Our Store History
Country Pet Specialties opened in 1997 in a tiny store on Rt 31 in Clinton Township. The desire to open a retail store was based on the belief that all the knowledge learned over time should be shared with others and a store provided the perfect opportunity. We were one of the very first stores that refused to sell animals. In 2000 we moved to our current store in Lebanon Plaza. The plaza was chosen for its location on State Highway 22 and close access to Rt 78. We also have tons of convenient parking. In 2002 we expanded by adding an attached warehouse area.
Launching the new web site in 2019 is a wonderful time to reflect on the future. Opening a store before most of the invention of technology we use today has given Country Pet the opportunity to again reinvent. We still prefer many of the ‘old’ ways and plan on continuing to use the ones that keep us open in power failures, are customer friendly, and ones we just prefer.
Country Pet has proven to be resilient to competition from chain stores and online sellers. We are independent so products are chosen individually for their contribution to the well-being of pets and the piece-of-mind for owners. There is no substitute for greeting a friendly smile and having a face to face educated conversation about your pets. Products can be touched, examined for quality, and fitted; services the internet can not provide.
Alice Shope has over fifty years of diverse hands on companion animal experience. I have worked for veterinarians, groomers, and veterinary pharmaceuticals. My volunteer time has included numerous rescue groups, completing the course for enforcement of NJ anticruelty laws, and procurement of dogs for US Customs from pounds and shelters.
Since childhood I have always advocated that rescuing a pet should be the first consideration for most people. There have been visits to hundreds of shelters and pounds over decades and in my travels have concluded that the perfect companion pet is out there for everyone, waiting without a home. Many rescued shelter and pound dogs have also gone on to be fabulous service dogs, working dogs, and obedience competition dogs.
James Flynn manages many of the store operations. He has worked at Country Pet for 14 years. Since his first day James has been eager to learn about nutrition and companion animal care. He understands the importance of studying information needed to improve the quality of life for our furry family members.
James describes his interaction with customers saying, “I feel a sense of pride and happiness when I can help a customer. Whether working through a traumatizing or difficult issue, or simply finding the perfect treat for a picky pet.”
As a teenager James held his first job managing a kennel full of dogs and a horse. Always feeling a connection to nature and animals he knew pets would be forever in his life.
“No matter who comes through the door, we all love our pets!”
We make every effort to offer great products at the most affordable prices. Customers who have believed that chain stores have the best prices are pleasantly surprised that shopping at Country Pet can save you money.
Finding great products from sources we prefer has been a priority since opening twenty years ago. Country Pet avoids products from certain countries; and without exception when it comes to the food and treats. We choose from companies that have good track records and quality controls. FDA updates and ever changing regulations is an important daily responsibility for the safety of our beloved pets.
We place a lot of special orders for customers and keep them aside until you have time to pick up. All you do is ask us to write down your name, phone number, and items requested. When your products arrive we give you a call.
It is our policy to support animal related activities as per requests from our customers. Country Pet donates to many pet rescues, wildlife rehabilitators, and pet related events. Whether it is to make a basket for a fundraising occasion, or gift bags for clubs and gatherings we are glad to help out whenever possible.