New digs make for a bigger and better Jamboree

For the longest time, C.J. Moody was always forced to choose not only what pets she could sell but how many she could offer.

Each day decisions had to be made to carry hamsters or ferrets this week, and bunnies or gerbils the next.

But all of that has changed now that Moody has moved her store, The Critter Jamboree, into a much larger and better location inside the Towne Square Port Orchard, formally the Kitsap Mall.

“We wanted to expand so we could get more product, bigger stuff, better stuff,” Moody said. “So here we are.”

Moody began the move on May 28 and completely shut down the store for a week to complete the process. But now she has more than twice the space of the old store, which allows her to bring in not only more products but a bigger and better selections of animals as well.

Moody, who purchased The Critter Jamboree about 30 months ago, has always carried a solid selection of fish, birds mice, ferrets and reptiles, but the expanded space will allow her to add to that selection and bring in a wider variety, including cats and dogs.

But not just any kind of puppy will find its way into the Critter Jamboree. Moody specifically hand-chooses every dog she puts up for adoption.

“We do not do a puppy mill — we will not support that industry,” Moody said. “All of our puppies are born and bred in Kitsap County in family homes.”

Moody said if she can’t meet the owners of the parents and see the parents themselves, she will not even consider carrying the puppy. That leads to a better quality of dog and a healthier one.

But because her standards are so exacting, she doesn’t have as many puppies up for adoption as she’d like.

With the added space, Moody said she will add a puppy area where the dogs will stay and play. She said she doesn’t like to cage the dogs, and the play area will also give prospective buyers a chance to interact with the dog to see if everyone gets along.

Moody said she does all of this to ensure the animal gets a good home and the puppy’s human parents will be secure in the knowledge that it’s going to a good home as well.

“I have no problem telling people no,” Moody said. “If I don’t think it’s the right pet for you, you’re not buying that pet, and that’s the bottom line.”

The Critter Jamboree has more than 50 fish tanks stocked with a variety of freshwater fish and will add to its already-extensive line of birds.

Moody’s reptile selection may not be the biggest, she said, but it’s full of unusual ones, including different types of pythons. It’s her best-selling department because of the popularity of the snakes.

“We always carried the bread-and butter-ones,” Moody said. “But we tried to branch out and get something better. That’s the way you compete with the corporations.”

Moody also carries what she calls the largest selection of tarantulas in Puget Sound. At any time, she has 25 to 30 different species of tarantulas on hand.

“I love spiders. They’re my favorites,” Moody said. “They’re becoming very popular as pets because they make great pets.”

The Critter Jamboree, located just inside the main entrance at 1700 Mile Hill Dr., is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sundays noon until 5 p.m.

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