For Angie DeMars, it’s not just a job—it’s an adventure.
A Colorado transplant who made her way to the North Shore on a one-way ticket, DeMars is the owner of Noah’s Ark Pet Supply in Winnetka. For this lifelong animal lover, pet store ownership was kind of a happy accident.
“I traveled all the time in my last job and got tired of it,” DeMars says. “When I quit, I came to work part time at Noah’s Ark for the previous owner, and within a week or two, he asked me if I wanted to buy it.”
A friend to all things furry
Animals on the North Shore should thank their lucky stars she did. Six years later, DeMars is the patron saint of many things furry—from puppies and kittens to strays with nowhere to go. Because Winnetka has no official protocol for the collection of abandoned animals, DeMars is often the first call made when an animal is spotted.
“I end up taking them,” she says. “I’m bottle feeding every three hours … I pay for all the vet care.”
It’s her love for animals—especially those no one else would love—that has her caring for pets in the middle of the night or volunteering countless hours to PAWS Chicago where she sits on the board of directors.
DeMars works closely with Winnetka veterinarian Dr. Kurt Miller to care for stray, and then tries to place them in loving homes. If she can’t, DeMars works with PAWS.
“PAWS has been great,” DeMars says. “It’s a wonderful partnership, and we’ve been able to fundraise for their shelter. It’s definitely a win-win situation.”
The cause for PAWS
In fact, just last year, DeMars’ signature fundraising event, Mimi’s March, raised more than $10,000 for PAWS. The annual pet event began as a tribute to DeMars’ beloved Maltese, who passed away 2 years ago.
“I wanted to do something to keep Mimi’s memory alive,” she says. “It’s selfish, really, but she’s the reason I’m involved with animals. I got her from the city pound, and she was just a special dog.”
This year, the event has evolved into Mimi and Marla’s March, to honor local resident Art Neilsen’s springer spaniel Marla, who recently passed away. “Everything raised goes directly to PAWS,” DeMars says.
And that’s thanks her to very unselfish commitment to underwriting the entire event.
A local treasure
DeMars is the defacto animal control officer in Winnetka—and it’s becoming more of a community effort thanks to Dr. Miller’s contributions to the care of strays and abandoned animals. Her hope? That the village will consider some kind of protocol, rather than simply relying on non-profits to handle any animal-related problems.
That said, DeMars is passionate about pet care and is eager to help her customers, whom she calls “great!” If you’re looking for a store that provides high-quality care, product and customer service, Noah’s Ark is the place to go.
Noah’s Ark and Pet Supply is located at 831 Elm St., Winnetka, 847-784-0125. For more information, you can visit their Web site: www.noahsarkwinnetka.com.