REDHILL, SURREY--(Marketwire - June 7, 2012) - Pethealth Inc. (TSX:PTZ) -
Pet Protect Limited ("Pet Protect") is pleased to announce it has released the ground-breaking new ISO-standard MiniChip™ in the United Kingdom, offering a less invasive choice for the use of RFID microchip technology in cats, kittens, puppies, and small breed dogs. The launch coincides with the beginning of "National Microchipping Month", organised by the Kennel Club to educate and encourage pet owners to microchip their pets.
Pet Protect is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Canada-based corporation Pethealth Inc. ("Pethealth" or the "Company"), the world's leading provider of companion animal RFID technology and a leading provider of pet insurance operating in Canada, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Pethealth is the exclusive provider of the MiniChip in North America through its 24PetWatch brand and now also in the U.K. through Pet Protect.
In addition to its existing pet insurance program, Pet Protect began selling microchips to the companion animal veterinary market in 2009 and has experienced rapid growth, as evidenced by a 117% increase in year on year sales over the period January 1 to end of May 2012. During the same year, the Company also announced former model, TV presenter, and animal lover Catrina Skepper as the celebrity spokesperson for its Pet Protect brand.
"Initial feedback about the MiniChip has been positive, with sales in Canada and the United States spurring new records in microchip sales during our first quarter," says Mark Warren, President and Chief Executive Officer of Pethealth Inc. "We are very pleased to expand the launch into the United Kingdom and anticipate similar success to what we have already seen in North America."
At one third the size, the MiniChip offers a smaller-scale alternative without compromising the protective benefits of standard microchip technology. It is suitable for use in animals of all sizes but especially small breed dogs, cats, kittens, and puppies. The MiniChip was developed and is also manufactured by Allflex USA, Inc.
The release of the MiniChip in the U.K. also marks the expansion of the Company's "Recover a Pet, Uncover a Cure" campaign, through which a portion of every MiniChip sold is donated to support the fight against breast cancer. The campaign is already widely supported in both Canada and the United States through donations to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation - Ontario Region and the American Breast Cancer Foundation. In the U.K., donations collected through the sale of MiniChips will support the Pink Ribbon Foundation.
"We are thrilled to be able to offer this innovative product in the United Kingdom as well as raise awareness about lost pet recovery in support of a worthy cause," says Andy Roche, Managing Director of Pet Protect Limited. "Over the past couple years we have successfully carved out a growing segment of the companion animal microchip industry. Given early sales figures and the cause-driven supporting campaign, we believe the MiniChip will enhance this growth in 2012."
In addition to the size-related advantages, as an exclusive product of 24PetWatch, each MiniChip includes free registration to the 24PetWatch Lost Pet Recovery database and a year of complimentary maintenance services. Currently, over 5.6 million cats and dogs are registered to the 24PetWatch database, operated by an entirely in-house call center providing lost pet recovery services 24/7/365. The Company sold over 1.3-million microchips last year to over 5,600 clinics and shelters in North America and the United Kingdom.
Animal welfare practitioners and veterinarians interested in the MiniChip can call 1-866-597-2424 for more information.
About Pink Ribbon Foundation
The Pink Ribbon Foundation mission is to give financial support to charitable organisations in the United Kingdom providing assistance and relief to those affected by breast cancer as well as those working to advance its early detection and treatment.
Find out more about the Pink Ribbon Foundation at http://www.pinkribbonfoundation.org.uk.
About Pet Protect Limited
Launched in 1983, Pet Protect Limited was founded to provide major medical pet insurance coverage to pet owners to help mitigate the cost of veterinary treatment. In 2009, the company expanded into companion animal RFID microchip and lost pet recovery services, complementing its existing pet insurance programs and supporting its continued dedication to pet health and welfare.
About Pethealth Inc.
Pethealth, the parent company of Pet Protect Limited, is a leading provider of companion animal services in North America and the United Kingdom. In addition, the Company is the leading provider of management software to North American animal welfare organisations through its cloud-based application and is the leading provider of pet related database management services to the North American companion animal industry and now also a leading provider in the U.K. Pethealth offers a unique range of products and services for veterinarians, shelters and pet owners through a number of wholly owned subsidiaries using a range of brand names including PetCare, 24PetWatch, PetProtect, petPals Direct, ShelterCare, PetPoint, Petango.com and ThePetangoStore.com.
Pethealth is based in Oakville, Ontario. To find out more about Pethealth, visit the web site at www.pethealthinc.com.