Written by Mattie Powers // Photo by Macy Cox
A new pet store called Neighborhood Pet Shoppe has come to Searcy, offering various goods and services for animals.
The store sells all kinds of animals, such as birds, snakes, mice, chinchillas, tortoises, hedgehogs and much more. Neighborhood Pet Shoppe general manager Gavin Jones said the shop is the largest family-owned and operated pet store in the tri-state area and has been in business for about 22 years with the store owners starting another business called Safari Pets in the early 2000s.
The store provides many services for customers and their pets, including areas where customers can pet the animals for sale, a full-service grooming salon, and a birthday party room that can be used for a person or an animal. The Neighborhood Pet Shoppe also plans to host free freshwater and saltwater fish classes for the public in March this year. Jones talked about the specialties the store offers.
“We focus on education, and we’re not so much just sell, sell, sell, sell, sell,” Jones said. “We’re more of, ‘Hey, let me show you how to take care of that so it’ll live longer. It will prosper, and then you’ll want to come back and see us.’”
Some Harding students who live on campus have pets in the dorms, like junior Anna Wolfe who takes care of her cat. Wolfe talked about her initial reaction to the store and what it had to offer.
“I think it’s really cool, like it’s kind of like a little mall you can go in with just your pet,” Wolfe said. “But you have all your needs there so they’re not sending you somewhere else, but like you can just enjoy it.”
Another student pet owner is junior Regan McClure, who owned a fish with her friends off campus. Unfortunately, their fish died over the winter break.
“It looks pretty from the street,” McClure said of the new store. “I’m excited to see if it’s as cool as The Fish Bowl. Maybe a fish from this new one will live longer.”
Neighborhood Pet Shoppe plans to have its grand opening on Feb. 25, giving free goodie bags to the first 100 customers at the register.