Victoria Kurek and her dog Skye, whom she said is part of the inspiration for the name of Golden Paws, stand in front of the colorful dog daycare, that also is a kennel to board dogs when an owner needs a place to leave their animal when they are on vacation.
Victoria Kurek knew she always wanted to have a career that led her to work with animals.
She grew up riding horses and went to school initially with the goal of being a vet tech, but after realizing that it would be too difficult for her to euthanize any animal, she changed her focus.
It led to her and her husband to purchase the property at 1759 Sturgeon Point Road in Derby, and earlier this year, she opened up Golden Paws, offering pet care and other services.
“It used to be an old motorcycle repair shop,” Kurek said. “We bought the property in February and opened in July.” She said the space she converted to a dog daycare has served a number of capacities, including a chicken coop.
At age 24, Kurek said she first started a dog walking and training business called “At Your Home Services” after her dog became seriously ill and needed 24-hour care. She said this allowed her to work with animals and was able to bring her dog with her on calls.
“I always knew I wanted to work with animals,” she said, adding that she also considered becoming a horse trainer.
When she opened Golden Paws, one of the goals was to make sure that the dogs get a lot of personal attention. She makes sure that there are no more than five dogs at a time. However, she said she is always accepting new dogs.
“We do an application process,” she said, noting that part of the process includes a meet and greet session with the dog, its owners and Kurek.
She said this way, when the dog starts coming to daycare, it makes for “an easy transition,” because the animal is already familiar with the surroundings.
Kurek joked when she brings people in to see the daycare facility, some wonder if it is for children, because she has a lot of colorful matts. She wants to create an atmosphere that is fun for the dogs.
The name Golden Paws is inspired by her dog, Skye, a golden lab. She said Skye has become the symbol of the place.
The daycare itself is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Besides the daycare part of it, Golden Paws is also a boarding facility if people need to leave their pets overnight, for a fee.
Kurek said part of the fee includes free daycare during the day, so the dog that is boarded also gets a chance to play with the other dogs.
The difference being that they are “sleeping in the kennel’s at night.”
When a dog owner leaves their animal when they are on vacation, Kurek said she realizes that owners are generally concerned about how their pet is doing. She came up with a way to ease the owner’s minds.
“We send daily videos and pictures to owners to let them know how they are doing,” Kurek said, adding that this can be done either via text messaging or through email.
Starting this week, Golden Paws will also be offering grooming.
“Everything now is done by appointment,” Kurek said.
Another feature that is offered is the Saturday play group, which is broken down into puppies, adults and seniors. That is each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For more information, including pricing, call Golden Paws at 400-8431 or visit the website www.GoldenPawsPCS.com.
Kurek added there are monthly specials listed on the website.