By KEVIN CHIRI
Tammany West news
COVINGTON — Clean, neat accommodations. Great service from the staff. Wonderful amenities. The best food possible.
Yes, it sounds like the Royal Sonesta or Ritz-Carlton Hotel.
Actually, that is a partial description of what animal lovers will find at Saylor’s Pet Depot and Pelican Landing Pet Hospital, all orchestrated by the owner, Dr. Elizabeth Saylor, at the new location in Covington, at 70457 Hwy. 21.
Dr. Saylor spent the early years of her professional life in teaching and in sales, but decided at the age of 34 to pursue her true passion – veterinary medicine and her lifelong love to work with animals and practice medicine.
“I went back to school and became a vet because it was truly what I had always wanted to do,” she said. “My family always had a lot of animals growing up and I rode and showed horses, so I always had a love for animals.”
After a year at the Tulane Primate Center where she got “great experience,” she spent the next twelve years in small animal private practice on the Northshore. This included owning and operating her own private practice in Slidell. After 10 years of commuting to Slidell, she decided to open Saylor’s Pet Depot back home in Covington, and create a one-stop shop for every pet need imaginable, all under one roof.
Saylor’s has a large pet store full of all of the top quality foods and amenities for virtually any pet that you might have. They sell birds, reptiles, fish and other small animals, and offer dogs and cats by partnering with animal shelters and adoption agencies in the area – such St. Tammany Parish Animal Services, St. Tammany Humane Society and Greyhound Pets of America.
However, in addition to the usual pet store, Saylor’s Pet Depot has services and technology that you just won’t find in other pet stores. Dr. Saylor’s comprehensive on-site veterinary hospital offers digital X-ray, blood testing in-house, dental services and surgery. Saylor’s also has a grooming salon that provides every kind of service needed to keep dogs and cats healthy and looking beautiful. “We even offer hand scissoring, and not all groomers do that,” according to General Manager Curtis Gasper. Curtis has over 15 years of experience in the pet retail industry and he enjoys sharing his expertise with pet owners.
One of the immediate impressions you get when walking into Saylor’s is that it does not strike you as a typical pet store. It is extremely neat and clean, with no hint of pet odors from all of the animals that they sell or take care of. The other thing that you notice is the friendly, expert service provided by the staff. Erica Banegas is also a store manager with 13 plus years of experience in the pet industry, and she is also eager to share her knowledge with customers. Erica worked with Saylor in Slidell. In fact, most of the staff followed her to Covington after years of working together in Slidell to continue working as a team in a fun yet professional atmosphere. This has helped to create a unique environment for a new business.
“We wanted this pet store to be very personal and a place that customers would enjoy visiting along with their pets,” Saylor said. “I have learned what people want from their vet, and in their pet store, and we wanted to offer the entire package all in one place.”
Saylor’s always has animals roaming the store, two cats have taken up permanent residence, P.J. and Thompson, and visitors can find various employees’ pets roaming around as well. Marcus is the newest addition, a friendly feline placed for adoption, hoping to find an owner and a new home.
“This is the only thing I ever wanted to do,” Saylor said (speaking of practicing veterinary medicine). After building her practice in Slidell for 10 years, she sold the business to start Saylor’s Pet Depot in Covington, which is closer to her home where she lives with her husband, former LSU basketball player and current high school coach Doug Saylor.
Her location right off Interstate 12 in the busy Highway 21 corridor was selected because “it gives people easy access to us from the interstate, and I certainly hope many of our Slidell clients come to us here.”
Saylor said that she learned as much as possible about all aspects of the pet business in her last 10 years, leading to the comprehensive Saylor’s Pet Depot approach. “We can offer things here that other’s can’t, simply because we have it all in one location – a pet store, veterinary hospital, and grooming salon,” she explained. “We pride ourselves on our knowledge and friendly service as well as our ability to serve all of your needs in one location.”
One of the best offers at Saylor’s is their VIP Membership Program, costing only $99 for a year. This package includes complimentary office visits for 12 months (treatment is separate), 5% off of your entire purchase in the retail Pet Depot, 4 complimentary baths per year, 10% off of all vaccinations, and 10% off of routine spay/neuter and dental cleaning services. You also get a free 5-pound bag of food when you sign up.
For more information, visit the store at 70457 Hwy. 21 in Covington next to Winn Dixie, or call 985-400-5373. Store hours are 10 – 7 Monday through Friday, and 9 – 5 on Saturday. Call or stop by and enjoy the Saylor’s Pet Depot experience.