Animal Crackers opened in its new Laguna Hills location Saturday.

The shop and pet rescue foundation moved to 24310 Moulton Parkway, Suite P, after losing its lease at the Aliso Creek Shopping Center in Laguna Beach. Despite valiant efforts by owner Gina Katzenbedian and her many supporters, no new location in Laguna Beach could be found.

"I wish we could have stayed in Laguna, but we are very happy with our new location, which is larger and enables us to expand our rescue operation," Katzenbedian said. "I don't know what I would have done without contractor Gregg Abel, who also designed the shop, and Steve Kawaratani, who helped us work with the city of Laguna Woods."

The shop is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday.

Grooming and rescue operations will begin in about a month when renovation of the space is completed, and the shop's hours will be expanded to seven days a week, Katzenbedian said.

Katzenbedian has spent most of her life rescuing animals. Growing up in Yorba Linda, she constantly brought home stray animals.

"Luckily, my parents were very supportive — within reason," Katzenbedian said in an earlier Coastline Pilot article. "We treated our pets like family members, including four large Rottweilers. I remember taking afternoon naps with them, usually hogging one of their doggie beds."

For more information on Animal Crackers, call (949) 454-0800.

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