Lisa Nitkin, Owner
Lisa has had a passion for animals for as long as she can remember, and it was always her goal to make sure every aspect of her life included animals in some way. In a quest to find the right match Lisa worked in many different fields of the animal industry, including dog walking and in-home care, dog training, pet taxi, barn worker, dog kennel, and a number of veterinary clinics in a variety of positions such as reception and veterinary assistant. As enjoyable as all these experiences were, they did not seem to be the right fit for a long-term career.
It was while taking business courses at Camosun College in 1989 that the opportunity to purchase a small pet store in Westbrook Mall on the Westshore arose. Although it had never been a thought to open a pet store, this was too great an opportunity to pass up, and with the impulsiveness of youth the deal was quickly sealed. The name was soon changed to Pets West, and after a number of moves and growth spurts, and after surviving many economic changes, Pets West settled into its permanent home in Broadmead in 1996.
When Lisa first purchased the store in 1989, the overwhelming goal was to provide an ethical source for pets that were well cared for, and a reliable source of information for pet owners both new and experienced. In addition, it was important to provide well-researched and high quality food and supplies, to take the guess-work out of the decision making for customers. This goal still holds true today, and is one of the underlying philosophies that is passed on to every new employee.
Although Lisa can still be found in the store 5 days a week, she is a little less visible as she allows the fantastic and caring staff to maintain the day-to-day business. This has allowed Lisa to spend more time with her family, which at this time includes 2 dogs (pictured here, including the now famous Jezi), a mischievous cat, a bouncy cockatoo, and a beautiful and sweet-tempered horse. Saving the best for last, Lisa's family is made whole by her wonderful son and supportive husband.