By Gus Herrera
Highlander Pet Center’s owner, Jill Jungheim’s has had lifelong passion for animals. Growing up, she kept a myriad of pets: cats, dogs, birds, fish, lizards, mice, and even a squirrel, “You’d think we lived on a farm, but I was raised in Hollywood,” said Jungheim.
After spending years on the corporate end of the entertainment industry, she decided to follow her passion and began researching the pet supply business, “I went to a trade show, met some people and thought, ‘your stuff is really cute, I could sell that,’ next thing I knew I had my own business … it started out of my car, I would have a catalog and take orders … ” revealed Jungheim.
In the beginning, her business, selling wholesale pet supplies and high-end products to both individual customers and pet boutiques alike, was truly a journey, taking her all throughout the Southland. During this time, she gained invaluable personal experience and made several critical business contacts that would help her provide unique, high-quality products down the line.
In 2000, she moved to Monrovia and quickly fell in love with the area. Five years later, the Highlander Pet Center in Arcadia went for sale and she could not resist the opportunity to transform her mobile business into a permanent storefront. In 2010, she moved the store to its current location in Monrovia, a converted bungalow house built in 1905.
What separates Highlander Pet Center from the larger, chain pet-supply stores are the quality of their products and Jungheim’s expertise, “I carry a lot of high-end pet foods that aren’t sold in those stores. I have studied pet nutrition and I’m really well-versed in what the best food would be for pets in different situations.”
The store specializes in holistic, nutritious pet foods and treats, many of which are made in the U.S.A., and they even carry some organic products. Furthermore, if your pet requires special orders, Jungheim can help you out, “I can order anything, that’s the beauty of it, Petco and PetSmart cannot place special orders because they’re corporate, whereas I can just flip through a couple catalogs, call a couple people, and I’ll pick it up for you in three to five days. My business is very flexible that way.”
Highlander Pet Center is very involved in the community, working with: Simi Valley Spay and Neuter Company, Hand in Paw dog-rescue in Duarte, the Pasadena Humane Society, local veterinarians (especially the nearby Best Friends Pet Hospital), TNR (trap, neuter, release) groups, and they even work with Foothill Unity Group to provide pet provisions for low-income individuals. Jungheim’s involvement and great reputation has also made the center into a destination for pet adoption, adopting over 1,000 cats, kittens, and a few dogs since 2005.
Highlander Pet Center offers the following pet services: local delivery; humane animal trap rentals; transport for low-cost cat spay/neuter; pet nutrition consultation; and bird grooming and pet nail-trimming provided by Jungheim’s right-hand-man Sammy Galvis (by appointment only). They also hope to soon offer cat-boarding.
Highlander Pet Center is located at 419 W Foothill Blvd. in Monrovia. For more information, call (626) 357-1787 or visit them online at www.HighlanderPetCenter.com and on Facebook.