Easter Amnesty Campaign 2013For the second year in a row, Red Door has teamed up with local pet stores to discourage impulse purchases of pet rabbits at Easter. The Easter Amnesty campaign works to raise awareness of rabbit welfare issues, as well as educate the public on proper care. It is an opportunity for retailers to openly demonstrate that they take their animal care responsibilities seriously, and that they are willing to put animal welfare before commercial profit. The Amnesty is also a great way of engaging customers, forging long-term relationships with customers and the local community through positive action. From the retailers perspective, a customer who gives the rabbit up after a few weeks or months is only a very small and short-term financial benefit. A customer who is truly committed to the long-term care of their rabbit can be a great customer for 10 years or more!
As part of this year's campaign, Red Door spoke with Amnesty partner, Kenn Bearman, owner of The Animal Store. This family-friendly pet shop is located at 4364 W. Touhy Avenue in Lincolnwood.
I bought The Animal Store (formerly known as The Sea Shell) in 1992. We renamed it after a poem by Rachel Fields called "The Animal Store" and expanded the business from being primarily dedicated to fish, to serving the needs of all kinds of pets and their owners.
How did your family get into this business?
I managed a pet store right after college and have always loved animals. After more than 20 years in retail, I wanted to own my own business and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. Having living inventory is a labor of love. There's no such thing as a day off or a snow day. There's always something new and surprising that our animals have to show me. Our customers love to visit us and our animals. On any given day, we welcome parents and their children, scout troops, day camps, classroom fields trips and passersby. We love to answer their questions and tell them all about our animals.
We sell everything except dogs. Education is an cornerstone of our mission. We want people to find the right pet to fit into their lives and families. It's important to understand what it takes to keep that animal happy and healthy. Taking care of animals means knowing more than just what they eat:
- How long will they live?
- What kind of attention do they need?
- Are they good pets for an apartment?
- Do they board well?
- Can they bond with more than one person?
- Do they do well with other animals?
What is your favorite part of owning a pet shop?
Watching the smiles on people's faces when they find the pet they want to bring home. Pets are important members of our families. There's a lot of joy in playing matchmaker between people and pets, and we love to bring them together.
Check out The Animal Store blog on Wordless Wednesdays for great pictures of happy people with their new pets. They post lots of great information on pet care, new products, and pets in the news. The Animal Store is open seven days a week at 10 a.m. You can also visit their website, TheAnimalStore.com, find them on Facebook, and follow them on Twitter @TheAnimalStore.