The personal journey of our founder, Arlene Muzquiz,
and the road that led to Pure Paws.
Part 1. Vet Tech Meets Cali Inequality
In the early 90s, Arlene was studying veterinary medicine in California and working as a vet tech. While she loved helping animals in need, there was one aspect of her job that became increasingly difficult.
The vet’s office where Arlene worked was located on the border of Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys — between a wealthy and an impoverished neighborhood. On a daily basis, half of her pet-owner patients were financially able to pay to heal their pets while those without the means had little choice but to euthanize. Having a daughter of her own, her heart and paychecks went out to the families in need. Unfortunately, this being an unsustainable profession for her own family, she was driven to find some other way to help the animals and people she loved.
Part 2. Dreams of Westminster
In 2000, Arlene moved back to her home in San Antonio, Texas and bought a little Yorkie boy named Hercules whom she hoped to show and make a champion. Unfortunately he grew to about 10 pounds, had a coat that couldn’t grow longer than 2 inches and a muzzle that could rival Sesame Street’s Snuffleupagus. Still, she loved him dearly and wanted only the best for her loved ones.
Unsatisfied with the product options available for future champion Hercules, and back in school studying chemistry, she started her journey, researching ingredients and teaching herself how to create a high quality dog shampoo. With bottles ordered and business cards freshly printed she loaded her truck and drove cross-country with her daughters to dog shows across the US, listening to dog owners, dog handlers and their pet skin and coat issues. From these personal conversations she would delve into experimentation once again on another product to solve these problems.
As requests for these specially formulated products grew, she sought out a larger manufacturer with one condition – they promise to use only the highest quality ingredients specifically chosen by her. An agreement was made.
As a small family company competing in an industry with big names, she hyper focused on the ingredients that were being put into the products instead of expensive marketing and packaging. This led Pure Paws to adopt the value system and ultimately our motto of Best Ingredients = Best Results.
In 2004, two Pure Paws dogs, a Yorkie named “Guemart Magic Millionaire” and maltese “Marcris Thrill of Victory”, took Best of Breed at Westminster and both won Best of Breed at their Nationals. This propelled Pure Paws within the industry making the product line a leading choice for top dogs around the globe.
Over the next 10 years top dog show handlers from around the world found and fell in love with her products and her story and partnered with her on product creation including Eric Bernard, the number one Yorkie handler in France and Gabriel Rangel, the number one terrier handler in the US.
Part 3. The Extended Family
While these were great wins for the Pure Paws name, as her heart would have it, she wanted to do more for for her ever expanding Pure Paws Family. In 2004 she started giving educational seminars to anyone that would ask. This started as small, personal gatherings with show professionals and professional groomers and has since grown into the fully fledged Pure Paws Educator Program, focusing of on bringing education to groomers who are choosing to self-regulate in the unregulated pet industry.
Part 4. Heartache and an Industry Revealed
In 2014, tragedy hit. The family dog, a Black Russian Terrier named Dietrich or as called by the girls, “Deek” was diagnosed with lymphatic cancer. They cared deeply for him and took care of him until his time was up. This heartbreak led to impassioned research and to upsetting findings.
1 in 4 dogs will die of cancer. While genetics play a large role in cancer rates, external factors like to food you feed and the products you choose to use can either do good or cause greater harm. We choose to do good.
Just as we developed our winning show products through listening to people, we are listening again but this time, addressing the pet industry as a whole. Our motto, Best Ingredients = Best Results, once meant using the highest quality ingredients to provide winning show quality results. Now, our company and the aspirations we have for our animals and the industry we share must grow in its purpose and action. Creating the highest quality products available for our animals was a great place to start but it’s not enough. We can do more.
Pure Paws exists in the confusing, unregulated yes unregulated pet industry where deceptive marketing terms for products like “chemical free” and “hypoallergenic” and “green” can have little to no basis, where carcinogens can go unchecked. This is unfair to the pet parents who trust their industry and to the pets that are left susceptible to it.
Part 5: Game Changers
However, like any industry, there are the revolutionaries leading the charge for progress Independent organizations calling for higher standards from our corporations, groomers choosing to self-regulate through independent organizations in order to improve safety standards and consumers, taking the extra effort to find them.
We believe that through spreading awareness of these issues and by operating through responsible practices, we can change this industry norm.
Our Promise to you.
Our mission at Pure Paws is to raise service and product standards in the pet industry. This means improving education programs for pet professionals, preserving the history and integrity of our beloved breeds, serving the people and animals in our communities, by humanizing the pet industry and by providing the highest quality products that are safe and effective for human and animal alike.
To ensure we are doing good on our commitment to you, we will be partnering with other third party organizations, that are also passionate about providing their readers with honest and transparent information.
This mission is carried out through our four department, Pure Paws Edu., Pure Paws Show, Pure Paws Angels, Pure Paws Vogue and our through our ultimate promise of Best Ingredients = Best Result.