VIRGINIA BEACH — In the three years that Already Been Chewed has been open, it has relied on donations from the public to sell as well as the few items its owner has been able to purchase.
It’s a small local business that sells gently-used pet supplies for any animal, from dogs to turtles.
Located on 3845 Bonney Road, Already Been Chewed will be coming up on its third anniversary in April, said owner Jennifer Zito.
Zito isn’t new to the pet business, though.
Since around 2006 Zito has been running her own pet sitting and dog walking business, something she’s enjoyed doing mainly because of her love of animals.
She turned to the pet thrift store idea when she noticed so many pet items were being thrown away once the pet out-grew them or the pet died.
“I hate the fact that people throw stuff away,” she said.
Already Been Chewed thrives off of its donations and Zito spends a great deal of time cleaning and rehabbing items to make them ready for their next owner.
One thing she wants people to understand is that it’s not a consignment store — it’s a thrift store so she doesn’t pay people for their used items.
The biggest items Zito looks for are crates of all sizes, cat trees, bedding and things for older dogs such as steps, ramps and pet strollers.
She relies mostly on word-of-mouth for her business and she still does pet sitting and dog walking but has tapered off since starting the thrift shop.
Zito also offers crate rentals for people who only need a temporary crate for their pet.
In the future Zito is looking to becoming a 501(c)(3) in order to become a registered nonprofit, but progress is slowed by time constraints and funding.
If you are looking for second-hand pet items and are interested in checking out Zito’s shop, go to her Facebook page for the hours as they are subject to change.
To find out more about Already Been Chewed, check out her website.