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[19 MAY 00] PETS AT HOME NEWS
Pets Log On For Love On The Internet
BY ANTONY HOPKER

Lonely pets in Coventry and Warwickshire can log on to love with the nationís first ever petsí dating service.

Pets At Home, a chain of pet supermarkets which has stores in Fletchamstead Highway, Canley and the Gallagher Retail park in Stoney Stanton Road, has set up the interactive love line for desperate dogs, unfancied fish and birds looking to get their feathers ruffled.

The idea was stumbled upon following the plight of a parrot that was unlucky in love.

Billy the 2ft blue and gold Macaw, was desperate to find love but couldn't find an appropriate mate.

His owner wanted to meet potential partners - but couldn't find any locally. Pets at Home were so struck with the idea of an on-line dating agency that they launched one immediately.

Interactive pet lovers who want to take part simply complete an online introduction card and download a picture of their pet.

Interested owners can search the site by animal type and breed and even personality to find the ideal partner for their chum.

Anthony Preston, chairman and founder of Pets At Home, said:

"The dating agency for pets is just the first step, soon we hope to have on-site chat forum where prospective partners can 'vet' each other.

"Who knows - if the service takes off, we might just offer the same service for their owners!"

In addition to the dating service, web wanderers can order and pay for every conceivable pet product on-line, and visitors can even tap into tips on dog training and even ask for advice about sick animals. 

The 1,000 page site also contains links to other animal-related sites such as those operated by popular aquariums and safari parks.

Mr Preston added:

"As a progressive and innovative company, the website is a natural development which will allow an even bigger audience to access our products and services.

"It will support our existing network of stores and provide us with an additional revenue stream by allowing customers to make on-line purchases. Above all it's a site which is fun for everybody."

Pets At Home has 150 supermarket-style stores around the country and turns over in excess of £180 million a year.

The company sees the launch of its website as underpinning its position as leader in the rapidly expanding pet product market, currently worth around £2 billion a year.
    
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CWN / Business / A-Z / Pets At Home  / 19 May 00

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