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Healthy Pet brings ‘‘family vibe’’ to Peabody

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Citing a recent shift in consumer shopping trends, Robert Mellace, along with his brother John and sister Lucia, decided to open Healthy Pet, a store with a comprehensive approach to pet care. Located at 637 Lowell St., the store’s soft opening was on July 9 with the ribbon-cutting and grand opening on Sept. 15-16.

“Healthy Pet is a new concept store for us,” said Mellace, adding that he and his siblings have also owned Pet Express since 1995. “We try to provide consumers with healthy alternatives; we don’t want consumers going to the Internet to buy things for their pets.”

Mellace said customers can quickly determine the quality of pet food by looking at the first five ingredients. “The proof is in the label,” he said.

Some of the brand names customers will find at Healthy Pet are Blue Buffalo, Merrick, Taste of the Wild and Fruitables.

Mellace also said that Healthy Pet is designed to be a neighborhood store, rather than a big box conglomerate. “We have that family vibe here,” he said.

The store itself features a 400-gallon fish tank; a rabbit-petting area, which Mellace said has been very popular with the children, as well as fish from across the globe, lizards, ferrets and hedgehogs.

Mellace said Healthy Pet is equipped with LED lighting. “We’re a green store,” he said.

In addition, Mellace spoke in favor of House Bill 3212. Sponsored by State Rep. Mark Cusack, the bill would prohibit the sale of puppies and kittens that are less than eight weeks old, require puppy microchips to improve consumer protection and prohibit the roadside sale of puppies. “This is a bill we’re standing behind,” said Mellace.

Although Boston City Councillor Matthew O’Malley sponsored and passed a similar city ordinance in March 2016, Mellace said, it did nothing more than create a black market for puppy mills. “What they did in Boston was so counter-productive, it does absolutely nothing,” he said.

State Rep. Theodore Speliotis said he would like to see tighter regulations for service dogs. Right now, anyone can go online and obtain a document stating that they have a service dog, when in fact, that is not the case at all. “I’d like to do that bill,” said Speliotis. “It has wide support in the State House.”

Healthy Pet’s hours are Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store can be reached at 978-535-7387.

By Christopher Roberson





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