“We want people to be able to feed their pets,” said Suzanne Caracci, who owns the store with her husband Anthony, “especially with the economy being the way it is now. Your pets are like your kids.”
In the short time since Pet Palace opened in March, it has proven to be a one-stop shopping destination for pet needs of all kinds. If you’re looking to add a new member to your household, browse three floors inhabited by purebred puppies, reptiles, birds, small critters and freshwater/saltwater fish.
Staying true to the days when together as teenagers they rescued Boxers, the couple now also works with local animal rescue organizations to help kittens, which live at Pet Palace, find loving homes. The kittens are not for sale; Pet Palace charges a minimal adoption fee for food and vet costs.
Available services include grooming and pet sitting. Pets are never boarded; that way, they’re not inside the store alone and without supervision. Food and other supplies are all available here, and Caracci mentioned that many customers can’t believe how well the prices stack up against competitors. Pet Palace also offers a price-matching policy.
“We have everything here for affordable prices, and if we don’t, we’ll order it for you,” she said. “We don’t want you to go anywhere.”
There is free customer parking in the lot next to the store, but delivery is available for senior citizens or homebound individuals who may have a difficult time getting to the store and still need to feed their pets.
“People want pets in their lives,” said Caracci. “Some people don’t have much family, so their pets are their family.”
Walking the talk, the Caraccis treat all the store’s residents like their own; puppies are kept in cribs, never cages, and run around three times a day so that they are properly exercised and socialized; birds get to spread their wings inside an open playpen; even the reptiles are kept in custom-designed, climate-controlled environments. Not to mention that the pet store doesn’t smell like a pet store, either.
“We’re animal lovers,” said Caracci. “The difference between us and other pet stores is that we love each and every one of our animals.”
She realizes that they could have opened Pet Palace anywhere, but the Maspeth natives chose to open the store just three blocks from home because they wanted to give back to their community.
“The majority of the neighborhood has pets,” said Caracci, “and thanks to us, they have even more now. They come in and can’t help falling in love with our puppies.”
Pet Palace is located on the Maspeth-Middle Village border at 61-19 Fresh Pond Road. For more information call (718) 497-PETS.