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Tuff (and friends, all rescue cats) live at each of the six locations of Nashville Pet Products, in Nashville, TN. “They’re rock stars! Customers make a point of saying hi to their favorites as they shop,” marketing and outreach manager Keefer Dickerson says. “We also use photos of the them on our social media. It’s a great way to promote sale items and new merchandise.”
Meet Roscoe of Bucktown Bow & Meow Pet Spa in Chicago, IL. When not greeting customers or escorting pets to grooming or daycare, this senior Boxer naps in the storefront. “Rocco watches street traffic and always draws a crowd outside our windows. Which then draws business inside,” owner Ursula Sanchez says. “We also give away custom photo buttons of him according to the seasons.”
You may recognize Castro from his recent appearance on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” The clip of him marking his territory on the host’s desk went viral! When not on TV or in the community for educational programs, the 20-year-old Cuban Rock Iguana spends his days greeting customers at Jungle Bob’s Reptile World, in Selden, NY or napping in sunny spots. “He also comes when I call his name,” store owner Robert “Jungle Bob” Smith says. At night, Castro retires to an on-site custom enclosure built to replicate his natural habitat.
That face! Faith, a Domestic Shorthair and Persian mix lives at Rachel Diller’s salon, Urban Sophisticats, in Littleton, CO. Faith charms customers while they wait, curling up on their lap and even comforting those who no longer get their cats groomed. “Several clients have lost their beloved kitties, and coming to visit her is part of their healing process.” Faith also attends events and expos, and has appeared in several local and grooming publications. Among her other duties: teaching rescue Persian and fellow shop cat Lola how to wrap humans around her little paw.
Mumsie, chief treat taster and social media model at Bow Wow Beauty Shoppe, San Diego, CA, certainly has a busy schedule. In addition to everything else she does, she competes in dog shows! You may also recognize Mumsie from our July-August cover, on which she appeared with owner Leel Michelle in celebration of their America’s Coolest Stores win.
Dudley, the Yellow Crowned Amazon at Animal House Pet Supplies, in Sauk City, WI, goes to work with owner Tara Hellenbrand almost daily. Dudley perches on his stand behind the counter, interacting with customers for short periods of time. “He is a chicken with strangers! He will step up onto their arms with no problem, but is uneasy being off his stand and will pace, making noises.”
Coco, of 5B Paws N Claws in Hailey, ID, recently gave birth to a filly named Bella and has taken maternity leave. When CoCo returns, she will resume surprising and delighting customers during weekly visits. “No one expects a horse in a downtown pet store! She is so big, but lovely, gentle and kind,” owner Kate Nixon says. “Kids can crawl all over her like a jungle gym, and she loves it.”
Fia the Pomeranian goes just about everywhere at Bath & Biscuits, in Granville, OH, with grooming salon owner Danielle Wilson. “People ooh and aah over her. She makes it easy to start a conversation about their dogs, which often leads into what to feed and where to go for grooming.”
Bronson helps run Bonnie's Barkery in Cave Creek, AZ, along with his human, Cijai Bianchi. Bronson serves as brand ambassador while Cijai works as manager and buyer. His handsome mug fills social media for Bonnie’s Barkery, and his personal Instagram, bronsonthebluefrenchie, touts his role to 9,000-plus followers.
Taylor the Schnoodle and Buddy the Picardy Shepherd are BFFs. Both rescues, they work as greeters at Cats N Dogs in Port Charlotte, FL. Taylor goes home with owner Nancy Okun, while Buddy lives with her right-hand woman, Judi Herston.
Mr. Carmen, a Shorthaired Domestic cat was so overweight in his previous home, he broke a leg jumping off a scratching post. Mr. Carmen eventually lost the leg but found a new home with Jennifer and Allen Larsen at their store, Firehouse Pet Shop and Grooming in Wenatchee, WA. He loves caring for the adoptable cats on-site and getting belly rubs from customers. “Our only challenge is keeping him away from the catnip toys,” Jennifer says. “He loves to pull over the display and lie in them!”
Alfie of Fur Baby Boutique in Milford, DE, may be semi-retired, but this rescue Miniature Pinscher inspired Sherry Shupe to open her store and still holds the title of Chief Toy & Treat Officer. “Customers would carry Alfie around the store while shopping. When they got close to a toy or treat he loved, or a delicious-smelling food, he would wag his nubby tail and show the customers what to buy! They’d always open the treat bags to give him one for his hard work.”
Kale Chips the Beagle gained international fame in 2015 for weighing an unhealthy 86 pounds. Store owner Beth Staley, owner of Happy Dog Barkery in Downers Grove, IL, fostered him during his diet, helping him lose half the weight! Now a permanent member of the family and staff, he shares the spotlight with fellow rescue Gracie, who loves to photobomb her celebrity sibling when fans visit.
Susan, a Calico, came in as an adoptable cat, but owner Heidi Neal foster failed and invited her to stay. Does Susan enjoy interacting with customers at Loyal Biscuit Co. in Waterville, ME? “It depends! Some she loves and sniffs all over, others she gives ‘the butt’ to,” store manager Adam Balbo says. “One of her best friends is a little boy who comes to play with her feather flyer toy, and she chases him around! While she is normally aloof around dogs, she has been known to sit outside the bathing station to mock them while they’re getting washed.”
Josie, the adorable pug at Muttigans in Emerald Isle, NC, doesn't typically greet or help customers. Instead, Josie puts them to work! “She loves her Kong ball more than anything else and can train humans in less than 30 seconds to get on their hands and knees and retrieve the ball from wherever she managed to get it stuck,” owner Wendy Megyese says.
A senior Boston Terrier, rescue Jetta greets customers as they come into the store at Mutt Waggin’ Pet Supplies in Medfield, MA, returning to her bed to nap until the next one arrives.
Bandit, the rescue Border Collie-Spaniel mix at Nature’s Pet Market and Sunny Paws Grooming in Salem, OR, comes to work with his human, groomer Stephanie Whiteside. Because of her work, Bandit often finds himself sporting the latest styles. “Stephanie loves to color his hair for fun, and his hairdo often matches the season or holiday,” store owner Terri Ellen says. “He’s had green, blue and turquoise hair!”
Strata, a Shetland Sheepdog, has a very important job at Spring Forth Dog Academy in Providence, RI: trainer’s assistant in Puppy Day School. Strata has helped socialize more than 250 puppies to date. “He is tremendously gentle and patient with shy, fearful puppies while also having no reservations about putting a boisterous, inconsiderate puppy in their place,” owner Ostiguy says.
Ocho, the Briard at The Whole Pet, in Fort Smith, AR, greets customers from behind the counter, but marketing director Kris Minkle says, “He is best known for his breakroom shenanigans — he has had several indiscretions with sausage biscuits — and our customers love to follow his antics on Facebook.”
The two cats at Purrrfect Bark in Columbus, NC have very different social styles. Luna (PICTURED HERE) likes to jump up and sit on the checkout counter. Senior Simba prefers to hang out on the floor. Both rescues interact with customers, human and canine alike.
The two cats at Purrrfect Bark in Columbus, NC have very different social styles. Luna likes to jump up and sit on the checkout counter. Senior Simba (PICTURED HERE) prefers to hang out on the floor. Both rescues interact with customers, human and canine alike.
21 Pet Store Mascots That Melt Everyone’s Hearts … and Will Melt Yours Too