Sarah Waters, a Lorain County Community College/Hiram University partner alumn, got her degree in environmental studies. Along with her academics, she had a huge passion for the outdoors and dog rescue.
After moving onto a property with a dog kennel, she thought to combine her two interests. With that, she decided to launch Boondock Boarding and Rescue, a facility that provides services such as boarding, bathing, rescue, and training.
“I get to be outside and do something that I love and something that I was naturally good at,” she said.
Sustainability and Business
One of the main areas of focus that Boondock Boarding emphasizes in its business is sustainability. At Boondock, they are committed to maintaining an environmentally friendly atmosphere, which includes using solar electricity, recycling dog food bag plastic, using less water, and more. They are also wanting to add solar panels to the kennels in the next year.
Time management is crucial for organizing all of the tasks Sarah provides. “I have 3 planners, one for my grooming slots, one for doggy play…I have my calendar on my phone,” she said.
When COVID-19 hit, Boondock was able to adapt to the conditions and still provide for their customers. They started mobile grooming—instead of having the pets come to their facility, Sarah would travel to the owners’ houses and groom their animals in their garages. Today, they still provide personalized services, like picking up pets from elderly customers who can’t make the drive, to show their commitment to a loving experience.
Sarah also emphasized the importance of support. She was able to work part-time while she was in school, which made it easier for her to focus on academics, and now, post-graduation, her husband, her kids, and the volunteers at Boondock are her support system.
“Over time you grow and you get help and you grow as a community,” she said.
Boondock Boarding and Rescue
Sarah keeps in contact with the pet owners to create a personal connection between the business and the consumer. This helps her generate a friendly and approachable career without the traditional marketing tactics you might find in startup businesses.
“Your brand has to be you…it has to show that you’re different and that you care,” she said.
A unique feature of Boondock is their attention to older or more skittish pets. “We bring them into the house with us,” Sarah said, “they’re a part of our family”.
Boondock Boarding and Rescue is located off State Route 18, near the Wellington/Oberlin area. You can check out Sarah’s business here, which includes more information about Boondock Boarding, the services they provide, contact information, and more.
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