Angell Pets has been a member of The Pet Industry Federation since our inception in 2009. Back then the organisation that represents members from a host of animal related businesses and promotes animal welfare within these areas was known as the Pet Care Trust. The Federation structure is split into several associations and we are members of the Pet Retailers Association. The Pet Industry Federation in all of its former guises is celebrating 70 years this year
Part of the responsibility of membership to the federation is adherence to its Members Charter. The charter is reproduced below with a brief explanation of how we meet our obligations under these rules.
- Strive to improve industry standards. We constantly review our own animal welfare practices, suppliers, breeders and housing. Where we feel a change is appropriate to improve anything at all, we make the change. It is for this reason we refuse to use some of the commercial suppliers used by large chains and tend to stock industry leading, quality pet foods, rather than poorer quality supermarket brands.
- Promote responsible pet ownership. This is part of our company strap line or mission statement and always has been – “Promoting Responsible and Ethical Pet Ownership”. We do this by ensuring all our staff are qualified to give advice on any animal or product we sell. Our staff are highly qualified and trained in pet care and nutrition. We advise our customers before purchasing, at the time of purchase and offer after sales care that is second to none. We do not feel it is our job to judge customers but obviously if a member of the public refuses to at least listen to advice, does not wish to purchase (or does not already have) the correct equipment or in any way indicates they are unlikely to care correctly for the animal for its whole life we steer them away from purchasing the animal or, in some extreme cases, refuse to sell and ask them to leave (wanting to buy rats to give to a border terrier to “play with” for example!). We have a responsibility to the animals we sell to do our best to ensure the new owner has the time, information and equipment to care for it or to protect the animal by not selling. The ethical part of our strap line refers to sourcing our animals from responsible breeders and not selling any wild caught animals, helping to protect the wild populations.
- Strive to ensure customer satisfaction at all times. We offer the best customer service in the area. We provide a livestock policy document on line and with each animal purchased, informing our customer what to do if dissatisfied with their purchase. We also produce and publish our own care sheets via our website and supply leaflets produced by the Pet Charity. Where customers feel they have made a mistake and cannot care for the animal they have purchased we offer to take it back. We do not claim to be able to satisfy every customer, every time; some requests it is not possible to comply with (like the gentleman who recently tried to return a dog harness that “didn’t fit” but had clearly been well used and was covered in mud and well let’s just say “other substances”). We do try our best, Customers coming back again and again and using our FREE local delivery service year after year tells us that we usually get it right.
- Always provide customers with clear and current information about products and services in a polite and professional manner. Most of this is covered in no.3 but in addition our staff have also attended courses on dog and cat nutrition, pet first aid, micro chipping etc. and can talk at length and give the best, up to date advice to anyone wishing to let me waffle on!
- Ensure all staff are appropriately trained to carry out their job role and that they have a comprehensive understanding of company products, services and procedures. In addition to the training courses already mentioned above our staff carry the following qualifications between them:- BSc (Hons) in biology, BSc (Hons) in animal science, Professional Certificate of Management, Level 3 Advanced Certificate in Pet Store Management, Level 3 Diploma in Work Based Animal Care (Pet Care And Retail), Level 2 Diploma in Work Based Animal Care (Pet Care And Retail), as well as a host of other related qualifications (such as BTEC Diploma in water treatment) too numerous to list. We also offer supplier product training courses and animal welfare courses to our staff as the need arises. Our two policies over and above what you would expect from any business are our livestock policy and abuse policy.
- Minimise the environmental impact of their business wherever possible. We have council approved waste disposal contracts in place including cardboard recycling. Potentially hazardous materials such as fluorescent tubes are recycled via approved facilities and we also take back and recycle customers’ spent tubes. Both our fire and security alarms are serviced and maintained to a high level by approved contractors to minimise the chance of false, nuisance alarms. Heating is thermostatically controlled to avoid energy waste and store display lighting is automatically controlled to avoid waste and reduced light pollution.
- Promote best practice in animal welfare by observing the Five Welfare Needs: Diet, accommodation, wellness, sociability and behaviour. This is the foundation of our business and the source of our mission statement to “Promote responsible and ethical pet ownership”. We are inspected annually by the relevant licencing authority to ensure all of our accommodation and practices meet with these welfare requirements. We have lectured in educational establishments on these and related subjects and hosted prestigious Colleges’ students on our own premises as part of their courses on animal welfare. Our expertise in this area is much sought after.
- Maintain their working environment to ensure it is fit for purpose. We are a modern business so our working environment includes the shop, our delivery vehicles and our web presence via our two websites (angellpets.co.uk and angellpets.com) and our Facebook page. Where necessary, equipment is maintained by either skilled contractors or our own staff to ensure it is safe, relevant and operating correctly. Our websites are maintained on a daily basis with security a prime concern. Unfortunately, all websites are constantly under attack but we have the security in place to protect our customers at all times. When any issues occur we have the systems in place to resolve them quickly.
- Abide by all current legislation relative to the business. Our business is licensed. Unfortunately there has been a proliferation of illegal, unlicensed sellers in recent years, mainly on line and on social media. We know we adhere to all the laws and regulations relevant to our business. Membership of the federation and possession of our licence are our customers assurances that we do. Sadly there is no guarantee (in fact quite the reverse) that unlicensed sellers, that cannot therefor gain entry to the Pet Industry Trade Federation, follow any guidelines whatsoever. I would write it off with “Buyer Beware” but we are talking about the lives of living creatures here. DO NOT BUY ANIMALS from unlicensed sellers.
- Do not bring the pet industry, the Pet Industry Federation or divisional associations into disrepute. Everything we do, every animal we buy or sell is recorded and monitored. If we do something wrong we lose our membership and our licence and would quite rightly go out of business. Far from bringing the industry into disrepute we are regularly consulted on best practice; by other pet businesses, educational establishments, our own customers and the wider public (worldwide).
So this is why we pay our annual membership fee to belong to the Pet Industry Trade Federation and Pet Retailers Association. It gives our customers confidence that they are dealing with a properly regulated and managed business, adhering to the very latest guidelines and rules and most importantly that the animals we stock are looked after properly before sale and expert advice is available to the customer at point of sale and afterwards.
The Angell Pets Team