PETsMART opens at new center

May 21, 2000|By TARA REILLY

PETsMART, one of the nation's leading suppliers of pet products, celebrated its grand opening Saturday and Sunday at the Centre at Hagerstown, drawing thousands of people - and dogs - from the Tri-state area.

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The Hagerstown store is one in the chain of more than 500 stores in 44 states and Canada. PETsMART is also one of the few stores that encourages dog owners to bring their canines shopping with them.

"Why not?" Anne Marway of Hagerstown said. "I've never brought my dog to the store before. It's a first."

Marway wandered the aisles of the 19,000-square-foot store with her 5-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, Molly.

Another attraction at the ceremony were three disabled birds from the raptor family which were flown to Hagerstown from the University of Minnesota Raptor Center just for the grand opening.

The birds, Andi, a Golden Eagle; Juneau, a Peregrine Falcon; and Samantha, a Great Horned Owl, were all injured in the wild and rehabilitated at the Raptor Center.


"I came out yesterday to the grand opening, and I came back today to see the owl," Roxanna Vinson of Hagerstown said. "It's a nice bird."

Samantha, a nearly 4-pound owl, was found in Dear River, Minn. after being struck by a car. As a result, one wing hangs lower than the other and prevents Samantha from flying well enough to take care of herself, according to Debra Mraz, a member of the education staff at the Raptor Center.

Vinson also said she shopped around and bought canned dog food for her Collie.

"It's great," Vinson said. "They've got everything in here."

Others said they came to the grand opening for the lizards, fish and dogs and cats that are up for adoption.

"I like the animals and fish," said Sara Miller, 8, of Hagerstown.

PETsMART doesn't sell dogs or cats, but instead provides space in the store for a local humane organization to show animals that are available for adoption. Through the in-store adoption centers, PETsMART has helped adopt 747,500 animals.

In addition to the thousands of pet products, the store also offers dog training courses and in-store grooming. PETsMART, a Phoenix-based company, was founded in 1987. The Hagerstown Store is located off Garland Groh Boulevard in the shopping center next to The Dollar Tree.

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