The Pet Biz Gets Real on TV
By Jennifer Boncy
May 8, 2013



There’s Honey Boo Boo, Snooki, NeNe Leakes, Russell Hantz and, of course, that unavoidable clan fronted most notably by the ubiquitous Kim Kardashian. Such is the state of the world today that the most famous TV stars have become so by being themselves—at least, supposedly.

 

But an article that has popped up on several websites recently said the true darlings of reality TV today are small

businesses. The article cites as examples such shows as Pawn Stars, Welcome to Sweetie Pie's and Duck Dynasty.

Now, the trend has cropped up in our own pet-friendly backyard. I’m not sure if Wade and Brett, of Tanked famed, qualify as small business owners— judging from their hit Animal Planet show, the scale of their projects seem anything but small. But still, the show’s popularity demonstrates people’s enthusiastic interest in pet-industry related business. That is, of course, if there are entertaining “characters” at the helm.


Meanwhile, the pet grooming industry may find its own rising star in Angela Kumpe, who is the star of the Animal Planet pilot Clipped! that takes viewers behind the scenes of the award-winning groomer’s Arkansas-based salon.

 

 

 

 

It may be too soon to predict the success of Clipped!, but its possible inclusion in the network’s already strong line-up of programs suggests that there are TV execs out there somewhere who are hopeful that people will tune it to see Kumpe and her staff pull off some creative styling on adorable pets.

Certainly, other pet-related reality shows have already succeeded in winning a fair share of viewers. Although not a small business in a typical sense, the Villalobos Rescue Center is the centerpiece of Animal Planet’s Pit Bulls and Parolees. With locations in Clovis, N.M., and New Orleans, this pit bull-focused rescue center has educated millions on the plight of these infamous dogs through its well-received TV show, which first aired in 2009.

And there are others: Alpha DogsThe Incredible Dr. PolMy Cat From Hell; and of course, Cesar Millan’s Dog Whisperer and Leader of the Pack and Victoria Stilwell’s It’s Me or the Dog.

This is undoubtedly a trend with legs—four of them, actually.