Wellness Brand Partners with Best Friends Animal Society
Wellness Natural Pet Food is rebranding its charitable group to the Wellness Foundation.
Wellness Natural Pet Food, a brand of WellPet in Tewksbury, Mass., has renewed the look, feel and mission of its charitable group, and as such, has changed the name from the WellPet Foundation to the Wellness Foundation. Camelle Kent, CEO of WellPet, details the reasons behind the rebrand and how it coincides with the company’s new partnership with Best Friends Animal Society, a nonprofit in Kanab, Utah.
Pet Product News: Tell us about the new Wellness Foundation. What is its mission? How is it different than the WellPet Foundation?
Kent: At WellPet, we have always given back to pets in need, whether by donating our time to shelters near our hometown of Tewksbury or sending staff and food down to Houston to help care for displaced pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. Helping pets in need has always been a part of our company fabric and culture, but we recently saw an opportunity to focus our efforts and hopefully have an even bigger impact.
That’s how and why the Wellness Foundation was born. It’s an evolution of what was once the WellPet Foundation, and we see it as an opportunity to channel the resources behind our biggest brand toward a singular goal: to ensure that every pet on the planet is born, bred and raised with love.
At Wellness, we all believe that all pets—even those in need and without homes—are family. Pets have the ability to make us feel loved no matter what and we owe it to them to provide a roof over their heads, relationships that are meaningful and better nutrition that contributes to better, longer lives. That’s why we created the Wellness Foundation, so that pets everywhere are treated with the love and care they deserve.
To help us do that, we’ll be working with nonprofit groups across the country who help promote pet adoption, ethical breeding and above all else, put the well-being and love of all pets first.
PPN: Why did now feel like the right time to rebrand the foundation?
Kent: For years, new pet parents across the country have taken their adopted dog or cat home with Wellness treats and food that we’ve supplied to our shelter partners. But many pet parents who feed Wellness weren’t aware that by making the choice to feed Wellness for their own dog or cat at home, they were helping make these donations possible. We wanted to make it clear to pet parents that they aren’t only doing something good for their furry family members, but they are also helping other pets start a new journey toward health and well-being. The only way to make that connection clear was to bring the foundation and its efforts under the Wellness brand.
PPN: You’ve been with WellPet since 2013, and took the helm as CEO in 2017. How does the new foundation play into your vision for the company overall?
Kent: When I first took on the role of CEO, one of the first things I did was make our sense of community a top priority. I continue to come back to the importance of community because, after all is said and done, we are a family of pet parents and our sole mission is to give pets across the globe the very best nutrition—and that singular focus on nutrition sets us apart from many larger players in the industry.
My lab, Rommel, is a huge reason why I joined WellPet. Like all Wellies—what we call our team here—I put the health and well-being of my pup first, and this is what drives us as a family of pet parents. Our pets are our lives, and this passion is the foundation for every decision we make, whether it’s what new recipe to create or new market to launch in. Being able to help support the health and happiness of pets everywhere has been our North Star. We know firsthand the difference pets make in our lives, so it’s our job to return the favor and make a difference in theirs.
That means also reaching outside of our four walls to help pets in the communities we serve. It’s what inspires us to keep making the best natural nutrition possible for the pets that depend on us, including those in need. Each year, we host a Global Day of Service, a volunteer day that allows employees to choose from a variety of local volunteer sites to help pets in need and live out the Wellness Foundation’s mission. Wellies are also given an extra day off to contribute to an organization that’s important to them.
PPN: How did the partnership with Best Friends Animal Society come about?
Kent: We’ve long admired the work of Best Friends Animal Society and have contributed to their cause in the past through regional food donations, but when their animal care team asked us to be their Official Pet Food Partner, it felt like the best way to begin the new journey for the Wellness Foundation. It was an opportunity for us to not just donate food and treats, but for us to get involved at the grassroots level by donating our time to shelters and events that Best Friends hosts across the U.S. to promote adoption. So many of our team members are eager to do more to help pets and this was an ideal opportunity to build a long-term relationship and contribute to the cause in a deeply meaningful way.
PPN: How will the Wellness Foundation contribute to Best Friends?
Kent: We proudly provide food for the animals that Best Friends Animal Society rescues and send adopted pets to their forever homes with Wellness natural nutrition. We know their new families will give them all the love and care they need to thrive, so we do our part by helping ensure they get the most nutrient-dense goodness in every bowl, starting with the first one. Many of these pets have had a long and tough journey toward adoption, and quality, natural nutrition can help ensure their health begins within.
Wellies will also be volunteering at Best Friends shelters and adoption events across the country for a more hands-on experience contributing to the cause.
We’re also launching a co-branded new treat this fall: Wellness CORE Bestie Bars. Packed with protein and superfood ingredients, these treats are inscribed with sweet sayings to share with your best furry friend. For every bag purchased, pet parents will know that they are helping the pets in Best Friends’ care.
PPN: How can retailers get involved?
Kent: The simplest way to support the new Wellness Foundation and our work with Best Friends is to help raise awareness. We know our pet parents are just as eager as we are to help, so we encourage retailers to share what they know about the Wellness Foundation with their customers: that every bag or can of Wellness natural pet food that gets purchased helps us give back to pets in need.
Also ask about our new Wellness CORE Bestie Bars. By stocking those treats in store or online, you can help pet parents not only give their own pets at home a delicious, protein-packed treat, but also support our efforts to give the same quality nutrition to pets in need. For pet parents interested in doing more, retailers can encourage them to help spread the word by posting a picture of their dog with their Bestie Bars on social media with #SaveABestie and @wellnesspetfood, adopt or donate by visiting BestFriends.org, or join the movement at WellnessFoundation.org.