SAN FRANCISCO, CA (February 20, 2000) – Pets.com, a leading online provider of pet products, information and resources, today launched its efforts focused on the veterinary community with the announcement of three important partnerships that will support veterinary practice and improve pets’ health and well being.
Pets.com will help support and grow veterinarians’ businesses through an investment in veterinary medical Web site PetPlace.com, which provides care and well-being information to pet owners. This education for pet owners is likely to result in their giving greater compliance to necessary medical treatments for their pets. At the same time, Pets.com will work with Veterinary Pet Insurance, the nation’s leading provider of pet medical insurance, to raise awareness with pet owners of an affordable way to give their pets the medical attention they need. Finally, Pets.com will help further veterinary practice through a $1 million pledge to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), which will be used for veterinary medical school scholarships, human-animal bond research and a disaster relief fund.
“We recognize the integral role that veterinarians play in helping people improve the lives of their pets, so these important efforts are the foundation of a long-term partnership that Pets.com will have with the veterinary community,” said Julie Wainwright, Pets.com Chairman and CEO. “We believe that by supporting veterinarians’ important work through outreach to our broad customer base, Pets.com can help achieve the goal that we all share – happier pet owners and healthier pets.”
Partnership with PetPlace.com
As part of its commitment to support veterinary practice and improve the lives of pets, Pets.com has entered into a significant strategic partnership with PetPlace.com, the online leader for pet wellness and illness information. PetPlace.com provides pet owners with extensive medical health information via a real-time, interactive library offering the most current information on treatment and diagnostic plans. The Web site’s content is provided by many of the nation’s leading veterinarians and organizations, including Dr. Jon Bonagora and Angell Memorial Hospital, a number of veterinary specialists and several veterinary medical schools.
To demonstrate its commitment to this endeavor, Pets.com has made an equity investment in PetPlace.com. In addition, the Pets.com and PetPlace.com sites are tightly integrated, so that pet owners can get the medical information they need about their pets, as well as basic health information and everyday products from Pets.com’s broad selection of nearly 12,000 items. Together, Pets.com and PetPlace.com provide veterinarians’ clients with the best pet wellness and illness advice and OTC products to care for their specific pet.
The Pets.com and PetPlace.com partnership offers important benefits to the veterinary community. First, the two Web sites can grow and support veterinarians’ businesses by increasing client compliance, increasing revenue, and decreasing time spent on basic health and medical issues that don’t require a veterinarian’s medical expertise. In addition, the Web sites provide veterinarians with a highly qualified, reliable resource that they can refer their clients to.
“Many veterinarians have found that informed clients are the best clients, because they understand and are more willing to give their pets the medical treatments that they need,” said Jon Rappaport, DVM, PetPlace.com CEO. “In addition, veterinarians can refer their clients to PetPlace.com and Pets.com for basic health information, enabling veterinarians to have more time to put their medical expertise to practice.”
“In short, Pets.com and PetPlace.com allow veterinarians to spend more time doing what they love and are trained to do – practice quality medicine,” added Sue Ann Latterman, VMD, Pets.com Vice President of Strategic Alliances.
Partnership with Veterinary Pet Insurance
Another part of Pets.com’s effort to support veterinary practice and improve the lives of pets is to help pet owners find affordable ways to give their pets the medical attention they need. For this reason, Pets.com has formed a limited exclusive relationship with Veterinary Pet Insurance, the oldest and most highly regarded pet medical insurance provider. Through cross-promotion on their Web sites, editorial on the Pets.com Web site and in Pets.com, The Magazine, and other joint marketing efforts, Pets.com and Veterinary Pet Insurance aim to introduce millions of pet owners to the benefits and cost savings provided through pet medical insurance.
“At Veterinary Pet Insurance, our goal has always been making miracles of veterinary medicine affordable, allowing veterinarians to practice the high level of medicine for which they spent years training,” said Jack Stephens, DVM, Veterinary Pet Insurance Founder and CEO. “Partnering with Pets.com will enable us to introduce Veterinary Pet Insurance to millions of pet owners, which we believe will ultimately result in a significant increase in veterinarians’ revenue.”
Partnership with AVMF
Finally, as part of its commitment to the advancement of the veterinary profession, Pets.com has formed a three-year partnership with the AVMF, the leading national foundation that raises funds in support of veterinary practice, education and care. As part of the partnership, Pets.com is providing the AVMF with a $1 million pledge that will be used to provide scholarships at each of the 31 North American veterinary medical schools, as well as fund human-animal bond research programs and an emergency relief fund. In addition, Pets.com will help introduce the AVMF to pet owners through information on its Web site and in Pets.com, The Magazine.
“We are thrilled to have a high-profile partner who cares about the advancement of the veterinary community,” said Paul Amundsen, Executive Director of the AVMF. “Pets.com will be an important link for the AVMF to consumers – enabling us to communicate broadly the z important work of the AVMF and to gain support from pet owners for the veterinary practice.”
Pets.com (NASDAQ: IPET) is a leading online provider of pet products, information and resources. The company offers a broad and growing product selection of more than 12,000 SKUs, surpassing the limited product selection of pet superstores, specialty stores and grocery stores to offer customers a convenient, one-stop shopping experience. In addition, at Pets.com, pet owners can find authoritative information from pet experts and veterinarians, community at Pets.com’s message boards, and resources with Pets.com’s database of veterinarians, pet sitters and more. Pets.com delivers on its commitment to consumers through its in-house fulfillment, customer service, merchandising, editorial, design and technology operations. Pets.com is led by a team of e-commerce and pet industry experts and enjoys strong backing from key investors, including Amazon.com and GO.com. Pets.com is based in San Francisco, CA.
PetPlace.com, www.petplace.com, is the leading online resource for pet health and well-being. The site combines the knowledge and caring of top veterinarians and animal hospitals in the world with cutting-edge web technology to create an educational and supportive online environment. PetPlace.com is dedicated to increasing the human-animal bond by providing the means to help pets live longer and healthier lives.
About Veterinary Pet Insurance
Founded in 1980 by Dr. Jack Stephens with the support of 750 independent veterinarians, Veterinary Pet Insurance is the nation’s number one medical insurance for dogs and cats, and enjoys an 82 percent renewal rate. Veterinary Pet Insurance policies make the miracles of veterinary medicine affordable by covering more than 6,400 medical treatments for accidents and illnesses, with an optional wellness endorsement available. Policies are licensed in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Nearly 1 million Veterinary Pet Insurance policies have been sold and are exclusively endorsed by the American Humane Association. Veterinary Pet Insurance policies are underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. in California. Outside of California, policies are underwritten by National Casualty Co.
The American Veterinary Medical Foundation is an independent 501 (c) (3) foundation that raises and disburses funds in support of veterinary education, care and practice. The AVMF’s mission is to serve the health needs of society by the promotion of animal health and the enhancement of veterinary medical education and science. The Foundation-supported activities include scholarships and loans to veterinary students; research to explore the human-animal bond; and disaster relief initiatives. Founded in 1963, the AVMF has annual operating revenues of approximately $5 million.