Today we’d like to introduce you to Joey Herrick.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Joey. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I was the founder and president of a pet food company called Natural Balance Pet Foods. I had it for 25 years. In July of 2013, we sold the company. Dogs and cats provided me and my family a great life so I knew I had to give back. I started The Lucy Pet Foundation with the purpose to help stop pet overpopulation.
By doing that, I knew it would lower the pet euthanasia rates in our shelters. Six years ago, we were euthanizing in the U.S. over 80,000 dogs and cats a week. Today that number has come down to about 60,000 a week. Still a horrific number. The Lucy Pet Foundation has done over 26,000 free spay and neuters in the Southern California area in conjunction with the City of Los Angeles Department of Animal Services and The Petco Foundation.
Has it been a smooth road?
Over six years ago when we started nobody knew us. It is very expensive to provide free spay and neuter and I spent millions of dollars of my own money doing it. I didn’t really know how to fundraise, so I just did it myself. Luckily the City of Los Angeles heard about the reputation of the quality of services coming from the LPF bus and asked us to submit a bid for us to work for them. We did, and have done 16,000 of the 26,000 surgeries with their financial help. The Petco Foundation also heard about the quality of work that we do and donate from their foundation to The Lucy Pet Foundation to help us continue the work that we do.
It took time for the local communities to trust The Lucy Pet Foundation to spay and neuter their pets. Word of mouth really helped the foundation grow. Today, communities that we go into know and trust the staff of LPF. They tell their friends to look for the blue bus!!!
We’d love to hear more about your organization.
I am very proud of The Lucy Pet Foundation. Not only have we done to date over 26,000 spay and neuters but we were actually deployed to Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Our Chief Veterinary Officer, Dr. Karen Halligan, became an incident commander for the SPCA of Brazoria County, 40 miles outside of Houston. We spent many days there helping the animals get through this catastrophe. We also did five airlifts, moving animals who had no homes out of the area to other states.
I love my work with the Foundation but hated what was happening in the pet food industry. More and more companies coming into the industry only caring about bottom line profits and not the health of the animals. Marketing fads such as high protein diets, which science has proven are not healthy for the animals, are marketed everywhere. Feed your dog like a wolf!!! Are you kidding me? Dogs haven’t been wolves for 12,000 years. There are actually 36 specific DNA traits that make the wolf different than the dog.
Ten of those traits are specifically in digestion, which means that the dog can extract the glucose it needs for brain function and overall health from carbohydrates way better than it can from a meat protein. I led the industry for many years and pioneered such formulas as Duck and Potato, Sweet Potato & Venison, Green Pea and Duck and limited ingredient diets at retail. That’s why I decided to come back and lead the pet food industry once again. I started Lucy Pet Formulas for Life based on 40 years of research from the nutritional guru of the industry, Dr. George C. Fahey. He gave us his research on the microbiome of the gut and the importance of gut health. We are the first company to actually talk about gut health and are leading the industry with it. Our food has been tested for the past two years and is now
used by top trainers, veterinarians and police departments. We have so many testimonials from people whose dogs and cats’ lives have been changed for the better from these formulas.
How do you think the industry will change over the next decade?
There are big shifts going on in the pet food industry currently. This is driven by pet food companies who want to parallel human nutrition, but unfortunately, they don’t understand that a dog is a dog, a cat is a cat and a human is a human. Dogs and Cats have different nutritional requirements than a human. But the companies don’t care, it’s a marketing trend, that If it sells a product, that’s all that matters.
Also people today demand more transparency in the food they’re feeding their pets. Recently many companies have been caught lying on their labels and there are class action suits being formed. What so many pet food companies don’t understand is that it’s a privilege to be able to work with dogs and cats every day. To not put the health of the animals first is wrong, and those companies should be out of the business.
- Address: 31340 Via Colinas
Westlake Village, CA 91362
- Website: www.lucypet.com / www.lucypetfoundation.org
- Phone: Products 844-724-5829 Foundation 855-499-5829
- Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: LucyPet LucyPetFDN
- Facebook: @lucypetproducts @lucypetfoundation