Hero’s Pets is a leading retailer in the natural pet supplies market. Founded in 2007 in Littleton, Colorado, the company operates a retail store that offers more than 14,000 products from local and ethical national and international manufacturers in the natural, organic, and eco-friendly pet supply market. Our focus is consumer education and the products we carry and recommend are chosen as a result of our own comprehensive evaluations, educated opinions and commitments to ethics.
With experience extending back to 2000, Chelsea Kent has developed a diverse, comprehensive education and experienced perspective in holistic nutrition and product integrity by spending vast numbers of hours on nutritional, product and regulatory research in the pet industry. She continues to working closely with the owners of multitudes of holistic pet product manufacturers, complimentary medicine practitioners, Veterinarians, AAFCO, State Departments of Agriculture, the FDA and many more.
Working as a product rep in the pet food industry taught Chelsea that good information must be found at the source, from the manufacturer company owners, and not from product reps or labels. Upon understanding the rules, regulations, and practices in the pet food industry, Chelsea and her mother, Kathy, decided to open Hero’s Pets with the intention of creating a place where consumers can come to trust that the products don’t just SAY they are quality but have verified their claims through documentation and evidence.
Founded in 2007, Chelsea and Kathy were the only employee’s for the first several years of business.
With a passion for pets, research, and spreading their message of whole food nutrition and higher standards they created a loyal customer base that necessitated the hiring of their incredible, well educated, empathetic staff. There is now a combined base of over 100 years of animal nutrition and behavioral knowledge among the staff of Hero’s Pets. This standard of excellence and commitment to education fuels the future growth of Hero’s Pets with a focus on setting new standards for the entire pet supply industry.
Hero’s Pets philosophy takes all aspects of health into consideration including nutrition, behavior, treats/chews, environmental factors, vaccine and medication history, exercise and home life. At the heart of our mission, even beyond offering healthful and eco-friendly pet products, lies a desire to impact our community via education and responsible consumerism. Hero’s Pets continues to partner with local businesses in an effort to seek truth, demand quality, choose health, and shop local.
WHY TRUST HERO’S PETS? HERE ARE THE DETAILS…
Scientific data –
Hero’s Pets sources all information from scientific or government sources such as NCBI, AAFCO, FDA, State DOA’s, USDA, FSIS, HACCP, AVMA, AVHMA, etc. Rather than accepting information from company representatives, we seek to find truth in advertising and labeling claims through regulatory and scientific publications. We always look at both sides of every argument to ensure validity of our claims. For example, some companies claim that Sodium Selenite (synthetic selenium) actually kills cancer cells and is therefore beneficial. However, after our extended research regarding those claims we found that this is only true because Sodium Selenite kills ALL cells, similar to chemotherapy. This makes the claim true, but not healthy. We seek to always be this accurate and skeptical of every product, ingredient and claim within Hero’s Pets.
Regular Employee Education –
When Hero’s Pets learns new information (which is daily) the entire staff is educated on it via personal interaction, private classes or email. This on-going information is a lot to remember and it takes a team to create a cohesive and complete support system for customers. Hero’s Pets team works together daily to find solutions to complicated health concerns that pet owners are dealing with. From pets that can’t keep weight on to pets that haven’t had a solid stool in a year despite constant Veterinary interaction and everything in between. Hero’s Pets not only works internally to bring bright minds with educated ideas together to form solutions, we strive to create relationships with Veterinarians and other health care providers to do the same, when they’ll allow it.
Veterinary Technicians and Veterinary Affiliation –
Hero’s Pets not only employs several Veterinary Technicians, we also work with several local Veterinarians in house and those from other practices. On occasion we reach out to them for advice or verification of our accuracy prior to providing suggestions to customers about their pets.
Regulatory Affiliation –
Currently there are less than a handful of retail stores in the country that interact with regulators and rules the way Hero’s Pets does. While Hero’s Pets is actively working to change the statistic and get more retail stores involved in bettering the industry through regulatory channels, the current standard is that not only do most stores and their employees not keep abreast of industry regulations and changes but they don’t even understand them. Almost on a daily basis Hero’s Pets learns about, teaches about or otherwise interacts with the laws, regulations, guidance policies and/or regulators in the pet food industry. Additionally, Hero’s Pets is in a unique position to be capable of influencing manufacturer change and compliance with policy, consumer education and regulator focus. Here’s how:
Hero’s Pets is a member of the Food Regulation Facts Alliance –
(http://FoodRegulationFacts.com) and attends every AAFCO (American Association of Feed Control Officials) meeting. AAFCO is responsible working with regulators to create definitions and rules for the Pet and Agricultural Feed industry. Hero’s Pets is one of only two Pet Supply Stores in the country that regulatory attend the AAFCO events, (the other is Platinum Paws of Indiana). Attending AAFCO meetings allows Hero’s Pets industry insights as changes are made to rules, regulations, definitions, manufacturing, sourcing and supplementation standards. Being a member of FRFA allows Hero’s Pets a voice on AAFCO Working Groups, meaning Hero’s Pets has the opportunity to interact through the process of change or creation of definitions and rules in the industry. This is a great opportunity and honor to really improve the industry. While having a voice does not always equate to being heard, Hero’s Pets is proud to be a part of a slow and sometime frustrating change rather than not being a part at all.
Hero’s Pets has been blessed to be a Stakeholder with the Colorado Department of Agriculture which allows Hero’s Pets access to being a voice in making changes for the better in the Pet and Agriculture Industry in the state of Colorado. Hero’s Pets was able to be a part of a legislatively-driven Colorado Department of Agriculture Stakeholder Panel regarding the use of Hemp in Pet and Agricultural Feed. This panel has been moved to address Federal wording in the Hemp definition and Hero’s Pets has been tasked with the Research division of this group, in particular regarding health benefits and safety/risk assessment. Hero’s Pets is also attempting to develop a working relationship with the Colorado Department of Agriculture’s Consumer Outreach Department in hopes of assisting in educating the public through retail pet supply store channels.
Hero’s Pets is responsible for supplying the FDA with Risk Assessment statistics regarding different categories of pet foods. The FDA has openly admitted to having difficulty finding resources to provide them with accurate risk assessment statistics that would allow them to identify risk of kibble vs canned vs raw vs dehydrated pet foods. Hero’s Pets provided them with statistics sourced from FDA, CDC, USDA FSIS and combined Market Share Data to determine that dehydrated and raw foods are, according to government source statistics, the safest products that consumers can feed. To see the full document click here.
Statistics show that non-HPP Dehydrated/Air Dried/Freeze Dried products are 664 times less likely to be recalled than dry kibble products.
Non-HPP Raw Frozen products are 62 times less likely to be recalled than dry kibble products.
HPP Freeze Dried products (which Hero’s Pets does not recommend, see our HPP links) are 60 times less likely to be recalled than dry kibble products.
Dry kibble products (the baseline product category) are linked to thousands of illnesses and deaths in pets, while raw, dehydrated, air dried and freeze dried have never, according to regulators, been linked to a single death. Additionally, dry kibble products are responsible for the ONLY 2 CDC regulated outbreaks in history caused by pet foods 16 states were affected, where dozens of humans became ill from handling Salmonella contaminated dry dog foods.
HPP Frozen Foods (popular brands found in most stores – Hero’s Pets does not recommend these products, see our HPP links) are 1.5 times MORE likely to experience recalls than dry kibble products.
Canned foods are 8 times more likely to experience recalls than dry kibble products.
In addition to this, Hero’s Pets is working to create relationships between industry advocacy groups and the FDA to increase consumer education regarding compliance issues with manufacturers and hopefully increase safety in the industry. An example of the benefit of this is the 2017 Mars lawsuit. In this lawsuit several hundred Mars employee plaintiffs sued Mars for toxic chemical exposure while manufacturing Mars Pet Foods (Iams, Eukanuba, etc) in 2015. One employee even died from this exposure. There were no recalls affiliated with this event (which is sadly not a one-time occurrence in the industry). Inspectors and regulators, in most cases, have no legal authority to enforce increased standards or even official published “rules” (because industry publishes them in “non-binding guidance” documents, which means they are suggestions, not laws). Small manufacturers almost always comply with legally binding and non-binding rules because even small actions against them from regulators really hurts their pocket books. However, multi-million dollar companies don’t tend to care much about being “picked on” by regulators because they have more money and therefore power than the regulators do. However, despite an inability to force changes at the MARS Petcare Joplin plant, had inspection officials been able to work through regulatory channels to notify advocacy groups (who have a large consumer following) of concerns found at this prior to this devastating outcome, advocates could of notified the public, the public may of responded by no longer purchasing Mars products and Mars may of chosen to comply with regulatory guidance because they were losing sales, even if the regulators were not attempting to enforce anything. The value of this relationship is why Hero’s Pets is working to join Regulatory and Advocacy Groups.
Experience and Customer Feedback –
Hero’s Pets staff has a cumulative 100+ years of experience in the Pet Industry. Each staff member has a different focus, from veterinary technician, to Emergency Room Tech, to Neurology Tech, to Nutritionist, to Researcher, to Regulatory Specialist, to Herb and Homeopathy Specialist, to Essential Oil or CBD research specialist and more. In addition to the intensive focus Hero’s Pets staff places on personal education and growth, Hero’s Pets also has a base of thousands of customers since 2007 and their daily feedback following our advice. We are fortunate to have hundreds of testimonials that provide us with recognition when we are on the right, or even wrong track. We are always improving and evaluating where we’ve been so we know where to go. We never assume we are 100% right or that we know everything. We never assume products are good based on their product labels or claims from their reps, rather we research everything in depth. Our years of experience and feedback allow us a regular picture of how we’re doing, where we can improve, and where we’re sure we have it right!!
The mission of Hero‘s PETS (Planetary and Ecologically Trusted Supplies) is to raise public awareness of the impact consumer decisions have not only on our own lives,
but on our community and our world. We carry only natural products from morally-conscious companies, and strive to support other independent companies in Colorado and around the US. Read more.