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Amarillo, Texas -- November 18, 2013 -- Next summer patriotic pups will have a chance to enjoy Merrick Pet Care’s newest seasonal dog food recipe: Star-Spangled Supper. That recipe name took the grand prize in Merrick’s Name the “CAN”-Test, a competition for the company’s Facebook community to name a new recipe for Summer 2014.

Cory Vance of Moore, Okla., submitted Star-Spangled Supper in the contest, with suggested ingredients including beef and potatoes. His recipe was selected as one of four finalists from nearly 500 total contest entries submitted to Merrick via Facebook this fall. Then, his recipe received 597 votes to win during the two-week voting period on Facebook in early November.

Vance is a high school teacher at Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City, one of the Oklahoma City Public Schools. To support Vance during the contest, students helped to campaign to drive more Facebook votes for Star-Spangled Supper. Vance noted that the contest and its voting period allowed the students to experience an election-style event outside of politics.

“This was an excellent experience that allowed high school students the opportunity to work together for a common goal, while participating in a process similar to our country’s democratic experience,” said Vance. “We are all very excited about the outcome!”

Best of all, Vance’s 8-month-old border collie and Australian shepherd mix, Bella, will be able to enjoy his grand prize: a year’s supply of Merrick dog food (approximate retail value of $750). Three finalists will each receive a 25-pound bag of Merrick dry dog food for their suggested recipe names, which included Fairground Franks ‘n’ Fries, Home on the Range, and Great American Cookout.

“We were bowled over by the creativity and enthusiasm of our Facebook community in this contest, and at the end of the day Star-Spangled Supper rose to the top with the most votes. We’re excited to have this new beef recipe join our summer seasonal line up next year so dogs can enjoy a healthy and delicious taste of the season,” said Mark Sapir, vice president of marketing for Merrick.

Star-Spangled Supper will hit shelves next May as part of Merrick’s 2014 summer seasonal collection. Other recipes planned for next summer include Merrick’an Pie, Honolulu Luau, and new recipe Hot Off the Grill – the winning recipe submitted in a contest held by Merrick with Petco this fall for its partners to name another seasonal canned recipe. Nicole Tallman of the Patchogue, N.Y., Petco store submitted Hot Off the Grill to win the Petco contest.

Merrick has long been known in the natural pet food category for high quality, innovative canned dog food recipes and their playful names. Merrick’s seasonal canned dog food recipes provide a nutritious way for dogs to celebrate the changing seasons.

The recipes are grain free, with a balance of high-quality meat, poultry, fruits and vegetables, making them ideal choices for dogs with food allergies or sensitivities. Each recipe is crafted in small batches for holistic, balanced nutrition, and all of Merrick’s pet food is made in the company’s own kitchens in the USA.

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