There is a lot of noise being made about a recall of frozen rodents for reptiles at the moment. There have been a number of cases of salmonella food poisoning loosely linked to reptile owners. Tests have revealed that one supplier has had salmonella found in the frozen rodents they supply to the trade. As a result, several businesses have been forced to recall their stock if they use this supplier.
We have never used this supplier for frozen rodents and so have not been directly effected by this recall. Our own supplier regularly tests for salmonella throughout their process and at the time of writing all tests continue to prove negative. So far so good.
However, as some of the businesses effected (such as Pets at Home) are quite large and as their customers are having to find new shops to purchase their own supplies from; this is now effecting the rest of the supply chain. Additional pressure is being applied as shops that were effected by the poor quality of their existing supplier are having to find better, safer supplies elsewhere. We are now seeing shortages in our supply chain as this increased demand all round starts to bite.
Whilst we still have large supplies in store, we are now seeing shortages in some sizes when re-ordering. We have fresh deliveries every week so these shortages will soon start to become apparent. Obviously we are also seeing increased demand as other shops’ customers start coming to us to find supplies.
Please make sure you get your supplies early, before you run out of your own stocks at home as over the next few weeks we do invisage running low of some sizes, particularly of mice.
Of course, even though our supplies have proved negative for salmonella it is always necessary to wash your hands after handling any animal. I am sure I don’t have to tell our own customers to wash their hands after handling a dead rat and before putting your hands anywhere near your face, work surfaces or food but apparently it seems there are about 900 people since 2015 that did need telling because they clearly didn’t do it!
With the continued easing of lock down measures, things are slowly returning to normal. This week schools started to re-open and even more year groups start back next week. Whilst lock down has been on we have been closing early in order to carry out deliveries to local customers who were self isolating or just could not get to us. With kids going back to school, customers will want us to be there after schools close so they can shop or pick up orders on their way home. We are also seeing a drop off in the amount of free home delivery orders in the afternoons as more people are coming to us to shop so we are now in a position to extend the opening hours to pre-covid times (remember them, it seems a lifetime ago).
Our new opening hours are as follows from Monday 07/09/2020
Monday 1pm – 5:30pm
Tuesday 10am – 5:30pm
Wednesday 10am- 5:30pm
Thursday 10am – 5:30pm
Friday 10am – 5:30pm
Saturday10am – 5:30pm
Sunday – CLOSED
Bank Holidays – CLOSED
Customers using the FREE local home delivery service will be pleased to hear we will be keeping this on for the foreseeable future. Obviously deliveries will be later in the day now as we won’t be starting until 5:30pm. We are happy to provide this free service but would ask those customers that are able to visit the store to do so as it really does stretch our limited and rather ageing (me) work force. Of course some of the items we sell are rather bulky and we are happy to continue to deliver these.
We are often asked “where do you get your livestock from?” The truth is that the answer is not straight forward. We stock a very wide range of livestock and there is not a single suplier in the country that supplies a fraction of that range. Some animals we breed ourselves, although not many now due to ill health over the last few years, some come from local breeders that we have used for a number of years, some come from “breeder collectives”, groups of breeders who pool excess stock to sell to pet shops, some come from larger suppliers (again, suppliers we have used for years and can trust). There are also some sources we do not use. Rodent farms (we have visited one of these and wouldn’t use them on ethical grounds), accidental litters resulting from people buying mis-gendered pets from a well known pet supermarket (high risk of sibling mating), random people cold calling and trying to sell us animals (possibly stolen). We visit our suppliers homes or business premises to make sure we are happy with the conditions the animals are being bred/housed in first.
One Sunday in June we took the opportunity afforded by the slight easing of lockdown measures and a beautiful summers day to visit George and his partner Claire for a barbeque in their garden and to collect two crested geckos, bred in their collection at the college they work at. Whilst there I took the opportunity to take a few photos to show what one of our suppliers facilities looks like. This college teaches a variety of equine, agricultural, horticultural and animal courses. As well as taking classes, George is tasked with looking after the collection of animals kept on the college, including developing their environments.
The existing aviaries are stocked with a variety of small birds, including Zebra finches supplied by Angell Pets. There are also large new aviaries currently being developed with different levels of plant growth. The corona virus pandemic has put a hold on populating these as there are currently no students on site but when things return to normal new birds will be sourced for these.
Where the old aviaries are sited there is also a large compound of other enclosures housing Meerkats, ferrets, chinchillas, guinea pigs (some supplied by Angell Pets for breeding), rabbits, tortoises and others.
Inside the building is a rodent room with rats, mice, hamsters, gerbils, degus, chipmunks etc. Another room houses the aquatics section with cold water and tropical fish (some supplied by Angell Pets – angelfish and sydontis and some from which we have had supplies – swordtails and guppies) and terrapins (although these are to go outside into an adapted pond enclosure soon).
In the reptile room are frogs (including a huge African bull frog, grey tree frogs and Brazilian milk frogs – supplied by Angell Pets), salamanders and musk turtles (tank and turtles supplied by Angell Pets). Also there is a large enclosure for a common boa, corn snakes, royal pythons, bearded dragons, a water dragon (supplied by Angell Pets), leopard geckos (some supplied by Angell Pets), crested geckos (breeding colony) and skinks. In a separate room, all to itself is an adult male green iguana.
Back outside at the rear and sides of the buildings and enclosures are several paddocks. One contains the old duck pond (where the terrapins are going to go) with some ducks still to be transferred down the site to the new, larger pond. Next door are the chickens, where my old hens spent their final days when I became to ill to look after them. Behind are some of the pigs. Further back are the goats and alpacas and further back still are the sheep and llamas. coming back round to the other side of the compound are the donkeys and a pony. There are more livestock in the agricultural department, where the stables, milking sheds and farrowing pens including cattle and horses. We have visited these facilities before but my legs weren’t up to it this time. It’s a big site!
Down towards the entrance is the horticultural department, new aviaries and large duck pond. Some impressive growing tunnels and planting areas, not at their best at the moment due to the lack of activity on site with the lock down but still looking good in the bright sunshine. This is where some of the plants we have on sale in our shop for bio-active set ups come from, including those in the leopard gecko set up on our counter.
As well as the crested geckos we have already sourced from George, when the guinea pigs start breeding we will be having their excess stock. If the leopard geckos breed again we will also have these. Once the aviaries are up and running properly I am sure the birds will start breeding and we will also source some of our birds from here too. The purpose of the collection is to teach animal handling, husbandry and welfare not to breed animals commercially. However in discharging these duties there will be excess animals produced and I am sure having seen the excellent conditions the animals are kept in and the time, effort and indeed money that is spent on their welfare, they are a good fit with our mission statement of promoting ethical and responsible pet care.
The crested geckos mentioned are now on sale in our shop as are zebra finches from the same cohort as those supplied by us for the aviaries. Incidentally we also supplied the original birds for the aviaries at Hartpury college just after George finished his degree there, from memory they had cockatiels, budgies, Java sparrows, zebra finch, Japanese quail and Chinese painted quail.
We are in the process of developing new aviaries and animal enclosures in our Hucclecote store so I am sure our relationship with this excellent supplier will continue to grow.
Fortunately we have been able to keep our Gloucester pet shop open throughout the lock down period. We have done this by monitoring government advice, customer behaviours and expectations and especially the needs of those in our community particularly at risk from the virus. As the situation has evolved we have adjusted our opening times, provided new services and restricted non essential sales.
At the weekend the situation changed again and in view of this and changes to the products we can offer (livestock), the associated welfare needs of this livestock and changes in our customers’ behaviours, we have made further adjustments to our opening hours to cope.
A few weeks ago we reduced our opening hours to 2pm closing. This was to enable us to do FREE local delivery. A lot of our customers could not or would rather not come to us during the peak of the pandemic. We had also stopped selling animals (non essential) and actually had very few left in stock. Feeding, watering, cleaning, health checking and monitoring of the livestock is actually what takes up most of the time in the business. We were therefor able to close to do the deliveries because of the time saved by not having a lot of livestock in. As I posted below, this has now changed and we are selling animals again and so we need this time back.
Also many of our customers now feel more able to come to us and actually prefer it because they can browse the shop better than they can the website. Quite a lot like the excuse to get out after weeks of being shut in. It helps them that they can do this safely because of the control measures we already had in place in our Gloucester pet shop in the period prior to lock down. These measures, allowing social distancing remain in place. This has reduced the demand for FREE local delivery, enabling us to reduce the time spent on this service. It is still available to those requiring it but we will be starting the deliveries later in the day. In order to ensure we can still get to all the customers that really do still need us to deliver we have increased the minimum order from £5 to £10. This is to hopefully reduce the amount of deliveries further (we were delivering to some very local customers who weren’t self isolating every other day with orders a couple of pence over the minimum each time).
With the reduced time for the deliveries we have also introduced a delivery schedule, to avoid delivering to opposite ends of the patch on the same night and wasting most of the available time in one long journey. We will continue to monitor the situation and make changes if any of this causes our customers any issues.
The new schedule for FREE local delivery from our Gloucester pet shop is below along with a couple of sensible conditions.
Property must be sack truck assessible. We will leave the order at the front door of the main property, telephone the contact number given (or knock, or both) and wait until someone collects the package. We will make only one delivery attempt. If you are not in, or do not answer, the order can be collected from our shop from the following working day onward. If you can do orders to collect please do so as delivery numbers will be limited for the time being. Click and collect is available on our web store but FREE local delivery orders MUST be done by telephone on 01452 501882 and paid for in advance by card. Sorry, no cash on delivery. Cash purchases can only be done in store.
Minimum order £10 Orders must be in by 3pm for same day delivery.
As the lockdown continues and the government continues to encourage everyone to stay at home as much as possible we have decided to do our bit to help. As of today we are re-introducing our FREE local delivery service for ALL customers.
We used to offer this service from our last premises but had to withdraw it following a spinal injury and subsequent serious illness that left me unable to lift anything (or even to stand at one point) and impeded my mobility. In order to enable us to bring the service back Billie will have to do the deliveries and that means we have to close the shop early each day to do it.
From today we have introduced new reduced opening hours to enable us to carry out deliveries (and supplier collections) in the afternoons. The new hours are as follows:-
Monday 13:00 – 1600
Tuesday 10:00 – 14:00
Wednesday 10:00 – 14:00
Thursday 10:00 – 14:00
Friday 10:00 – 14:00
Saturday 10:00 – 14:00
FREE local delivery will be available for ALL orders over £5 to the following postcodes:- GL1, GL2, GL3, GL4 GL50, GL51 (that’s Cheltenham and Gloucester). Please telephone your order to 01452 501882 before 14:00. If it is a stock item we will deliver that day or the next. If it is not something we usually stock (or is currently out of stock) we will deliver it when the order arrives at the shop. We will still be OPEN everyday to receive deliveries and for those customers who still wish to visit the shop. Please note that all orders for the FREE delivery must be placed by telephone and paid for by card at the time of ordering. We cannot do cash on delivery at this time.
If you give us your contact number we can call you just before we arrive then knock and leave the item on our doorstep for you to come out and retrieve it before we leave. Alternatively we can leave it in a previously agreed secure area at the customers risk. Everyone should be home (that’s kind of the point of doing this) so we will only attempt one delivery. If we cannot get a response we will return the item to the shop for collection by the customer. Of course click and collect is still available on our website and by telephone. This system has been working well up to this point.
We are already doing FREE delivery to the vulnerable members of our community and we have reduced the minimum order value for this service to £5 to make it even easier for them to shop. The shop early closing is just to carryout the large volume of deliveries we are getting and expect to see increase. We are very busy and cannot cope with the deliveries with the shop still open and needing staffing. Please note this delivery service is for essential items so we will not be delivering animals. We insist that customers come to the shop to view animals before purchasing anyway and have suspended most animal sales during the current crisis.
So for FREE local delivery call 01452 501882before 14:00. If you call after 14:00 we will be out delivering so will have to call you back when we are in the shop, which won’t be until the next working day.
We have noticed in the last couple of days that there has been an increase in sales to individual customers. Customers that usually buy one bag of dog food a month are buying two or three, customers that usually buy three boxes of locusts are getting six oir eight. Obviously this is so that if they are forced to self isolate in the event of them catching Corvid 19, they can be sure they have enough supplies in for their animals. Whilst this is understandable it has meant that some regular customers are finding that their normal supplies are not on the shelf when they need them and although it only takes us a few days to restock and we have no issues with any suppliers, it does lead to more people panickling that they are going to be without.
In an attempt to both alleviate the need to “stock up” and to help out if any of our customers should actually need to self isolate (i.e. people that do have or are suspected to have the virus or vulnerable groups such as the elderly) we are introducing free home delivery for anyone who has had to go into quarantine. If you are genuinley having to self isolate and cannot get out to buy supplies, call us on 01452 501882. You can order and pay over the telephone (subject to a minimum order value of £10), we will then deliver to your house, give you a call to tell you we are there and leave the product at your door for you to collect when we have gone. No need for any contact.
Please note, this service is only for genuine cases of self isolation. We are a small family business and are not currently set up to do a full home delivery service at the moment due to my own on going health conditions. If you are not self isolating we have a large FREE carpark at our shop in Hucclecote. We just want to do our bit to help out those unable to make it to us because of the current Corona Virus situation and to reduce the impulse to bulk buy and spread the available supplies amongst all our customers. Thank you in advance for not abusing this service.
Our popular webstore for our Gloucester Pet Shop is changing. We have used the same platform for a number of years and support for this platform is ceasing in the new year (a bit like Windows 7 support and security updates also ceasing next year).
We had a number of options available to us. Our current supplier offered us an update to a more modern platform. Unfortunately they wanted to charge us nearly £10,000 for the privilege so they have been told where to go. We have now found a new supplier with a cloud based platform. Over the last few weeks Billie and I have been busy putting all the stock onto the new EPos system (till) and this integrates with the new website. The basic form of the website is now ready to launch (we can add the fancy pictures and banners at our leisure). Unfortuantely we have to get our domain released by the old supplier so we can repoint it to our new site and this involves a bit of email to and fro so will take a day or two. Whilst this happens the site will suddenly stop working until we have completed the redirect.
During this period if anyone has an order they wish to place, please call us at our Gloucester pet shop on 01452 501882 so we can use the good old telephone ordering system. We will post when the new site is up and running. This site is not affected by these changes and will continue to work.
As part of the change over our old loyalty scheme is no more. Point’s collection and voucher issue was dealt with by the old system and this suddenly stopped working some weeks ago. Any customers with valid vouchers please bring the paper voucher with you to redeem by the end of this month. After that we will no longer have access to the old system at all and can no longer accept the old vouchers..
We are considering how to do a new loyalty scheme on the new system but it will look completely different and we will launch that once we have got over any bugs in our new EPos and webstore and got all the stock loaded into the databases (nearly there!).
Of course, throughout all this change our Gloucester Pet Shop has remained open in Hucclecote, serving the surrounding areas of Brockworth, Churchdown, Abbeymead, Abbeydale, Matson, Coney Hill, Barnwood and Upton. We are also easily accessible from further afield like Cheltenham and Stroud. We have a large FREE carpark and we are conveniently located on a major bus route out of town so please do pop in if you haven’t already.
Angell Pets 5 star rated Gloucester Pet Shop celebrates 10 years serving the local community nex month, so watch out for some celbratory offers coming soon.
Billie and I will be going to the September Trade Show next week and spending some money on new stock. We need space for that stock so we have 10% off all our dog beds for the rest of September.
Prices are whilst stocks last and our dog beds can be purchased in store, on line in our webstore or over the telephone for delivery or collection in store (if you wish to reserve a bargain until you can make it into store).
Way back in 2009 I was coming to the end of my martial arts teaching career due a combination of injury and wear and tear. I was looking for something I could do as a career that did not involve working for someone else. I had had enough of that with previous employers and had been spoilt by being self employed as an electrician (which I hated) and a martial arts instructor (which I loved). It was whilst out delivering leaflets for my martial arts academy in Tewkesbury that I noticed that just about every every house (near enough) had some sign of animals. This one had a barking dog, that one had a cat flap, this one had a load of bird feeders, that one had a rabbit hutch. One even had a sign saying “beware of the snakes”! I have kept a huge range of animals throughout my life, have an honours degree in biology and have lectured on various courses on relevant subjects so even I was able to put two and two together and the idea of Angell Pets took form. I had no funding, no knowledge of how to start such as business or where to locate it but you don’t become a martial arts instructor unless you are quite driven. Within a few weeks I had resolved all the problems I could think of and formed a company and our Gloucester pet shop was born.
I borrowed a lot of money against an old endowment policy I’d had for years, and incorporated the company on 23/06/09. We then found a suitable property close to home in Abbeymead, purchased all the shelving, tills and everything else you need for a shop, sourced suppliers, enrolled on the courses needed to obtain a licence, commissioned a website and jumped right in. The whole process, from forming the company to opening the doors of our first Gloucester pet shop took just under 6 months and we finally opened on 17th of December 2009.
We stayed in our first shop in Mead Road for the next five years. Over that time we introduced new services such as free home delivery, a webstore, a new information website, an offers email list and our Facebook page. Despite being launched during a double dip recession, the business thrived and grew every month. Unfortunately, when the lease came up for renewal the landlord wanted the property back for themselves and we had to look for a new location quite quickly. We thought we had found a good new spot at the quays and managed to move the entire business across in only two days! (although there was a couple of months of late nights preparing the new premises and decorating the old).
Unfortunately we did not take into account the stupidity of Gloucester City Council who, at the behest of the Quays development and against the wishes of smaller local businesses, decided to close the local carpark and promptly killed our business overnight. This happened 6 months after we moved in and cut our takings in half. We were tied into a lease for a minimum of 3 years so spent the next 2 1/2 years just scraping by. If it hadn’t been for the launch of our boarding service we would have gone under. Thanks Gloucester City Council.
As soon as we were able to get out of our lease (not cheaply, it cost thousands) we did and found our current property in Hucclecote. The move was not so easy this time. Both properties needed a lot of very expensive works. The Hucclecote site was an old Barclays branch and their contractors wrecked the inside of the building taking out their kit, plus maintenance of the building had not been kept up. They also left behind the vault door which alone cost a few thousand to remove. Worse was the work we had to do on the old property. In order to implement the break clause in our lease we had to carry out a lot of remedial work. Every piece of wood had to be glossed, every wall emulsioned, every piece of flooring replaced (3000 sq ft), shutters that had not been touched in the the 20 years before we got there serviced, the roof cleared of years of debris and repaired where it had been damaged from people going up there without permission (now you know why I was annoyed when the rugby painting on the cafe next door was put up without any consultation with us – it cost me £450 in repairs). Unfortunately most of this work was a complete waste of time and money. We knew, even as we were carrying out the works that the new tenants were going to rip most of it out and sure enough, one week after moving I looked in to see half the new flooring pulled up and stacked ready to go to the tip.
It was whilst carrying out the remedial works (fitting the carpet tiles that are now buried in the ground at the landfill site) that I injured my spine. This is what was responsible for us having to stop our free local delivery service, I can no longer walk too well and lifting anything is out of the question. I managed to keep it going during the move, when we were operating from a storage unit but had no option but to cease it when, whilst painting a piece of skirting in the new shop I was unable to get up because my legs were too weak. After finally going to the doctors I have been diagnosed with a reasonably serious condition that is not going to improve. I also became quite ill last summer so Billie stepped up and has been running the company since, doing all the work that at one point we had six staff (including myself) doing. George has also been helping out when he can and even Albert stepped in during a break in his studies.
However, despite all the problems with recessions, leases, idiot councillors and illness lining up to hold us back, we have made it to 10 years of our Gloucester pet shop and are still going strong. To mark this anniversary we will be having lots of offers on between now and December in celebration. This will be in additon to, not instead of, our regular monthly deals we already offer. Ever since we opened we have made sure even our usual prices have remained competitive and with all the offers coming up, there will be some real bargains. Like our Facebook page or sign up to our email list to be kept up to date with the latest bargain.
So visit us in our Gloucester pet shop at Glenville Parade in Hucclectoe. Lots of FREE parking and right on the number 10 bus route.
May ‘s offers are now available in our Gloucester Pet Shop. Most are also available on line in our webstore. As usual these offer prices are always popular so don’t delay, or risk missing a bargain. I have added a price comparison where I can. Not all products are stocked elsewher locally though. It is always useful for us to do this as it shows us that often our normal price is less than our competitors, let alone our monthly offers. I mean, check out the price of Johnsons IGR House Flea Spray below. We are only a little family run shop and we do not get the discounts for volume the big companies get and yet they still decide to charge the customer more than we do. Go figure!