Preferred Puppies has been owned by Cheryl Dalton since 1986. Since the beginning, Cheryl has been dedicated to selling only quality, locally-bred puppies. This dedication and Cheryl's determination to provide healthy, well-socialized puppies to each customer, has contributed to Preferred Puppies becoming the oldest puppy store in the greater tri-state area.
Early on, Cheryl discovered that some breeders kept their dogs in bad living conditions and treated them poorly. This disgusted Cheryl, and she vowed to never obtain puppies from such bad breeders, and she never has. Years later, these breeders would commonly be known as "puppy mills". Preferred Puppies has always despised and avoided puppy mills.
Thankfully, Ohio law now requires all pet stores to obtain their puppies from licensed breeders, and licensed breeders are now required to follow mandated living conditions and health standards. All licensed pet stores and breeders are inspected regularly by the Ohio Department of Agriculture (ODA). This has forced other pet stores to follow our lead and shun bad breeders.
Bad breeders do not meet the standards required by the ODA, cannot get licensed, and therefore cannot sell to pet stores. They are now forced to sell direct to consumers through the Internet. Beware of breeders that only sell online.
In December 1986, Cheryl purchased the Fins, Feathers, and Fur pet store and renamed the business Noah's Ark. Under Cheryl's new management, the store thrived and expanded its inventory.
Within 18 months, the limited parking and small retail space on Main Street was outgrown. In 1988, Cheryl moved the entire store to a larger location in the Hamilton West shopping center. The store was thoroughly renovated into the most elegant full-line pet store in the area.
In the mid-1990s, the big-box, super-stores entered the pet industry. They sold dry goods and a limited assortment of small animals, but essentially conceded puppy sales to smaller, local shops who could manage the difficult task of acquiring and maintaining healthy puppies.
In 1996, Cheryl liquidated the full-line pet store and moved back to the original Main Street address, specializing in puppies and supplies. The store name was changed to Cheri's Preferred Puppies. By 1998, Cheryl specialized even further by stocking only small breeds and concentrating on non-shedding puppies. Large breed puppies became available through special order only.
Cheryl has always been an animal lover. As a young child, she began collecting all manner of "pets", including snakes, turtles, a baby robin, guinea pigs, ducks, rabbits, horses, kittens, and of course, dogs.
As an adult, Cheryl's love of animals has only grown. That love, coupled with her savvy business skills, background in psychology, and an honest desire to help people, assures that she and the puppy shop is a match made in heaven.
Cheryl donates money to several charities that work to shutdown puppy mills and improve animal welfare. Unfortunately, some of those charities erroneously target good pet shops, including Preferred Puppies, with anti-puppy mill campaigns. Regardless, Cheryl continues to donate because the elimination of puppy mills is simply more important than the accidental targeting of a quality puppy store.