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About Pattie Zeller


  • August 2001 to present, Owner & Pack Leader of Animal Connection LLC
  • September 2016 - January 2023, Creator and Host of “What’s Barking Local,” a live show on Facebook, Instagram, Spotify and ITunes
  • December 1991 - September 2017, CEO of All Points Technical Consulting (Industrial & Automotive Battery Design)
  • June 1985 - July 2001, Creative Director of Boden Associates Advertising, Design & Marketing


  • 2021 World Pet Association & Pet Product News Overall Retailer of the Year
  • 2021 Best Of Cville Finalist: Best Store With A Dog, Best Podcast (What’s Barking Local)
  • 2021 Daily Progress Readers Choice Finalist: Best Boss, Best Benefits, Best Work Culture, Best Pet Grooming, Best Pet Store, Best Entrepreneur
  • 2020 Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce Pivot Award, For successfully adapting to pandemic challenges
  • 2020 Award by the City of Charlottesville for Small Business Excellence and Development, $5,000 prize for expanding a business and establishing the Pet Community Free Food Pantry
  • 2019 Pet Product News Retailer of the Year for Social Media and Marketing
  • 2019 Pet Business Magazine Retailer Excellence Award for Internet Marketing
  • 2017 Pet Product News Retailer of the Year for Holistic Approach to Pet Products
  • 2017 “America’s Coolest Pet Store” by Pets+ Magazine


  • Panel Speaker, August 2021 SuperZoo Show Education, “What’s New In Nutrition? Get The Scoop From Our Experts”
  • Panel Speaker, May 2020, “Creative Ways to Keep Customers Shopping During Covid,” presented by Pets+ Magazine
  • Panel Speaker, May 2020 with Facebook Marketing Team, presented at University of Virginia Darden School of Business
  • Panel Speaker, November 2019, Pets+ Wellness Summit, “Not Every Customer Wants To Feed Raw Food”
  • Panel Speaker, March 2019, Global Pet Expo, “Winning Secrets From Retail Excellence Award Winners” 


  • Facebook Live Guest, March 2021, WhizBang Retail Training Marketing Club, “Featured Retailer Interview”
  • Podcast Guest, March 2020 “Wag Wear Repeat” with Tori Mistick
  • Podcast Guest, July 2020 “Behind The Pages” with Keith Miller, Pets+ Business Magazine
  • Podcast Feature, September 2020 “Animal Connection & Charlottesville Community” with Jerry Miller, “I Love Cville Show”


  • Pet Product News International, June 2021, “Assortment Optimization: Cast A Wide Net”
  • Pet Product News International, February 2021: Contributed to “Merchandising: Bring the Outdoors To Your Store”
  • Pets+ Business Magazine, January 2021, Contributed to “How Indie Pet Stores Are Celebrating And Selling Valetine’s Day”
  • Pets+ Business Magazine, January 2021, Contributed to “Dear Distributor, Indies Send Love Notes To Their Favorites”
  • Pets+ Business Magazine, November 2020 “Consider Design and Shelf Appeal Before You Stock Your Store, It May Increase Your Product Sales!”
  • Pets+ Business Magazine, October 2020 “Drink Up! A Unique Way To Promote Your Business!”
  • Pets+ Business Magazine, August 2020 “Is It Time To Refresh The Look of Your Branding?
  • Pet Business Magazine, April 2020, “Animal Connection Profile: Creative Marketing in Pet Retail”
  • Pet Product News International, April 2020, Contributed to “Peak Performance in the Cat Litter Category”
  • Pet Product News International, October 2019, Contributed to “Raw Food Continues To Gain Ground”
  • Pet Product News International, October 2019, “Industry Voices” Thoughts on Raw Food Safety
  • Pets+ Business Magazine, June 2019 “Create Connections: A Dog Festival Attracts Crowds of Thousands”
  • Natural Pet News, Fall 2018, “Natural Advocates” Store Interview