Lisa and Thomas with assistance dog Vito, were VIP guests at the grand opening of Pets at Home inside Tesco Extra in Durham on Saturday 11th November.

The family officially opened the new store, before being invited to choose a selection of Pets at Home’s toys and treats for Vito.

Store manager Jill Allen, has been with Pets at Home for over two years, having previously worked at the Alnwick branch.

Jill said: “What a fantastic start!  Our opening weekend went even better than we had hoped and it was great to have Lisa, Thomas and Vito attend the launch and show them all the products we have on offer at the store.

“Our new store features thousands of dedicated pet products for not only local dogs and cats but small animals, fish and local wildlife too.”

All colleagues at the new store receive extensive training on pet care and pet knowledge which is endorsed by City & Guilds, providing a stamp of approval that demonstrates the value of its training. Colleagues at the Durham store are dedicated to providing the highest levels of customer service, and are trained to offer great pet care tips and product knowledge.

Dogs for Good volunteer, Lisa Dixon said “Thomas and I were really excited to be cutting the ribbon at the launch event for the brand new Durham Pets at Home store.  It gave us an opportunity to show our appreciation for all the fantastic support Pets at Home gives to Dogs for Good.

“Vito was also very excited to meet lots of new people, getting loads of fuss and sniffing out a few treats!”

Customers who attended the launch also enjoyed fun family activities such as face painting and a balloon modeller was on hand to make a variety of different animals.

The store which is located inside the Tesco Extra on Dragonville Industrial Estate includes a pet pharmacy which will provide a large range of health care products including supplements, first aid, dental care and flea and worms treatments.

The new store opening hours will be 8am-10pm Monday – Saturday and 10am-4pm on Sundays.

Founded in 1991, Pets at Home has more than 430 sites across the UK employing more than 6,000 people and is proud to have won The Sunday Times Top 25 Best Big Companies to Work For 2013.