Central Maine’s beloved exotic animal rescue and feed store Mr. Drew and His Animals Too will start a new chapter at the East Avenue Lewiston Mall after nearly five years at Pepperell Mill.

Drew Desjardins, known as Mr. Drew, announced the need to move in January and early this month he was ordered to vacate his space by March 7. Two supporters of Mr. Drew and His Animals Too created a GoFundMe page Feb. 15 which has since raised more than $26,000 to support the move.

Help was never expected, said Desjardins, but it goes to show the immensity of kindness in the community and in the animals’ fans.

“If I could line everybody up and just shake their hand or give them a hug — I mean the support has been amazing … I’ve always believed in being kind and doing good by others and to have this come back is amazing.”

Desjardins said the move for the retail end of business will be mostly seamless as many exotic pet owners rely on his shop to feed their critters. The educational portion of the business will follow the “April vacation week tradition” of the business which opened during break in 2018. The mining and geology room and library opened the following year during the same week and the business reopened to the public after the pandemic in 2022 during the same week.

Arianna Linee conducts tours Saturday, the last day that Mr. Drew and His Animals Too are open in the Pepperell Mill in Lewiston. The animal exhibit is moving to the Lewiston Mall, and plans are to be open in time for April vacation week. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Employee Arianna Linee said there are many behind-the-scenes things that need to be moved — like the thousands of books, hundreds of rocks and countless pieces of heavy equipment and animal containers not currently on exhibit. So, the move is tough, but going well due to the many who have come out to help the business move as effortlessly as possible, Linee said.


“The move is just going to open up so many more doors just like being an employee over at Mr. Drew and His Animals Too does,” said Linee. “Working with the Drews is an amazing thing and you hear this a lot about a lot of people, but the Drews are actually the type of people who will give their literal shirts off their back for anybody. They deserve everything in life, and so much more honestly.”

During Mr. Drew’s last day open at the Pepperell Mill location, Lewiston resident Thomas Colby brought his three young boys in for the first time in support of the business. Colby said his wife, a Lewiston native, would talk about Mr. Drew and His Animals Too all the time and they had always intended to bring the kids over when they became old enough to understand and appreciate the work Desjardins does. When it became known that Desjardins was having trouble staying afloat at the old location, Colby decided they just had to bring the kids.

Mr. Drew holds up Noel, an Argentine black-and-white tegu for the Colby family to admire. From the right is Gavin, 8, Owen, 5, and Nolan, 3. Behind them are their parents, Megan and Thomas Colby. The rehabilitator and outreach program for injured, neglected, and unwanted exotic animals has become a popular destination for families to see unusual and endangered animals. The Colby family came to the exhibit on the last day in this location to support the move. Mr. Drew will be moving his animals to a new space at the Lewiston Mall, with plans to reopen in time for school vacation week in April. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

“Obviously, the situation with them moving — we didn’t know what the ultimate result was going to be, so we wanted to make sure we got here to enjoy the experience,” Colby said. “Luckily, everything moving forward is going to be better it sounds like, so we just want to support him so he can continue to do this for the kids because this is amazing, this experience. It’s extremely important.”

To say the new space opens up opportunities is an understatement, said Desjardins. The Suite 17 space at Pepperell Mill is roughly 2,000 square feet and the new space is just under 10,000 square feet. Desjardins said he and everyone involved with the business had a vision for more when it all started five years ago and now they have the room to do it.

“We just want to keep it growing and going and we really have some big ideas and plans to make it better, bigger and exciting for everybody,” said Desjardins. “So, now we can kind of advance that vision and say, wow, let’s really make this a cool thing that the kids can really explore.”

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