Since she was a child, Joanne Sheppard has had a deep passion for animals. Working with business partner Debbie Toumey, the pair has opened DJ's Pet Depot, an all-natural pet store ready to serve the needs of furry, feathered and scaly friends.
"All our food is all-natural," Sheppard said. "Our main concern is for the health of the animal."
As the owner of four dogs, seven birds and more than eight fish, Sheppard said she's got lots of first-hand experience to share as a pet owner.
Toumey said she wants to educate her clientele about animal nutrition and often offers suggestions for new foods. While she's not a vet, she said changing foods can resolve some problems.
"We can recommend foods for conditions," she said. "Most of the time itching and red spots has to do with what they are eating."
Since mid-December, when the store opened, the Pet Depot has hired a groomer, available by appointment, and will also be offering dog-training services each week.
Eventually, they would like to collaborate with cat and dog rescues to find homes for displaced animals throughout the Cape Region, she said.
"We would like to get all the shelters in here," Toumey said. "It would be nice if we could offer adoptions every weekend."
The pet store has lop-eared bunnies, birds, lizards and fish available for sale and all the supplies a potential owner would need to take care of their new pet.
With a full aisle devoted to specialty dog foods – including some that must be kept refrigerated – and more aisles devoted to bird food and accessories, toys, leashes, cages, training pads, beds and treats, the pet store offers all the necessities for pet owners.
To celebrate their new business, the owners recently announced they will host a grand-opening weekend celebration Feb. 16 and 17, featuring storewide discounts and dog food giveaways.
For more information about DJ's Pet Depot, located at 17644 Coastal Highway, contact the store at 302-703-2222 or search DJ's Pet Depot on Facebook.