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The Story of Hill's Pet Nutrition

The Story of Hill's Pet Nutrition

Raritan Hospital for AnimalsIn 1928, Dr. Mark L. Morris Sr. established Raritan Hospital for Animals in Edison, New Jersey. At the time, this was one of only two small animal hospitals in the United States. By 1939, Dr. Morris believed managing nutrition could have a positive effect on the health of companion animals.

In the late 1930s, Morris Frank, a young blind man, was touring the country with his guide dog Buddy promoting Seeing Eye® dogs. However, Buddy, a German Shepherd, was suffering from kidney failure and Mr. Frank asked Dr. Morris for help. Dr. Morris believed the illness was a result of poor nutrition, and began developing a new pet food to help Buddy. With his wife, Louise Morris, in the kitchen, Dr. Morris formulated the dog food. Louise and three other women continued making the food in the Morris family basement, storing it in Ball® jars. Raritan Ration B was the forerunner of Hill's® Prescription Diet® k/d® Canine and is developed for dogs with renal failure and insufficiency.

The photograph of Morris Frank and Buddy the SEEING EYE® guide dog is owned by, and being used with permission of The Seeing Eye, Inc.Dr. Morris mailed the food to Mr. Frank, who was on tour across the country with Buddy. However, the jars often broke in transit. The U.S. was in WWII and glass was scarce. Morris Frank arranged for delivery of several thousand cans and a hand operated canning machine to Dr. Morris. His staff then started canning food. So, in 1948, Dr. Morris contracted with Burton Hill of the Hill Packing Company in Topeka, Kansas, to can the food with a new name, Canine k/d®, and licensed Hill to produce his pet food formulas.

In the following years, the partnership between Dr. Morris and the Hill Packing Company evolved into Hill's Pet Nutrition, and it continued to grow and add formulas of therapeutic pet food to its Prescription Diet line of products. Dr. Morris established a research laboratory in Topeka in 1951, when four Prescription Diet pet foods for dogs were available.

Dr. Morris' son, Dr. Mark Morris Jr., continued to help grow Hill's Pet Nutrition over the next several decades. Dr. Morris Jr. noticed a demand for consistent, high-quality pet food for use in research. As a result, he developed a food for healthy pets. In 1968, the food line was made available through veterinarians and pet professionals as Hill's® Science Diet®. The line has continued to expand, and today includes more than 50 pet foods formulated for many life stages and special needs in healthy pets.

In 1976, the Colgate-Palmolive Company purchased Hill's Pet Nutrition. Today, Hill's® pet food products are available in 86 countries around the world. The company sales reached $1 billion in 1999, and continue to grow each year. Veterinarians worldwide recommend and feed their own pets Hill's products more than any other brand of pet food. Today, Hill's product lines include more than 60 Prescription Diet brand pet foods and more than 50 Science Diet brand pet foods.

At the Hill's Pet Nutrition Center in Topeka, Kansas, a staff of veterinarians and board-certified specialists in nutrition and internal medicine work alongside a staff of companion pets to develop nutritious and tasty pet food. Each companion pet has a team to provide it clean, roomy living quarters, exercise areas, an agility course and other human and animal companions. The world-class facility also houses a fully equipped veterinary hospital certified by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). This means the hospital conforms with the highest standards of small animal veterinary hospitals today.

Moving into the 21st century, our commitment to strengthening and lengthening the relationships between people and their pets continues. We are expanding our product lines internationally, expanding our state-of-the-art facilities and developing new programs to keep your pet healthy and happy.