Danville Family Vet hires employees from a soon to be shuttered national retail store

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DANVILLE, Va. (WDBJ) - Many big box retail stores have closed their doors in Danville in 2018 including Toys-R-Us and Sears. Now two more: Dicks and Petco, will close in the new year.

The signs have been up for a few weeks now: But as the saying goes, when one door closes, another opens.

Just across the street, Danville family vet is never shy of dogs, merchandise or people to take cae of the K-9's.

"He's used to it, this is actually one of the dogs that I groomed at Petco," said Sarah Hale. Hale was a journalism major at Averett university but took a job during college at Petco to make some extra cash. Grooming soon became a passion.

"I had actually hit my five year anniversary the day after the store was closing," said Hale.

But instead of giving up, Hale turned local. So did another colleague.

"Its kind of like a hairdresser, getting attached to that one person, and you like how they do it, and you like how they treat your pets," said Dr. Jeff Smith, owner of Danville Family Vet.

Smith saw an opportunity for his local business, and hired both Sarah and fellow groomer, Jenny McFarling.

"There's pluses and minuses, I think there's a need for the big businesses to help our community grow but I think the local businesses are really dedicated to the local people," said Smith.

As a Danville native, Hale didn't want to leave her home. So she turned down an offer from Petco to work in their Durham location. The Danville store will close January 12th.

"The local businesses just fit better in Danville," said Hale.

Now the goal is to keep bringing in her old clients and let their owners know she's still grooming.

"Their service is just going to prove itself to people and I think its just going to continue to expand," said Hale.