Pethealth Inc. ("Pethealth" or the "Company") (TSX: PTZ), the second largest provider of pet insurance in North America, the leading provider of companion animal RFID microchip technology, and the leading provider of management software for animal welfare organizations, is pleased to announce that the Louisiana SPCA (LA/SPCA), the oldest animal welfare organization in the State of Louisiana has moved to PetPoint.
Under the terms of the agreement, the LA/SPCA began using PetPoint's SaaS operating software application for all its day-to-day operations on May 1, 2010.
In August 2005, the LA/SPCA experienced devastating losses from Hurricane Katrina. Hours before the hurricane landed, a skeleton staff evacuated over 260 animals from the shelter to locations in Texas. Upon their return, they discovered their shelter had been destroyed and there was an urgent need to rescue the thousands of homeless pets that were made victims by the storm. Approximately 8,500 rescued animals entered into the LA/SPCA's temporary location. Of those 8,500, only 20% of the animals were successfully reunited with their owners.
PetPoint's ability to host shelters' data at an off-site location allows animal welfare organizations to continue to manage their operations effectively during an emergency situation, as experienced by the LA/SPCA during Hurricane Katrina. In addition, the PetPoint Animal Transfer Network allows shelters to co-ordinate the transfer of animals during a rescue situation into the care of a new animal facility, in the least stressful manner possible. Lastly, as PetPoint is tied in directly to the Company's 24PetWatch microchip program, reunification of lost pets with pet owners is made much easier.
In contrast to the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina, PetPoint's emergency response during Hurricane Ike, which hit the Gulf Coast of Texas in 2008, provided much needed support to Houston SPCA and Galveston Island Humane Society. The creation of an emergency database allowed shelter staff the ability to enter data on laptops via wireless connectivity in temporary shelters. Shortly thereafter, an Emergency Hotline was created along with an online Disaster Response Pet Portal which allowed pet owners in Texas to conduct online searches of pets lost during Hurricane Ike and subsequently call the Emergency Hotline to start the reunification process.
"We are delighted to be able to announce that our friends at Louisiana SPCA have joined the PetPoint family", said Mark Warren, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pethealth Inc. "There is no question that our web-based animal management solution is the software of choice for any animal welfare organization operating where natural disasters can occur. While we hope that Louisiana is never faced with another Katrina, we do know that, should one occur, the very capable team at Louisiana SPCA will be able to more effectively manage the crisis using PetPoint, particularly as animal evacuations ahead of a storm and shelter operations from a remote location during and after the storm will now be possible. Our success in assisting shelters in the Texas area before, during and after Hurricane Ike bears witness to PetPoint's operational effectiveness and superiority."
In connection with LA/SPCA's move to PetPoint, the shelter has also started using the Company's 24PetWatch microchip program and its ShelterCare pet insurance program for animals being adopted into the local community.
"We are thrilled to be working with a company that provides such exemplary support to animal welfare agencies. PetPoint, Petango, 24PetWatch Microchip ID and ShelterCare Pet Insurance will give LA/SPCA access to a variety of services and products to create and further enhance the human/animal bond. Additionally, they understand the challenges we face, and are committed to our cause. We're pleased to confirm that PetPoint will provide us with the necessary support in light of future emergencies that may occur in our region," said Ana Zorrilla, Chief Executive Officer, LA/SPCA.
In addition to now using PetPoint, LA/SPCA's adoptable animals can also be found at www.petango.com. Petango was launched in May of 2009 and is now one of the nation's most visited web sites for companion animal related content, including millions of people looking to adopt a pet. It is the only adoptable search site with live animal data feeds as it is the only site connected directly to the software application run by shelters.
LA/SPCA will also begin using the application to power adoptable search on its own web site at www.la-spca.org. Members of the PetPoint team are working with the LA/SPCA's staff to implement Pethealth's Adoptable Search solution for LA/SPCA, a project which is expected to be completed by May 31.
"The recovery team from the LASPCA was great to work with following Hurricane Ike, and while we are hoping we never work in those conditions again, we know that having them join the PetPoint family will help us all work even more efficiently," said Caroline Dorsett-Pate, Executive Director, Galveston Island Humane Society
About the Louisiana SPCA
The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is an organization devoted to improving the lives of animals and eliminating the homelessness, neglect and abuse that signal animal suffering. Chartered in 1888, our history has been paved with an understanding that only through an improved human-animal ethic can we better the lives of companion animals and that of our community. Our programs and services are infused with the highest standards of care and compassion.
PetPoint was first introduced in 2005, has now been licensed by over 1,370 animal welfare organizations in North America. As a hosted application, animal welfare organizations can not only better organise and care for their inventory of adoptable dogs and cats, but can also reduce significantly, if not eliminate, their IT related infrastructure costs. PetPoint is provided free to animal welfare organizations on the basis that these same organizations use the Company's 24PetWatch microchip program for all companion animals adopted. The 24PetWatch microchip program is the most widely used microchip and lost pet recovery service operating in both Canada and the United States.
Pethealth is North America's second largest provider of medical insurance for dogs and cats to pet owners, operating in Canada, the United States and the United Kingdom. In addition, the Company is the leading provider of management software to North American animal welfare organizations through its SaaS-based application and is the leading provider of pet related database management services to the North American companion animal industry. Pethealth offers a unique range of products and services for veterinarians, shelters and pet owners through a number of wholly owned subsidiaries using a range of brand names including PetCare, 24PetWatch, Pet Protect, Petpals Direct, ShelterCare, PetPoint, Petango.com and ThePetangoStore.com.
Pethealth is based in Oakville, Ontario. To find out more about Pethealth, visit the web site at www.pethealthinc.com.
Contacts: Pethealth Inc. Mark Warren President and Chief Executive Officer (905) 842 2615 Pethealth Inc. Steve Zeidman Chief Technology Officer (905) 842 2615 Pethealth Inc. Christa Chadwick Director North American Outreach (905) 842 2615 www.pethealthinc.com