FOCUS: Long Leash on Life

Deputy Chris Leeper receives his donated food for K-9 Rex through a program sponsored by Blackwood and Long Leash On Life.

FOCUS: Long Leash on Life

Based in New Mexico, Norm Shrout and Ken Wormser are the co-founders and co-owners of Long Leash on Life, a new generation of pet health food stores. Not only do they work to provide innovative and healthy pet food, but they also donate this food to the local community, including local law enforcement K-9s.

Shrout explains how their journey began: “we noticed our two aging dogs becoming lethargic and had relatively low vitality levels, and we knew an upgrade was necessary.” Once the processed pet food was replaced with a fresher alternative, the dogs’ health drastically improved—their veterinarian even added time to the dogs’ predicted longevity.

In 2006, after seeing a lack of pet health food stores in Albuquerque, Wormser and Shrout opened their store, Long Leash On Life. “Pet parents here were starving for healthier pet options, hungry for solid nutrition information, and were craving for a larger selection of fairly priced pet health supplies,” Shrout explains.

Soon after opening, and in order to combat the growing feral pet population in New Mexico, Wormser and Shrout decided to give back to the community, and they continue to do so. From hosting adoption events and helping raise funds for homeless pets, to donating pet food, they have donated to well over 70 organizations statewide—they are more than giving back. In fact, in 2017, Long Leash on Life donated more than 200,000 pounds of pet food, which is now the largest pet food donation in New Mexico history.

Referring to their adoption assistance, Norm explains how “words cannot describe the gratification earned from helping pets find forever homes. We always say our jobs are a labor love, and that is never truer than when a pet’s life is saved.”

Over a year ago Long Leash on Life joined in a program with Blackwood Pet Food that benefits local active police K-9s. After completing an application process, officers receive a voucher to pick up a free bag of Blackwood Pet Food each month. Norm explains, “we had always wanted to give back to K-9s, so we jumped on this opportunity when it came along.” Long Leash on Life has now also joined a very similar program with Pinnacle Pet Food that benefits retired K-9s.

“Now in our second year,” Norm explains, “our feeding program has evolved into a great collaboration.” But Long Leash of Life’s generosity didn’t stop there, they also recently sponsored a vehicle heat alarm system for Officer Arnold Galindo-Noreigo and his K-9 Candace in Milan, NM.

When asked what owners can learn to ensure their pet’s health, Norm describes how “lifestyle components are intricately connected and critical to a pet’s overall well being.” He suggests dietary rotation and limiting the use of chemicals, to minimize your pet’s health risks and to help maximize the nutritional adequacy of their diet.

The National Police Dog Foundation is thankful to Norm and Ken’s incredible contribution to New Mexico’s law enforcement active and retired K-9s. The Foundation encourages others to follow their charitable example, and also their advice, to ensure the health and well-being of our pets and K-9s.

In this month’s newsletter, the National Police Dog Foundation spotlights Long Leash on Life, a well deserving organization helping law enforcement K-9s and Handlers.

K-9s and handlers at a presentation by Blackwood/Long Leash On Life about the free food program.

Pay It Pet-Ward Food Drive: Long Leash On Life purchased/gathered massive quantities of pet food to donate to a variety of animal welfare organizations such as shelters, pet food banks, and local rescue groups. Last year, they amassed well over 200,000 pounds of pet food and split that between nearly 50 organizations.