Winner Redux? Goodnewsforpets Wins Video Contest, Joins BlogPaws Influencer Group

Redux seems like a nice fit for goodnewsforpets, and I hope you will agree as you see what we have in store for 2014.  In the meantime, the news is we have won!  Over the years Goodnewsforpets has celebrated companies and organizations that have won awards, introduced winning products and/or services, professionals who have deserved special praise, and pet owners that have either shown their amazing talents in caring for pets or won one of our prizes.  Now we’ve taken a special turn ourselves — winning a contest for running a contest!

This holiday season we decided to repeat our popular matching donation format, but this time it’s a video contest about celebrating the holidays with your pet. And, in the holiday spirit, we’re also offering a chance to win an Apple product — one of ten iPad minis and a matching donation to a shelter of your choice. The catch? Produce a 1-2 minute video to share with our community.  So far, the contest won Best Online Contest of the Week by Online Video Contests and has been liked and viewed by thousands of people. Now we are looking forward to seeing the videos. There is still plenty of time to enter by December 29, 2013!  

In another recognition of our site, this blog has been invited to join the BlogPaws Pet Blogger Influencer Group, a trend-setting panel of pet bloggers/microbloggers/pet parents who enjoy sharing their opinions and being a valued voice in the ever-growing pet blogosphere, one of the most influential groups of pet bloggers on the web. Since BlogPaws is the original and first social media community and conference for pet bloggers and microbloggers, BlogPaws is adding to the power of the pet blogger by engaging feedback in constructive and useful surveys. These surveys will cover pet parenting to pet products, blog posts to blogger influence, and more and be posted within this blog. To receive this shareable data from these surveys on our blog & more in the coming months, register for our free e-newsletter on our home page

Happy Holidays and I look forward to sharing our 2014 news very soon! 



What About the Pets?

There is so much tragic human news as we get set to honor our veterans on Memorial Day that brings out the compassion in all of us.  But what about the pets?  One of several groups working with veterans today is PACT for Animals.  The group is helping by caring for and then reuniting soldiers with their pets through its foster care program.

The horrific Oklahoma tornado is certainly foremost on our minds, as it should be.  The good news if any is the amount of human kindness shown to those in need.  For the pets, the story is still unfolding.  Tragically, according to dvm360, it appears many pets and animals have died in the terrible storm.   There are some heroic tales as well, including one about a hero dog guarding the body of its owner.  The American Humane Association is sending much needed support and will continue to update us via their social media platforms.

What about the pets in other areas looking for forever homes? Maddie’s Pet Adoption Days, the first free New York City wide Adoption Event, takes place next weekend — June 1 and June 2 in New York City.  Check out the blog post from Debra Horwitz, DVM, DACVB on the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals web site.  The Keep the L.O.V.E. Alive Behavior Express Tour bus will also be at June 1-2 events in New York City.

In other news, as pet owners travel the country with pets this summer,  The Center for Pet Safety is set to test travel products this summer.

What about the pets?  It looks like there are plenty of people and organizations that care.  Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

It Started With The Fish Business

Happy Anniversary to our country this Fourth of July, and to Germinder & Associates as our parent company celebrates our 13th year.  We’ve introduced a new logo this year and happy to report we are still going strong.

Germinder's New Logo

It was on July 1st thirteen years ago – 1998 — that Germinder & Associates, Inc. was officially formed, but my journey in the pet business started even earlier.

Germinder started with a product launch campaign for the former Fort Dodge Animal Health company. I had been vice president of an agency handling several animal health accounts, also including Hill’s Pet Nutrition, and Veterinary Pet Insurance, and decided it was time to strike out on my own.

But much earlier than that, like many now in the pet side of the business, I started in what those in the know fondly call “the fish business,”  a.k.a. supplying aquatic fish for hobbyist fish tanks and ponds.   At the ripe old age of twelve, I worked in the office of my late stepfather Constantino Frank “Dino” Barbarisi and my mom Beth’s aquatic import/export business.  I and my four brothers did everything from helping clean the fish tanks (Piranha anyone?) to making the runs to the airport to even a few fish deliveries. 

The H.H. Backer Christmas Trade Show in Chicago was my very first trade show while I was still in college.  When I graduated college, I was away from the family business for several years as I worked on dozens of national brands from AT&T to Unilever, and with celebrities and athletes, including my favorite, Bo Jackson with Cramer Products.

Tropical Fish Hobbyist Article by Ed Taylor

 The pet business still beckoned.  I returned once again when my then 18-year-old brother Matthew asked me to help him with an interview by former editor Ed Taylor for Tropical Fish Hobbyist.   That article helped launch Matt’s business and the hydroponic aquatic plant business here in the United States. I went on to handle his advertising & marketing along with handling a host of other clients. I also worked with the New York branch office of Ornamental Fish International, at the time a London-based trade group.
Fast forward to 2011. Now thirteen years and over 125 animal health campaigns later – too many to mention in this post — Germinder handles all aspects of animal health vet/pet communications, and celebrates our pets.  “The fish business” has changed as companion animals have taken center stage.   I apply those early learnings combined with a now 30-plus year professional career with global brands to all of animal health.
Germinder has worked with organizations and companies from A to Z: from the American Veterinary Medical Association to Western Veterinary Conference, from Bayer to Wyeth Animal Health to more new clients including Pfizer Animal Health and Ceva Animal Health among others.

As we celebrate the Fourth, it seems fitting with these reminisces that my family and I will embark on a boating expedition with that same brother and his fiancé. While the memories are precious, the present is great and the future remains bright. Enjoy your Fourth too!

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And the Winners Are….

Congratulations to the following 10th Anniversary Winners! We received entries from across the nation and beloved stories about all kinds of pets.  The judging panel had a very tough job indeed!  Each winner will receive an  iPad with a matching shelter donation made to the ASPCA or a local shelter of their choice.  To view the winning entries visit and register to receive more news about each story and shelter donations AND more contests. On behalf of, your pets and the pets you will help, thanks to all winners and all entrants for sharing your special holiday moments. 10th Anniversary Contest Winners:

“Every Day Is Christmas,” Karen Miller, New York , New York

“Annie, A Special Kind of Cat,” Shane Free, Los Angeles, California

Sandy Made Our House A Home,” Joelle Bergau, Fort Meyers, Florida

Belle the Wiley Cat,” Taylor Kearns, Columbia South Carolina

“Cats Bring Holiday Joy,” Joe Canning, Greenville, Indiana

“A Special Christmas Pair,” Stacy Mantle, Queen Creek, Arizona

“Mindy in the Snow & Presents Galore,” Jenny Myer, Montgomery, Alabama

“Pumpkin, the Shy NYC Shelter Cat,” Jennifer Goddard, New York, New York

“A Christmas Pet Tradition,” Tanja Berkhouse, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

“Jack and His First Christmas Snow,” Chance Harris, Richardson, Texas

Running a Contest

We had the concept of a $10,000 contest for the 10th Anniversary ready since January but the timing never seemed quite right. As we neared the end of the year and we had to make decisions about contributions, we wanted to do something special, and so the concept of the 10th Anniversary contest coincided with the introduction of the i-pad. The ASPCA graciously agreed to be included and off we were! The entries at first trickled in and then as the holidays approached, we received so many heartwarming stories that the judges panel did have some tough decisions. Today we will announce the winners at and eagerly look forward to sharing more of their stories and the special matching donations to benefit and local pet shelters.   To receive your own email notification, register at .  There is no doubt 2010 was a difficult year for all but there is also hope and gratitude that the spirit of helping and the love of pets is alive and well. I’m looking forward to your comments on this contest’s winning entries. Again, Happy New Year, thank you for celebrating our Anniversary with us and look for more contests to come.

Win One of Ten iPads; Help Shelter Pets

 As promised, here’s our big announcement!

New York, NY – December 6, is celebrating its 10th anniversary with a special $10,000 promotion.  Pets bring special holiday memories.  Now celebrate those memories and enter for a chance to win one of ten iPads™ ($499 MSRP plus tax) from and a matching $500 donation to the ASPCA® or your local pet shelter.  The contest runs from December 6 through December 28, 2010.  Winners will be announced on New Year’s Day, January 1, 2011. 

 “ has a ten year history of educating pet owners and delivering news of value to our community.  Our new contests have benefited pets and pet owners alike.  With this matching donation we can now give something back to the shelter community.  It’s a win-win opportunity,” said publisher Lea-Ann Germinder, APR, Fellow PRSA.   

 Pet owners are invited to tell their holiday story and share it with a photo or shoot and submit a 1-minute video at All submissions that meet the contest criteria will be posted on the site or videos uploaded to our new YouTube™ channel at For the contest form and the rules and regulations, visit

 “We are delighted that pet owners will have the chance to share their holiday stories on, and that by winning, they’ll contribute to the care of shelter pets.  With today’s challenging economy, the need for financial support to care for shelter pets is great, and every contribution helps,” said Julie Morris, senior vice president of Community Outreach for the ASPCA. is a recognized, award-winning source for pet news. The site is published by Germinder & Associates, Inc, Free subscriptions are available through Also, the sites can be tracked through, the GoodNewsForPets blog, and Facebook. For 2011 sponsorship, advertising and social media packages, contact Lea-Ann Germinder at

Apple is not a participant in or sponsor of this promotion.

Me and My Apple

  When I think of apples and pets, I think of the iconic image of proffering an apple to a beloved horse.  The equestrians will have to tell me if that’s okay when I attend the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) meeting in Baltimore on Monday.  In regards to other apple related matters — you’ll know more about it on this site on Monday!

Now about me and my own apple.  I went to the University of Dayton and as a Flyer News photographer I frequented Brown Street.  That was 1978 and I remember a funky little store with a bitten apple on it.  They told me it was a computer store.  As I was in communications, I figured that was only of interest for the computer majors who were still writing BASIC code. Ha!

When I went to work at a marcom agency in 1980, we still had typewriters, carbon copy paper and mainframes in air-conditioned rooms.   We created direct mail programs with these huge laser printers that could actually personalize a letter, as in “Dear John Smith” by feeding in data cards.  But, the data had to be right and that was my job.  This was for the likes of AT&T, First Bank Systems and Northwest Orient Airlines when it existed. 

Fast forward to my next agency in Kansas City and as I was in PR, we all had PCs with floppy disks but the Creatives got the coveted MACS.  Next agency, same story.

So, when I launched my own firm in 1998, I bought my first MAC.  And, all the MAC software.  But, all my clients were on PC’s and at that time, they didn’t really talk so well, so there went my beautiful, creative MAC.  For 10 years I kept my PC until an apple crept back into my life in the form of an ipod, then an iphone for myself and my staff, and oh yes, MACS came back into my life. 

There is a pet moral here.  I can now sit with my iPad on my couch with my cat curled up next to me.   I can see the larger type better than on my iphone and it’s lighter than my laptop.  My dad got one after seeing mine.  Loves it.  Is Mac Air next?  I think this means more than one apple.  But I’m happy and in good health — with me and more apples!  Next report from AAEP and stay tuned for our announcement Monday!