A mechanic opens the hood of a car, inspects vital fluid levels, and carefully removes a four-week old kitten. Now known as Mercedes—named after her former automotive residence—she is a permanent resident of South Tampa Puppy Palace. Pet owners, dogs, and cats may spot 2-year-old Mercedes wandering throughout parts of the large facility, whose webcam-equipped boarding suites (for cats and dogs), dog runs, and play yards have the capacity for more than 150 animals. The facility's custom-built saltwater pool gives pups a 20'x30' tub to splash around in without their owners worrying about chlorine's potentially harmful effects on coats, skin, and tails' wagging patterns. The play yards also feature canopies under which dogs can cool off with fans and misters.
Led by manager Tiffanie Ivins, a former veterinary technician, South Tampa Puppy Palace's personnel include a retired veterinarian and a handful of experienced groomers. All the staffers use their extensive training in canine CPR and interpreting body language to carefully supervise dogs' playtime and prevent unwanted ear nibbling. In an effort to help dogs without permanent homes, South Tampa Puppy Palace also assists three area rescue groups by offering foster care to pups still waiting to find loving families.
Mark and Sheryl McEachern, owners of the Woof Gang Bakery location in Lutz, opened their shop in hopes it would become a place where pet owners enjoy visiting with their furry friends. "We plan on knowing all the neighborhood dogs by name," Mark says. Bubblegum-pink walls and a chandelier hanging from the ceiling give the shop the feel of a clothing boutique, though displayed trays of dog biscuits and homemade canine cakes leave no doubt as to the store's intended clientele. Helping pet owners provide holistic food for their animals is a priority at the shop, with plentiful dog- and cat-food choices in natural and grain-free varieties. The McEacherns also stock their shelves with chew toys and accessories, perfect for doggy birthday gifts or house-training recognition ceremonies.
Pet Safari is a one-stop shop for animal lovers. In addition to matching patrons with new companions in the form of puppies, birds, reptiles, exotic rodents, and kittens, the haven helps humans to stock up on essential pet sundries and accessories, from the American-made Grandma Mae's natural dog food to translators that deduce the family cat's exact level of disdain for humanity.
The store also runs as an educational endeavor with its Adventure Outpost, which educates the public on exotic rainforest creatures such as white-tufted marmosets and agouti pacas.:m]]
Since 1988, the staffers at Pet Supplies Plus have welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe—from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs—into their animal-friendly stores in Pinellas Park and Clearwater. They design their shop so that both pets and their owners can easily navigate the inventory of more than 10,000 items. Wide aisles give leashed pups enough room to roam, colorful signage keeps shoppers moving in the right direction, and low shelves allow dogs to sniff out their preferred brand of rawhide chew. A self-serve dog wash enables guests to scrub their canine companions' coats to a youthful, puppy-like shine, whereas grooming services enlist professionals to tackle tougher jobs, such as brushing out matted fur or convincing dalmatians to stop mixing white and black after Labor Day.
Anybody who's tried to bathe, shave, or trim their furry best friend knows that it's a daunting task. Even the mellowest of pooches and coolest of cats can become an adorable tyrannosaur when owners attempt to do their own grooming. It takes experience, a magic touch, and a love of pets to convince the little critters that it's time to get the mud out of the paws and shed the breath of last month's ham. Fortunately, keeping fur-balls fresh-faced is a passion for Jamie, owner of All Around Petcare and a graduate of the Academy of Animal Arts. With her stable of certified groomers, all of whom boast more than 10 years experience, she restores the animals' new-pet smell in a pampering environment with no cages or indoor thunderstorms to stress them out.
Quail Hollow Animal Hospital keeps furry, scaled, and feathered pets in fine fettle. Though the highly experienced trio of doctors excels in patching up under-the-weather animals, they also offer a host of preventative services, such as animal dentistry and wellness exams. To keep pets from running wild or hosting raucous poker games in unattended homes, the office kennels dogs and cats for extended stays.