BOISE, ID — (MARKET WIRE) — March 22, 2007 — One cat dies and one survives as Pets Best Insurance pays first pet insurance claims caused by tainted pet food that has been recalled. Angela Taylor of Southern California fed tainted food from the recall list of cat food to her two cats. Some time after feeding the tainted food, she noticed that her two cats, Choco and Chunky, appeared listless, were staggering and were drinking water excessively. As the symptoms became more pronounced, she rushed both cats to an emergency veterinary hospital last week. Sadly, shortly after arrival Choco died of kidney failure. Chunky made it through initial treatments and appears likely to recover though continued visits to the veterinarian and more treatments are required.
“We love our cats and we have never experienced any medical issues in their short lives. The poisoning came on very quickly and by the time we made it to the emergency clinic, it was too late for Choco and he died. Chunky is doing okay but we are waiting for test results to see what the long-term damage may be. Our pet insurance helped during this time with very fast services and immediate payment of our claims at 100% and they waived all deducible and co-pays. They were very concerned for our family and our pets and we are very thankful to have the support as we go through continued care,” said Taylor.
Pets Best Insurance considers this unfortunate incident as Accidental Poisoning under its plans; as such, any claims from Pets Best policyholders relating to the recalled food is covered under all its plans including the accident-only plan. Pets Best insurance provides $1,500.00 per incident for accident-only and $2,500 for Pets Basic and $7,000 per incident, the industry highest limits for Pets First plans. Due to irreversible kidney damage, Choco succumbed quickly to the toxin, probably because of ingesting more of the toxin than Chunky. The cost of treating Chunky Taylor was a modest $600.00 initially, with the cost of future treatments unknown. Chunky, at least so far, is one of the lucky pets and appears to be responding to treatments. According to Pets Best Founder & President, Dr. Jack Stephens, “Pet families have been through a great deal of grief and sadness, we view this as accidental poisoning and we are providing 100% coverage and will subrogate all deductible and co-pays on behalf of our insured. This will not interfere with or reduce rights to make claims in the future; this is merely to accelerate the claims process and help pet families.”
According to the FDA, the recall involves Menu Foods produced “cuts and gravy” style dog and cat food produced between Dec. 3, 2006, and March 6, 2007, at a facility in Emporia, Kansas. According to Menu Foods website, on March 16 Menu Foods announced the precautionary recall of a portion of the dog and cat food it manufactured between December 3, 2006 and March 6, 2007.
These products are both manufactured and sold under private-label and are contract-manufactured for some national brands. There are 60 million cans or pouches of food that include 51 different brands of dog food and 40 brands of cat food. The recall includes in-house brands and leading brand pet foods sold throughout North America. The FDA so far has confirmed the deaths of at least 16 pets that had reportedly eaten the company’s “cuts and gravy” style pet food. Nationally there are over 500 cases of probable poisoning reported so far by veterinarians.
IMPORTANT THINGS FOR PET FAMILIES TO KNOW
- Kidney damage can occur slowly. Symptoms and damage may be progressive or cause acute illness if larger doses of the offending ingredient are given or if the pet is older or in poor health.
- Stop feeding any of the recalled pet foods immediately and dispose of the food, such that another animal does not have access to the food, including wild animals.
- Symptoms will depend on a host of factors, such as the amount and how long the pet was ingesting the toxin, the pet’s age, health, how quickly the toxin is removed, and how quickly treatment is initiated.
- Symptoms include lack of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, weight loss, listlessness, increased urination and drinking water excessively. Severe symptoms can include seizures, staggering or other neurological signs.
- A simple blood test is the first and best solution to determine if your pet has any kidney damage.
- If your pet is older or high amounts of the toxin where ingested, the damage can be irreversible. Acute death may be the result, or chronic kidney damage requiring long-term treatments.
- Your veterinarian can collect necessary samples and interpret your pet’s kidney function.
- To date the pet food in question is only from certain “wet” pet foods, no dry pet food is known to be involved.
Consumers can find the latest information as it unfolds at www.petsbest.com and click onto Pet Food Recall Tab. Remember to keep any proof of purchase, including store receipts and can or pouch labels.
Pets Best Insurance was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens, a veterinarian, avid pet enthusiast and seasoned insurance executive who is celebrating 25 years as the leading pioneer of pet insurance in the United States.
The Pets Best Insurance product brand includes a choice of four affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement structure and NO benefit schedules. The Pets Best Insurance team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developed products based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Visit Pets Best Insurance at www.petsbest.com or phone 877-PetsBest (738-7237).
Boise, ID – (October 26, 2006)—Recent developments in pethealth care and diagnostics have led to great advances in pet health andlongevity—goodnews for pets andtheir owners. Unfortunately, the highcosts of the best pet health care may be daunting, even for those who considertheir pets indispensable members of the family. Pet health insurance is a simple, affordable solution for those who lovetheir pets but are concerned about the financial hardship of high-quality petcare. Misconceptions and a general lackof awareness, however, prevent many families from taking advantage of petinsurance, according to Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets BestInsurance.
WE LOVE OUR PETS!
In theUnited Statesalone:
- 63% of households have pets, and 37% of pet owners consider their pets important family members.
- Over 70 million U.S. households own dogs or cats, and 45% of U.S. households own more than one pet.
As a consequence:
- Consumer spending on pets has more than doubled from $17 billion in 1994 to an estimated $38.4 billion in 2006, according to the American Pet Products Manufacturers Association (APPMA).
- The APPMA projects that in 2006 alone, pet owners will spend:
- $15.2 billion on food;
- $9.3 billion on supplies and over-the-counter-medications;
- $9.4 billion on veterinary care;
- $1.8 billion for animal purchases;
- and $2.7 billion for other services.
THE GOOD NEWS FOR YOUR PET
Pets today can receivemedical care, prescription drugs, and diagnostics that were unheard of just afew years ago. Veterinarians now haveaccess to increasingly sophisticated and costly diagnostic instruments such asMRIs and ultrasound, tools once reserved for humans and available only atuniversities. Such screenings oftendetect problems that would have formerly gone undiagnosed and incorrectlytreated. Because of the availability ofthese new treatment technologies, pets today are living longer, healthierlives.
THE BAD NEWS FOR YOUR POCKETBOOK
While such screenings andtreatments are a boon for pets, they are also very expensive, dramaticallyboosting the cost of treatment and creating health care inflation in the petworld. Once-fatal conditions for petsare now treatable—but often at costs ranging from $3,000 to $10,000 orhigher. Veterinary costs have risen dueto pet owner demands for sophisticated pet care, according to a 1999 study bythe American Veterinary Medical Association. The study shows a dramatic increase in veterinary care costs in the8-year period from 1991 to 1999—up 84.6% for cat owners and 41.7% for dogowners.
As the bond with petscontinues to grow, the cost of medical care and maintenance for pets continuesto rise. Pet insurance—like any otherinsurance—should be viewed as a valuable and necessary service providing peaceof mind and financial protection, says Stephens, who is widely known as thefirst father of pet insurance in the United States. Yet only a small percentage of pet-owningfamilies take advantage of this valuable opportunity.
Comparisons between humanhealth care insurance and pet insurance are misleading, creating misconceptionsof expense that are simply unfounded, Stephens says. In fact, pet insurance is far more affordablethan human health insurance, while providing many comparable benefits to pets.
“Pet insurance clearlyprovides the financial means for pet owners to budget affordable monthlypremiums, assuring that they can always afford any care their pet requires,”Stephens said. “Pet insurance can provide coverage for any contingency—frommedical problems with a minor cost of a few hundred dollars, to the expensivetreatment for emergencies, illnesses, accidents, diseases, or chronic care thatcan cost thousands of dollars.”
In the interest of pets andtheir owners, Pets Best Insurance is beginning a communications campaign todemonstrate the benefits and value of pet insurance in general. Stephens, founder and operator of twosuccessful pet insurance companies, brings to the effort a wealth of knowledgeand expertise garnered from over 24 years of personal experience in thefield. “The market size and need arejust too great to focus only on Pets Best Insurance,” he said. “The veterinaryprofession and public should be made aware of the many advantages of insuring apet’s care just like any other family member.”
The following provides a general comparison of pet insurance versus human health insurance:
||$30/ Monthly Premium Average
(Range = $10-50/month)
|$300- $2,000 Per Month –
||Currently Nine Companies
||Hundreds of Companies
||Health & Accident
||Health & Accident
||Few – Options
||Many – Options
||Insured Directly Reimbursed
||Doctor & Hospital Reimbursed -Usually
||Individual or Employer
||Broad – Medicare, Public Assistance, Emergency Care Required by Law
||State/Federal – Many Compliance Issues
||Provider Company and State Department of Insurance
||Provider Company and legal recourse. (Unlike pet insurance which almost always State DOI, after company. This increases cost greatly for human health.)
||Generally Low Deductibles
||Higher Deductibles with Many Choices
||$2,000-7,000 Limit Range
||Much Higher ($100,000-1million)
|CHOICE OF DOCTOR
||Restrictive or None
||1929, growth in 1950s
According to Stephens, “Pet insurance is much simpler and more affordable than human health insurance. It provides a reasonable option to protectyour pocketbook, your peace of mind, and the health of your pet. As health care costs for pets increase, it just makes sense to consider budgeting for unexpected accidents and illnesses.”
Pets Best Insurance reimburses pet owners for services from the veterinarian they choose, truly establishing it as “Pet insurance that really pays!” Pets Best Insurance was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens, pioneer of the pet insurance industry, and accomplished veterinarian, avid pet enthusiast and seasoned insurance executivewith more than 24 years experience.
The product brand includes a choice of four affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement structure and NO benefit schedules. The Pets Best Insurance team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developedproducts based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Visit Pets BestInsurance at www.petsbest.com or phone877-PetsBest (738-7237).
Dr. Jack Stephens is available for general interviews about the important values and needs of petinsurance for families in the United Sates. Please contact Brett Johnson to arrange an interview and to obtainadditional background information and images. You can reach Brett at 877-738-7237 ext. 641.
Scottsdale, AZ – (October 6, 2006) — Pet-Togethers, Inc. an Arizona company that developed and markets PetCentrx “Vim & Vigor” wellness products for pets, today announced a new cooperative arrangement with Pets Best Pet Insurance Services LLC.
“Pet-Togethers is committed to improving the health and well-being of the family pet,” states Michael Fantetti, president and CEO of Pet-Togethers, Inc. “Partnering with Pets Best Pet Insurance takes our commitment to good health one step further and adds a layer of security to families with pets. As with humans, experiencing a health care crisis with a family pet can be draining emotionally as well as financially. Having Pets Best Pet Insurance assures families that they can provide adequate veterinary care for their pets and not be burdened financially.”
With this joint marketing agreement Pets Best policyholders will receive another opportunity to save on their pet purchases. Pet Togethers will provide Pets Best Insurance policyholders with a two month supply of Petcentrx “Vim & Vigor” for the price of one month on their initial order. Policyholders that continue to use the product monthly will be rewarded by receiving a free one month supply every sixth month, which adds up to a substantial savings for the end user. Pets Best founder Dr. Stephens personally tested Vim & Vigor with his dogs and noticed dramatic positive changes, especially in 15 year old Min Pin Skeeter. “When my wife or I pick up the bottle of Vim and Vigor they all come running and stand in line. It is a fun time at our house.” said Dr. Stephens.
All current Pet-Togethers clients will now receive a 10% discount on new Pets Best policies. Both Pet-Togethers and Pets Best websites will provide links to the other to ensure ease in processing new orders and receipt of the appropriate discount.
Dr. Shawn Messonnier, Pet-Togethers’ national spokesperson, is the author of the award winning The Natural Health Bible Dogs & Cats ,syndicated newspaper columnists, hosts The Natural Vet show on Martha Stewart Radio, and owner of Paws and Claws Animal Hospital in Texas. He recently commented “It’s apparent that both Pets Best Insurance and Pet Togethers are committed to enhancing the health and wellness of the family pet. PetCentrx “Vim & Vigor” formula is a tasty all-natural supplement designed to prolong pets’ lives and provide full, vibrant health. If the family pet experiences a health crisis that needs medical intervention, Pets Best Insurance provides straightforward coverage that covers 80%. Regardless of financial means, the reality is that veterinary care can become expensive when there is an unexpected issue that requires needed care. As responsible pet owners, correct and comprehensive insurance is highly recommended and will not only increase the health and happiness of the pet but it will protect the financial security of the family. To make the situation even sweeter, both companies offer a limited time money back guarantee!”
Pets Best Insurance reimburses pet owners for services from the veterinarian they choose, truly establishing it as “Pet insurance that really pays!” Pets Best Insurance was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens, pioneer of the pet insurance industry, and accomplished veterinarian, avid pet enthusiast and seasoned insurance executive with more than 24 years experience.
The product brand includes a choice of four affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement structure and NO benefit schedules. The Pets Best Insurance team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developed products based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Pets Best Insurance is underwritten by General Fire & Casualty Company. Visit Pets Best Insurance at www.petsbest.com or phone the integrated call center 877-PetsBest (738-7237).
Founded in 2001 in Scottsdale, Arizona, Pet-Togethers, Inc. developed and markets PetCentrx “Vim & Vigor” wellness products for dogs and cats. The product is a unique blend of the purest natural ingredients. Pets that are given the product should exhibit more energy, a healthier appearance, greater mobility, stronger bones and muscles, fewer visits to the veterinarian, a happier disposition, greater rest, and a fuller life. The Company’s unique distribution program gives pet care professionals and non-profit organizations the opportunity to increase their monthly income without making any type of financial commitment. Pet-Togethers incurs all administrative, marketing and inventory expenses for their programs. www.pettogethers.com
BOISE, IDAHO (SEPTEMBER 8, 2006) - Shure Pets®, the premier direct seller of pet products and accessories, will begin offering Pets Best Pet Insurance to its tens of thousands of pet families that visit the Shure Pets® website and also through the 1,300+ Pet Consultants that are part of the company’s signature in-home Pet Parties across the nation. . By partnering with the pet insurance company, Shure Pets is assuring pet owners the opportunity to protect their companions at a low cost with ease.
“Because they’re not just pets, they’re members of the family, more and more pet owners are starting to see that logic and are investing in pet insurance,” said Andrew Shure, CEO of Shure Pets. “We see a huge opportunity in offering pet insurance. The pet insurance industry in the U.S is in its infancy stage; less than 1% of pet owners have insurance so we wanted to be one of the first companies to offer this product to our customers. Our pet families deserve and expect us to provide the premiere products and services for their beloved pets. Pets Best Insurance provides straightforward coverage that covers 80%, with the easiest claims process for families and veterinary care providers. Put simply, we feel this insurance offering is the very best available for pet families!”
Shure Pets has already become a nationwide phenomenon among pet owners, creating a platform for pet lovers to interact at the company’s signature pet parties and purchase their wide variety of products that includes health & beauty aids, gifts, toys, treats, pet beds and apparel for pet lovers. The company’s addition of pet insurance to their product offerings allows for pet owners to not only keep their pet happy, but also ensures their long-term health. Pet owners will simply click through the Shure Pets website to the Pets Best Insurance website or through the Pets Best Insurance integrated call center at 877-PetsBest (738-7237) and receive a group discount. Policies are priced from $13.58 for cats and $20.75 for dogs per month.
“This partnership with Shure Pets is very important to Pets Best Insurance and has the potential to provide insurance to tens of thousands of the most caring and enthusiastic pet families in the United States”, said Dr. Jack Stephens, president & founder of Pets Best Insurance. “Shure Pets, their independent representatives, and the pet families that they represent are among the highest level and most knowledgeable of pet enthusiasts. The families represented by Shure Pets really understand and value the bond they enjoy with their pets. This advertising partnership will provide special group discounts to all pet families associated with Shure Pets that log-on to their site and order Pets Best Insurance.”
The fast growing Shure Pets is the proud category innovator and nation’s leader in the distribution of pet products through independent sales representatives, known as Pet Consultants, and the hosting of at-home Pet Parties.
Started on a “wing and a paw” in 2002, by the company’s founder Andrew Shure and officially launched in September of 2003, Shure Pets has grown rapidly to a network of over 1,300 independent Shure Pets Consultants™ throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. These consultants are animal lovers who sell Shure Pets products through the company’s signature in-home Pet Parties and through one-on-one sessions. By socializing with other pet lovers and bringing products straight to the home, Shure Pet Consultants offer pet lovers everywhere a unique and fun alternative for pampering those precious pets.
Pets Best Insurance is the branded pet insurance product of Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC. Pets Best markets and manages pet health and accident insurance through www.petsbest.com.
Pets Best Insurance reimburses pet owners for services from the veterinary they choose, truly establishing it as “Pet insurance that really pays!” Pets Best Insurance was founded by Dr. Jack Stephens, pioneer of the pet insurance industry, and accomplished veterinarian, avid pet enthusiast and seasoned insurance executive with more than 24 years experience. The product brand includes a choice of four affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement structure and NO benefit schedules. The Pets Best Insurance team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developed products based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Pets Best Insurance is underwritten by General Fire & Casualty Company. Visit Pets Best Insurance at www.petsbest.com or phone the integrated call center 877-PetsBest (738-7237).
(BOISE, IDAHO–AUGUST 31, 2006),-Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC / DBA Pets Best Insurance (a pet insurance company) announced today a special grant to honor the Skeeter Foundation and the newest member of the “Pets Not Pills” Pet Therapy Team.
Betty, a two-and-a-half-year-old Miniature Pinscher, was a stray running the streets of San Antonio with another dog last year. Both dogs were hit by a car and Betty’s dog pal died at the scene. Betty was left alone and critically injured in the middle of the street. Betty pulled herself from the roadway to the curb with a crushed and separated pelvis and unable to use her rear legs. She lay on the curb in incredible pain and near death. At the time there was little hope that Betty would survive. According to the treating veterinarian, Betty showed courage, heart and love even when as she was in great pain. Nine months later, after being adopted by the Skeeter Foundation and Vicki Stephens, Betty currently leads a charge of commitment for the Skeeter Foundation She is visiting injured children and conveying to them a message of hope and reassurance which shows, even though we may be injured or challenged, we can go on and enjoy our lives.
Today Greg McDonald, chairman and CEO, of Pets Best Insurance stated, “We often hear of so many fantastic stories about the power of pets on humans and their families. Betty’s story just grabbed our hearts. Betty reminds us again of the incredible courage and value that pets can bring to all of us. We are very pleased to announce today that Pets Best Insurance will increase our support of the Skeeter Foundation through The ‘Ready Betty Matching Grant Fund’. This new effort is designed to specifically support therapy visits and demonstrate to children with traumatic injury and limited mobility they can have an active and happy life. Pets Best Insurance is very proud of the work of all the Pet Therapy Teams at the Skeeter Foundation and we wish a special welcome to new team leader Betty! As part of the celebration of Betty joining the Skeeter Foundation, Pets Best Insurance has created a special grant and will match all donations received, dollar for dollar, up to $100,000 until the conclusion of the Skeeter Foundation National Photo Contest on October 31st, “How Does Your Pet Make You Smile”. The winner will receive over $12,000 in prizes.
As a result of this grant, The Skeeter Foundation “Prescribe Pets Not Pills” Pet Therapy Teams will now have access to additional funding to visit more children with Betty as well as fund more therapy teams with their pets.
Vicki Stephens, Executive Director of the Skeeter Foundation was on-hand, along with Betty, for the announcement and Stephens commented on Betty’s powerful impact and also provided an update on the photo contest.
Stephens stated, “Betty is so bright, smart and loving and we know that a loving visit from Betty will help folks in need. Betty is capable of an active and good life even with some of her challenges. This is the message Betty will give to others, especially children with physical disabilities. The continued work, and growth of the Skeeter Foundation requires major support. We are very thankful that Pets Best Insurance was able to create this challenge grant.”
The Skeeter Foundation’s “How Does Your Pet Make You Smile?” photo contest is going very well with good representation across the entire United States. “There have been over 20,000 individual visits to the contest website and 6,000 unique visitors who entered and/or voted on the contest. Currently there are over 700 pets that are listed and competing for the grand prize. There is still time to enter your pet and have a chance for some of the great fun and prizes! We are very pleased that the contest provides important information about the Skeeter Foundation, but it is a nice opportunity for all of us to share how our pets really make us smile!” said Stephens.
# # #
About Pets Best Insurance: Pets Best Insurance markets and manages pet health and accident insurance for the consumer through www.petsbest.com and its integrated call centers 877 Pets Best (738-7237). With online sales, customer service portal, and electronic delivery of policies, the customer benefits by receiving a more simplified convenient experience. The insurance reimburses pet owners for services from the veterinarian they choose. Pets Best Insurance product brand includes a choice of four affordable coverage plans with a straightforward 80:20 claims reimbursement and NO complicated reimbursement schedule. The Pets Best team is a highly skilled and professional group of pet lovers who have developed products based on innovation and insight into veterinary care. Pets Best Insurance is truly “Pet insurance that really pays!”
About The Skeeter Foundation: The primary goal of the Skeeter Foundation is to educate people and support programs that endorse the “Prescribe Pets, Not Pills” philosophy. Named in honor of one of the founder’s, Dr. Jack Stephens’ pet companions, the Skeeter Foundation was formed to perpetuate the scientifically proven positive effects that pets have on human health. One of the Skeeter Foundation’s principle activities is to develop and support volunteer therapy teams comprising a variety of pets that bring joy and relieve stress in people’s lives. Pets are mostly certified dogs that have passed rigorous training. Others include cats, doves, rabbits, miniature horses and even a llama. Pets eligible for the Rx teams must have a gentle disposition, and be patient with and tolerant of strangers. The Foundation provides consultative and administrative support to the Rx teams, as well as liability insurance, which is required by visited institutions.
Email The Skeeter Foundation at: email@example.com
The Mailing address is:
The Skeeter Foundation
P.O. Box 5862
Twin Falls, ID 83303