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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Jim's Pet World in Villa Park

Place: Jim's Pet World
Location: . 701 N. Addison, in Villa Park (just south of North Avenue.)
Type of Place: Pet shop
Secret: Jim's Pet World has it's own pets, including a giant Leopard Tortoise and a talking parrot!
Appropriate ages: everyone
Cost: Depends on if you buy something!

Jim's Pet World will always hold a special place in my heart, because that is where I got my cat, Sammy-Joe! I had just turned twenty, and for my birthday Diana brought me to Jim's Pet World to pick out a kitten. I picked out a gray little fuzzball who grew up to be a big, muscular, beautiful, cuddly kitty!
This past week, we were learning about worms, and since I could not seem to find any for the life of me, I thought I'd buy some. When Megan reminded me that they sell live bait at Jim's Pet World, I was excited for the chance to show the kids my favorite pet shop!
Jim's Pet World is different from other pet shops in many ways. For one thing, it is family owned, and has been there since 1972. When you walk in, you get the feeling that you are walking into a small, friendly local pet shop, as opposed to a large chain shop like petland.
Another thing I love about them is that they don't keep their puppies in cages or behind glass (except for a few very young puppies who can't be out yet.) Instead, they keep them in large bins, lined with some sort of disposable bedding. (I don't know what it is, but it smells a little like wood chips or straw.) You're not allowed to pick up the puppies, probably because people would be dropping them or losing them all the time... but you can definitely reach in to play with them and pet them! The bins are high enough so the puppies can't jump out, but low enough that they can stand up on their hind legs to greet you. This way, you can see for yourself that they are clean, frisky, and happy. (Have you ever gone into a pet store where the dogs are behind glass, and some of them just look kind of sick and dirty?) They have room to wrestle and play and walk around in the bins, too, so they're not just sitting there all the time.
I have also heard that Jim's Pet World gets the puppy from local people, many who have dogs who became pregnant accidentally... not from puppy mills! So if you are looking for a puppy, you can rest assured that you are actually helping a puppy who needs a home, instead of supporting puppy mills.

You can see from this picture that the bins are a lot bigger than the cages in most pet shops!

Two puppies cuddling!

Don't you just want to cuddle this little guy?
When I got Sammy-Joe, the kittens used to also be in bins, but now they are kept together in a large cage. It looks a little like a big bird cage! The kittens seem to like it because they can literally climb the walls in there!

Jim's Pet World also has some pets of its own, that are always there. One is this leopard tortoise! The kids thought it was so cool!

Another is a parrot! This parrot can talk. saying things like "Hello" and "Cracker!" I think he got mad at me when I took his picture, because he stopped talking to me and started ruffling up his feathers and waddling 
back and forth in his cage.


I've been reading some of the online reviews of Jim's Pet World, and they have gotten some bad reviews. It seems that everyone either loves or hates this place! Some people have said that the puppies and kittens they've gotten from there have been sick. (You have to keep in mind, though, that the place has been in business for nearly forty years, and the handful of people who have posted complaints online are probably the minority. Happy customers rarely bother to voice their opinions online... its usually the angry ones who are motivated to speak up!) Others have said that the place smells bad, which I don't agree with. It just smells like the bedding they use for the puppies and other critters. Thats much better than the smell of feces!
Another complaint I saw a lot about them was that the employees are rude. This I can kind of see. When we were there, they basically ignored us, and didn't go out of their way to be friendly. But again, you have to remember, this is a family owned business, not a corporation. These people aren't going to be going to weekly trainings on customer service or having their bosses grill them on how many pets they've sold. They are probably just people who loved animals and turned it into a business. Maybe they love pets more than they love people... and I can't really blame them!
I'd be interested in hearing anyone else's experiences with this pet shop. In the meantime, I still think its my favorite pet store!


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