COMPANY’S BRIEF PROFILE
Pets Habitat was first established in 2004 in Ajman as a small trading company solely to import pet food and products. Our first retail store opened in Barsha in 2007. We opened a second store in Motor City in 2011, however we had to let it go due to increasing business costs. Ultimately, I came to conclusion to maintain and concentrate on one store only for the benefit of our animals and for our customers.
WHAT QUALIFIES US TO DISCUSS PETS: HERE IS A BRIEF
I have rescued and owned pets since settling in UAE in 1995. My life used to revolve around them, and it still does, perhaps not in the same way, but, nevertheless. I have rescued hundreds of cats, several dogs, birds and many exotics, including severely dehydrated, injured, refusing to eat reptiles. I used to struggle with food, litter, specialized equipment costs and mostly vet bills just like many of you. The time, finance, knowledge and patience required to nurse living beings to health and the emotional anguish of losing some of them to inevitable “out of our hands” elements, these are all very familiar to me, personally, the whole life cycle of joy, effort, attachment, self-discipline, costs and the ultimate grief of eventually losing that intangible bond…
As owner of Pets Habitat LLC, I aim to manage my store’s activities daily, but it does not always happen with hectic business schedule and busy family life. Nonetheless, our emphasis has always been and remains on the health and wellbeing of our animals, even if at a cost of a few disappointed customers, who occasionally refuse to understand that some dog breeds do not do well in apartments, for example, or that cats would be happier left to themselves for 6 hours daily compared to dogs, or that many large dog breeds are simply not meant for lifestyle and climatic conditions of this part of the globe. Sounds simple and straight forward, right? But wait until you are standing in front of me at my store, debating and arguing how and why Husky, originally bred to be sled dog, would thrive in your apartment in Dubai while you are busy at the office from 9 to 5, or Beagle puppy, paired up with Jack Russell, would make one happy family in your studio flat.
When I first came to UAE in 1995, I literally stumbled over my first kitten on the busy streets of Bur Dubai. Weeks later another kitten was found meowing on the stairs of a building, then another very loving tomcat was located roaming the streets with no owners in sight, then yet another one had to be rescued from being put to sleep… Step by step, my former husband and I started rescuing more and more unwanted, abandoned, injured, sick animals, mostly cats, and I began working as a volunteer with Feline Friends in Sharjah, doing my share of rescue, spay/neuter and release program, as well as homing stray animals, those I could find credible owners for. Still, a lot of rescued kittens and cats ended up staying with us. At one point, we reached a record number of animals, feeding and maintaining a colony of nearly 50 cats! Suddenly, we found it beyond our budget to buy enough food and litter for them all, not to mention the veterinary costs. I calculated, deliberated and pondered, and decided to attempt to import pet food directly from Thailand on our own effort, risk and expense. That was the start of Pets Habitat in 2004, out of sheer necessity to feed our own rescued animals. The business gradually grew, I am enticed to believe due to the blessings of our animals….
In those bygone days, aside of rescued cats and dogs, I had over a hundred of various other animals, including large collection of reptiles (mostly snakes), sugar gliders, hedgehogs, some birds, parrots and even arachnids. Once Pets Habitat retail store opened its doors in 2007, I was faced with fated fact: I no longer could dedicate all my time to my animals at home in Sharjah, as majority of my day went into looking after my pet store and pets for my customers in Dubai. With that came uneasy choice to slowly part with most of my loved animals at home, including all my reptiles and family of sugar gliders. Our beloved Jacqueline, our only pedigree pet Rottie, and Foxy, Retriever Cross rescued from Sharjah streets in a very bad shape and nursed back to health a decade back, have both passed away in 2010-2011 at age of 12 and 13 years respectively. Pancho, rescued as a puppy from a trader in Sharjah, has also passed away shortly afterwards. These three had a strong bond with each other and lived in harmony together with us at home… Chloe, our lab cross girl, Sally, our Saluki cross lady, and Chupacabra, Westie granny with genetic skin disorder, all rescued, are still home with us today.
To save on personal expenses and to accommodate all the rescued animals, I finally had to move my home to Ras Al Khaimah. My house is still a home to 20+ rescued cats (those “un-home-able” ones who are blind, old, sick, antisocial and not at all cute), a colony of cats in and around the villa that we cannot not feed, rescued dogs, a snake, mice, hamsters, fish and other animals always readily accepted into our household. In addition, my house became perfect facility for newly imported puppies and kittens, where we can monitor them for a few days before offering them to our customers at the store.
OUR PERSONAL BELIEFS WHEN IT COMES TO ANIMALS
“But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world . . .”
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
First and foremost, at Pets Habitat we are passionate about all animals: cats, dogs, birds, rodents, reptiles and all others. I cannot emphasise enough how pet animals depend on us entirely, ever since we, humans, have tamed and domesticated them thousands of years ago. We play roles of “Gods” to them, frequently deciding crucial aspects of their lives and wellbeing, we also decide if they live or die. Personally, I equally value all life forms, to the ridiculous point of being reluctant to kill a pestering insect. To support my personal belief, I stopped eating meat since 2012 entirely for the benefits of the animals. I support various campaigns and organisations fighting animal cruelty, and I strive to only purchase personal products not tested on animals, from skin care and perfume to household items, as much as possible. My business is essentially an extension of my principles, and I feel it has provided me a good platform to try and bring in some reforms into pet trade in UAE.
WHY ARE WE SO FUSSY WHEN IT COMES TO OUR PETS AND WHO GETS TO TAKE THEM HOME?
As animal lovers and owners, who have seen it all when it comes to human-animal interaction, it is our policy to interview, consult and scrutinize our customers to ensure that each individual or family is willing and able to provide suitable environment, living space and the passion, dedication needed, besides the much needed finances, to own a pet in UAE. This may happen subtly or may come across as a straight forward approach. Our aim is not to turn around our pets for a quick profit, but to pair you up with compatible long term companion. At times we candidly discourage some customers from buying a pet altogether and suggest to go for a plant instead (a cactus), simply because the motive to own a pet is unjustified in our eyes. Consequently, you may observe some of our puppies and kittens for sale staying at the store longer.
Some of the questions we may ask:
- Do you live in a villa? If so, are you ok if your dog will not allow green grass to stay green all the time?
- Do you have a maid or someone to help you look after a pet while you are away, busy or sick?
- If you live in an apartment, are you disciplined enough to walk your dog regularly?
- How many hours do you work as a couple? Singles are rarely encouraged to own a dog, unless you work flexible hours, retired or live with a full time helper. Why not try a cat instead? Or a bird? Or a hamster? Or an indoor plant?..
- How will you manage a larger breed dog, considering UAE climatic conditions and cultural restrictions, limiting outdoor exercise time and space larger breeds require? We always try to coax our customers into buying small to medium dog breed while in UAE, so the pooch is happily managed indoors during hot and humid months, and he is not a nuisance for your neighbours or passers-by.
- Have you calculated relocating expenses of your larger breed if your circumstances change? Smaller breeds are considerably cheaper and easier to ship worldwide.
- Can you offer a home to one of our “free to good home” pet instead of buying?
I guess this is our humble attempt to reduce abandoned animals on UAE streets, and we expect our customers to understand and cooperate with us. In return of this scrutiny and assurance from our customers, we guarantee to provide strictly home bred and raised healthy pets, while ensuring that we do not encourage any form of cruelty to animals even inadvertently. As a result of our carefully selected breeders, we are able to guarantee our puppies and kittens WILL NEVER be purchased from puppy/kitten mills. We have eliminated any middle person between the breeder in Europe and us to assure all our animals come only from ethical, registered breeders to avoid fuelling any form of animal cruelty, direct or indirect. You can read the detailed process on Importing & Selling page and FAQ.
All our puppies and kittens are backed by our 30 day warranty against any life threatening serious diseases or viruses, against which we can vaccinate and protect our animals. Read more about this in Health Warranty section of our website.
In short, if you are looking for a pure-bred puppy or kitten in UAE, you will appreciate our store. I assure you that we will offer our best advice on the type of pet to ensure that the decision will be in the best interest of all parties involved. If you have certain type of pet in mind, let’s discuss, and I promise we’ll suggest and find most suitable, healthy pet for you and your family. If you have any doubts or concerns about choice of breed, process involved, documents or proofs, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org. But also please bear in mind that at times it is simply impractical to search for and import one rare breed just because you think it will make best pet for you and your family. In such instances we usually suggest readily available alternative breeds.
IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITHOUT THEM
First and foremost, chances are I would not be writing this if not for my ex-husband and former partner at Pets Habitat Navdeep (often known just as ND or Andy). As life has it, Navdeep and I had to part our ways upon a mutual decision between us in benefit of our individual growth. He has been by my side for nearly two decades, patiently supporting me, my causes, beliefs (often stubborn and in some cases downright unreasonable) and my business, and I owe him a large portion of my success today.
Our ethical business concept cannot move forward even for a day without our loyal and dedicated team of staff, who are loving and passionate towards all our pets. Genuine animal lovers, they will gladly share their candid observations of our in-store pets’ temperaments and traits with you. Our team members may be more knowledgeable about some aspects of our pets than me, yet they remain always humble, honest and respectful. Please see Meet Our Team to get to know every one of them.
So this is our story as it happened… I hope to see you at the store and let’s discuss who is going to be your next family member…
Pets Habitat LLC