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The newly opened Mystic Pet Shop at 28 East Main St. does not sell pets (except for fish).
It's all part of the business philosophy of owners Genevieve Triplett and John Creaturo, who would rather have customers adopt a dog or cat from a shelter than buy one from a so-called "puppy mill."
"Animals have zero rights in this country. We trying to be ethical in a business where there are no ethics," said Triplett.
The couple, who are well known for running Stonington Feed at two other locations over the past three decades, sell no massed produced dog foods such as Purina, but many products from smaller companies that address specific dietary and health needs of dogs and cats. Many are made with organic and other all natural ingredients.
The toys are all American made and the dog treats are locally made with natural ingredients. The supplements and other pet health products are all ones the couple has found work best for pets.
"We are very independent minded and we're survivors. I like to find a product I know works for people and I get return customers because of it," Triplett said. "My goal is to know everyone by their first name and their dog's first name."
That is evident as customers come in with their dogs and she greets them by name. Many have been coming in to the other locations for years.
The couple even eschews computers and still keep their records by old fashioned bookkeeping. The pet shop does have a Facebook page.
The couple are also big supporters of locally owned businesses. One sign at the store states that if everyone spends $100 a year more in local businesses instead of chain stores, it would create thousands of jobs.
"People want to shop local stores. They want products that they can't find at Walmart and Petco," Triplett said. "We need small mom and pops to survive."
Creaturo said he had his eye on the new location since You've Got to be Beading closed its doors. He said it was attractive because of its excellent downtown location, size and on site parking. He and Triplett purchased the building and began renovations April 3. They opened July 5. They restored the original tile floors, installed all new electrical, lighting and plumbing, and are now completing the fish room.
While the square footage is about the same as the former Washington Street location, the new store appears to have more space because of its high wood ceilings and skylights. There is also a glass enclosed room for Peaches, the store's well known Moluccan cockatoo, who people can see as they walk by the store. The couple also installed an aluminum fence, that appears to be black wrought iron, with electric gates around the property.
While no animals are for sale, except the fish, the store has two residents cats and two guinea pigs.
Triplett said the store will work with nonprofit organizations and shelters to host adoption events. The store will not sell any of those dogs or cats.
She said that at the adoption events people will not be able to bring the pet home that day. Because getting a puppy is such an "impulse decision" she said, there will be a waiting period so the potential adopter can make sure they will be able to properly care for the pet.
Customers also have a good chance of seeing Creaturo work on his sculptures, as has set up a small corner of the store near the entrance to do his work. His creations are on display outside.
The store is open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Sunday.