FRANKLIN - Ken and Tiffany LaVigne are hoping to help Franklin's pet population become healthier, and happier, through their new store.
The LaVignes opened up Happy Tails Pet Supplies, 7720 S. Lovers Lane Road, at the beginning of February. The location is their second store in southeastern Wisconsin, with their first location being in Racine.
The store features many kinds of products for pets "from puppy onward," including toys, snacks, dental care, and high-quality food – their biggest focus.
Thought for food
"Eating healthy, feeding healthy treats, and everything for a healthy long life does not have to be expensive – you just have to be informed," said Ken LaVigne.
The store gives personalized advice to help each customer find the best food option for his or her own cat or dog, a benefit many large chain pet supply stores don't offer, the LaVignes say.
"We're here to help people get through their dogs' issues and kind of walk them through and give them advice," explained Tiffany LaVigne.
Helping others find the best food for their pets is especially important to the LaVignes, since they went through the struggle themselves before opening their first store in Racine three years ago.
After one of their Boston terriers got sick, Tiffany started searching for answers as to how to help their furry family member recover.
"My goal in life was to get him better," Tiffany said.
Through research online and by talking with holistic and traditional veterinarians, she eventually learned that their dog had digestive issues.
"A lot of (pet illness) is from the food they eat," she said. "So I wanted to educate people so that their pets can be healthy, too."
Key to health
"Everything starts with the healthy digestive tract of a pet, or their diet. It's the key to their health," Ken said.
Reflective of this belief, the walls of the store are lined with a wide variety of different pet food, including raw frozen food, which the LaVignes' Boston terriers eat.
"It comes in patties or little kibbles, but it's all frozen and not cooked, which is actually good for dogs," Tiffany explained. "Cooking can remove a lot of the vitamins and nutrients out of it."
The shop also has a variety of pet snacks and treats, both traditional and creative – such as treats that look like tiny donuts.
Hoping to make these healthy food options even more accessible, Happy Tails began offering a delivery service when it opened the Franklin location, reaching pet owners all around the area.
Pets are also welcome at the store, though they should be on a leash. Sometimes, the LaVigne's two dogs, Max and Gizmo, can even be found hanging out behind the counter.
Happy Tails is currently open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday; 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday.