The concept of For Other Living Things began when founder Anita was a pre-teen, about 68 million years ago during the late Cretaceous period. Working in a pet store and active in animal rescue, she quickly became frustrated with the lack of products designed with the needs of the animal in mind.
I mean really, should crocodiles be eating that shake 'n’ flake stuff! In her perfect world, pet supplies would recreate aspects of an animal's natural life as much as possible, be easy for their human caregivers to utilize, and be sold in a store that was more of a community of support for animal folks, rather than a mere place of commerce. And so the dream of For Other Living Things was born.
Fast forward to modern times - a couple of dwarf rabbits adopted Anita’s family, the family’s first experience with rabbits. Armed with advice and supplies from the local megapet, she cared for them as best she knew how. Which turned out to be not very well at all. As she watched these little guys, it became clear they had a much richer emotional, social, and mental life than she had realized. After doing some research and getting connected with people who really knew how to care for bunnies, she spent a lot of time and effort trying to track down safe, appropriate toys and equipment. So much time and effort that she finally decided to take matters into her own hands. A resale license, a room full of chemical-free, natural goodies for rabbits, a permanent spot at the local college flea market, and For Other Living Things was here.
By 2001, For Other Living Things had grown into a brick and mortar store with a broad range of products for all sorts of warm-blooded animals. We work closely with the animal rescue and education communities and host regular adoption, fundraiser, and educational events that benefit local groups. Our events have featured internationally recognized presenters including rabbit expert Dr. Carolyn Harvey, and dog behaviorists including Dr. Ian Dunbar, Pat Miller, Jean Donaldson, Janis Bradley, and Teoti Anderson. Of course, we've never lost sight of our original goal - to help people fulfill the needs of their pets by offering products that are critter, people, and earth friendly.
Observe any animal. How does it look when it is at peace with its world? What conditions existed when it felt at peace? How does it naturally live? What actions are natural? What aspects of "normal" life have changed for it in its current surroundings? Which of these aspects may we want to provide our family friend to keep it healthy and happy? For Other Living Things asks these questions and answers them creatively and compassionately. But there is more to this equation. Human caregivers have to live with this arrangement, and deserve consideration too, unless you don’t mind your pet rat tunneling through your walls.
Hey! We have a life too. If we have 20 minutes, we'd rather be playing than cleaning. We'd rather smell something sweet than rank. We'd rather... well you get the picture. Ease of use is critical. If our critter is living well, but the environment is too difficult to maintain, well... it probably won't get maintained. For Other Living Things strives not to let that happen. Still, the responsibility of pet ownership doesn't end when the needs of you and your critter friends are met.
As animal lovers, and animals ourselves, we have a responsibility to care for this world that supports us all. For Other Living Things strives to locate and provide products that work just as well or better than conventional products, but don't exploit our people, critters or planet. This is an area that will always be evolving. We welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas.