The past few months we've been delighted to bring you, our loyal customers a whole heap of practical tips and advice to keep your furry friends in good shape, especially as Victoria has endured many long days under lockdown. From delicious doggy diets, to strange dog behaviours to keep an eye on and pet adoption 101, we hope you and your VIP (very important pets) are safe and well. This month, we're briefly turning the spotlight on ourselves, to give you some background on the story behind The Pets Hotel and Country Club. So, get cosy with your furry friend(s) by your side, as we sit down for a Q&A chat with the women behind it all – The Pets Hotel Founder and Managing Director Yvonne Hill!
Q: How did The Pets Hotel come to be?
Yvonne Hill – "My husband Alan and I have always had a love of dogs. We were Rottweiler breeders and every week we'd go to either a dog show or an obedience trial. One of our dogs ruptured her cruitiate ligament and the Vet advised us to swim her. That gave us the idea to open a dog swimming pool. So, we left our "day" jobs – me at the ATO (Australian Tax Office) and Alan his industrial Chemist role - to open K9 Swim N Gym in (1994). From there we purchased what is now The Pets Hotel Country Club in (1996).
We had a wonderful lifestyle bringing up our 2 daughters at this kennel, surrounded by many cats and dogs. Our best friends Dennis and Vicki Cleghorn saw how wonderful our lifestyle was, so they also purchased a kennel themselves!
We then talked about how many kennels were being closed down due to Melbourne's growing urban sprawl and researched together. We also went to the United States, to see how indoor facilities worked there and started a passion project to open an indoor kennel that was more accessible to the people of Melbourne. This is how The Pets Hotel was born, formally opening its doors to our wonderful furry friends in December 2010!"
Q: What are some of its major milestones over the years?
Yvonne Hill – "Founding and managing the business has been a real labour of love for Alan, myself and the family over the past 24 years, driven by our shared passion for all things pets. Here's some of the top highlights during that time:
Q: What are your connections to the local community?
Yvonne Hill – "Pets is proud to have built strong and enduring connections with the communities we serve in both Port Melbourne and Lara. This includes:
"We love our jobs because we love pets. When we are not with our client’s pets, we are surrounded by our own and we couldn’t be happier"
- Yvonne Hill
Q: What are your plans for the future?
Yvonne Hill – "In keeping with our history of boarding kennel innovation, we are building the first doggy splash pad in Australia, which will also include an adventure park! We’re also investing in our online customer portal, to allow clients to book directly from their computers and integrating services between The Pets Hotel and The Pets Hotel Country Club. This will offer them an even wider selection of pricing, choices and services, and minimise the need for extended face to face contact in a post COVID-19 environment".
Q: Last but not least, what do pets mean to you?
Yvonne Hill – "Pets have been one of the most important parts of our families lives for years. They have given us so much joy and taught our children so much about love, responsibility and respect. I honestly couldn’t imagine our lives without pets. They give us unconditional love and are with us no matter what we are doing or how we are feeling. They are a constant in a world of uncertainty. We talk to them, let them jump on our beds and couches (with permission of course : ) and they’re always considered in any family decision. But they are still treated with respect and true to their canine and feline breeding, because treating them like babies is detrimental to their health and wellbeing. We love our jobs because we love pets. When we are not with our client’s pets, we are surrounded by our own and we couldn’t be happier!!"
Despite the second lockdown in Melbourne, The Pets Hotel is open for business as usual for those who need our Doggy Daycare and boarding services. Meanwhile, The Pets Hotel Country Club in Lara is outside the lockdown zone where life is almost back to normal. Keen to learn more about us and our services? Contact our friendly team on (03) 9646 3696 and (03) 5282 1286!