The WellPet plant in Mishawaka, Indiana, has received complaints from the surrounding community that the pet flood plant stinks. Issues over odor problems for several years forced the plant to install a new odor control system as part of a facility expansion.
The plant, which is just east of South Bend, manufactures dog and cat food made with lean meats, whole grains, and fruits and veggies.
Based in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, WellPet sells pet food under brands including Holistic, Wellness, Whimzees and Old Mother Hubbard, among others. None of its recipes include wheat, corn or soy, or any artificial flavors, colors or preservatives.
According to the company, the new system should not only be more efficient, but reduce odor in the plant's untreated steam from 15% to 90%. It should also help dissipate the steam by using a taller stack. The current stack is about 22 feet tall; the new one will be more than 100 feet tall.
According to plant director Doug Mitchell, the $3.5 million system system is part of a $30 million upgrade. The company has spent the last two years testing out various solutions.
WellPet is working with Ionox to install its odor elimination system, a patented, non-thermal plasma technology that can treat humid or dry process exhaust gases for any volume of air.
About five years ago, the plant installed a deodorizer system following constant complaints, but it didn't provide a solution for the odor outrage.
According to the South Bend Tribune, the plant employs 126 workers. The facility opened back in 1972 as Eagle Products, which was purchased by WellPet in 2009.
Old Mother Hubbard Natural Dog Treats date to 1926, but according to the company, its history goes back to 1873, when A. Hubbard & Son bakery in Gloucester, Massachusetts, made hardtack sea biscuits.