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PIJAC Moves Forward Without APPA and PIDA Funding
Posted: Monday, Nov. 23, 2009, 6:11 p.m., EST

PIJAC Moves Forward Without APPA and PIDA FundingPet Industry Joint Advisory Council (PIJAC) officials say the organization is moving forward without funding from both the American Pet Products Association (APPA) and Pet Industry Distributors Association (PIDA). The Washington, D.C.-based organization expects to adopt a new strategic plan in February.

“We have a good handle on what it is we want to do to not just maintain, but become more effective in representing our membership,” said Michael Maddox, PIJAC’s vice president of government affairs and general counsel.

In a letter dated Nov. 12, APPA board chairman Michael Farmer said the APPA board had been concerned with PIJAC’s sustainability and leadership for the past several years and, in June, unanimously decided to pull its funding beginning in 2010.

“We, as the APPA board, have a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of our membership, and continued funding of the PIJAC organization would have been a bad business decision,” Farmer said in the letter to APPA members.

PIDA has also opted to pull its PIJAC funding, which totaled $105,000 in 2009. At deadline, the World Pet Association’s (WPA) funding—roughly $165,000 —was still up in the air.

In response to APPA’s announcement, PIJAC released its own letter on Nov. 18 in which board chairman Frank Koch said the organization has already taken a number of steps to ensure financial stability, secure qualified leadership, broaden its membership base and protect the industry against misguided legislation.

For example, PIJAC launched its first membership campaign for pet owners in September called Don’t Mess with My Pet. Through the campaign, PIJAC aims to educate members of the public on legislation that could restrict pet ownership as well as create more revenue for the organization (members pay $25 annual fees).

In October, PIJAC did away with the newly created position of president due to concerns over losing funding from APPA. At that time, the board also promoted Maddox to V.P. of government affairs and general counsel and Jamie Reaser to vice president of environmental policy and communications.

Now, PIJAC expects to adopt an updated strategic plan at its February meeting. The new plan will place an emphasis on membership campaigns, non-dues income programs and pet owner outreach, according to officials.

APPA said it plans to work with PIDA as well as “other key leaders in the industry” to determine what resources are needed to address live animal issues and promote a positive image of the pet industry. <HOME>

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