Pig, cow products

transformed into

treats pets love


*HISTORY
Tucked away near State Highway 1 on the outskirts of Tishomingo is an 80,000-square-foot factory that to dogs would seem like paradise. At least, it would smell that way.

 

The plant in Tishomingo is a part of Scott Pet Products, based in Rockville, Ind.

 

Plant Manager Matt Dragg said the facility produces mostly dog treats made from pig and cow products. He said the plant made over 4.5 million pig ears for canine consumption in 2009 alone.

 

Operating for almost 10 years, the inside of the plant bustles with activity. Bones, ears and other cow and pig parts are sorted, cooked and packaged for sale in stores including PetSmart, Costco and Dollar General.

 

“They don’t waste any part of the animal,” Dragg said.

 

Recently, Dragg has run into a new problem. Companies in China are buying the ears from Hormel at a higher price. However, the Chinese process the ears not for canine, but human consumption.

 

“China is buying them for a $1.60 a pound and I can only sell them and make a profit at $1.20 a pound,” Dragg said.

 

* WHO WORKS THERE?
Dragg said 60 employees work at the plant, ranging from cookers, ear cutters, bone processors and packagers. He said no advanced skills are needed beyond a high school diploma.

 

* WHY TISHOMINGO?
The plant manager said Scott Pet Products decided to locate the plant in Tishomingo because the plant was already present as Pooch Paradise. The company bought the location and expanded it.

 

“The Johnston County Industrial Authority gave them a good deal on it,” he said.

* PLANS FOR THE FUTURE
Dragg said the company is moving into new areas and new product lines, including cow hooves and a new line of rawhide chews.

 

There are also plans for a chicken jerky-type product in the future, which would necessitate the creation of a new line.

Phil Banker
221-6542