By Michael D. Wolf, Ph.D.
Any time you admire someone THIS much, and have witnessed the life-saving and life-extending results of her genius in pet nutrition over and over, you just seize the opportunity to write her biography.
Though Tazz trained and excelled in commercial photography and then consumer packaging, her roots in animal welfare reach back almost 30 years. Her nearly-three-decades of volunteering at shelters and in animal rescue began at age 18, and that passion never abated. In 2006, her passion became her livelihood with the opening of Petropolis, an all-natural “pet beastro” in New York’s Financial District.
Tazz “paid the bills” for 16 years as first, a staff photographer for CBS and MCA Records and then a globe-trotting executive at a leader in consumer packaging. In the archetypal “mailroom to boardroom” scenario, Tazz started as a Customer Service Rep and rose to VP Sales.
The roots of Tazz’s opening of the unique Petropolis beastro lay in her adopting Lionel, a shelter cat, in 1993. She was sent home with a bag of commercial cat food. At one week, Lionel started losing hair. At week two, he was digging into house plants and eating soil. At week three, Lionel was obtaining nutrition from his litter box. Tazz suspected the food, and for the first time, read and investigated the ingredients. Her first of many book purchases was from legendary, expert animal nutritionist Anitra Frazier. 23 years have passed and that book is still in Tazz’s backpack.
Tazz searched New York City and found a small pet supply store whose owners had become expert in pet nutrition, whole foods, and ingredients. With their help, intense study, and experience built first with Lionel, and added to with beloved Bullwinkle, Tazz made herself an expert-without-parallel in companion animal nutrition and care.
As she did for my 6-year-old dog Rocky, pronounced “convulsing in one week and dead in two weeks” by six NYC veterinarians but saved by diet, Tazz averted a painful and horrible surgery for young Bullwinkle strictly with diet. Rocky lived six more wonderful years…with nutrition by Tazz. Bullwinkle celebrated 21 healthy birthdays until his passing.
As it did to so many, 9/11 changed the course of Tazz’s life. Her reassessment of her life’s great passion – animal health and welfare – brought her to the realization that a retail store, bringing only intensely-vetteder, natural and healthy food options to pet parents and their beloved animals, was the next step. Petropolis, at 91 Washington Street, a few blocks above Battery Park, is in its 12th year. Hang out for an hour or two and hear – really, this is just a coincidence – Rocky- and Bullwinkle-type stories from pet parent after pet parent. Tazz is really that smart, that expert, that amazing at what she does. Tazz extends and saves pet lives. You will never hear HER say it, but you will hear it from so very many of her devoted clients.