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Voice Training Device Wins Canadian Pet Invention Contest

Feb 18, 2013

Voice Training Device Wins Canadian Pet Invention Contest

LONDON, Ontario, Nov. 27, 2006 – Generating almost 2,000 ideas and nearly 100,000 votes, Guardian by PetSafe®, the leading pet product manufacturer, and Canadian Tire, Canada's most shopped general merchandise retailer, today announced the winner of the national IdeaFetch™ contest. William Franzin, a 27-year old, IT professional from Winnipeg, developed a hearing device concept to improve communication between dogs and their owners. The winning invention, the PetSafe Voice Trainer™, has the potential to be developed and sold exclusively at Canadian Tire stores. The second and third place winners include an industrial millwright from Nova Scotia and a farmer/homemaker from New Brunswick. For a complete list of the top ten winners visit

Guardian by PetSafe, the industry leader and prime innovator in the development of safe, reliable and technologically superior pet products, challenged the public to enter helpful invention ideas online ( to enhance the relationship between pets and their owners. The contest, which ran between June 1 and September 30, 2006, offered all Canadians the chance to win $25,000 and have their idea developed and sold nationwide.

"Guardian by PetSafe and Canadian Tire take pride in being the leaders in developing innovative products. Guardian by PetSafe develops products that strengthen the relationship between pets and their owners," said Doug Grindstaff, vice-president of new market development at PetSafe. "IdeaFetch was created to provide an easy outlet for pet lovers to share their creativity."

The PetSafe Voice Trainer, will allow dogs and their owners to communicate in situations where the dog is unable to hear commands (e.g. across the yard, in a park, etc). The PetSafe Voice Trainer enables long-distance communication through a walkie-talkie formatted collar attachment. Yelling and straining for a pet to hear is no longer required as pets can now respond to clear verbal commands such as 'sit' and 'come'— even when out of sight.

Owner commands are heard by the pet through the receiver attached to their collar. The PetSafe Voice Trainer will have a range of up to 100 yards.

"This idea was built from necessity," said Franzin, a first time "petrepreneur". "Our family's full-size poodle has a hobby of running into the forest when let off the leash and not returning for minutes. Now, calling him on the radio to come back produces immediate results, without the usual yelling."

The second place winning idea, the PetSafe Illuminated Nail Clippers™, was designed by Randy Warner, an industrial millwright from Wolfville, Nova Scotia, for ease and safety in trimming pet's nails. Trimming an animal's nails is often a stressful task for owners that worry about causing their pet pain by inadvertently cutting the hard to see quick (vein) of the nail. In an effort to avoid this, owners must identify a well-lit location or use a flashlight to highlight the quick, which is time consuming, inconvenient and cumbersome.

The convenient PetSafe Illuminated Nail Clippers solve this issue by using a backlit cutting board that illuminates the quick and allows owners one-handed access to their animals for accurate, safe and pain-free nail trimming.

"I've spent years worrying about the comfort of my pet during routine grooming," said Warner. "This invention makes the process much easier and much less painful— for both of us."

Third place winner, Doreen Folkins, of Snider Mountain, New Brunswick, wanted to provide a way to keep pets from getting struck by cars at night and created the PetSafe Spot Spotter™.

"My worst nightmare is my pet running into the street at night, not being seen by the driver, and getting struck and killed," confides Doreen Folkins.

The PetSafe Spot Spotter keeps pets noticeable to drivers and safe from harm. Folkin's idea is a flexible but stationary device that slides and locks on all universal pet collars. Simply turn the device on when pets are outside at night and a constant bright light will keep pets visible. Additionally, if the pet starts moving suddenly (i.e. running out in front of a car) an ultra bright, flashing light will blink, rapidly alerting the car of the approaching pet. The ultra bright light can be seen more than 200 yards away and the batteries in the product last for 50 hours. The PetSafe Spot Spotter is available in three sizes: cat, small dog, and large dog.

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 Canadian Tire judges chose the final top 10 winners.


With Canadian offices based in London, Ontario, Guardian by PetSafe is the industry leader and prime innovator in the development of safe, reliable and technologically superior pet products. PetSafe introduced the first do-it-yourself electronic fence to the pet market in 1991 and the first wireless fence to the market in 1998. Over the years, PetSafe's product line up has expanded to include more than 400 items including: bark control systems, a selection of remote training equipment, electronic containment systems, pet doors and a growing line of lifestyle products. For more information about PetSafe visit


Canadian Tire Corporation, Limited (TSX: CTC, CTC.a), operates more than 1,100 stores, gas bars and car washes in an inter-related network of businesses engaged in retail, financial services and petroleum. Canadian Tire Retail, Canada's most shopped general merchandise retailer, with 465 stores operated by Associate Dealers across Canada offers a unique mix of products and services through three specialty categories in which the organization is the market leader — Automotive, Sports and Leisure, and Home Products. offers Canadians the opportunity to shop online. PartSource is an automotive parts specialty chain with 61 stores designed to meet the needs of purchasers of automotive parts – professional automotive installers and serious do-ityourselfers. Canadian Tire Petroleum is one of the country's largest and most productive independent retailers of gasoline, operating 262 gas bars, 250 convenience stores and kiosks, and 73 car washes. Mark's Work Wearhouse is one of the country's leading apparel retailers operating 328 stores in Canada. Under the Clothes that Work™ marketing strategy, Mark's sells apparel and footwear in work, work-related, casual and active-wear categories, as well as health-care and business-tobusiness apparel. offers Canadians the opportunity to shop online. Canadian Tire Financial Services manages over 4 million Canadian Tire MasterCard accounts and markets related financial products and services for retail and petroleum customers. Canadians can also access Financial Services online at Over 50,000 Canadians work across Canadian Tire's organization from coast-to-coast in the enterprise's retail, financial services, and petroleum businesses.