Marc Okon, the entrepreneur and former stock broker behind Pet Food Stamps, has started a petition to outlaw “for-profit high kill” animal shelters.
He says an unforgiving economy is resulting in millions of abandoned pets, and that many of them are being handed over to shelters where there is only one way out.
There will always be animals to euthanize. But what is so honorable about turning mass killing into a profitable business? Click here to read more on the horrors.
Mr. Okon would rather see them fed than dead.
Click here to read the column I wrote on his group, which provides free pet food to people already on public assistance. Since writing the column, he’s says he’s heard from many of my readers seeking to make a donation to his cause.
But Mr. Okon also needs 100,000 signatures on his petition by May 26 to get the Obama Administration to consider it.
Dogs and cats didn’t cause the debt crisis, or the economic slump that followed, so why should they go hungry?
Marc Okon, a former stockbroker and entrepreneur, has founded an organization called Pet Food Stamps which distributes free pet foods to pet owners already on government assistance.
While economic headlines boast of recovery, he hears from people every day who are still feeling the pain.
More than 47 million Americans are currently on food stamps, according the the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which administers the program. That works out to nearly one out of every seven Americans.
If you are gainfully employed, it is easy not to see these people. But they are out there en masse. I frequently hear from some who say they were formerly members of America’s middle class.
Their words are usually very grim. Here, for instance, a few lines of a reader email I received today:
“Being a human that went from a high-paying job to food stamps in less than a year, I can safely say that I’m glad I had no pets when I lost my job. I remember an Oliphant cartoon about the disappearance of the family dog during an earlier recession. The ghastly visions that I experienced when I fell into clinical depression didn’t include dining on the family pet—they were far worse.”
Click here to read my column in The Sunday Wall Street Journal.
John Scherer, the entrepreneur formerly known as the Video Professor, is now on a mission to replace canned air.
Those 12- and 16-ounce cans of compressed air used to blow out computer keyboards and other electronic equipment are expensive and toxic.
Scherer has come up with a rechargeable can-sized device that pretty much does the same thing with out the hazardous waste. Click here to read my column on Marketwatch. And click here for Scherer’s website.
Scherer, who sold his widely advertised computer tutorial company a couple years ago, bought the product from its inventor, who initially called it “The Blower Buddy.” Scherer quickly renamed it the O2 Hurricane Canless Air System. (Hey, how’d you like to spend millions advertising yourself as the Video Professor only to become known in the end as The Blower Buddy?)
“It’s like a Category 5 Hurricane in your hand,” Scherer said.
I suggested the name “HurriCan” – with no “e”. But I guess Scherer’s pitch is to get people away from the whole idea of the can. This device is 100% “canless.”
In any case, the Hurricane seems like an easy sell. It’s green, it cuts costs and it’s made in America.
He’s pitching it to big companies as well as the U.S. Postal Service, which spends millions on cans every year to remove paper dust from mail handling systems. He’s also pitching it to other government agencies. Imagine the cost savings to the government alone.
Maybe they’ll finally stop kicking that stupid can down the road.
Australian billionaire Clive Palmer isn’t rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, he’s arranging for a whole new Titanic.
I’m curious how many people would buy a ticket on a ship named after one of the greatest disasters in maritime history. On one hand, it would be a luxurious ride. On the other, the water in the North Atlantic is cold and deep.
Click here to read my column on MarketWatch about this plan to tempt fate and perhaps prove the maxim that history repeats itself.
Also, as I point out in my column, the name Titanic II has already been taken by a low-budget film. My favorite reader comment under this story so far (not to be partisan, just thought it was funny): “I thought Obama’s Presidency already trademarked Titanic II.”
Posted by Al Lewison October 12, 2011 Entrepreneurs /
It was a great honor to hang out with Sam Sianis, the famous Greek tavern owner whose exploits were chronicled by Chicago columnist Mike Royko and satirized by John Belushi on Saturday Night Live. Sianis, owner of the Billy Goat Tavern, is also famous for the curse his uncle put on the Chicago Cubs, a curse he has tried to lift with his goat. I talked with Sianis about the curse on the Cubs as well as the curse that seems to be hanging over the entire U.S. economy. Click here to read my column.
I’m fascinated with entrepreneurs who’ve found ways to thrive in these difficult economic times.
Meet Treb Heining, who started making his living blowing up balloons 40 years ago. You’d think he’d be out of gas by now after setting Guinness records for balloon releases and inventing things from balloons that we take for granted today, like the giant balloon arch. But Heining is hardly winded. He’ now selling balloons shaped like animals that barely hover above the floor, making them appear to walk.
They’re hot sellers, even in the aftermath of a bursting housing bubble, he says. Check them out at myownpetballoon.com. And click here to read my column on MarketWatch.