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Tracker’s Pet Supply selected as one of top three independent pet stores in Western Canada

Steve Splinter, owner, said nomination is a win in itself
Steve Splinter, owner of Tracker’s Pet Supply and long-time employees Alexis Beauchamp, Harriet the cat, and Kia the dog pose for a photo in the Athabasca pet shop that was recently nominated for a Canadian Pet Community Award for Western Canada’s Best Small Business Pet Store, under the independently operated category.

ATHABASCA — Steve Splinter of Tracker’s Pet Supply in Athabasca has made a career out of helping pets and their owners in the area find the right tools for care, whether it be food, best grooming practices, or the perfect toys for playtime. And his efforts, along with those of his team, have recently been recognized on a national scale. 

Tracker’s Pet Supply was nominated for the Canadian Pet Community Awards - Western Edition in the category of best independent retailer, an honour Splinter said was unexpected, but not unwelcome. 

“The more I think about it, the more interesting it gets. I’m kinda looking forward to seeing who actually wins, but just the fact that we got nominated is quite exciting,” said Splinter in a March 26 interview. “It means someone thinks highly enough of us to actually make that nomination.” 

He said the store received the news they had made the shortlist, consisting of two other independent retailers, two weeks before voting for the award closes on April 2. 

“We had a bit of a scramble day. I knew we had been nominated back at the beginning of March, but they were going to tell us on the 18th whether or not we got shortlisted and were in the finals,” said Splinter. 

“We had until the end of the 18th to get a picture together with our own little write-up, so it was a fun day,” he added. 

12 years in business

Splinter said over the last 12 years since Tracker’s first got established in town, he’s taken pride in helping pet owners find the right products and practices for their pets and building relationships with his customers. 

“You really feel like you’re part of a community. In the city, it’d be very transactional — people would come in, people would go out. You’d get to know a few of your regulars, where here, you get to know people. You get to know their pets,” he said. 

For Splinter, those relationships can equate to better service, and a feeling that his work is meaningful and important. 

“The feedback has been wonderful from customers, and that’s probably the most important part of this,” he said. “Hearing back from people saying, ‘Hey, we like what you’re doing, keeping doing it.’” 

“It’s like wow, ok, so we are doing something right, and it’s not just running a business out here in Athabasca. We’re making a difference.”

Voting for the 2024 Canadian Pet Community Awards – Western Edition, is open until April 2 at 4 p.m. EST, or 2 p.m. MST.

“The process of getting people voting and getting out in the community and getting the feedback, that’s been a win in itself, and to me that’s the important part,” added Splinter. 

Votes can be cast for a number of different pet industry categories online at 

Winners will be announced at the Pets Canada Industry Show held in Vancouver, B.C. April 14 and 15. 

About the Author: Lexi Freehill

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