Press Release (ePRNews.com) - MADISON, Wis. - Feb 21, 2017 - The 8th annual “Pets Reducing for Rescues” Ideal weight contest will have 6 divisions: “Biggest 4-Pawed Loser” Dogs, “Biggest 4-Pawed Loser” Cats, “Iron Dogs”, “Iron Cats”, and “Cat Pride” & “Dog Pack” Challenges.
The official contest weigh-in will occur on Saturday, March 4th, 2017 from 12:30 to 2 PM. The contest has an 8-year history and has donated more than $9,600 to local rescues since the first contest held in 2008.
Contestants choose their favorite local pet rescue organization and West Towne Veterinary Center (WTVC) will donate $10 for each pound lost for dogs and $20 per pound for cats during the FREE 8-week contest. Friends, coworkers and family members are encouraged to match pledges. Contestants are encouraged to form teams for the “Dog Pack Challenge” or the “Cat Pride Challenge” to increase funds for rescues and increase the fun!
WTVC staff will perform free ideal weight assessments for pets, answer questions related to nutrition and ideal weight. From 1:30 to 2:00 PM, Dr. Ken Lambrecht will present an informative seminar on “Fun, effective weight management in dogs & cats using the right foods and the latest weight management technology.”
NOTE: Pets participating in the “Biggest 4-pawed Loser” categories that are not clients of WTVC must have a signed waiver from their veterinarian to participate.
Up to 59% of all pets are now overweight, according to the AAHA 2014 Weight Management Guidelines. Ideal weight dogs live an average of 15% longer. (Gail, Kealy et al. 2002)
“Pet obesity is the single most important preventable wellness parameter in pets, second only to pet dental problems, and causes significant disease and loss of vitality in pets,” says Ken Lambrecht, DVM, Medical Director of West Towne Veterinary Center.
“Although challenging because of the huge emotional nature of feeding our beloved pets, we now have evidence-based guidelines and technologies to help pets reach and maintain ideal weight safely and effectively. Our annual contest is our way to share with the community those year-round strategies, tools, dialogues and emerging technologies and raise funds for our wonderful local rescues.”
Free contest sign-up and initial weigh-ins will begin on Saturday, March 4th from 12:30-2 PM.
If contestants cannot make it to the kickoff, they can still weigh-in at WTVC until noon Sat, March 11th when enrollment will officially close. (Earliest entrants will have an advantage so weigh-in at kickoff is encouraged and $1000 in door prizes will be awarded.)
The contest runs 8 weeks, with a midpoint weigh-in on Thurs, March 30th from 5:30-6:30 PM (those who cannot attend can get midpoint weigh-ins between Monday, March 27th and Sat, April 1st). The Grand Finale and final contest weigh-in will take place on Saturday, April 29th from 12:30-1:30 PM. Over $3000 in door prizes and over $1500 in contest prizes will be given away at the Contest Kickoff, Midpoint & the Grand Finale weigh ins. At least two official weights at WTVC is all that is required to win contest prizes.
FOR CATS: The upstairs of our veterinary clinic houses Bug’s Cat Gym, a boarding, foster and educational center showcasing the environmental needs of an indoor cat. It is complete with climbing walls & towers, 2 exercise wheels and the latest in weight management technologies for cats.
We have had great success using the Surefeed TM Microchip Pet feeder www.sureflap.com/westtownevet to help ration cats while in Bug’s Gym and for clients to use at home to allow multiple cat households to offer select foods to each cat.
Tailio http://tailio.com is a device that turns a litter box into a smart health monitor for cats by connecting with a free smartphone app. Tailio measures cat’s weight, waste in the litter box and works with multiple cats and litter boxes providing weight trends and early detection of discomfort or disease.
Our “Cats Night Out” kickoff weigh-in will be Thursday, March 2nd from 5:30 to 6:30 PM. We will discuss weight management concepts unique to cats and the use of weight management related technologies to help cats achieve ideal weight. Midpoint event will be Thursday, March 30th 5:30 to 6:30 and cat’s finale Thursday, April 27th 5:30 to 6:30 PM.
FOR DOGS: Our new gold sponsor, BabelBark, is a cloud-based platform that connects pet parents, veterinarians, and businesses through a single platform. BabelBark creates an ecosystem of mutually reinforcing benefits and enables the veterinarian to be the “Tech Savvy Trusted Advisor” to their clients.
FitBark, our other new gold sponsor this year, is a data-driven pet tech company focused on motivating dogs and their owners to get active and stay healthy together. They build collar sensors and software infrastructure that help humans in more than 110 countries take control of their pet’s activity, quality of sleep, calorie expenditure, behavior and overall health. FitBark is also a research-grade platform adopted by 35+ vet schools and research institutions to validate new drugs, foods, procedures and medical treatments.
We will have both of these technologies for contestants to purchase at a special contest rate and all proceeds will be donated to rescues. They will also be given as door prizes at all weigh-ins. These units in addition to HeyRex motivate and help monitor, making weight loss safe, more effective, and fun!
SPONSORS: We wish to thank & acknowledge our generous sponsors who help make this contest possible. Thanks to Babelbark, FitBark, Tailio, Neutricks, Hills, Purina, HeyRex and Elanco for donating products for prizes and contest use to help pets achieve ideal weight.
More information is at www.westtownevet.com.
CONTEST STATISTICS/Medical Background
In the last contest held in 2016, there were 69 final contestants (34 dogs & 35 cats) and the Dane County Friends of Ferals and Dane County Humane Society together received over $3100. Over $1500 in pet food prizes were awarded. This year we will have over $1000 in contestant food prizes and will award at least $3000 in door prizes at weigh-ins with a goal of $4000 to be donated to rescues.
Dr. Lambrecht has 36 years of experience as a preventive care veterinarian and is the medical director and founding owner of West Towne Veterinary Center. He is a board member of the Pet Nutrition Alliance (PNA), whose mission is to educate veterinary teams about pet nutrition, and is current chairman of the PNA Educational Tools Committee. He is also a member of the American Feline Practitioners (AAFP) Cat Friendly Practice Committee. He was one of the authors of the 2012 AAHA Canine Life Stage Guidelines. He presented “Effective Tools, Dialogues and Strategies for a Successful Weight Management Program” at the annual Purina Companion Animal Nutritional Summit in Barcelona, Spain in March of 2015 to an audience of board certified veterinary nutritionists & practitioners.
The Pet Nutrition Alliance (www.petnutritionalliance.org) has great nutritional tools and resources, including an evidence-based calorie calculator now available in 3 languages. Source :
West Towne Veterinary Center