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Emma Hiatt, 4, examines life-like dog and cat tongues, which give clues about pets’ food preferences, during the July 14, 2016, grand opening of Better with Pets. | courtesy Purina
on July 29, 2016

Tony LaRussa helps open Better with Pets at Purina Farms

Exhibit features displays on dogs, cats and their owners.

Purina opened a new exhibit, Better with Pets – Discover Life with Dogs and Cats, at the Purina Farms Visitor Center in Gray Summit, Missouri.

The Better with Pets exhibit covers pet-related topics from nutrition and innovation to well-being and companionship, while highlighting the many benefits to having a pet. The exhibit is divided into four interactive, educational experiences for all ages, which promote proper pet care and appreciation of pets.

Through the exhibit guests can:

  • Find out which breed of dog or cat they are most like and have their image morphed with the image of the breed into a keepsake photo.
  • Learn how temperature and heart rate provide clues to a pet’s emotional state. Guests will also check their own vitals by placing their hands on thermal film, to gauge areas of varying body heat, and on a heart rate monitor, where a heart on the screen starts to beat based on the measured rate. 
  • Discover the elements of a balanced diet for cats and dogs by matching nutrient discs displaying carbs, fats, protein, vitamins and minerals to the body system they support.
  • Learn how assistance animals and service dogs play a vital role in the life of someone faced with physical or emotional difficulties and how pets can help them establish independence.

Purina Farms staff and animals celebrated the grand opening of Better with Pets on July 14 alongside former St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa from Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation (ARF).

“Our hope is that a visit to Purina Farms inspires guests to strengthen some of the most important relationships in their lives – those between parents and children, and pets and people,” said Daniel Henke-Cilenti, marketing director of Purina brand, in a press release. “We want guests to get active with pets, whether it’s being more involved with their own pets at home or advocating for the dogs and cats in shelters.”

The opening of Better with Pets helps mark the thirtieth anniversary of the Purina Farms Visitor Center, which opened on June 24, 1986. The pet-centric attraction charges no admission to guests. Guests who visit Better with Pets between July 14 and August 12 will help efforts to feed homeless pets at two local shelters. More information about charitable initiatives is available at the exhibit.

The free Better with Pets exhibit sits inside the visitor center at Purina Farms, located at 200 Checkerboard Drive in Gray Summit, Missouri, 45 minutes west of downtown St. Louis. Purina Farms is open mid-March to mid-November.

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Tony La Russa, co-founder of Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation, pets Xerk, a 2-year-old Bulldog, during the grand opening celebration July 14, 2016, for Better with Pets. | courtesy Purina

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