It’s been a dream five years in the planning. Later this spring, Kylie Sander and Heather Holliman-Pope will make their pet project a reality.
A new Hays business, Post Rock Pet Boarding, is quietly preparing for its opening date at the intersection of 13th Street and Commerce Parkway. With a targeted opening date in mid-May, the facility will offer boarding services for dogs of all sizes and temperaments, as well as cats.
Holliman-Pope is a trained veterinarian, and Sander also has worked in that industry. Both women were looking for a better work-life balance for their young children, and also saw a need for specialized boarding services in the area, Holliman-Pope said.
“We kind of had some life changes and needed a better work/life balance. And so we were looking to do something to still stay in the field and enjoy the animals and enjoy the people, but definitely have flexibility,” she said. “We both have two young children.”
The business also will offer additional services, including bathing, nail trims, ear cleaning and anal gland expression. Full veterinarian services will not be offered, but might be a possible addition down the road, Holliman-Pope said.
The metal building was delivered in January, and the co-owners -- with help from family members -- have been hanging drywall and putting the finishing touches on the interior.
The boarding service will offer a room for large dogs, containing 41 kennels that are either four-by-six or four-by-four dimensions. Everything has been designed with comfort and cleanliness in mind, Sander said.
“Our main priority and what we’ve thought about the most is just keeping everybody safe and comfortable, with a very clean environment,” she said. “We want them to feel happy here and we want pet owners to feel very confident and comfortable with us here.”
A second canine room will offer 10 kennels for smaller dogs or animals who prefer a quieter environment. The whole building has been designed with thick insulation in efforts to help with sound control, Sander said.
A third room will feature spacious cat condos, which offer “nooks and crannies” for the felines to explore. Both dogs and cats will be kept in separate, individual kennels to prevent cross-contamination.
There also is a small room intended to isolate any animal that might become ill or pets that experience anxiety when in close proximity to other animals, Holliman-Pope said.
Beds will be provided, but pet owners also are encouraged to send the animals’ regular food, favorite toys or blankets and other items with “smells from home,” she said.
The boarding areas have heated floors and are climate controlled for the animals’ comfort.
When finished, the business will offer a private fenced-in area for outside walks and exercise. Another large room inside the building will serve as a place for inside play when weather makes it difficult to go out. All animals will be taken out for exercise individually.
In keeping with the co-owners’ goals of spending more time with their families, the building also includes a small room that will be a play area for their children when necessary.
They already have received inquiries from residents hoping to board their pets this summer, and also from a few people interested in possibly working there as the business expands, Holliman-Pope said.
“We have a big need for boarding and a specific boarding facility,” she said. “There’s a pet motel in town, but all the veterinary clinics, it’s secondary to the veterinarians. So this is just a specific (service), we have built it for boarding of dogs and cats. We have heated floors; we’ve kept sanitation in mind. We have kept aggressive dogs vs. social dogs vs. isolated dogs. So we’ve really built it from the ground up just for them.”