Must Love Dogs At Spoiled Rotten
Spoiled Rotten Doggy Daycare on Liberty Street is thriving due to dog-parents needs for fun-loving care for their babies.
Jillian Currier, owner of the Danvers-based doggie daycare Spoiled Rotten, said that opening up her business was both the most frightening and gratifying experience of her life.
As a business graduate of UMass Amherst with a great job in Boston, Currier seemingly had it all. But the daily commute into the city was especially heart-wrenching for the Danvers native when she had to leave her dogs at a Beverly daycare. While she was happy with the facility, and insists her dogs loved going there, at the time, like many dog owners, her three dogs were her like her children, and leaving them behind each day was difficult.
“Before I had kids, my dogs were my life,” explained the thirty year old. “When I dropped them off, I would get so sad. There was no outdoor space with about 50 dogs; every day I thought about how I could do it better.”
With a business plan in mind, and nothing else like it around her Danvers hometown, Currier decided to quit her job and plunge ahead into the doggy daycare business. She located the perfect space: a 5,200 square foot, open space facility with space outdoors, on 119 Liberty Street, and set about starting her new business.
“When I actually left my job to open the doggy day care, I was horrified, and most people weren’t sure it would work; but I knew I had the niche for it, and Danvers is such a tight knit community, I knew this was needed here.”
Currier described those first few weeks of sitting in her new, huge building with just one dog as “brutal and scary. After about six months I rented out the top of the space (to Paws For Praise dog training.) It made sense, I wasn’t using that space, and I liked the idea of another dog-based business going in, so it’s like a one-stop-shop for dog owners. But there I was with the one dog, I had that big rent, and that big building. ”
After two years of not giving up, Currier saw her business really take off.
Now, six years later and despite the struggling economy, Spoiled Rotten Doggy Daycare has grown to include six additional employees and over 40 dogs, six days a week, with overnight services available to clients. The daycare mimics the children’s public school calendar with “Back to School” starting in September, and “Picture Day” in December, for those important pet-themed holiday cards.
A typical day at Spoiled Rotten looks much like a pre-school daycare for children, in that it is a schedule packed with activities for the animals. In the morning the dogs usually arrive between 7-9 am and are engaged in playtime, followed by nap-time, and in the afternoons they get plenty of exercise outside with ball-time. In nice weather they can even play in kiddie pools. The dogs are stimulated and get to interact with each other all day, and many clients report their dogs are so exhausted they fall fast asleep during the car rides home.
To attend Spoiled Rotten, dogs must be up to date on their vaccinations and pass a temperament test to be certain they are a fit. Currier uses extreme care when choosing her employees, requiring outgoing dog lovers who also have experience working with dogs professionally.
“They have to have a lot of patience...it’s not just petting all day, there’s a lot of cleanup-its a hard job,” said Currier. “These are people's babies, and they put a lot of trust in us to watch their dogs all day. My clients know their animals are cared for here, and the dogs just love it-they actually pull their owners in. “
In addition to her own three dogs: a Labrador, Boston Terrier mix, and American Bulldog; Currier’s human family has grown to include two children with husband Matthew. “At first it was really hard to balance the business after having babies-this is my second,” she said.
Currier feels her business has been successful largely because pet owners are more invested in their pets these days. “They want them to have fun and be taken care of,” explained Currier. “Its not an easy business to run, but I take such pride in it.”