Pets at Home store set to open its doors

Pets at Home is investing more than £625,000 in a new store opening at the Sprucefield Centre on October 26, creating 17 new jobs.

The store will provide thousands of dedicated pet products for local dogs, cats, small animals, reptiles, chickens, birds, fish and wildlife.

There will also be a Groom Room and a Companion Care vet surgery.

The company, founded in 1991, has more than 320 sites across the UK employing more than 5,200 people.

It was awarded second place in The Sunday Times’ Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For 2012 and won a CIPR PRIDE Gold Award For Corporate Responsibility in 2011.

Pets at Home is committed to recruiting from the local area and applicants go through a number of stages to assess their compatibility for the role. Animal welfare is at the heart of its business, which is why it believes in employing pet lovers to serve pet lovers.

The company also invests in the career development of employees, giving colleagues the option to gain specialist qualifications in pet care. Many have worked for the company for more than 10 years.

Store manager Gareth Kerr has been with Pets at Home for more than eight years, having previously worked at the Bangor, Belfast and Newtownabbey stores.

During his time with the company, Gareth has received regular training in pet care. He is a keen fish keeper and owns tropical fish.

Gareth said: “I love my job and working with pets. We are all passionate about pets, which is evident to everyone who visits a Pets at Home store. Every day brings new challenges and it’s never the same two days running.

“I enjoy interacting with customers and giving them the help and advice they need. Thanks to Pets at Home, I am fully qualified to advise on all types of pets from rabbits, guinea pigs and chinchillas to fish and reptiles.

“I’m delighted to be opening our new store in Lisburn. It will offer everything a pet owner could wish for, all under one roof. We will provide plenty of advice and ideas for customers and we welcome pets of all shapes and sizes.

“We will also have a Groom Room, offering full grooming, bath and blow dry, puppy grooming and nail clipping, which are all important to a pet’s health and wellbeing.”

A Companion Care veterinary surgery will house a full operating theatre, digital X-ray facilities, in-house laboratory and a hospital ward providing a full range of treatments from health checks to emergency operations.

Barry Palmer, veterinary surgeon and partner of the Companion Care vet surgery, said: “My team and I are very excited to be opening this surgery in Lisburn. We are committed to providing excellent care to the local pet population and our location within Pets at Home is a great way to help to deliver the total pet care experience to customers.”