Pet Leadership Council Convenes in Dallas

The Pet Leadership Council (PLC) held its first meeting in Dallas last month to discuss the initiatives it intends to address over time. PLC members represent manufacturers, distributors, retailers, veterinarians and breeders, and 32 industry leaders were in attendance at the meeting.

"The Pet Leadership Council was formed to give pet owners a voice," said Bob Vetere, founding member of PLC and president and CEO of the American Pet Products Association. "We will champion their virtues and assert their rights, and we will do this as a strong, united front for the first time ever in industry history."

Petco, Nestlé Purina PetCare Company and Central Pet and Garden were among the companies represented at the meeting. 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 were also in attendance.

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.