Ed Kunzelman bestowed Lifetime Multi-store Achievement Award
Kunzelman's love for animals plus trained pet counselors at Petland have contributed to the store's success
Petland, Inc. founder Ed Kunzelman has been recognized by the World Pet Association (WPA) for its Lifetime Multi-store Achievement Award. Kunzelman opened the first Petland store in downtown Chillicothe, Ohio on October 21, 1967. Since then, Petland has expanded to feature 301 retail pet store locations, in 8 countries worldwide.
"I am grateful and humbled by this recognition from the World Pet Association," expressed Kunzelman, in a company release.1 "The support Petland and I have received over the past 55 years from our loyal customers, suppliers, pet enthusiasts and so many others, has and continues to be what drives us in our mission to match pets with their lifelong families. For me personally, this has been a labor of love. I am grateful to WPA, our suppliers and my Petland family for their support and dedication to fulfilling a lifelong dream."
According to the release,1 Kunzelman's affinity for pets began as a child and he has been a lifelong tropical fish enthusiast. He frequented pet stores while his father made door-to-door sales calls in southern Ohio communities. At 15 years old, Kunzelman started his own business of breeding and selling tropical fish, before pursuing education in college. He worked as an english and history teacher until he switched gears to his pet care passion by debuting the first Petland store at 31 S. Paint Street, Chillicothe, Ohio.
"Ed and Petland have a simple message, 'Pets Make Life Better,' and Petland is always about pets. The Petland mission is to pair the right pet with the right customer; and if you've ever walked into a Petland store, you see hamsters, birds, ferrets, dogs, cats, and beautiful tropical fish – all accessible to the customer. You'll also encounter smiling and educated pet counselors ready to help engaged, prospective pet parents,” stated WPA board member and Hagen's director of marketing, Jeff SanSouci, in the release.
Kunzelman's experience as a teacher empowered him to require pet counselor training as a pillar of Petland's business model and its success. SanSouci, continued, "With a focus on top-notch customer service and trained pet counselors, Petland defines leadership in the pet store retail industry by remaining the largest retailer in the world that focuses specifically on pets."
Petland and its franchisee partners are dedicated to supporting the communities where the stores are located, including with1:
- Assistance in the placement of 350,000 abandoned pets;
- Grants awarded from Petland Charities for Pets in the Classroom to more than 800 classes;
- Food and supplies to more than 200 police K-9 units;
- Visits by Petland staff and pets to more than 3,000 nursing home facilities and schools;
- More than $1 million raised by Petland and its customers to support St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital; and
- Over 900 wishes granted through the Make a Wish Foundation.
Kunzelman receives National Honor for Lifetime Achievement. News release. Petland. October 3, 2022. Accessed October 3, 2022. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/kunzelman-receives-national-honor-for-lifetime-achievement-301637904.html