The coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has claimed another victim - pet food supplies. Pet stores across the city and its suburbs say that ever since the lockdown was imposed, pet food supplies are not arriving.
A pet store in Kurla said stocks have not been coming in as the company warehouses are in Bhiwandi from where the movement of vehicles is affected. Kunal Malusare, partner at Bhola Shola pet store, Thane, said there is no response from companies when contacted and that his store has been selling existing stock.
Sharan Sharma, proprietor of Nutty’s Den, a pet store in Mahim, said that while presently they are selling existing stock, it has been some days since new stock has arrived. “People are buying in bulk now and soon we will go out of stock,” her husband and co-proprietor Kapil Sharma said. “It seems the companies are yet to figure out their delivery mechanism and staff for transport,” said Sharan. The couple added that company warehouses which are in the outskirts are shut. “People should not panic though, as stocks in pet shops will last for about 20 days and by the next week companies will figure out a way,” Kapil said.
Customers coming to Fin and Feather pet store in Crawford market are being sent back empty handed. Imran Shaikh, who runs the store, said companies are no longer delivering to pet stores and that stores are expected to fetch the supplies directly from company’s warehouses. “Will I sell to customers here or go for supplies to Bhiwandi?” he asked. “Big pet stores have stocked up, but we small ones keep less stock. When customers come, there are no products. It takes time to get customers and this way we will lose them,” Shaikh said. Warehouses are not being allowed to be open he said, as they employ over 30 staff members and, currently, there are restrictions on such a large number of people gathering.
A parent to two dogs and a cat, Vaihayasi Pande Daniel said she had anticipated the situation in the beginning of the month itself and expected that essential supplies for humans will be available, but will pet supplies be available? She stocked up on dog and cat food, but says she is running out on wet food for her cat, which is not available anywhere - a cause of worry for her, as cats have more structured food than dogs and need food they are used to, she said. “Some shops we went to had gone out of stock as people had bought in bulk,” she added. “I am a little anxious. What happens if this extends beyond these three weeks, which it is likely to,” she said.