Owner of new pet shop says he will put animal welfare before sales
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
The owner of a new pet shop says he is putting his animal’s welfare above his bottom line - and that he won't let them go until owners are ready.
Siven Cook opened Pets Paradise on Fakenham’s Hempton Road Business Park on May 1, selling everything from pet supplies, to reptiles and tropical fish.
While Mr Cook is selling animals, he is making sure people know what they are getting into before buying a pet, to make sure the animal’s welfare is the priority.
“All of our cages meet the higher needs for license regulations and we want to show people that this pet needs this minimum space at least,” he said.
“We are as much of an educational setting so people can come in and get leaflets and make an informed choice.
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“They can come back and get the equipment and then come back in a week for the animal.
“We would rather hoard them until they are ready to be taken home.”
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The 30-year-old said the shop is following the guidelines from the animal welfare act.
This act enlists the five needs Mr Cook says every animal must-have, they include.
- Need for a suitable environment
- Need for a suitable diet.
- Need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns.
- Need to be housed with, or apart, from other animals.
- Need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
Mr Cook's business plan stated that selling animals is not the main source of their income, so they could take this approach.
“We aren't making a lot of money on them.
“I'll happily keep them here until their last day if needed.”
He sold Guinea pigs over the weekend but will remain at the shop for a couple of weeks to make sure the people buying them are suited for them.
Mr Cook has been involved with animals his whole life, rehoming rescues. He also worked at a pet shop when he was younger, and went to college to get his diploma in animal management.
Over the last 12 years he has worked in care, but the pandemic made him take the leap to open his own shop.
“Everyone seems to be supporting local and now would be a great chance to go into business,” he said.
“Covid shook us and made me reflect on what is important and how precious life is and for me it was building my dream.”