Clyde McCaslin recently opened Columbia County's newest pet store -- David's Fish and Pets.
The store is named for McCaslin's 18-year-old son and partner.
The store, at 4074 Washington Road next to Goodwill, opened May 15.
The store is a nontraditional pet store, McCaslin said, because it is locally owned and operated.
It is the only "true mom-and-pop-type pet store that offers everything on (a) one-on-one basis," McCaslin said.
One nontraditional adaptation the pet store embraces is accepting puppies for rehousing as space allows and accepting animal trades.
"We're saving the lives of puppies as we can, one life at a time," McCaslin said.
Though he said he does get some animals from traditional sources, he doesn't like the stigma that comes from acquiring dogs from puppy mills.
McCaslin also buys or accepts animal donations; recently, he received two tropical birds from an elderly couple moving to a nursing home. He hopes to find the birds a new home.
Fish and other animals that have outgrown their environments can be traded in, McCaslin said.
The store offers a wide variety of fresh- and saltwater fish, puppies, ferrets, dwarf and standard rabbits, birds, snakes and other reptiles.
"I'm going to go with more rare and more exotic animals," McCaslin said. "Either people are going to like it and be intrigued by it or I'll fall on my keister and have to start all over."
The store features a few swimming pools set up with freshwater fish including bass, catfish, garfish, bream and crappie.
A saltwater pool contains a shark, eel, damsel fish and live rock.
"It is just different seeing native species in a pet store," McCaslin said. He said he tries to make it easy to buy live rock for saltwater tanks. "I'll just take off my shoes, roll up my pants and go in and get it for you. ... You can see everything laid out."
Some animals in the store won't be sold. Some 8- to 9-foot-long snakes, a nursing chinchilla and a 4-foot-long black-and-white tagoo lizard are for display only and will live at the store.
The store is open from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday; and 1-6 p.m. Sunday.
To reach the store, call (706) 922-0111.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.