Pet store owner Tracy Carson and her son Hunter, with a few of the critters for sale at their new shop in Brookings. The Pilot/Lorna Rodriguez
Carson’s Critters, a new pet store in Brookings, is run by a family who love animals and strives to create a family-friendly atmosphere in their store.
Tracy Carson, her husband Jeremy, son Hunter, daughter Cheyanne and brother Jeremy Johnson all pitch in.
Hunter, 12, helps fill water bottles, feeds animals, cleans takes and cages, assists customers and plays with the animals.
“I think it’s fun to help, and I like having animals,” he said. “My favorite part is seeing the animals, and holding them. I try my best to help the animals get used to humans.”
Cheyanne works after school, and Jeremy feeds the snakes.
Carson’s Critters, which opened Sept. 1, is located at 613 Chetco Ave. It is officially open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (although the owners try to open by 10 a.m.) Monday through Saturday.
“It’s a pet store with a wide variety of exotics, and supplies and food,” Tracy said. “My goal is to have the most unique pet store around. The biggest, the best, the most unique.”
The store is filled with birds, chinchillas, fish, ferrets, frogs, gerbils, guinea pigs, hamsters, lizards, mice, rabbits, rats, snakes, spiders and turtles.
However, if the store doesn’t carry what a customer needs, Tracy doesn’t mind ordering the item.
“If I can order it, I’ll do it for ya,” she said.
The store is full of five rooms of animals and supplies.
The front room of the store is full of birds, pet food and supplies. Off of the main area is a section full of fish. Down the hall there are three rooms. One is the “furry” room, filled with rabbits, guinea pigs, rats and the like. Another is the snake and lizard area, and the third is the breeding room.
Tracy breeds chinchillas, guinea pigs, mice, rabbits and rats.
Tracy decided to open because “Brookings needs a pet store.”
The only other pet store in town is Brookings Pets.
She said a several existing pet stores in town were for sale, so she bought one, relocated and decided to open.
“The opportunity came up, and who doesn’t want to have a pet store?” she said.
Tracy chose the name Carson’s Critters because she’s a Carson, and there are critters in the store.
“I wanted to make it unique and original,” she said.
When Tracy first opened, business was slow, but it’s picked up.
“I’ve seen a steady increase since we moved,” she said.
In the new year, Tracy plans to make a few additions to her store.
She will work on earning her USDA license to carry sugar gliders and hedge hogs, and will add a bird room to the store. She will also start carrying cat and dog supplies.
“I love it all. I love everything about it,” Tracy said.