To say that Chris Houck, owner of My Pet Store and More in Ellicott City, loves animals would be an understatement. He has two dogs (a golden doodle and a miniature poodle), an African red belly parrot, a tank full of saltwater fish and five leopard geckos. So it makes perfect sense that he would help other animal lovers give their pets a happy home, too.
"I love the fact that I can help my customers with virtually any pet," says Houck. "There's not a pet you can name that I can't help you with … from saltwater aquariums to horse suppliers -- it's been a lot of fun."
Houck opened My Pet Store and More in April, and an online store is in the works, giving customers two options for browsing products and ordering specialty items. The store offers holistic pet foods and treats, specialty toys and supplies. Orders placed online can be shipped to the store for free.
"Every week we plan to bring something new or unusual into the store," says Houck. "A gentleman saw an Oriole in his backyard and asked us to order an Oriole feeder, so we'll order that. There aren't any pet shops in Ellicott City for horses, so we plan to fill that need as well. We just want to make it easier and better for people to shop for their pets."
In addition to serving customers at his store and online, Houck, an Ellicott City resident, gives back to the community by raising donations for Thankful Paws, which is a food bank for pets. Houck also visits local schools to explain proper care for pets and donates fish tanks for classrooms.
My Pet Store and More, 9469 Baltimore National Pike, Ellicott City. 410-465-0594. mypetstoreandmore.com.