[Pursuits] Animal magnetism

No one will ever accuse Rosanna Knox of not being an animal lover. The owner of eight cats, two dogs and an assortment of ferrets and guinea pigs, Knox, 52, clearly believes in attending to an eclectic menagerie. So it’s no surprise that the Twinsburg resident has joined the ranks of Shure Pets. Following in the footsteps of Tupperware and Amway, the Chicago-based company is comprised of independent sales representatives who sell pet products out of their homes and at parties.

Knox has tried her hand with other direct-sell merchandise, including Avon, but her interest in animals cemented her commitment to Shure Pets in 2006. She donates 10 percent of her profits to the Animal Protective League in Cleveland.

“Many of the pet consultants and their party guests are people who have had a lot of pets throughout their lives,” says Shure Pets president Andrew Shure, who founded the company in 2002, and claims more than 2,000 consultants nationwide. “Some may be empty-nesters whose pets have become sort of their children. Many older people like to become consultants because they don’t have to leave their home to go to work, and it’s a great social opportunity.”

Pet consultants, adds Shure, earn an average of $2,400 a year. The start-up fee is $149, which includes a New Puppy on the Block kit that provides information about products and developing the business.

At a recent party Knox hosted, guests sniffed dog shampoos that smelled like vanilla, apricot and Creamsicles, and marveled over a Pet Scrapbooking Kit. More than 250 items are available for dogs, cats, horses, rabbits, birds and ferrets, ranging in price from $10 to $70. While listening to Knox’s presentation, guests also played a pass-the-bone game to win door prizes. Afterward, they ate pepperoni pizza shaped like a dog bone, and shared photos and stories about their animals. At some parties, pets are invited along with their owners, but that can get a bit dicey if Rover doesn’t like Fluffy.

Knox most enjoys helping pet owners find solutions to their pet health and grooming concerns and bringing together pet lovers in a relaxed, party setting. If there is a downside to her parties, she says, it’s keeping her dogs in another room whenever she brings out Shure Pets’ Pup’s Pizzas. The treats are made from all-natural ingredients and can be warmed in a microwave.

“If my dogs smell them, they just jump all over the table, knocking everything over until they get to them,” says Knox, offering a hard-to-beat testimonial.

For more information about Shure Pets, visit www.shurepets.com.

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