Paws in Awe

When your pet is like a member of the family, you might worry about anything from doggie day care to the type of food they should eat. Maybe you’re looking to adopt, or maybe you’re just hoping to help some animals in need. Here are a few local pet care businesses that will help you accomplish everything from adoption to rescue group donation.

Canine Connection (4920 Tchoupitoulas St., 218-4098) offers boarding and day care for both cats and dogs. Dogs have their own swimming pool, as well as eight outdoor play areas. Dogs are fed twice a day – but owners can specify if they want their dogs to be fed more often. If pups are sociable, they’re let out throughout the day to play with other dogs. Every evening, dogs have their last meal of the day and go outside before they’re tucked in. The space that dogs sleep in depends on what the owner wants: they can choose anything from a crate to an extra-large room with a patio.

Cats have their own separate rooms but will be let out into a bigger room so that they can stretch their legs. Canine Connection provides 24-hour on-site supervision – there is always someone there to take care of the pets. It also has a large staff to accommodate all pets. The business has been open for five years and is locally owned and operated.

Owner Deedra Wing makes sure to contribute to the community as well: the store helps many rescue groups and shelters, as well as sponsors several fundraising events. Canine Culture, right by Canine Connection, is a retail store that has a large selection of pet treats, toys, collars, leashes, bowls, beds and grooming supplies.

Jefferson Feed, Pet and Garden Center (4421 Jefferson Highway, Jefferson, 733-8572) opened for business in 1950 and is a one-stop pet and garden center. The Meow Town Cat Adoption Center, part of the shop, houses cats and kittens available for adoption every day. There are also usually three to four dogs available; plus, on Saturdays, rescue groups bring 10 to 20 dogs that are up for adoption. Freshwater, saltwater and pond fish are also available. Jefferson Feed, Pet and Garden Center hosts dog training classes (five days a week in six-week sessions) in a 3,000 square-foot area.

The 24,000 square-foot store offers an extensive selection – 34 brands – of natural and premium pet foods. The store also carries pet supplies (including fish supplies) and flea and tick control products. In terms of gardening, Jefferson Feed, Pet and Garden Center carries landscaping plants, mulches and soils, do-it-yourself lawn care, pest control and the “greenest grass sod in town,” says general manager Lynn Morvant. As Morvant says, it’s a “fun place to shop where pets are family.”

The Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (1700 Mardi Gras Blvd., 368-5191), is raising awareness of the community’s homeless animals with a “pup-lic” art project called Paws on Parade. Running from January until June 2012, different designs of the Mardi Gras Bead Dog® (Haydel’s Bakery’s mascot, whose form was donated to promote LA/SPCA’s goal) will be on display throughout the city.

The LA/SPCA has more than 50 cats and dogs available for adoption every day – as well as the occasional rabbit, guinea pig or hamster. Puppies and small dogs are available for a $150 adoption fee; all other dogs, cats and kittens are available for $80. The adoption fee includes spaying or neutering, microchipping, all vaccinations, a bag of dog food and heartworm and flea treatment. Katherine LeBlanc of LA/SPCA says, “When you adopt a pet you’re saving two lives, the one you bring home and the pet that’s waiting to come to the adoption floor.”

For those who’re suffering the loss of a pet, Madeleine Faust (309-5222, creates three-dimensional, ceramic pet urns. Faust is a widely exhibited local sculptor who has public art around the city (including The American Can Apartments, the French Market, the Canal/Carrollton streetcar extension and soon the new Blue Plate Artist Lofts). With several photos of the pet and a consultation with the owner, Faust can sculpt the portrait head of an animal to look as the pet did in life. Faust says, “The urns are individual works of art. It’s something fantastic and unique for people who consider pets part of the family.” Faust’s idea sprang from her 18-year-old dog Gretl becoming sick. She then made a full-body sculpture of Gretl, who ended up living for three more years. A portion of Faust’s proceeds go toward Used Dogs, a nonprofit animal shelter that rescues and rehabilitates dogs.

The Neighborhood Pet Market (231 North Carrollton Ave., 488-8118) is Jefferson Feed’s secondary location just for pets. The store’s main focus is making high quality pet food and products available to consumers. There is a large selection of holistic food (with protein sources from high-quality meat and natural preservatives only, without byproducts or food coloring) and all natural food and treats for pets.

The store offers brands such as Fromm, Natural Balance, Innova, California Natural, Evo, Wellness, Science Diet, Diamond and Nutro Natural Choice. It also carries a large selection of toys and supplies “that will fit any need, or any chewer in the family,” says manager Bridgette Hocke, “we want to help you find the right food and toys for your pet’s needs.” A groomer is available by appointment at the pet market three days a week. The Neighborhood Pet Market staff is bent on customer service: Hocke says, “We answer your questions to the best of our abilities, and if we don’t know the correct  answer we do the research, or send you in the right direction to get an answer. We want to help you and your pets be happy. It is all about the pets and their owners after all!”

NO Fleas Market (7611 Maple Street, 373-5141), owned by Deedra Wing of Canine Connection, is a resale shop that supports animal well-being. You can donate mostly anything– clothing, home décor, appliances, you name it – in good, clean condition, and then you can choose which rescue group you want the proceeds to benefit. Your items will be priced and tagged with the rescue group’s name, so that when someone buys them, a portion of the profit will be donated to that group. You can drop off items at NO Fleas Market during business hours (Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) at Canine Connection, which is open every day.

Established in 1958, Pet Care Center (2212 David Drive, Metairie, 887-2999) has become a one-stop-shop for pet owners. Eight veterinarians work at the location, evolving from a single practice by Dr. Slaton and later joined by Dr. Erica Capshaw-Brooks and Dr. Michelle Arrillaga, and last year it began operating a 24-hour emergency care with a doctor and trained technical staff. Overnight-boarded canine and feline guests can stay in one of its 36 luxury condos with a staff on hand to walk overnight.  In-house groomer, Carrie Colomb, is on-hand Monday through Friday. This summer, the center will be opening its first satellite veterinary clinic in the Warehouse District (319 N. Diamond St.). The new location will offer day care, grooming and full-service veterinary care.

But the company doesn’t only specialize in services. It also makes its own line of shampoos, deodorants, vitamins and maintenance supplements like heartworm and flea medication. Through its home delivery system available on the website (, customers can purchase all necessities, including food, and have it delivered to their doors. The center is open Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to noon, and Sunday 2-6 p.m. for owners to pick-up and drop-off.

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