In 2004, Forbes named Colorado Springs America's Most Pet-Friendly City; later that year, PETacular was born.
The brainchild of two Colorado Springs women, Audree Grubesic and Kelly Nesbit, PETacular magazine started as a way to promote sponsors, vendors, contests and events that were a part of the first family pet expo in Colorado Springs in Fall 2004. The women promised a second issue featuring the winners of a photo contest on the cover, and the rest is history.
Over the next ten years, Grubesic and Nesbit watched the quarterly publication grow, even through challenges like the 2009 economic recession.
"We are so grateful and proud to see the success of so many small pet businesses that started around the time PETacular was born," Nesbit said. "(They) have become close friends and like family to us over the years."
They saw the community rally to help families and animals affected by the tragic wildfires in 2012 and 2013, proving yet again that Colorado Springs loves its pets.
"No matter what your age, career, personality or background, ask someone to talk about their pet and you will meet with an enthusiastic compassionate heartfelt response - always proving that our pets make all the difference in our lives," Nesbit said.
PETacular has come a long way, and starting with this issue, it has been acquired by The Gazette, a local, daily newspaper and media service provider.
Renee Maisel, special sections supervisor at The Gazette, said she and Grubesic began discussing The Gazette acquiring PETacular in Fall 2013. It took five months to work out all the details, but Maisel said she is excited for The Gazette to be involved in the pet-owner niche.
"We really want people to engage on social media, to reach out to us and interact with other pet owners in our community," Maisel said.
Nesbit said she is excited about how much PETacular will grow under The Gazette's stewardship - with more resources, staff and systems in place.
"We couldn't be happier that The Gazette team has embraced the need to continue and share pet education and news, and to provide a resource that can help so many pet non-profit organizations in our community," Nesbit said.