The Business of Pampering Pets

By Dennis Darrow
The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) 27 year old Lindsy Giannetto says her company fulfills her goal of providing pet owners and their dogs the kind of pampered boarding and day care services she would want for her own pets.

The Pueblo Chieftain, Colo.

The entrepreneurs behind Elite Paws Pet Resort may be selling themselves short with their motto, “Your pets’ home away from home” — unless your house also comes with a large turf-lined indoor play area.

Elite Paws opened in mid-January in a custom-designed 6,000-square-foot building at 30520 Everett Road, near 30th Lane and Gale Road on the St. Charles Mesa.

The pet hotel offers spacious “dog suites” and “cat condos,” indoor and outdoor play areas, video monitoring and personalized attention for each pet.

“We don’t have any chain link fencing. The rooms are spacious, built for two big dogs but able to hold three. It is heated and air-conditioned,” owner Lindsy Giannetto said. Pets take part in individual and small group play. The personal attention also allows for multiple feeding and medication times.

Giannetto, 27, a Puebloan who previously worked as an assistant in a veterinarian’s office for nine years, said the business fulfills her goal of providing pet owners and their dogs and cats the kind of pampered boarding and day care services she would want for her own pets.

Assisting her is Rose Maddux of Pueblo, a veteran worker and manager at veterinarian clinics who was looking for a change of pace.

“I was getting to a point where I didn’t want to get beat up by dogs anymore. And here it’s a fun environment. I’m not having to deal with sick dogs or put dogs to sleep,” Maddux said.

At Elite Paws, the focus is on making the pet visits as enjoyable as possible, Maddux said. “We do cater to them. We have sat in the rooms with dogs during thunderstorms. We have music going,” she said.

She recalls sitting with a chocolate Labrador for two hours earning his trust and “then he was fine,” she said.

Elite Paws charges a daily rate of $30 for overnight stays, or about $10 more than a basic kennel might charge.

A free bath is included for dogs that stay five days or more. Grooming services are available for an extra fee.

It also offers day care for $18 a day.

The feedback from pet owners has been positive, Giannetto said. “A lot of people say, ‘There’s nothing like this. We’re so glad you’re here.’ We’re actually getting a lot of people who’ve never boarded their dogs,” she said.

Construction on the building began last summer and was completed in January. Next door is a renovated Southwest- style house that is Giannetto’s personal residence.

An estate-style entryway with a heavy security gate and brick privacy wall front the property, which sits on five acres.

A decorative black metal fence runs along the newly paved driveways linking the building sites.

“I knew my life would revolve around animals,” Giannetto said. Asked why, she quipped, “Because I would rather deal with dogs than people.” She grew up raising dogs and currently owns two dogs rescued from shelters. Maddux also owns rescue dogs.

The boarding house’s 18 “dog suites” are 12 feet by 7 feet, as big as some people’s bedrooms, and the “cat condos” measure a generous 20-square feet. The indoor play area is 48 feet by 21 feet.

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