by Kate Evans
If you’re looking for a special place to board your animals while you have to be away for vacation or business, the Paws, Claws and Stalls Pet Lodge in southern Morgan County may be just what you’re looking for.
The pet lodge opened six months ago and offers pet boarding, bathing, field boarding for horses, nail trimming, teeth care and a pet taxi service if you’re unable to drop off or pick up your animals, said Paws, Claws and Stalls owner Justene Clark.
Special activities for pets include woodland walks, pond swims and ATV rides. Their motto is providing the care, attention and comfort that your pets deserve.
“We treat them as our own,” she said of people’s pets.
Clark grew up on a small rural farm with cows, horses, chicken, pigs and goats. She worked in veterinarian’s offices assisting the vets with large animal and small animal care. Clark has also taken some online veterinary technician courses through Penn Foster.
Clark has always done pet care for family and friends and wanted to expand on that as a business she could do from home so she could be there with her dogs and her family. Paws, Claws and Stalls is located on a private farm right on her land.
The business boards dogs and cats and field board horses. Animals that are boarded with them are kept in large runs to get outside with plenty of activity, Clark said. They also board exotic pets such as lizards, bunnies, hamsters, fish and birds-anything that’s in a small cage.
Clark’s day with the animals starts at 6 a.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Animals get potty breaks, cuddle time, homemade treats, brushed and do special activities that their owners arranged like being bathed and towel dried, woodland walks or ATV rides. Clark also makes sure that their area, bedding and bowl is clean. She doesn’t do any pet clipping or grooming.
Daily exercise, socialization, quality care and safety are a big focus. Each dog is hand-walked to a private exercise pen or to the large play yard. Cats have free roam of the office that’s full of cubbies, perches and hammocks for them to enjoy. Kennels have beds, comfort blankets, bowls and toys.
Clark provides specialization care where an animal is left with them for a few hours a day or for a few days a week to help with their anxiety over their owners leaving them alone or being in a new place. She’ll also do crate training.
Clark said that she just loves animals and that she always wanted to work with animals since she was a kid.
“Animals are always greeting you with a (tail) wag and a kiss and are so happy to see you and are just so innocent,” she said.
Clark has already been asked by customers if she will expand. She only has nine indoor kennels. A family of three dogs can be kept together, she noted. Clark said she wants to keep that specialized touch and one-on-one attention to pets and owners.
In the future, Clark might have a groomer on site. Owners could have their pets groomed during boarding and she could keep their pet for several hours afterwards in a grassy run. Clark is affiliated with an area groomer, a mobile vet clinic, equine vet and a mobile trainer.
Clark said most of her customers at present are from Berkeley Springs with some also from Hedgesville and Martinsburg. She is mostly getting dogs and doing field boarding for horses. She may expand some into Virginia.
A big need
Pet care and boarding are very much a need in our area, Clark said. She said her Paws, Claws and Stalls Pet Lodge is a little bit of a drive, but it’s worth it for the spacious runs and grassy areas that hold plenty of yard time for dogs.
For more information you can call Justene Clark at 240-405-6998, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website or Facebook page.