Gene Hill, author of multiple books illustrating his life with dogs, made the clever point that “whoever said money can’t buy happiness forgot about little puppies.” Columbia pet shop owners would likely argue that whoever made that universal claim forgot about kittens, birds, fish, hamsters and lizards, too.
Local pet and pet supply shop owners are familiar with the rewarding feeling of owning a pet and are passionate about sharing the worthwhile experience with anyone who sets foot in their stores. “Owning a pet teaches a great deal of compassion because you are learning to take care of someone beside yourself,” said Amanda Brite, owner of Amanda’s Pet Connection. “It’s the simple enjoyment of making someone else happy.”
Each of the following stores is dedicated to providing the supplies and information needed to welcome a new member of the family to your home or to keep your current pet happy, which, according to Hill, will bring a blissful smile to your face.
Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market
503 E. Nifong Blvd., Ste. J | (573) 875-2288
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.;
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; closed Sunday
Carries: All-natural dog and cat food, health supplements, training supplies, treats, collars, leashes and toys
Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market specializes in providing high-quality products for dogs and cats at a variety of prices. Owners Jessica and Kyle Schlosser are proud to supply all-natural pet food without byproducts to help dogs and cats maintain healthy lives. The store also provides a free educational research center where pet owners can learn about specific health habits and behaviors.
To provide adoption opportunities, Lizzi & Rocco’s works with rescue groups such as the Central Missouri Humane Society, Project Precious Paws, Columbia Second Chance and Dogs Deserve Better. “We always strive to help customers with the variety of products we sell and our own pet-owning experiences,” Jessica Schlosser said. “Our main objective is to provide for the benefit of the animals.”
Amanda’s Pet Connection
212 E. Green Meadows Road, Ste. 7
Monday – Friday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.;
Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.
Carries: Fresh and saltwater fish, small animals, rats, small birds, large exotic birds, reptiles, a wide selection of bird toys, pet food including Science Diet dog and cat food and other pet supplies
Amanda’s Pet Connection has been locally owned and operated for five years by pet enthusiast Amanda Brite. “One of the most important things for us to do as a pet store is to educate all of our customers on how to properly care for their animals,” Brite said. “Whether the animal comes from us or not, their health and happiness is our goal.”
Brite and her staff handle and play with every animal to ensure customers will take home a properly cared for pet. “We treat our animals like they are our own personal pets,” Brite said. Whether a first-time pet owner has questions about owning a bird or a long-time fish lover needs to restock his or her saltwater tank, Amanda’s Pet Connection has the answers and supplies to send customers home with confidence.
Award Pet Supply
1610 I-70 Drive S.W.
Monday – Friday, 8:55 a.m. – 6:55 p.m.;
Saturday, 8:55 a.m. – 5:55 p.m.;
Sunday, 10:25 a.m. – 4:25 p.m.
Carries: Food for dogs, cats, domestic birds, wild birds and small animals; toys for dogs, cats and domestic birds; treats; grooming supplies; animal beds; pet stain removers; Frontline Plus; bark collars; and other supplies for common pet problems
Award Pet Supply owners Chuck and Bobbi Everitt are dedicated to providing a one-stop shop for a variety of pet supplies, from dogs to cats, to guinea pigs to birds. “We really build relationships with the pets and people who come into our store,” Chuck Everitt said. “We try our best to remedy when a pet owner comes in with a concern about their pet.” The Everitts and their knowledgeable staff do so by offering materials for relaxation, playtime and the occasional pet mishaps.
Noah’s Pets And More
5400 E. St. Charles Road | (573) 474-6005
Store hours: Closed Monday;
Tuesday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.;
Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.
Carries: Saltwater fish, corals, freshwater fish, birds, small animals, reptiles, pet food and products
Along with parakeets, Quakers and Mynah birds, Noah’s Pets offers fish, corals and other small animals. The birds and mammals are handled daily, and each staff member is able to match temperaments and behaviors to customers.
“When you walk into the store, there are ferrets to your left and birds to your right,” owner Aimee Wayne said. “It’s a fun and friendly environment.” The locally owned store also works with the Society for Treatment of Abandoned and Fractured Friends by hosting one shelter dog at a time until he or she is adopted.
Finns and Feathers Pet Store
3302 Broadway Business Park Court, Ste. H
(573) 446-6008 | www.finnsandfeathers.com
Store hours: Monday – Saturday, 10 a.m. –
9 p.m.; Sunday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Carries: Saltwater fish, freshwater fish, birds, small animals, food for every animal but dogs, supplies, tanks, filters, lighting, fish medication, medications for birds and small animals
Although Finns and Feathers Pet Store has only been located in Columbia for two years, owners Paul and Theresa Ridgeway have been pet store owners for 20 years. Their previous store was located in Mexico, Mo., but they moved to Columbia for “a bigger market.” Finns and Feathers specializes in saltwater fish but customers can also find African Gray parrots, finches, other birds and small mammals. The store also works with shelter dogs through the Central Missouri Humane Society and Second Chance. “My husband and I grew up with pets,” Theresa Ridgeway said. “The pets eventually outgrew our house, so our hobby turned into a business.”
Songbird Station/Gigi’s Pet Boutique
2010 Chapel Plaza Court | (573) 447-3646
Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.;
Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Songbird Station carries: Bird feed, bird feeders, organic lawn care products, bird baths, bird houses, outdoor furniture, garden decor, garden flags, informational bird books and binoculars
Gigi’s Pet Boutique carries: Dog clothing, unique collars, dog beds, flexi leashes, toys, bowls, beds, strollers and car seats for dogs
Songbird Station, owned by Mel and Bev Toellner, is committed to providing customers with a relaxing environment to shop for a variety of wild bird products and has been locally owned for 16 years. “Our knowledgeable staff is enthusiastic about bringing families closer to nature,” said manager Holly Seaver. Songbird Station does this by offering in-store educational seminars, a library of bird books, free field trips and bird walks.
Gigi’s Pet Boutique is located inside Songbird Station and offers an assortment of unique pampering dog products, such as MU gear and embellished collars. The collaborative pet and nature store is also involved in Paws in the Park, Bark for Life and gives proceeds from its annual holiday photography event to Columbia Second Chance.