STEVENSVILLE — Dog owners will have a new place to pamper and board their pets once the newest location of Dogwood Acres Pet Retreat is completed following the official groundbreaking Wednesday, May 8.

The retreat for the more furry members of the family started in Davidsonville with owners Kurt and Audrey Reichardt simply wanting to have a place where Casey, their black Labrador retriever, could be boarded but still have outdoor time and personal attention.

According to Susan Rensted, the location’s architect, the facility will be 12,000 square feet with indoor and outdoor space and incorporate exposed framing and accents of native timber to accentuate the natural forest setting. The plans are currently in for final permit approval by the county, and the submitted design took about a year to complete.

The business boasts a staff of over 40 personal pet attendants serving a mission of “focusing on their commitment of providing an environment where pets are happy, healthy and engaged; and superior pet care is provided from a foundation of sound medical practices and positive behavioral methodology.”

“It will be a little different from the existing location,” said Audrey. “We’re going to have a section just for small dogs, and every pet with us will have their own indoor and outdoor area. That’s what made it really hard to get through zoning, since neighbors didn’t want dogs outside.”

Additionally, the plan will include junior suites that will look like dens rather than traditional boarding spaces. Finally, the luxury suites that currently measure 10 feet by 10 feet will include amenities like a couch and television and larger patio space.

Given the ample space, she hoped to expand to a water park instead of the simple doggy pool already in use at the first location.

“The first people we called when we wanted another location were the same architect and builder. We found a piece of property the county was unsure if it could be sold and made it happen,” said Audrey.

County Commissioner Jim Moran described the journey to get to the groundbreaking as a team effort from locating to the land to getting the final plans approved.

“This project came together because of Barry Waterman of Coldwell Banker Waterman Realty Company. He found this property we thought was unusable. He made it work, and it’s now a huge benefit to Queen Anne’s County,” said Moran.

He went on to credit former County Commissioner Mark Anderson was also one those also responsible for making the new business location viable by willing to examine the zoning restrictions at the time.

“Their business model was perfect for this county because Queen Anne’s County has a rich pet culture. People that are commuting over the Bay Bridge can drop them off and have them taken care of with vets, or groomers and you pick them up again,” said Anderson.

Linda Friday, president of the Queen Anne’s County Chamber of Commerce, said this latest business in the county serves those the public cannot help seeing as another member of the family.

“We all love out pets including myself since I adopted two from the shelter. They bring all of us great joy and we want to treat them as our family and children. What a better place than Dogwood Acres for that? The fun these animals when they’re here is amazing,” said Friday.

For pricing and reservations, call 410-593-3286 or visit www.dogwoodacres.com.

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