Finding the purrfect companion

By Cheryl Poynor

From lizards and fish to kittens and puppies, Pets & More, 432 N. Main St. in Sycamore, has almost everything a pet lover could want.

Pets & More has been open since June 2002. It is owned and managed by Dan White, who has been in the pet industry for about 15 years. Other Pets & More locations began to open about eight years ago.

There is plenty of business, especially on the weekends, said Kerri Kolacinski, a senior-ranking employee at the store.

Pets & More is the only local shop that sells puppies and kittens.

Kolacinski said the puppies are by far the most popular animals.

“All of our dogs that we get in are gone within two weeks,” Kolacinski said.

Some of the dogs currently available include Brittney spaniels, boxers, basset hounds, yellow and black labs, pugs and chihuahuas. Prices range from $200 to $1,500. In comparison, kittens cost $60.

Many people come to the shop to see the bulldogs, because they are a popular breed that few other stores have available.

The puppies are brought in from several private breeders in Iowa. Many are registered purebreds, and some are of show quality.

Most of the dogs already have been given their first shot and been de-wormed.

“None of the dogs ever come back with major problems,” Kolacinski said. “If there is something we are concerned about, we run them to the Genoa Animal Hospital and get them looked at right away.”

The Genoa Animal Hospital works closely with Pets & More and its customers. The hospital offers a complementary visit for customers who buy dogs at the shop.

Pets & More also carries other pets, including hamsters, rabbits, ferrets, birds, turtles, lizards, scorpions and different types of fish.

The pet store accepts any type of animal, except dogs, from customers. Some customers sell pets to the store and some donate, Kolacinski said.

Although dogs and cats are popular, many students are not permitted to keep pets at their residences.

“Pretty much everything with hair or fur is out,” said Jamie Doering, employee at Star Properties. Star Properties only allows pets such as fish and small lizards.

The pet rule at Star Properties also is followed by a number of lessors, including Pittsley Realty, Laing Management and Mason Properties.

Varsity Square Apartments, however, allows cats at an extra charge of $20 per month for each cat, with a limit of two per apartment.

For students looking for a pet allowed in their apartments, Pet & More recommends fish. Fish are easy to maintain and vary in price from 13 cents to $25.

“Dan has always been complimented on his saltwater fish selection – he just carries the average,” Kolacinski said.

Pets & More employees put a lot of work into the store to keep the animals healthy and the shop clean at all times for visitors, Kolacinski said.

”We really have a lot to offer,” Kolacinski said.