A pet lover herself, Jill Taylor is close to
everything that happens at Purina ONE. When she's not helping with
this very website, she might be found brainstorming over coffee or
chatting with the other employees in the dog park. She sat down to
talk about what brought her to the pet industry, and what she's
learned since coming on board.
What brought you to work at Purina?
Obviously, I'm a huge pet lover. It's one of those pure,
universal loves. Even if you don't know someone that well, you can
usually find some common ground if you talk about your
So when my husband and I relocated to St. Louis, I drove by the
Purina Tower, saw the big Checkerboard, and thought, "That's where
I want to work." How lucky would it be to take something I'm so
passionate about and build a career around it?"
What are your experiences with your pets?
Growing up, my family had a dog, but the 2 cats, Tom and
Snickers, were my buddies. They would sleep in my bed and always
make me laugh by chasing each other all throughout the house. I
As I got older, I really connected with dogs. When my husband
and I settled into a house, one of the first things I wanted to do
was adopt a dog from a shelter. In fact, that was a requirement for
our house hunting: we needed a big yard for a dog to run around -
and now we have 2 dogs. It works so well with our lifestyle. They
keep us active, and they love to go on adventures with us!
And they have been great with our 2 boys.
Our dogs are Wrigley and Jedi. Wrigley is 9, and we adopted her
at a shelter adoption event one Valentine's Day. We were looking
for the right dog and just couldn't find one that we connected
with. Then all the sudden, this black bundle of fur came
tearing down the aisle. She had gotten loose and was enjoying
a wild run throughout the store. We both looked at her and said,
"Yep, that's our dog." We loved her energy. She's named after our
favorite stadium. Wrigley is part Basenji, which is an African
barkless dog. We'd never heard of the breed, so it's been fun to
learn about the breed. She's a mix so she doesn't have all the
traits, but she definitely has the trademark basenji yodel - we
call it her Chewbacca call.
Three years later, Jedi came home with us. We were Christmas
shopping for Wrigley at a pet store, and there was another adoption
event. We had no intention of getting another dog, but then we saw
this cute little blue heeler/Catahoula mix, and he gave me that
look. I convinced my husband that we needed him and won him over by
offering to name the dog Jedi if we could adopt him! Jedi was the
most loyal dog from the start and has always loved to snuggle up to
us at night. And then during the day, he's off and running…or
swimming - his favorite. It took Wrigley a few days to warm up to
him, but now she and Jedi are best buds. He has been a great
addition to our family.
What is your favorite thing about going to work every day?
Every day is a little bit different. I never feel like I'm doing
the same thing. There is always something new to learn and
inspiration is all around. The people that I get to work with are
great - we have a diverse group from all different backgrounds and
experiences. I consider many of my coworkers close
What do you like about the way the environment was
Well of course, I love that we can bring our dogs to work and
that we have a fenced in area to let them just be dogs. Also, our
floors are set up in an open format, where you can easily talk to
your work neighbors or shout something over the wall. Sometimes you
just need to bounce an idea off someone, and this environment makes
On the second floor we have a very open air innovation space -
where you can pull up a chair or a couch and have informal
"huddles" with your coworkers. It's a bright, creative space that
you want to hang out in. And the free coffee doesn't hurt!
What is one of your main goals for this year?
We've learned some new things about the true nature of dogs -
their lineage, their instincts, and how that serves them in their
daily life. But we still have more to learn. That's something I
hope to really focus on - getting a better understanding of
What's a moment you've had at Purina that has inspired you?
What have you learned about pets that you didn't know before?
I get to work with really smart people. Whether I get coaching
from a marketing peer or talk to one of our nutritionists, it's
hard not to feel inspired by the passion and the level of knowledge
that people here have. It does feel like our work is born from a
real passion for pets. It has got to be one of the few offices
where there are just as many pictures of cats and dogs on peoples'
desktops as there are family photos.
And we learn so much about pets and the amazing things they do -
shelter dogs that go on to succeed in an Incredible Dog Challenge
or dogs that are service animals. I've learned so much about my own
dogs, like how important their sense of smell is. For
example, when we take a dog on a walk, our inclination is to hurry
him along and give his leash a tug when he stops and sniffs every
blade of grass. But for a dog, it's all about the different smells
- that is the excitement for him. Denying him a few sniffs on a
walk is like going to the ocean and closing the drapes on the
beautiful view. Sometimes you just need to let them take it all
What has Purina ONE done lately that you've been excited
Our shelter efforts excite me. Of course, we donate food -
Purina ONE donates over 1 million pounds of food to shelters. But
more importantly, we're on a mission to change how people think
about shelter pets. Before joining the team, I had never
thought about the negative label that gets put on the dogs and cats
that are in shelters. Our family pets and my dogs have always come
from shelters, so I just assumed that everyone knew that they make
wonderful pets. But that's not the case. Sometimes they mistakenly
get labeled as being unfriendly or unsocial simply because they are
in a shelter. People assume they have baggage, and this keeps them
from being adopted. We've got to change that. If we can get more
people to see how great these dogs and cats are, we can really make
a difference in adoption rates.
At Purina, you feel like you have a lot of freedom to think
differently about things. Inspiration comes from a variety of
people, places, and experiences, and we certainly have a lot of
opportunities here to be inspired. And my shameless love of my dogs
is a common theme!