Retail portion of Animal Palace to close

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Call Animal Palace at 361-573-6667.

A longtime pet supply store will soon downsize its business.

Animal Palace, 1502 E. Mockingbird Lane, will close the retail portion of its business Dec. 29. The grooming shop will remain open in the same location.

Owner Eny Faultersack first opened the store, which offers everything from specialty dog foods to toys and more, on Sept. 15, 1994.

Signs inside the shop Wednesday told of the upcoming changes and various discounts throughout the store. A gift-wrapped box also stood near the door for donations to the Dorothy H. O'Connor Pet Adoption Center.

Darla Harp, co-owner of Hairy Tom's Pet Shoppe on Laurent Street, said she had heard of the upcoming closure. And, while she expected the change to bring more business to her shop, she said she still wasn't happy to hear about it.

"You never want to see anybody close," she said Thursday.

Blair Wilson, a kennel attendant at Dorothy H. O'Connor, said she thought PetSmart's presence in town might have contributed to Animal Palace's decision. It's oftentimes difficult for smaller stores to make it, she said.

Still, Wilson said she expected better things in Animal Palace's future.

The staff is well-trained in grooming, she said, and closing the retail side will allow them to focus their efforts more in that direction.

Wilson said she's worked closely with Faultersack through the years, purchasing her own pets from the shop and even taking the adoption center's animals in for touch-ups.

"They leave pretty soon to a new home after they get back, too," she said.

All in all, Wilson said she wasn't worried for the local business.

"I think better things are coming their way," she said.

Animal Palace personnel declined comment regarding the close.