform. Provided as an exclusive AAHA member benefit, the new platform will be powered and hosted by VetBloom, a digital learning ecosystem from Ethos Veterinary Health (Ethos). At launch, it will include access to more than 50 hours of non-sponsored RACE-approved technical CE for veterinarians and technicians. 

Morris Animal Foundation receives $250K from Petco Foundation and Blue Buffalo Company for pet cancer research

The Petco Foundation and the Blue Buffalo Company are partnering to award a $250,000 grant to Morris Animal Foundation to fuel pet cancer research, specifically directing the gift to fund feline cancer studies. Since 2003, the two organizations have invested more than $7 million in the fight against pet cancer in dogs and cats at Morris Animal Foundation, the largest worldwide nonprofit advancing animal health. In the United States alone, more than 12 million pets are diagnosed with cancer every year. Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs over the age of two and the second leading cause of death in cats.