Pet Product News (PPN) honored outstanding pet specialty retailers, groomers and service providers with its annual Retailer of the Year Awards during a ceremony on Aug. 17 that was held at the SuperZoo trade show in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas. 

PPN usually recognizes its Retailer of the Year Award winners each year at SuperZoo but was unable to honor the winners of its 2020-2021 Awards in-person last year. As such, PPN’s editors honored the 2021-2022 winners along with the 2020-2021 winners during the ceremony.

PPN received dozens of applications from businesses all across the U.S.—retail stores and service providers that showed pride in their operations and wanted to share with PPN the many innovative, clever and productive ways they support and serve their clients and their pets. Also, for the first time, PPN invited manufacturers and distributors to nominate their top choice for pet business award winners.

PPN’s editors selected one standout store as its Retailer of the Year, Animal Connection in Charlottesville, Va. The pet supply store won the 2019-2020 Marketing Award and managed to top itself this year, snagging the top honor for PPN’s 2021-2022 awards.

Pet Food Express was honored with PPN’s first-ever Independent Trailblazer Award. The retail chain, which has 64 locations in California, received nominations from various pet product manufacturers and distributors, many of which praised Pet Food Express for its customer service, staff knowledge, community involvement, and merchandising and marketing strategies.

An additional 10 stores join Animal Connection and Pet Food Express as special honorees in this year’s Retailer of the Year Awards. These stores have earned awards for their business achievements in a variety of categories. 

In the coming months, PPN will feature profiles of the winners in each issue of the magazine. The 2021-2022 winners are:


Pattie Zeller, owner of Animal Connection, which was named PPN’s 2021-2022 Retailer of the Year

Retailer of the Year

Animal Connection in Charlottesville, Va.

Independent Trailblazer

Pet Food Express, which has 64 locations in California

Community Champion

Wag Heaven, which has two stores in Texas

Full-line Pet Store

Preuss Pets in Lansing, Mich. 


Emma Marie’s Grooming & Daycare, which has two stores in Massachusetts

Growth and Expansion

Canadian Pet Connection in Meadford, Ontario, Canada

Aquatics Retailer

Aquarium Co-Op in Everett, Wash.

Pet Health and Nutrition Advocate

NorthPoint Pets & Co. in Cheshire, Conn.

Customer Service and Education

The Wild Pet Stores, which has two stores in South Carolina

Local Legend

Rumford Pet Center, which has eight locations in Rhode Island and one in Massachusetts

Independent Spirit

Dog Krazy, which has seven stores in Virginia

Omnimarket Competitor

Reber Ranch, which has two stores in Washington


Mike Doan and Sherry Redwine of Odyssey Pets, which was named PPN’s 2020-2021 Retailer of the Year

PPN’S 2020-2021 Award Winners

PPN selected Odyssey Pets in Dallas as its 2020-2021 Retailer of the Year. The store is no stranger to PPN or the industry. In previous years, it has snagged PPN Retailer of the Year Awards in the categories of Tough Market Competitor, Outstanding Retail Development and Outstanding Business Management. However, in 2020, the 15-year-old, single-location retailer came into its own, having grown into a pillar of its urban center that shines bright even among some heavy-hitting pet specialty brick-and-mortar competition.

An additional six stores joined Odyssey Pets as special honorees in the 2020-2021 Retailer of the Year Awards. The winners are:

Retailer of the Year

Odyssey Pets in Dallas

Lifestyle & Boutique

Southern Barker, which has three stores in Kentucky


Wag Central in Stratford, Conn.

Multi-store Retailer

Pet Pros, which has 18 stores in Washington

Independent Spirit

Petagogy, which has three stores in Pittsburgh

Grooming Guru

Paws and Pamper in Missoula, Mont.

Pet & Feed Store

Cohutta Pet & Feed in Blue Ridge, Ga.

RELATED: PPN Names Winners of the 2020-2021 Retailer of the Year Awards