Spanning 25,000 square feet of living quarters for coldblooded creatures, Reptilia houses more than 200 venomous and nonvenomous reptiles and amphibians. Experienced keepers and handlers educate zoo-goers on the critters that make up the more than 50 exhibits, including star attractions such as a 14-foot king cobra, a red-footed tortoise, and Induna—a 14-foot Nile crocodile weighing more than 1,200 pounds. Besides expounding on animals’ eating habits during four live feedings each day, the staff also demonstrates the reptiles’ instinctive behaviors during live shows in an on-site theatre. Furthering its commitment to reptilian education, the zoo helps visitors overcome their irrational fears of snakes, spiders, and terrarium glass in a four-week course dedicated to phobias, and camp counselors guide Reptilia campers through science experiments, arts and crafts, and ecologically focused zoo tours.
Since 1988, Pet Supplies Plus has welcomed millions of furry critters of every stripe—from llamas and monkeys to potbellied pigs—into their animal-friendly stores. The shop is designed 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.
Each year, the SPCA Serving Erie County gives more than 15,000 dogs, cats, and exotic pets a new lease on life. Founded in 1867—making it the second-oldest humane society in the country—the SPCA’s compassionate animal rescue, rehabilitation, foster care, and adoption services have earned Charity Navigator’s four-star rating for extraordinary accountability and transparency, the highest rating available in all three categories. In the adoption center, furry faces peer from comfortable, clean cages as staff and volunteers evaluate customers’ needs and introduce them to compatible pets, decreasing the chance of conflict when adopters' favorite shows compete with Animal Planet specials. Before becoming eligible for adoption, pets undergo thorough health, temperament, and behavioral evaluations, and those who need extra TLC receive additional obedience training.
In addition to matching people with loving pets, SPCA Serving Erie County’s staff investigates more than 200 animal-cruelty complaints per month, and provides emergency animal-rescue services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Rescued animals receive state-of-the-art medical care in the facility’s onsite surgical suite, and rehabilitation programs prepare them to thrive in loving homes. A local, independent humane society, the donation-supported SPCA Serving Erie County is not associated with the ASPCA and receives no government funding.
This grooming center pampers pets with a number of services including hypoallergenic baths, teeth cleanings, and nail trims. Experienced technicians use natural products such as black-primrose shampoo and blueberry facial creams to condition coats, and perform all scrubbings and blow-dries by hand. Grooming packages such as the Puppy’s First Groom combine a number of services, and customers can request add-ons such as de-matting. Oh My Dog Grooming Spa creates a soothing environment with aromatherapy scents, and each furry visitor walks out sporting a fashionable bow or bandana.
Paws and Claws prides itself as a comprehensive stop for all furry friends. At each location, owners can bring along their creatures to find ample supplies to feed and entertain them, such as a large selection of toys and treats. Their knowledgeable staff includes professional groomers and retail specialists trained in the ways of pet nutrition and hygiene, as well as a consulting veterinarian who keeps the business up-to-date on animal-health trends. This commitment to enhancing the quality and longevity of pet lifespans is also apparent in Paws and Claws' donations to animal charities and adoption efforts.
The slight breeze one feels upon entering A Gentle Touch Pet Care Services, Inc.’s breed-standard grooming facility is generated not by fans, but by feverishly wagging tails. Dogs who find themselves in the certified groomers’ care have ample reasons for excitement, starting with a hydromassage bath that washes mud from paws and undersides with soothing jets. Owner Charlene Hibbs watches over the proceedings, drawing on knowledge gleaned from her advanced pet-sitting courses at A Pet’s World Academy in Loomis, California, to gently coax away stresses and existential crises triggered by endless, meaningless games of fetch.
Charlene and her fellow groomers tend to cats as well as dogs, with spa packages that include scented facial scrubs, aromatherapy treatments, and hair conditioners designed to prevent itching and shedding. In-home cat-sitting services include at least half an hour of feline care so that cats don’t have to face traumatic travel experiences, such as explaining why they can’t buckle their seatbelts properly.