Business Bio — Critters N’ Things

Daniel MacEachern
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Mount Pearl family business moves to a much larger space

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You mentioned earlier that people are spending more on their dogs. Why do you think that is?

When I was in the pet business when I started, people would only get their dogs done once a year. And diets — people would feed them Old Roy. I can’t down a dog food, but Old Roy would be one because it’s not a very good dog food. It’s like in anything: what you eat is what you are. Nutrition has come a long way, and I think people are becoming a lot more educated. You have a lot more of associations out there, like Humane Services, SPCA — they’re making more public awareness.

It’s just the way the economy is going. People have an animal — now, if you tie it up, you’re the worst person in the world. You’ve got to have a fenced-in garden. I think it’s just the times. The times are changing. People aren’t having children like they used to, so they get a dog, and then they get another dog.


How many people work here?

We have about 10 people at this location.


Let’s talk about your location — how do you like it? You’ve been here eight months now.

I love the location. We can offer a lot more here at this location. I used to do the dog training at Pearltown Road, but now I’ve brought that here. We can sell a lot more different diets. There’s a lot more variety in the store that we sell. Our grooming salon — we have a state-of-the-art grooming salon. Now we can deal with dogs that are geriatric pets, older pets that have disabilities. We have a hydraulic grooming table, so it goes right to the ground and goes back up. We have a walk-in tub, which makes it easier on the groomer and on the dog, too.


What about Mount Pearl — is it a business-friendly city? I mean in terms of regulations, getting licences, red tape, taxes, that sort of thing.

Maybe it’s just my personality — I’m pretty easy to get along with — but you’ve just got to follow the guidelines. If there had been issues, I would definitely proceed and tell them how I feel about it, but I’ve never really had many issues. … But putting a whole business together, yeah, it was tough.

It wasn’t easy, making sure that timing was down for everything. I’m dealing with government services, I’m dealing with wheelchair accessibility — it’s not easy opening a business, but like everything, everything has a step and a place.


What’s the busiest time of year for you?

Usually Christmas is busy. Busiest time is probably Christmas, and usually January and February are busy, believe it or not.


Are puppy mills a problem in this province?

There are some puppy mills. That’s a really touchy topic. Not for me, but for people in general, but there has been people selling them in retail stores, but they don’t do that anymore. But there are puppy mills here, yes there are. People do it out of their homes. … The problem is there’s no legislation. As long as the dog is housed and there’s food and water, as long as it’s sheltered — you can have a beagle and tie it down outside. People don’t agree with it, but there’s nothing you can do about it, as long as there’s enough chain and enough food and water. The SPCA and all the different organizations are trying to change that. I think if people get a dog, there should be more rules.


I realize you just moved into a new location, but what do you see in the future? Have you ever considered another location?

I’ve thought about another location, but right now this is such a big, big project for me. Just seeing people come in, seeing people happy, helping them out with any dog training tips we’ve got, just making sure that we can provide the customer service, the consistency. … It’s always nice to see our local clients come in.


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Daniel MacEachern on Twitter: @TelegramDaniel.

Organizations: Markwin Pet Resort, Humane Services

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Commonwealth Avenue, Pearltown Road Canada U.S.

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