A TOWN’s last remaining pet shop is set to double in size to make more room for rescued pets who are waiting to be rehomed.

Didcot Pet Store started four years ago selling basic supplies but has recently expanded into selling animals as well.

The shop, co-run by father and daughter team Trevor and Charley Newman, specialises in re-housing pets that have become neglected or unwanted by their former owners.

A recent influx of reptiles had led to the need to expand and, from next week, extensive renovations are due to take place to double the size of the store.

Ms Newman said: “Rather than leaving people in Didcot struggling to cope or not knowing how to care for their pets, we decided it was better to help re-home any animals whenever we can.

“Since we’ve started doing this, our pet shop has grown at a dramatic rate along with our reputation.

“So we’ve decided to undergo this major shop refurbishment to make room for more animals that need new homes.”

Ms Newman, who has qualifications in animal management, said many of the animals that come in to the shop are in a ‘poor state.’

She blames the ease of being able to buy unusual reptiles and birds online as a major part of the problem.

She said: “You can buy species like bearded dragons a lot easier and cheaper than you used to be able to.

“Their owners want to get rid of them so will sell them online for nothing to inexperienced people who do not realise how much work it is to look after them.”

The former hospitality worker said the shop ‘has corn snakes coming out of our ears’ and currently has to turn away some pets because they do not have the space.

She says it takes a lot of work with the animals to get them healthy again, which can lead to them being in the shop a long time before they are able to be resold.

When fit and healthy again, the shop works to find them new homes with people that are known and trusted.

Even once they have left, the shop continues to keep track of how the animals are faring and offers a ‘lifetime back up’, in case anything further goes wrong.

The pet shop became the sole remaining store of its kind in Didcot after Vic Thomas closed down the Angel Aquarium and Pet Centre in Brasenose Road late last year.

Didcot Pet Store will close for a week from Monday, February 5, to allow the major works to be carried out.

An office is going to be knocked through to allow for more floor space.

To celebrate the completion of the works a grand reopening party will be held on Monday, February 12.