Co-owner Regan Reed gives Rocky a bath in her new Dog Bathby Elisa Hawkes
Coastal Journal staff reporter
BATH — Wags & Whiskers is a pet supply store in Bath specializing in more than healthy pet food and grooming. The owners, Regan Reed and Sarah St. Pierre, support the community via donations to rescues, shelters, and more.
“When Sarah and I came up with the idea of opening a much-needed pet supply store in Bath,” Reed said, “it was not only to provide healthy food; it was to give back to the community. There are so many kind people in the area working to save and rehabilitate injured and homeless animals, and it was important for us to find a way to contribute.”
Reed is the full-time proprietor of Wags & Whiskers. Her partner, St. Pierre, works for the State of Maine in the accounting department. St. Pierre works in the store on weekends, however, and does most of the paperwork, according to Reed.
Reed said when she lived in New Hampshire, she would drive to Portland to purchase supplies for her three cats and four dogs. When they moved to Bath, she was still going to Portland for supplies. After reading a survey done by the city approximately two years ago saying Bath needed a pet supply store, Reed and St. Pierre decided to open Wags & Whiskers.
“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do,” Reed said. “When we read the survey, we realized the time was right. We tried it out, and it has been a success. The residents of Bath are very supportive. We’re very lucky.”
A fairly new feature at Wags & Whiskers is the “do it yourself” pet wash. Pet owners are provided with towels, shampoo, washing equipment and more to groom their dogs and cats. The best part, says Reed, is they clean up the mess for the customer. The cost is $15, and pets from four to 150 pounds may use the facilities.
Reed says Wags & Whiskers is different from larger box stores, in that its prices are significantly lower. They will special-order any food the customers wish for their pets. And, says Reed, she is able to get high-quality brands that box stores are not usually able to purchase. Finally, a good reason to shop at Wags & Whiskers is the amount donated to worthy organizations in the community.
Reed and St. Pierre have donated to a number of local organizations. The following are examples of the ways in which they have helped to make Bath a more pet-friendly place:
• Reed and St. Pierre work hand-in-hand (and have become board members) with A Paw in the Door, a cat rescue in Bath. Since January 2011, they have helped to place 18 cats and kittens in new homes, always having at least one on the premises for adoption.
• The annual Santa Paws proceeds go to a local rescue organization. Santa Paws is a picture-taking event in conjunction with photographer Wendy Jung of Soggy Dog Designs. In 2010, the proceeds were donated to Beau Buddy Rescue of Bath, and in 2011, the money went to the New England Labrador Rescue.
• The store supports Dreamland Theatre of Bath.
• Wags & Whiskers provides rabies vaccination clinics (dogs and cats) at a nearly 50 percent discount. One hundred percent of the proceeds are donated to Puppy Love Rescue of Harpswell. Sue Matteson of Home Veterinary care helps with the clinic.
• Wags & Whiskers holds nail-trimming clinics approximately every six weeks, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to A Paw in the Door. Jenna Spear, founder of Zelda’s gain free biscuits, and Veterinary Technician Vicki Bangs are instrumental in providing the clinic.
• The Maine Greyhound Placement holds regular meet and greets at Wags & Whiskers.
• The store is a drop-off location for donations to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
• Wags & Whiskers has raised nearly $400 for the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, and hopes to raise much more.
An upcoming event is a weekend-long Dog Wash-a-thon, costing $20, with 50 percent donated to a local rescue, to be determined. Your dog will be washed by staff/volunteers. The date has yet to be decided upon.
Reed and St. Pierre’s philosophy of giving is evident in the way they run their business and relate to the community. Their store comes to life with the sounds of happy pets, and their good deeds help many other animals find reasons to make happy sounds of their own. Wags & Whiskers is located at 176 Front St., Bath. For more information, call 443-DOGS (3647), or visit www.bathwags.net.