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Canine Connection 

Proceeds from Canine Connection's thrift store, No Fleas Market, benefit animal rescue groups

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CHERYL GERBER

From pet chow to doggie day care, Canine Connection (617 S. Claiborne Ave., 304-3844; 4920 Tchoupitoulas St., 218-4098; www.canineconnectionnola.com) provides everything fur babies need. In addition to Canine Connection, the canine empire includes Canine Culture, a pet supply store that shares a storefront with the Tchoupitoulas Street Canine Connection, and a thrift store, No Fleas Market (4228 Magazine St., 324-4727; www.nofleasmarketnola.com). A portion of proceeds from the retail and thrift stores benefits animal rescue groups.

  "The great thing about the No Fleas Market is that when you donate something, you're able to choose which animal welfare group receives the proceeds, and we have a huge group for you to choose from, (including the Louisiana Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals [LA/SPCA] and The Sula Foundation)," owner Deedra Wing says the store, which sells not only pet products but also wares for humans, including designer clothing, furniture and small appliances.

  Canine Culture is packed with supplies that will make life more enjoyable for pets and owners. Human-grade pet food, pet odor-neutralizing candles and New Orleans Saints, Hornets and LSU gear are the most popular purchases, and nonalcoholic dog beer and rubber chickens are quirky favorites among customers.

  "Even if you're not looking for anything specific, Canine Culture is a great place to visit because you never know when a celebrity — two- or four-legged — will visit," Wing says.

  With its bright and tidy play areas, organized cubbies and caring staff, Canine Connection's boarding and daycare almost seems like it's intended for human children. Boarding, which is not yet available at the Claiborne Avenue location, includes several play sessions with fellow four-legged friends, two daily feedings and round-the-clock supervision with webcam broadcasting. Doggie day care, available at both sites, includes play time and feeding. Cage-free boarding is available, and all animals must be up-to-date with vaccinations before attending.

  Grooming is available at both sites, and the Tchoupitoulas location has a popular first-come-first-served self-wash tub. "Customers love it because everything is provided: towels, aprons, ear cleaners, shampoo and cologne," Wing says.

  Canine Connection also offers birthday parties, swimming pool rental and play area rental, and it frequently hosts adoption events and pet-friendly benefits. "After Mardi Gras, we'll have a grand opening at our downtown location (on Claiborne Avenue) that will coincide with our Coats and Tails fundraiser at the No Fleas Market, benefiting the LA/SPCA," says Wing, who recommends customers follow the company's Facebook page to stay in the loop. "We're always hosting something."

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