As PetSmart opened its doors on Saturday, it appeared many area pet owners were happy about the event. The Millburn Avenue store was busy with activity.
PetSmart District Manager Clinton Gorga stood near the registers with store manager Tony Curcio, both keeping a watchful eye on the grand opening activities for the Millburn store.
"A lot of people have told me they've been waiting for us to open for months," Curcio said.
"I've had folks say 'I'm glad you're here,'" Gorga added. "We've had a lot of calls to the Union store asking about when we were opening, which is where the Millburn customers shopped before this store opened."
But the early controversy about PetSmart coming to Millburn-Short Hills wasn't lost on the store leadership. "I was at every one of those planning meetings," Gorga said. "I think that once people know what we're about, and knew what we wanted to do with the space some of the resistance went away."
The new store has a grooming salon, pet training and adopotion area run in conjunction with the Homeless Animals Rescue Team, or HART, and staffed by HART volunteers. The Millburn location will not be offering vaccinations as some other stores do. The store is located in the old Whole Foods space, which it shares with Trader Joe's.