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What's Waggin'

By Steven Appelbaum, ABC President
 

Hello all. I hope everyone had a nice and productive summer. It is hard for me to believe as I write this that the year is two-thirds over. It seems like it was just Halloween 2013.

Here are a few things that are going on at ABC.

We attended SuperZoo in Las Vegas in July 2014. This is an amazing event and one I highly recommend you attend if you have interest in pet products and trends in the pet industry. This year's show had a staggering 1,900+ booths from 910 companies exhibiting in a 192,510 square foot space. To put that in perspective, a large supermarket averages a bit more than 170,000 square feet. What's more, the booths are spread out, which means be prepared to walk. I covered 4.5 miles on the first day just traversing the hall and checking out the dizzying array of products. I was not alone as the attendee count was 16,640. ABC had a brand-new large 20x20 booth at this year's event and will exhibit it next year, too. If you attend, please stop by and say hello. We go to this and other conferences, such as Global Pet Expo and Western Veterinary Conference for several reasons. First, we get to meet students, graduates and mentors, which gives us direct feedback and lets us get to know you better. Second, these conferences afford ABC the chance to meet and establish rapport with pet manufacturers, distributors and retailers. Sometimes these connections develop into alliances.

Once such alliance we established at SuperZoo is with Alcott Adventures. (www.alcottadventures.com) This highly innovative company has a number of high-quality, dog-trainer relevant products, including a really nice 6-foot training leash, flat collars, travel bowls and more. Alcott will be supplying us with treat bags for inclusion in DOP new student welcome kits. The company is also providing discount coupons on its first-aid kit for DOP graduates. I have known some of the people at Alcott Adventures when they worked for other companies for over a dozen years and am thrilled that we are creating a new relationship with Alcott.

Aside from SuperZoo, we are attending the Association of Pet Dog Trainers Conference in Hartford, Conn., in October and walking Barkleigh’s Groom Expo in Hershey, Pa., in mid-September. We are exhibiting at APDT, so please stop by and say hello. We will be offering CEP discounts and handing out ribbons and bags for all ABC students, graduates and mentors.

ABC continues to have a great year. Enrollments are solid in our Dog Obedience Trainer Program (DOP) and Grooming Instructor Program (GIP). They are through the roof for our Veterinary Assistant Program (VAP), which is the most popular of the three programs for the third year in a row.

School accreditation is moving forward and our current projection is for the school to be accredited by 2017 or maybe late 2016.

We are also working on National Association of Veterinary Technicians (NAVTA) approval for VAP and have hopes of achieving that in 2015. In addition to the work NAVTA does for and with veterinary technicians, it also reviews and approves acceptable veterinary assistant programs.

ABC continues to promote Students Saving Lives (SSL). Since its inception in 2004, ABC students have donated more than 105,000 hours to shelters and rescue organizations all across North America.

Our ABC Alumni Group continues to grow; as of August 31, it had 12,892 members. Of this group 9,708 are DOP graduates, 727 GIP grads and 2,441 VAP grads. We’re also in the process of adding a new benefit: All alumni will receive 10 percent of their purchases from Dogwise.com.

Lastly, our social media efforts are seeing amazing results. As of September 11, we have 29,508 followers on Facebook, 2,198 on Twitter and 30 boards on Pinterest. If you don't already follow us, please do so by clicking on the links below.

      

         

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