Rolf C Hagen Inc

From the Hagen Family

Rolf C. Hagen was a pillar in the pet products industry who touched many lives with his generosity and compassion.

Rolf C. Hagen 11.09.32 – 22.10.11

Montreal, Canada – October 24, 2011 – Rolf C. Hagen, Founder and Chairman of Rolf C. Hagen Inc., passed away suddenly yet peacefully at his home in Montreal surrounded by his loving wife Marianne and grandson Justin on Saturday, October 22, 2011.

Rolf C. Hagen was born in 1932, the third of 10 children, in a small seaside town in northern Germany.

In 1955, inspired by a simple idea, he came to Canada and sowed the seeds of Rolf C. Hagen Inc., which blossomed to become one of the world’s largest family-owned manufacturers and distributors of pet care products.

He started by acquiring bird seeds from the Canadian prairies and exporting them back to Germany. His small export business eventually flourished and branched out into a solid, well-respected pet supplies business that today spans many continents.

Soon after setting up his business in Montreal, his focus turned to the most significant import of his life: a beautiful young woman named Marianne Koch, whom he met in Hamburg and married in Montreal in 1959.

His brothers Dieter and Horst subsequently joined the company, both of whom brought new energy and innovation to the company, taking it to new heights of success. The trio formed the first generation of an internationally successful family-based company that is now managed by Rolf C. Hagen’s three beloved sons, Mark, Tom, and Rolf Jr.

Mr Hagen was a tireless force who was actively involved as Chairman of Rolf C. Hagen Inc. right up until the day preceding his sudden passing.

Those who did business with Mr Hagen were often inspired by his simple and ethical approach to commerce, often sealing business deals with his firm handshake and honouring them with his word, which was as good as gold.

In his lifetime, Mr Hagen was honoured with many awards in the pet products industry. In June 1999, he was inducted into the American Pet Products Association Hall of Fame, the highest honour that can be bestowed upon an individual in the pet industry. In March 2004, he was given the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Pet Industry Distributors Association in recognition for innovative design of pet products and for his generous support of organizations and individuals dedicated to improving the lives of pets and people.  He is the only person in the pet products industry who is a recipient of both awards.

In 1996, he received The First Cross of the Federal Order of Merit from Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz der 1. Klasse). In 2005, he was awarded The Highest Order of Merit (Grosses Bundesverdienstkreuz am Band) from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, the highest honour that Germany can bestow upon a civilian.

Yet even with all his business successes and accolades, Rolf C. Hagen remained a humble and altruistic man who did not lose touch with many of life’s timeless and enduring values: love, kindness, humility, compassion, and generosity. Though he soared in business, he was deeply grounded in his love for humanity and pets, giving away much of what he amassed to individuals, schools, hospitals, churches and charitable organizations in Canada as well as all over the world.

Helen Keller wrote that it is better to walk with a friend in the dark than alone in the light. In addition to being an icon in the pet products industry, Rolf C. Hagen will also be remembered for being a true friend who was always there for those who walked in the dark.

Remembering Rolf C. Hagen
11.09.32 – 22.10.11

Disaster-a not so perfect storm…for a companion bird!

Be Prepaired

Despite the current disasters such as hurricanes, wild fires, and other maladies of Mother Nature that make international headlines, often the most overlooked disaster for a companion bird goes without notice.This is something that occurs often, yet, rarely makes a headline: it’s a storm of another kind. The kind of storm that can be sudden or perhaps it’s an event that’s actually brewing in the not so far distance.It’s the absence of the avian caretaker. Perhaps this is due to family emergency or unexpected death of the caretaker. Maybe it’s the slow decline of health on the part of the avian caretaker that creates comprises in the bird’s daily care. Unfortunately, a disaster from a companion parrot’s perspective is a disaster indeed…it is the interruption of life from that bird’s normal care.gwm-fall-low-res1

We at HARI often hear about a pet bird or perhaps a collection of parrots, be it a breeder, a pet store, and even some parrot re-homing facilities in need of assistance due to human related emergencies. With that being said, we’d like to make a few suggestions and reminders for all of the avian community to take charge of their feathered companions before a “storm” actually strikes.

What can you do?

Take Charge!

First and foremost, avian caretakers need to take charge of their own flock. The HARI team encourages pet owners and large flock caretakers alike to keep records and prepare for emergencies. While some emergencies are incredibly unexpected, others are much like the storm in the not so far distance. Life has its challenges for all and if you feel as if the care of one bird or several is getting too difficult, ask for help.You know your bird or birds, and you know who you can count on. Take decisive steps in this matter to avoid someone else making decisions for you and your pets or flock.

Companion bird owners

Companion bird owners can very easily keep a supply box that includes everything needed for caring for their birds in case of emergency.Keep in mind that should an emergency arise that would give cause of for emergency personnel to enter a household, a simple notice on the refrigerator stating: Pet bird profile located in… let’s say, pantry, cupboard or whatever. This bit of information should include your avian veterinarian telephone, plus contact information for someone that can take over the care of your bird in your absence.Please feel free to review one of our older post , “HARI Approved First Aid Arsenal: Are You Ready?” for list of other items.

Strategies for Bird Clubs

Bird Clubs usually have a network and committee chairpersons set up for education, speaker, pet bird adoption and other services for their membership. Designate an emergency relief team and protocol. We’re not suggesting that a diehard watch dog team be in place, but perhaps a couple of members that can respectfully network within the bird club membership and be available to members in need.

Set up phone calling trees and encourage membership to have an emergency book on their pets filled out. To get started, make use of the Parrot Profile available from HARI which includes basic pertinent information about a particular bird. An Emergency or Disaster Relief committee might want to organize a presentation on this topic for a regular club meeting. Be sure to include an article on the subject in a monthly club newsletter for members unable to attend meetings.

Strategies for Avian Specialty Retailers & Pet Stores

Some of the best retailers are very familiar with their regular customers and the products they buy for their pets or flock.During the normal course of business it’s easy to lose track of every customer-but usually something will trigger that will make one think, especially when it comes to reordering a particular item because they know ‘so and so’ will be in and need…and then they discover that particular item is still on the shelf. A customer database, especially for routine grooming appointment reminders, is one way of not only creating a database for customer contacts, it’s a great way to keep in touch with the store’s area market and support community outreach projects that benefit the business.

Large Flock management

Whether it’s a breeding facility, a re-home facility or even a home with several parrots, large flock management emergency care is a little bit different. In extreme cases, municipal agencies are the ones who are called to these collections in the event of emergency.And, not every agency is equipped with knowledge of caring for exotic parrots.If the situation is temporary, the birds will be easier to manage without moving them from premise. At any rate, a response team will need to know location of food, particular dietary needs of species, as well other supplies such as nets, disinfectants, extra bowls, that are used in every day operation of a large flock management. Please note that most aviaries are very concerned with security as well as bio-security. Respect for the operation is essential to be of benefit overall. Ideally, the response team should be made up of experienced avian caretakers or facility avian veterinarian educated in large flock management. Efficiently operated large flock facilities will have record keeping system unique to the operation.

These types are record systems are often on computers; therefore, it’s suggested to have a hard copy of some kind that includes a map of facility with the location & identification of each bird, flight, cage as well as location of food, and extra supplies. Contact information for food supplier should be included as well to avoid interruption of the flock’s normal diet.

As avian caretakers, we’re very concerned with the quality of care of all parrot species in the avian community. By this post we’re not endorsing anyone particular group of the avian community, we just want the birds to be protected from storm damage…because it’s not always a Mother Nature event!

Baby Parrots in Recife

500 Baby Amazon Parrots Seized

Environmental Conservation Organization’s Plea for Help

Parrots Brazil Bird RescueIn September, more than 500 baby parrots were discovered in the back of a truck during a police operation for suspected drug-smuggling in Bélem Sao Francisco, a small city in Brazil.
The young Amazon Parrots, highly valuable currency in the illegal wildlife trade, were tightly crammed into wire mesh cages and were in poor health.

The seized flock included Blue-Fronted Amazon chicks (Amazona aestiva), Yellow Shoulder amazons, Yellow-faced Amazon chicks (Amazona xanthops), as well as smaller local psittacine species.
Because of their fragile state, the birds were immediately turned over to the Brazilian Institute of Environment and Renewable Natural Resources, the national agency for natural resources, who in turn transferred them to the Environmental Conservation Organization (ECO), a non-profit NGO that’s responsible for the health and welfare of wildlife species.

Faced with an overwhelming number of frail and hungry fledglings, the ECO, already operating under severely strained conditions, was forced to send out an S.O.S. to the local community for help.

Feeding Brazil Brid RescueVolunteers hand-fed the birds with special syringes fitted with long silicone tubes, which had to be inserted directly in the esophagus for efficient feeding and to prevent diseases such as candidiasis and aspiration pneumonia.

In addition, an appeal for special baby parrot food was sent out to the international avian community. The plea was heard by HARI, which immediately provided a donation of 500 pounds of Tropican Hand Feeding Formula for Parrots.

Tropican Brazil Brid RescueIn Brazil, wildlife smuggling is a widespread problem with serious environmental consequences, because it threatens the extinction of wildlife species as well as creates an ecological imbalance to an already fragile eco system.

Wild birds, particularly young ones, often fall prey to illegal wildlife traders.


Watch for More Details About the Baby Parrots in Recife

Watch this Update on the management activities done with the Baby Parrots in Recife