• First Hartz Pet Trend Report finds pet parents four times as likely to say they’ll rescue a pet before going to a breeder, pet store

    SECAUCUS, N.J. (April 27, 2011) - National Pet Week, an annual celebration of the bond between pet parents and their animal friends, is coming up on May 1-7, 2011. In celebration, The Hartz Mountain Corporation is releasing it’s first-ever Hartz Pet Trend Report. Hartz polled pet parents to better understand what they think about pet topics and to gain insight into their relationships with their pets -- and found that pet parents had a lot to say. Four times as many pet owners surveyed say they would opt to get their next pet from a rescue society than from a breeder or pet store (60 vs. 14 percent). And with “personality” topping the list of the most important pet characteristics, shelter animals can be the perfect companion for Americans looking to add a furry friend to their family.

    During National Pet Week, Hartz wants to help raise awareness of the need to adopt shelter animals and encourage new pet parents to do just that. And the Hartz Pet Trend Report is lending insight into pet parents’ thinking. The report found that -

    • Pet owners favor rescue societies. More than half of pet owners (60 percent) surveyed say they’d prefer to get their next pet from a rescue society. A majority of pet owners agree that pet stores are “out of favor,” with a mere four percent saying that’s where they prefer to go to find their next pet.
    • Personality, not pedigree, matters most. Two-thirds of pet owners (65 percent) surveyed say “personality” is the most important characteristic of a pet. And almost all pet owners (98 percent) say they look beyond pedigree or physical appearance.
    • A pet’s life is a life worth saving. What is the role of pets in American life? Nearly half of pet owners (47 percent) surveyed say their pet is like a child to them. And two out of five (42 percent) say they would compare their pet to a good friend.

    Hartz, a leader in the pet products industry, is celebrating National Pet Week by working with leading pet bloggers and their readers to crowdsource a unique donation program to shelters throughout the nation. Bloggers and their readers will vote for shelters, and select the Hartz products to be donated to them. Ten shelters will be chosen as recipients. This donation is just one of Hartz’s ongoing efforts to support rescue shelters and organizations. Hartz donates products and funding to over 120 animal shelters and related charities each year. Additionally, Hartz distributes “New Pet Parent Packs” to families that have recently rescued a shelter animal, to help them prepare to bring a new furry friend into the family.

    “Our New Pet Parent Pack program is just one example of how we listen to our customers to deliver solutions to make adopting a pet an easier process. We’ve also introduced an online ‘Training Academy’ that provides expert advice and support to new pet parents,” says Ian Weinkselbaum, Hartz senior director of integrated marketing and insights. “At Hartz, we lead by example and we truly hope that Americans will be inspired to rescue a pet of their own.”

    For more information about Hartz or to find Hartz products for your pet, visit www.hartz.com.

    The survey was conducted on behalf of The Hartz Mountain Corporation between April 15 and April 18, 2011 by Richard Day Research. Respondents included 1,028 cat and dog owners ages 18 and older selected from a national panel of pet owners maintained by Survey Sampling International. Quotas were set to ensure the sample reflects the demographics of U.S. dog and cat owners as reported by the American Veterinary Medical Association and the American Pet Products Association.

    With a pure probability sample of this size, one could say with 95 percent probability that the results based on the total sample of pet owners have a sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points. Results based only on the sample of dog owners (514 respondents) or cat owners (514 respondents) would have a sampling error of +/- 4 percentage points.

    For over 80 years, Hartz has offered products that optimize your pet’s health and overall well being. The Hartz Mountain Corporation line of pet products was born in 1926 with packaged bird food, and expanded through the 1950s into goldfish, tropical fish and a full line of aquatic supplies. Dog and cat products, most notably the Hartz flea & tick collar—still the #1 selling flea & tick collar for both cats and dogs—were added in the 1960s. Based in Secaucus, New Jersey, Hartz today offers over 2,000 innovative products catering to dogs, cats, parakeets, canaries, parrots, cockatiels, finches, goldfish, tropical fish, reptiles, ferrets, chinchillas, guinea pigs, hamsters and rabbits—through 40,000 U.S. and Canadian retail outlets.

    MEDIA CONTACT, Nikisha Williams, 212.373.6026, nwilliams@golinharris.com

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    Save a Life, Adopt a Pet.