Thank you for taking the opportunity to review the 5 nominees.
Access to voting can be found below.
Eric Gravel – 4 Pattes & Cie
Éric smiles and welcomes all customers. He has a great sense of humor. He gives the best service. He supports shelters, by donation. Éric reached 15 years of activity this year and he started with so little and he become a master in his region.
Joannie Normand and Marie-Renée Lavoie – À Chacun Sa Bête
Here is the story of two passionate and dedicated young ladies, both veterinarian technicians who, after working in a clinic for a while, taking care of well cared for pets, they realized they were also treating (and sometimes euthanizing by obligation) more and more mistreated and/or abandoned animals. What you have to know, is that there is no such thing as a local SPA or shelter in that area, so the problem of homeless animals was huge! Especially the stray cats problem! So they decided to take action and try to find a solution. They both resign on their current job and started their own grooming salon and small boutique, to be able to make up their own schedules and be able to work on the stray cats issue in town. After a short period of time, their salon and boutique were so successful that they could move into a bigger location and finally get closer to their goal, rescuing stray cats and kittens and find them loving homes. For that, they divided their new store in 3 parts. 1- A full line boutique where you can find good advices on nutrition and many accessories for all pets, including a fish section. 2- A beautiful grooming salon, surrounded by windows so pet owners can see all the grooming stages. The grooming salon uses organic products only. 3- A shelter facility, including a quarantine room where rescued kittens and cats are kept until their vet visit, shots and spaying. After their vet visits, the animals are kept in the “Play room”, full of toys, cat trees, steps on the wall, etc; where they can interact together as well. Joannie and Marie-Renée are currently involved with Gaspé’s city council towards finding a long-lasting solution to the stray cats problem. They are holding seminars to inform people about responsible pet ownership, especially on the adoption instead of in store purchasing of animals, they are also well promoting spaying as a great way to control stray cats population. They have been holding several fund-raising activities, such as a bingo, a Tupperware event, cookie dough selling, a Cat Spa day, and many more. All profits from those events were used to spay and care for rescued cats and kittens.
With their vet tech background and several years of experience, Joannie and Marie-Renée are what I call Information Displayer. They will not hesitate to spend a long time listening to their customers’s issues and concerns, giving them information, health, education and nutrition advice.
Being in the industry for almost 20 years now, I have to admit I have rarely met such passionate and devoted store owners as Joannie and Marie-Renée are! They have been working so hard, in their store, but even harder for the stray cats cause, I am sincerely impressed! The girls are focused on their main goal, finding a durable solution to the alarmingly increasing number of stray cats in Gaspé’s streets while running a very successful store and grooming salon. These Ladies deserve to be recognize for sure!
Michelle Hachey – Animalerie Chambly
Michell offers amazing customer service and presence in store. She gives advice to customers. She is always looking to learn about new products and employee training. She offers great sales advice about quality food and pet accessories. She encourages good animal shelters and volunteers in the community for a foundation that helps children, several days a year.
Patricia Martin and Rachel Rabaraona – La Patte de Velour
This pet shop stands out in several points. First, both owners are animal health technicians. Patricia has trained to be a groomer; she stands out with aggressive cats and even offers a service to people who cannot travel around the area. As for Rachel, she offers canine education courses in positive reinforcement to small groups of people from the region. In 2017, Rachel and I offered bite prevention workshops at our city’s school, and hope to offer it to more classes in 2018–2019. The animals in this shop, awaiting adoption, come from shelters (SAVR for small animals). Owners don’t buy animals; they give them a second chance to find a family for life. When they receive kittens, a veterinarian comes to examine them and when the animal is adopted, they offer low-cost sterilization in partnership with the Contrecœur clinic and give an adoption contract. All returns of food or expired food are sent to the local shelter (CAM). La patte de Velours also allowed some adult dogs to have another chance in life by offering them new families that better met their needs. I believe that what distinguishes this pet shop from others is the very spirit of the owners who are passionate animal lovers. Their human approach and help in finding solutions are valuable in our city.
– Bite prevention workshops in schools across the region
– Low-cost sterilization during adoption, in partnership with the Contrecœur veterinary clinic
– Donating food to the shelter (CAM)
– Staff’s travel to help the elderly or people with impaired mobility
– Provides better visibility for small animals in shelters and reduces stress by welcoming them to their store
– Sponsorship for children’s sports and activities in Contrecœur
– Advise municipal officials on dog park regulations
For the past four years, I have discovered two women passionate about animals—two mothers (Patricia has four children, Rachel has three) who have been working for ten years to improve animal welfare in their region. People here love them; they give advice to people, never judge and are understanding. They know their city, people talk to them at the grocery store and they take the time to give them advice despite the presence of their children who are fighting for their attention. They also help people out when a need arises. I sincerely believe that La patte de Velours is an example to follow but above all, I would like to see the values of the owners be adopted by several other shops. In 2018, we must set an example, raise awareness and respect for animals. In my opinion, this is exactly what this shop has been doing for ten years.
Yvan Methot – La Griffe
Yvan manages his store amazingly. He is present, respectful, generous and a great business man.
He educates his clients to the perfection. His store is always changing, rotating and clean.