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Season’s shoppers show animal side

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After only one year in business, Bob Lubeck said his Forest Hills pet supply store is already pulling in respectable profits, developing a loyal clientele and continuing to expand to meet growing demand.

Lubeck, who runs Wagging Tails at 105-19 Metropolitan Ave. with his son James, said he has doubled his inventory to cope with the rise in customers.

“We have brought in a lot of foods, specialty-type foods, toys and apparel,” said Lubeck, who bought the business from previous owners when it was only two years old. “We just keep expanding the inventory.”

Lubeck said this season’s top sellers have been coats for dogs. Owners can buy wool or polar fleece coats for their pets with names such as “Giants,” “Jets,” “Yankees,” “Prince,” “Princess” and “Stud” inscribed on the front.

“People have been buying coats like crazy,” Lubeck said.

The Forest Hills store also sells dog food, treats and other goodies for animals. Lubeck described the store as a pet-supply experience that caters to pet lovers who want to do something special for their animals.

Lubeck said Wagging Tails attracts clients from as far as Greenpoint and Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He said the business offers a free delivery service in other boroughs to its customers as long as they place a minimum order amount.

The high demand for pet supplies comes as more people in Forest Hills and its surrounding neighborhoods buy more animals, Lubeck said. He said during the holidays, the store was selling everything from Christmas toys and outfits to stockings for dogs.

Lubeck said his store also cooperates with local pet-saving organizations to reunite lost pets with their owners. He said he works with Bobbi Giordano, who runs the organization Bobbi and the Strays to find adopted homes for abandoned pets.

Recently, Lubeck said he helped find the owner of one lost dog using Bobbi and a network of other pet store owners. But several spots on his store window still show other lost borough dogs that have yet to be reunited with their owners.

Lubeck gives out animal aid agency numbers and Giordano’s number in attempts to supply owners with resources to find missing animals, he said.

“We just try to help out people in the community who have problems with their pets.”

Reach reporter Alex Davidson by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 156.

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