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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Jan 09, 2018

Fins, Feathers, and Friends

By Lori Draz

Anytime you stop into Fins and Feathers in Red Bank, you’re sure to see pet lovers hanging out with owner T.J. Moss and the staff, and playing with T.J.’s dog companions: Panda, a black and white pit mix, and Doofus, a massive St. Bernard.

It’s like visiting a diner, without the coffee. The customers seem to know each other, and the staff sure knows each one of them. They ask about your pet, your plans for the weekend, and invite you to see the huge collection of pets, which include a changing variety of birds from tiny finches to cockatiels. There’s an exotic collection of chameleons and lizards, snakes, frogs…they even have tarantulas and scorpions. There are bunnies and guinea pigs, many available for adoption. Though he doesn’t sell dogs or kittens, he often has kittens there for adoption. And the customers are just as diverse; from the families of Fair Haven and Rumson to the tattooed musicians and artists of Red Bank, everyone comes together at Fins and Feathers.

T.J. Moss is living his dream. As a child, he would ride his bike to the Fins and Feathers, five days a week, to visit with then-owner Helen Davis. At age 14, he got a job there, learning the business from the cage floor up. When T.J. was 22, Helen Davis offered to sell him the store and it didn’t take a minute for him to decide. He always wanted to own Fins and Feathers, and three years ago, his dream came true. He shares his Shrewsbury home with his girlfriend Emily and a personal menagerie of pets, including Panda Bear and Doofus, and numerous reptiles and furry and feathered friends. T.J. is an animal person through and through, and that is a big part of that wonderful energy you feel at Fins and Feathers.

The store is packed with a hand-picked collection of foods, toys, treats, and smiles. Their dog and cat food are all USA sourced. In fact, T.J. tries to offer only USA sourced products. If you don’t find what you need, he will go out of his way to order in special items, too. Their prices are as good or better than the big box stores (which he works hard to deliver), and the service…well, that’s a breed all its own. Fins and Feathers also offers pet boarding for all small animals, including rabbits, large and small birds, guinea pigs, lizards, snakes, hermit crabs, and even fish and grooming for dogs and birds, six days a week. He has seen the grooming grow tremendously since he took over the store. The groomers are very kind and all dogs are hand dried for that fluffy finish; something the owners and the pets both seem to really enjoy.

The doors of the Monmouth Street location open and close a dozen times during each visit, and each time, there is a big welcome and a new friend to join in the conversation. Fins and Feathers is located at 134 Monmouth Street. Call (732) 842-4197 or visit www.finsandfeatherspetsandgrooming.com.