Monkton Elm encourages customers to come and chat with one of its knowledgeable pet staff, who it promises will advise on the "right pet for you, your family and your lifestyle".
Potential owners are invited to join one of its monthly pet handling days. Staff bring in their own pets for customers to see, handle and ask questions about.
Birds fly freely in Monkton Elm's specially-designed aviary. These include budgies, canaries, finches and quail. Meanwhile, Twinkle, Monkton Elm's resident parrot is a much loved and admired member of the pet team.
The Timneh - a small version of the African Grey - has been with the centre for 15 years.
Monkton Elm started as a plant nursery in the late 1970s and is now a £5.5m turnover independent, family-run garden centre, employing 100 full and part-time staff. The company is owned by David and Luella Bellman and the couple's family help to run the business.
Award sponsor - PATS 2012