Dorothy and Doyle Hunter of Richland are giving in to customer demand and opening up a second Paw's Natural Pet Emporium in Kennewick.
The couple have been working for nearly two months to get a Kennewick store ready to carry natural food, supplements and toys for customers and their pets.
Dorothy said they hope to open the doors to the Kennewick store by Nov. 15. The address is 6713 Clearwater Ave., Unit D.
Opening a second location has turned out to be a little more difficult than they had expected, she said.
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The Hunters said their customers have been asking for them to open a second store. Paw's Natural Pet Emporium opened in 2008 at 1420 Jadwin Ave., Richland.
The new, 3,600-square-foot Kennewick store is under construction, with part of a wall that will be removed to open up more retail space by All City Restoration & Remodel of Kennewick.
But the wooden counter, built by Doyle, already has registers being set up, and displays for food, supplements and toys already are in place.
Opening a pet store was Dorothy's dream. After Doyle retired from Hanford, he said his wife convinced him to give a pet store a try. So he said he'd give it a year.
More than four years later, the are doubling their efforts.
Doyle said he remembers feeding Gravy Train as dog food when he was a child. With the store, he said they've learned so much about animals and their nutritional needs.
When an animal is ill, sometimes all that is needed is to change its food, he said. At one seminar he went to, a veterinarian said 85 percent of the animals seen at one clinic suffered from problems related to diet.
Humans have domesticated carnivores, Doyle said. And dogs can be allergic to corn or other things put into conventional dog food.
Dorothy said they've done a lot of research to make sure the food they carry is safe and comes from the United States or Canada.
"We are trying to keep the animals safe and healthy and happy," she said.
They carry about 150 brands of holistic, natural food, from entry level, reasonably priced food like Diamond Natural, and food like Acana and Orijen, which is made from all fresh produce, to more expensive food such as ZiWiPeak.
Dorothy said their three shih tzu have gotten a chance to try out the food they carry. They currently eat Petcurean's Now for small breeds.
The Hunters also sell raw meat for food and supplements for pets.
They plan to play host to events at the Kennewick store during which customers can quiz sales representatives specifically about the food they sell.
Customers with questions about food also can ask any employee. The Hunters said all of them go through training, including an online course and a one-year college course on animal nutrition.
With the expansion, Doyle said they will increase to eight full-time and two part-time employees
Current employees are training new employees, and he said once the new store opens, new and veteran employees will staff it.
Paw's Natural Pet Emporium also carries toys, including standard, BPA-free and American made.
While Paw's Natural Pet Emporium mostly focuses on dogs and cats, Doyle said it also carries feed for small animals such as rabbits, reptiles and birds.
While customers are welcome to bring their pets with them, the store doesn't sell any pets. Doyle said there are enough pets in the world that need homes. Instead, they hold adoption events for Benton County Animal Control at their Richland store.
For more information or updates on the opening date, go to www.pawsnaturalpetemporium.com or check out their Facebook page.
Paw's Natural Pet Emporium is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekends. Call the Richland store at 943-6640 and the new Kennewick store at 736-3647.