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“The Fire Escape for Crates” Wins National Pet Product Invention Contest

Feb 18, 2013

“The Fire Escape for Crates” Wins National Pet Product Invention Contest

Financial Analyst from Atlanta develops fire/smoke detector for safe pet escape

Knoxville, TN – February 23, 2007 – Generating over 5,000 ideas and more than 200,000 votes, PetSafe, the industry leader in pet training, safety and lifestyle product solutions, along with Drs. Foster & Smith, the nation's most trusted name in pet supplies are proud to announce the inventors and winners of the “My Pet Idea” national pet product invention contest. Nancy Bock, a 44 year-old financial analyst from Atlanta, Georgia, developed the winning concept, “The PetSafe Fire Escape for Crates,” to help pets escape their crates in case of fire or smoke emergencies. As the contest winner, Bock is awarded $25,000 and has the potential to have her invention developed and sold exclusively through Foster & Smith. A professional dog trainer from New Jersey and retired dog-lover from California make up the second and third place “Petrepreneurs” for 2007. For a complete list of the top ten winners visit
PetSafe along with Drs. Foster & Smith teamed to create “My Pet Idea” as an online creative contest to search for the next great pet product invention. From Sept. 6 – Nov. 30, 2006, consumers were invited to submit ideas for new products that would enhance the pet/owner relationship and ultimately improve a pet’s quality of life.

The winning idea, The PetSafe Fire Escape for Crates, is designed for crated dogs and cats to escape a fire, alert their owners of the danger, and ultimately avoid being trapped. The PetSafe Fire Escape for Crates works through the use of a heat/smoke detector on a pole that is attached to the pet’s crate. If the detector is activated, a magnet drops to lift the crate pin and open the crate door. Easily adapted and added-on to most existing crates, The Fire Escape for Crates can’t prevent a fire, but does provide pets an opportunity to escape.

“Firemen typically will not enter a burning house to save a pet. My inspiration comes from motivation to help my dog escape a fire,” shares My Pet Idea winner and first time “Petrepreneur” Nancy Bock of Decatur, GA. “My solution opens the crate door when fire or smoke is detected, allowing my dog to escape and potentially warn me of the danger.”

The winning second place idea, “The PetSafe Tick Scanner,” was designed by Martha Windisch, a professional dog trainer from Chatsworth, New Jersey, offering an easy way of finding ticks on long-haired dogs or cats. The PetSafe Tick Scanner can save the lives of pets by allowing owners to locate and remove disease-carrying ticks before they attach. The hand-held device scans for the unique chemical “signature” found in a tick’s exoskeleton. When passed over the pet’s coat, the scanner beeps to alert when a tick is located, allowing the owner to remove the tick and ultimately improve the health and well being of the pet.

The third place winner, Vicki Le Gare, of Valley Springs, California, wanted a pro-active way to alert potty-training pet owners that their potty-bound pup needed to go outside. Her invention, the “PetSafe Piddle Alert” is a specially-equipped doormat with an enclosed beeper sound alert, that when activated via the pressure of a dog’s paw, would sound to alert the owner to open the door. A great solution for dogs that don’t give audible sounds or owners that don’t always see their pet standing at the door.

“The My Pet Idea pet product invention contest was created to provide an outlet for pet lovers to share their creativity,” said Doug Grindstaff, vice-president of new market development at PetSafe. “We’re really excited about our winning inventions and inventors and know these products will make a difference in the lives of pets nationwide.”

Foster & Smith and PetSafe worked with Ideas to Go, a Minneapolis based creative-process ideation company to create the IdeaFetch contest. The top 100 winners were selected from online votes by the public and a panel of PetSafe and Foster & Smith judges chose the final top 10 winners.

About Foster & Smith

Foster & Smith is the nation's leading veterinary-owned pet supplier, providing pet owners with veterinary advice and quality pet supplies at affordable prices for over 20 years. Since their modest beginnings in the early 1980s operating four veterinary clinics in northern Wisconsin, Dr. Race Foster and Dr. Marty Smith have become the nation's foremost authorities on pet care and education, earning a strong reputation for the scope of their veterinary expertise on dogs, cats, fish, birds, reptiles, pond life, and small animals. For more information visit:

About PetSafe

Headquartered in Knoxville, Tennessee, PetSafe is the industry leader in the management of pet behavior, offering pet training, containment, safety and lifestyle product solutions. PetSafe introduced the first do-it-yourself electronic fence to the pet market in 1991 and the first wireless fence in 1998. PetSafe's product line-up includes: kennels and electronic underground fences, bark control systems, a selection of remote training products, pet doors, pet feeders and a growing line of lifestyle products including toys and treats.