Shares of online pet store Chewy soar in debut

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NEW YORK (AP) It's raining cats and dogs on Wall Street.

Chewy, the online seller of pet food and squeaky toys, went public Friday and its shares soared 71 percent.

The stock's rise values the 8-year-old company at $15 billion.

Demand for the initial public offering has been high. Chewy raised just over $1 billion, with 46.5 million shares sold at $22 each.

That's above what the company had expected.

At midday Friday, its shares were trading at $37.71.

Chewy may bring to mind the failed online pet stores of the 1990s, but a lot has changed since the days of Pets.com.

People are accustomed to buying nearly anything online.

And pets are more pampered: Americans spent $72.6 billion on their furry pals last year, more than triple the amount spent two decades ago.