Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Gazette Premium Content Colorado Springs maker of dog training products partners with Illinois company

By Rich Laden Updated: February 22, 2014 at 7:05 am

Ray Allen Manufacturing, a 66-year-old Colorado Springs-area company that makes dog training products for law enforcement agencies and the military, has purchased the assets of J&J Dog Supplies, a Midwest manufacturer of professional dog training equipment.

Steve Cates, president of Ray Allen, said most operations of Galesburg, Ill.-based J&J, will move to Colorado Springs in 90 days. Some of J&J's manufacturing units will remain in Galesburg for some time until they're evaluated to determine if they should remain there, move to Colorado Springs or be outsourced, Cates said.

As a result of the deal, Ray Allen will add six employees to its of workforce 28, Cates said. The company also might hire three to five additional employees in the coming months as J&J's operations move here, he said.

The company operates at a 25,000-square-foot facility at 975 Ford St., east of Powers Boulevard and Galley Road.

Its products include body suits, protective sleeves, hand-crafted leather collars and leashes, videos and kennels. They're sold mostly in the United States - via its catalog and website - to dog handlers, police, the military, homeland security and drug enforcement agencies, correctional institutions and professional security companies.

J&J, founded in 1965, manufactures products for dog-training clubs, schools, kennels and individual trainers, which are primarily used in dog agility and obedience competition. Its products, also sold via catalog and over the Internet, include toys, agility tunnels and bars, obedience jumps, dog houses, books, CDs and videos.

"Ray Allen is a niche market leader with police and military," Cates said. "J&J is a market leader in the agility and obedience dog market. We felt like it was a good fit from the standpoint that we both have niche markets within the dog industry."

Terms of the deal, announced earlier this week between the two privately owned companies, weren't disclosed.

Ray Allen is owned by the Chicago-based private equity firm Benford Capital Partners. J&J Dog Supplies had operated under the umbrella of J&J Commerce Inc. of Galesburg.

Even though much of J&J's operations will move here, the company's brand, catalog and website will remain intact. J&J now will operate as a division of Ray Allen Manufacturing, Cates said.

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Contact Rich Laden: 636-0228

Twitter @richladen

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