Hello, my name is Ray Greenwood. I purchased Harbor Pet Center back in June of 2016 with two other partners Ian Pethtel and Amanda Mclaughlin. I first started in retail back in the early 90’s working at Stambaugh Thompson hardware. I started as a stock boy and worked up to an assistant manager. I soon left there to follow my dream in law enforcement and worked at Struthers Police Department. I worked there for 20 years which included being a reserve officer, part-time officer and full time officer. When my career was cut short, I began working at Harbor Pet Center as a sales associate but soon found out that was not my cup of tea. I than was given the inventory manager position and began doing orders for the store. I was than approached by one of the owners about purchasing the store because he wanted to retire. Well it happened and now I am a proud owner of a pet store.
Our store is about 8200 square feet and it contains an assortment of Salt water fish and fresh waterfish, reptiles, small animals, kittens and our number one item, puppies! Contrary to a lot of stories, our puppies do not come from puppy mills. I personally have gone out and meet with the breeders and looked at the kennels. I was pleased with many and dropped the ones that were not up to the standards of the USDA.
Our goal as owners, is to be on top of the growing concern about puppy mills. We are very cautious of the breeders we will partner with. Our breeders are inspected and given oversight by multiple government or industry organizations. Our breeders, depending on the kennel size, are inspected by up to 5 different organizations:
USDA United States Department of Agriculture (as of May 2009 all inspection reports are available on-line to anyone)
USDA Inspection Reports: USDAinspectionreports.com
AKC American Kennel Club: www.akc.com
This is a huge benefit to our client families. These inspections and screenings is our way of servicing our clients in a manner that is unattainable with other puppy sources. Our breeders are only one of the four sources that has this kind of oversight and regulation! The breeders are held to a federal law, the Animal Welfare Act (AWA) that was enacted in 1966 with many updates over the years. AWA governs the humane care, handling, treatment and transportation of dogs in the kennels of breeders that have more than 4 intact female dogs and sell to pet stores. Casual/Backyard and even Show Breeders have no governmental oversight, nor do most shelters and rescues. The only inspections or oversight that any of the other three sources is AKC with Show Breeders! Who's checking on Casual/Backyard Breeders and Shelters and Rescues? Other than local abuse laws in most states there is no law or guidelines/regulations that they are held to like the pet store breeders are!
There are many reasons for choosing a puppy from a pet store, including:
Pet stores provide healthy puppies.
The preeminent study by Cornell University of Veterinary Medicine on the health of puppies from various sources demonstrates, on average, pet store puppies are as healthy as, or healthier than, those from any other source.
Pet stores and their sources for puppies are regulated at the state and federal level.
Pet stores and breeders are the most regulated sources of pets. Pet stores and their puppy suppliers must comply with federal, state or local laws including care standards, veterinary treatment, socialization and exercise requirements, among other things. Private breeders and internet sellers have no regulation or oversight at all.
Pet stores provide consumer protection and satisfaction.
Pet stores are an accountable, traceable source for pets. An overwhelming majority of pet stores provide warranties on the dogs they sell, often backed up by specific legal requirements. These laws frequently don't apply to other sources of animals, so pet store customers enjoy greater protection.
Pet stores help owners find the best breed for their lifestyle.
Pet store visits ensure compatibility. Pet store customers have the convenience of easily visiting the store as many times as necessary to physically interact with their prospective pet, and ensure compatibility and a responsible choice.Do you have allergies and require a specific breed? Does your lifestyle mean you need a small or large dog, or that an active or less-active breed would suit you best? Pet stores typically offer a wide choice of breeds that may not be available from shelters, rescues or private breeders. Due to this service a pet store may be the best choice for finding the breed you prefer.
Pet stores address declining pet populations.
Many shelters are now importing dogs from foreign countries to fill the demand. Without pets, there is no pet industry. With mandatory spay and neuter laws, shelter populations will continue to shrink. If consumers are limited to a shelter-only population, where will pets come from in the future?
Pet stores are not the source of unwanted pets in shelters.
The National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy report found that 96 percent of relinquished pets came from somewhere other than a pet store, and 70 percent of the time the reasons owners relinquish a dog or cat to a shelter could have been prevented with consumer education. Most pets in shelters were acquired for less than $300, most free.
Pet stores add to the local economy.
Reputable pet stores are established businesses in the community. These legitimate businesses bring steady tax revenue and build the local economy with owners purchasing: supplies, veterinary services, grooming day care, etc.
Pet store bans can open underground markets.
Preventing responsible pet stores from selling pets opens the door to an underground, unregulated market. While pet sale bans frequently begin with dogs and cats, other animals can and will be added to the list of banned pets.
Pet store bans do not address animal welfare issues.
Those who truly care about the welfare of animals work to raise standards of care and eliminate pet providers who don't maintain acceptable standards. Blanket pet sale bans do not advance the standards of care for pets.
Pet stores rely on customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is paramount in any successful business. Pet stores facilitate the pet ownership experience, relying on repeat customer business and customer satisfaction. Providing healthy, well-socialized pets is not only the right thing to do, it is a good business decision.
I would also like to say, if you cannot find a puppy or afford an puppy in our store, please look at your local shelters to adopt. In this area, there is the Mahoning Dog pound, Trumbull dog pound and my friends at Trumbull Animal Welfare league and Animal Humane society in Boardman.
Thank you and please visit the Harbor Pet Center Family
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