The Family Puppy... Your Best Friend + a whole lot more!
"When we say "From Our Family to Yours"... we really mean it! We are a family-owned business with immediate, as well as extended, family members that have personally worked at every level of the company; from pet care to management. Our standards are higher and our customer service is better because our name is at stake!"
Founded on Feb. 14, 1998 we have joyfully served Southeast Michigan and now Toledo by creating a safe and enjoyable experience for families looking to welcome a puppy or kitten into their home. We have been a BBB member since we started, upholding our A+ rating all along the way. God has blessed our business and we are truly grateful!
John began working for a national pet store, Pass Pets, cleaning kennels when he was in college in 1977 at Trevecca Nazarene University, Nashville, TN. While working on his business degree, he worked his way into sales, then management and in 1988 was promoted to Regional Manager over Michigan where he was instrumental in constructing, opening, staffing and supervising eight stores in Metro Detroit, all opened between 1988-1989. In 1998, when Mr. Pass (the owner of Pass Pets) was diagnosed with cancer, Pass Pets closed the 44 store company including the 8 stores in Michigan. John and Debbie renegotiated leases in 3 of the 8 stores; Summit Place, Waterford, Oakland Mall, Troy and Macomb Mall, Roseville. With a lot of prayer and sweat equity Family of Pets, a full line pet store, was born!
In 1999, a Livonia Mall location was added. In 2003, we developed and opened our very own prototype at 12 Mile Crossing at Fountain Walk, Novi location. This prototype involved a business decision to eliminate all animals other than puppies and our kitten adoption program. Even though we would sacrifice sales and customers that frequented our stores for small mammals, birds and tropical fish we felt this decision was necessary to give the very best possible care to the animals in our care. This shift would also allow us as owners to focus on where our puppies came from and know the breeders we partnered with better. John and Debbie traveled the U.S. looking for best practices. Along these field trips they were able to see and gather ideas that they implemented in this new prototype. The improvements gave more space for the puppies to exercise and play which enhanced the personality of the puppies with the increased socialization. The new prototype also spurred the design of a custom kennel system abandoning the typical grate and tray flooring that we and most pet stores utilize, replacing them with solid flooring and shredded paper bedding for the puppies. The store became themed as, "The Puppy's Back Yard", with murals of rolling hills, trees and blue skies. We created an atmosphere showing how families of all kinds and ages enjoy life with their best friend, their dogs! Due to the business decision of eliminating the bulk of pets previously handled, the company refitted the name to Family of Pets, LLC dba The Family Puppy.
We were approached by Green Oak Village Place, Brighton and launched our 1st location outside the Metro Detroit area. Genesee Valley Center approached us and we opened this location in December 2009. In 2013 We were approached by Franklin Park Mall in Toledo Ohio. We opened our 1st location out of the South East Michigan area in October, 2013.
Just as we have opened a number of locations to serve the communities of South East Michigan and Northern Ohio, we have closed some locations mostly due to the centers we were in have slowed, filed bankruptcy, sold and or closed themselves.
Over the past 30 years John has been involved in the pet industry and has gained across-the-board knowledge and experience to assist families in finding the best puppy possible. John was asked to serve for nine years on the Michigan Department of Agriculture Companion Animal Advisory Committee representing the Pet Store industry (the only pet store owner selling dogs to do so) and joined the effort to rewrite Michigan Act 287, requiring all licensed pet stores to pay $100 per year instead of the former onetime fee, thereby generating the necessary money to fund more inspections of pet stores and shelters in Michigan by the Department of Agriculture. The committee took on revamping the Michigan Regulation #151 to include any and all entities that handle animals, groomers, trainers, foster homes, and rescues in Michigan, not just some pet stores and shelters that sell puppies and kittens. In 2009, Governor Granholm cut the Dept of Agriculture Animal Division budget ending all inspection and oversight. John adamantly believes this was a wrong move and hopes the budget is reinstated for the welfare of all animals in Michigan.
As owners we serve on the governing board of NexPet, a group of over 500 independently owned pet stores nationwide that combine knowledge and know-how on everything from trends to techniques elevating the reputation of the industry they love. We have been honored to be asked to speak in many different venues talking about how we have worked closely with our breeders in an effort to raise the standards of the industry. We have been asked for the fourth year to lecture at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine to the vet students about the changes we have made in breeder facilities and the dogs lives in the kennels.
Debbie is a speaker, teacher and ordained minister in the Church of the Nazarene. Her communication major from Trevecca and her current studies towards her Master of Ministry has helped tremendously in day to day interaction with customers, staff and vendors. She also works with the accounting aspects of the business in payroll for close to 40 employees and abundant vendor invoices.
Our son Greg and daughter Tricia work as integral assets of the company. Greg has designed all the company logos, graphics and image elements. They both care for our store staff and customers as Operations Managers with oversight in all store and customer relations. They also together travel weekly to pickup our puppies and deliver them to our stores.
We would not be who we are without our store staff, the managers, assistant managers, pet advisers and most of all our Pet Care staff! They are who cares for our puppies and kittens. They are the ones you will meet when you go in the store. They love caring for our puppies and kittens in a way that makes you know it's genuine! They work crazy schedules, nights and weekends, when you shop. Many of them come in on their days off just to be with the animals. It is a very enjoyable place to work!
We also have a great partnership with five veterinarians and their staff. The partnership for most of them dates back to the Pass Pets days, now 25 years! We do not own the vets that care for our puppies and kittens but merely use their services and expertise to provide excellent medical care and advice for the hundreds of pets we have in the stores every day. If you chose The Family Puppy as a source for your next family member, you will get to experience firsthand the excellence in care both for you and your new pet. We have come to know each veterinarian and their staff personally and trust them to instruct us as we care for our puppies and kittens with the very best advice available.
The last, but for sure not least, group of our team are the breeders that we have partnered with. The main difference in how we resource puppies... we work with our breeders directly. Since 2007 we have taken a huge step, unlike other pet stores, our goal is to work directly with the breeders that raise the puppies we provide to the client families as a service. This was prompted due to the unwillingness of the distributors/brokers we have used in the past to allow us to physically visit the breeders we were getting our puppies from. With our growing desire to know and understand where our puppies are raised and how the parents are kept; this is a plus! We no longer rely on the distributors/brokers to inspect, teach and police the breeders they use. Our goal is that we visit them personally. See more information on our breeders and the guidelines and standards we hold them to in the "Breeder Requirements" page.
The Family Puppy is successful because of this extra effort and family involvement to ensure the physical, social and mental needs of both the parent dogs and puppies. We are requiring unequaled screening in the pet industry. Things such as genetic testing, annual teeth cleaning and social needs of the dogs. Our family's collective years of experience not only helps our clients find the very best in companion animals, but also offers the expertise to keep them healthy and safe as they wait for you to come and take them home.
Visit our stores and see the difference a family owned company makes!
Let The Family Puppy help your family find your new best friend!