Pets Best hosts inaugural contest to recognize therapy dogs in the classroom
Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC, a leading U.S. pet insurance agency based in Boise, Idaho, announced today a Newtown, Connecticut therapy dog has been selected as the winner of the agency’s first Books & Barks contest. Kona, a therapy dog who regularly visits the students of Reed Intermediate School, won the nationwide contest, which was created to recognize and bring awareness to the inspirational work of therapy dogs in classrooms and libraries across the nation.
In its first year, the Books & Barks contest brought in 9,004 votes cast by the community members of eight finalists from across the U.S. The public was able to vote by visiting the Pets Best website, www.petsbest.com, and the company’s Facebook page.As part of the contest, Pets Best awarded $1,000 to Reed Intermediate School and $500 to a pet therapy organization selected by Kona’s owner and handler.
“Pets Best created the Books & Barks contest in an effort to share the stories of therapy dogs that provide ongoing support and love for children in educational settings,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, founder of Pets Best. “Kona’s efforts with Newtown students encompass the meaningful impact that therapy dogs have on children every day. We look forward to hearing more stories about helpful therapy dogs as this contest continues for years to come.”
Sandy Cornell, Kona’s owner and handler, said the 3-year-old Boston terrier has been visiting Reed Intermediate School for more than a year. In 2012, Kona became a certified therapy dog through Therapy Dogs International. Kona received a total of 3,211 online votes during the Books & Barks contest.
“Strangers stop me now and say, ‘I voted for Kona. Thank you for doing what the two of you do.’ It is truly a fantastic feeling,” Cornell said. “Kona’s ability to sense what is needed and who needs it most is beyond my understanding. She is unflappable. While I might be fighting back tears, she is doing what she does best, comforting a child.”
Latest My Vet’s the Best contest honors veterinarian Dr. Pat Echolds
BOISE, ID – Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC, a leading U.S. pet insurance agency based in Boise, Idaho, announced today that veterinarian Dr. Pat Echolds has been voted the most recent winner of the agency’s My Vet’s the Best contest. The nationwide contest honors veterinarians for their outstanding service.
The latest round of the contest brought in 7,600 votes cast by pet owners across the U.S. through the Pets Best website, www.petsbest.com, and the company’s Facebook page.
“The thousands of votes cast in this contest demonstrate how many pet owners appreciate the efforts of dedicated veterinarians,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, founder and director of Pets Best. “Dr. Echolds embodies the hard work and passion that are essential to providing the highest quality of veterinary care, and Pets Best is pleased to see so many people support his work.”
Dr. Echolds, who practices at the Rancho Niguel Animal Hospital in Laguna Niguel, California, won the contest after receiving 4,054 online votes. He was among hundreds of veterinarians nominated for the seasonal award. The contest’s other five finalists each received a significant number of votes. Runners-up Drs. Frank and Mindi Metzler from 2222 Veterinary Clinic in Austin, Texas, finished with 2,191 votes.
Pet insurance agency sponsors FIDO Friendly’s nationally recognized pet adoption tour
In recognition of Pet Health Insurance Month in September, Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC, a leading pet insurance agency, recently had help from television legend Lassie while presenting Pets Best pet insurance policies to two newly adopted pets during the Get Your Licks on Route 66 pet adoption tour.
Dr. Jack Stephens, founder of Pets Best, has a long-running history with Lassie, as he presented the iconic canine with the first pet insurance policy issued in the United States 32 years ago.
Lassie and Dr. Stephens made an appearance during a Sept. 14 adoption event at the Best Friends Pet Adoption & Spay/Neuter Center in Mission Hills, California, the third stop on the Get Your Licks on Route 66 pet adoption tour. As a reward for supporting the adoption event, the first two families who adopted a pet that day were given one-year pet insurance policies. The Pets Best BestBenefit accident and illness policies were purchased and donated by FIDO Friendly.
The first pet insurance recipient was an 8-year-old mixed breed dog named Chopo, who, after spending a year at the shelter, happily went home with his new family. The second recipient was a black domestic shorthair kitten who is still unnamed but now has a place to call home.
Founder and President Dr. Jack Stephens to step down from day-to-day operations, with former COO Chris L. Middleton selected to serve as president
BOISE, Idaho – Dr. Jack Stephens, founder and president of Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC, announced today he plans to retire from his day-to-day responsibilities with the nationwide pet insurance agency in an effort to pursue his passion for travel and spend additional time with his family. Chris L. Middleton, who previously served as the chief operating officer of Pets Best, will now serve as the company’s president, bringing decades of valuable leadership experience to the position.
Dr. Stephens, who co-founded the Boise, Idaho-based company in 2005 with CEO Greg McDonald, will remain actively involved in guiding Pets Best’s direction as a member of the executive committee, a member of the board of directors and a significant shareholder. Dr. Stephens will also continue to represent Pets Best as a member of the North American Pet Health Insurance Association, a group of pet health insurance industry leaders that he co-founded.
A dedicated veterinarian, Dr. Stephens has remained a prominent figure in his field since he founded the U.S. pet insurance industry in 1981. He went on to present the nation’s first pet insurance policy to famous television dog Lassie in 1982. He founded the industry with the vision of reducing incidents of pet owners euthanizing their animals for economic reasons.
“I take tremendous pride in my work during the past 33 years to promote the valuable benefits of pet insurance, but I am ready to take a step back in order to travel and enjoy more time with my family,” Dr. Stephens said. “I have complete confidence in Chris’ commitment to Pets Best and to advancing our mission of helping pets receive the best care without financial constraints.”
Pet insurance agency hopes to help cat owners recognize symptoms of common conditions
BOISE, Idaho – In recognition of National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day on Aug. 22, Pets Best Insurance Services, LLC has released a list of the five most common feline illness claims filed by the agency’s clients. Pets Best, a leading nationwide pet insurance agency, released the list today to help cat owners recognize the symptoms of common illnesses and seek veterinary treatment when necessary.
Although it is commonly believed that cats rarely fall ill, Pets Best reports that five of the most common feline health issues represent approximately 30 percent of the agency’s total claims for cats across the nation. These illnesses and conditions can often be difficult to identify, as cats instinctively tend to hide ailments from their owners. Catching serious health problems early on is crucial, as these issues not only dramatically impact felines’ quality of life, but they can also result in steep treatment costs.
“Cat owners view their pets’ health as a high priority, yet many are unaware of the subtle warning signs that indicate their animals are suffering,” said Dr. Jack Stephens, president and founder of Pets Best. “It is our mission to keep pets healthy and ensure their owners are able to afford treatment when health issues arise.”
Pets Best encourages cat owners to watch closely for the symptoms of the five most common conditions among cat-related claims filed with the agency.
1. Chronic kidney failure
Symptoms can include anorexia, vomiting, lethargy, diarrhea, constipation, depression and weight loss. Additional warning signs are increased thirst, acute blindness, seizures and comas, blood in the cat’s urine, increased frequency of urination and an increased amount of urine. Chronic kidney failure represents 8.5 percent of all feline claims received by Pets Best.
Common symptoms are a voracious appetite, weight loss, increased thirst and urination, vomiting, diarrhea and restlessness. This condition generates 7.1 percent of Pets Best’s feline claims.