Searching for a pet however do not have the time to decide to a canine or cat? Or in search of one thing a bit completely different?

A reptile could also be a great various for these in search of an alternate from the standard furry pets, stated Patricia Toshok, the proprietor of Animal Jungle Pet Store, 5007 Fishcreek Highway in Stow, which she opened about 1½ years in the past.

“It isn’t solely a very nice pastime, individuals are really utilizing it as a educating instrument for his or her kids whereas they’re at residence,” Toshok stated. “It is educating them how you can care for issues.”

Toshok, who lives in Stow, stated that reptiles basically could be simpler to take care of than a canine or cat, “or perhaps a hamster or gerbil.”

Additionally, simply because reptiles are cold-blooded doesn’t suggest they can not be warm-hearted, Toshok stated.

“They do give again,” she stated. “Reptiles can acknowledge their house owners, they take pleasure in being dealt with.”

Toshok stated she is aware of somebody who has a snake that may be a registered remedy pet.

For these serious about getting a reptile or three, they’ll have another choice for locating their new scaly member of the family. Toshok stated a second Animal Jungle is tentatively scheduled to open Might 1. The brand new retailer is at 10333 Northfield Highway, within the Northfield Plaza.

“We had hoped to open in December, [except for] COVID,” Toshok stated. “Summit County was behind in all the permits.”

The brand new retailer in Northfield Village will likely be practically 5,000 sq. ft, providing extra space than the 1,500-square-foot Stow retailer, Toshok stated. 

“There’s going to be much more reptiles, much more room,” Toshok stated. “We will do birthday events, academic occasions and we will provide extra companies there.”

Toshok just isn’t the primary pet retailer proprietor in her household.

“My aunt and uncle owned a pet store 50 years in the past, and it is actually 4 doorways down from the Northfield location,” she stated. 

Working with animals was “one thing I at all times wished to do,” Toshok stated. 

As well as, daughter Adria Toshok manages the shops.

Plans for a 3rd location, someplace round Parma or Brook Park, are also within the works, Toshok stated.

So, you wish to personal a reptile?

Toshok stated that Animal Jungle offers with reptiles solely, and customarily purchases their animals from native breeders. All her workers “are educated in reptiles, and all have a special talent set,” she stated.

Prospects who are available in are interviewed to see what they’re searching for. Along with the turtles, tarantulas, snakes, geckos and different animals, Animal Jungle additionally carries provides comparable to habitats, equipment and dwell meals, comparable to crickets and mice.

“Everybody will get a brief tour of our place,” Toshok stated. “An worker will information them in a path they assume will likely be a great match. We go over the care of every completely different reptile. We wish to be sure that what they get, they’ll have the very best functionality to take care of. We care in regards to the reptile, too. We wish to make certain they’re cared for.”

So what reptiles does Toshok recommend for the first-time proprietor?

“Bearded dragons are at all times actually good,” Toshok stated. “So is the Russian tortoise. They’re very hardy, can stand being dealt with, they don’t seem to be choosy eaters and their meals is straightforward to get. You possibly can set them up in a classroom for a trainer. The blue-tongued skink and leopard gecko are good, too.”

Toshok stated she’d advocate novices steer away from reptiles just like the African Sulcata tortoise.

“They’ll get very massive,” Toshok stated. “They are often very damaging. An African Sulcata tortoise appears cute when it is youthful, however it’s the third-largest tortoise on the planet, they usually get big quick. I’ve one that’s 150 kilos. My smallest male is about 55 to 60 kilos. I’ve him on the retailer to point out individuals what they will get.”

Iguanas, too, usually are not good for first-time reptile house owners, Toshok stated.

“Iguanas are undoubtedly not a starter pet, and never proper for a kid,” she stated. “They’ll get large, they will get aggressive, they usually do require a bigger cage. Within the store, I’ve full-sized iguanas which are mine, so individuals can see how large they will get.”

Some snakes can also pose points for these unprepared for a bigger pet, Toshok stated.

“I’ve a Reticulated python on show on the retailer,” Toshok stated. “It is 2½ years outdated, however it’s 12 ft lengthy already. They’re fairly and fairly priced, however I would like them to know that they might have a 12-foot beast on their arms. At 12 ft, even I’d not deal with him until I had somebody with me. I’d by no means give a Reticulated python to a baby, or anybody underneath the age of 20.”

Even after a purchase order is made, Toshok stated she and the employees can be found if the client has any questions or considerations. 

“As soon as they purchase, it does not finish there,” Toshok stated. “I am unable to be an skilled in every thing, however I’ve entry to consultants.”

Prospects chime in

Toshok stated she has had guests from West Virginia, Kentucky and different states.

“Individuals journey for hours to see us,” she stated. “The reptile neighborhood is a very tight-knit group of individuals. You get to fulfill some actually cool individuals.”

Many purchasers left rave opinions about  Animal Jungle on the shop’s Fb web page. Paul Snyder of Akron stated the shop was “arms down the very best reptile retailer I’ve ever been to.”

“Everyone seems to be pleasant and really educated,” he stated. “I am unable to advocate sufficient.”

Lisa Decapite-Rodriguez, who lives in Valley View and works in Northfield Village, stated she may hardly wait till the Northfield retailer opened. 

“Patricia and all her employees are very educated and useful,” she stated. “Love our Hingeback tortoise we obtained from her, she is prospering.”

Jeff Shaffer of Streetsboro stated he and his household “will certainly be again and help them with all our wants.”

“My son was in search of a Bearded Dragon and the crew at Animal Jungle was very informative in regards to the care and every thing about proudly owning a dragon,” Shaffer stated. “Larry the Bearded Dragon is doing improbable and we will’t thanks all sufficient for every thing”.

Retailer data

Hours for the Animal Jungle Pet Store in Stow, 5007 Fishcreek Highway, are 1-6:30 p.m. Tuesday by means of Friday, 2-6:30 p.m. Saturday  and 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday from 1 to five:30. The store is closed Monday.

The hours for the Northfield Village retailer will likely be 1-7 p.m. Tuesday by means of Saturday, and 1-5:30 p.m. Sunday. Toshok stated hours at this location will develop as soon as the pandemic is over.

Name 330-501-6208 or go to for particulars. 

Reporter April Helms could be reached at

Let’s block advertisements! (Why?)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here