“Once you get involved with pets, you’re hooked. It becomes an addiction,” says Darwin Handford, franchise owner with his wife Meredith of two Bosley’s by Pet Valu stores in Abbotsford on South Fraser Way and in Aldergrove.
This happy addiction has lasted a combined 35 years for Darwin and Meredith, owners of two dogs and three cats. They’ve passed this love of animals to their daughters who also work part-time in the stores, helping out with customers and also caring for the stores’ live-in cats.
Darwin spoke recently of their passion with matching up pet lovers with cats and dogs ready for adoption. In preparation for Bosley’s annual National Adoption Weekend in February, Darwin offers some wise words on what to consider in an adoption.
First, it is a life-time commitment – at least 10 to 20 years for many dogs and cats. For this reason, it’s important to think carefully about taking on a pet. Understand your living situation – are there exercise and good walking areas, a support system for when you’re away and an enclosure for safety? Budgeting ahead is important, adds Darwin. “Not just food, but remember to include vet appointments, licensing for dogs, supplies like dog poop bags and toys. It all adds up!”
Once you welcome a pet into your life, set good habits to keep them healthy. Just like humans, nutritional food, regular exercise, excellent hygiene and dental care all contribute to a pet’s well-being. Navigating care for your pet can be difficult for new and experienced pet parents alike; that is why the Handfords and their staff have all been trained on pet care and nutrition through the University of California Davis Extension School. They are dedicated to providing not only products and services, but also expert advice to everyone who walks through their doors.
Pet adoption event
The Handfords’ Bosley’s locations work with local non-profits such as the BCSPCA, Our Last Hope Animal Rescue and TLC Pet Adoptions for their adopted pet offering. These rescue agencies make sure the animals are “vetted up,” spayed and neutered and most importantly, fostered – ready for their new homes. From Feb. 15 to 17 the Abbotsford and Aldergrove Bosley’s will run adoption events to find loving homes for pets in need. February is also Pet Dental Month. Customers will find information on maintaining their pet’s oral health, and there’ll be special discounts all month long on pet dental supplies.
There are two other adoption events during the year – so if you can’t make it in February – you can find your pet in April or October.