Dogtopia, a franchise operating more than 130 canine care facilities in North America, this week made Purcellville its latest home with a soft opening of its new location Monday.
“We are thrilled to bring Dogtopia to the community and provide much-needed care for dogs in the area,” local entrepreneur Tom Payne, who co-owns the new premises with wife Leslie Payne, said in a prepared statement.
Dogtopia of Purcellville boasts a number of pup-pampering options, from standard daycare to boarding and spa services. The facility includes four playrooms into which visiting pets are sorted according to size and temperament, and each room is supervised by a trained “Canine Coach.”
“[Dogs] are able to play virtually all day, with a rest during midday,” Leslie Payne told the Times-Mirror. “There [are] webcams, so people who drop their dogs off to play for the day are able to pull up the picture of the playroom on the Dogtopia app, check in and see how their pet’s doing throughout the day.”
She added the location also includes an 800-square-foot outdoor play area “for dogs to get a break from being inside. They get to go outside every day to get some fresh air — maybe jump in the pool during the summertime — and get a different environment to play in before they go back into their playroom.”
Specific features within the facility include rubberized floors which Leslie Payne said “are designed to be really gentle on dogs’ joints.” Staffers — more than a dozen of whom underwent training prior to Monday’s opening — use special cleaning products designed to be easy on visitors’ paws and skin.
In addition, the facility includes a state-of-the-art HVAC system that controls each playroom’s climate and employs UV light, which Leslie Payne said enables it to destroy bacteria.
“We are able to do concierge service at the door, so if people don’t want to enter our facility, they don’t need to — we can come right out to the car and get their pets,” Leslie Payne said.
Though various complications stemming from the COVID-19 health crisis delayed opening for a few weeks and limited outreach capabilities, the Paynes and their fellow Dogtopia representatives found creative ways to continue promoting their brand, primarily a heavy social media presence. They also organized a “Purcellville Cares Dog Walk” last month to mark the end of Virginia’s stay-at-home order.
For the Paynes, the pandemic’s restrictive nature does not cause concern for Dogtopia’s business at the outset. Leslie Payne is confident local dog owners will recognize their four-legged friends’ need to interact with others of their kind after having been stuck at home for the last few months.
“Daycare is really about socialization and exercise for your pup,” she said. “We’ve all been indoors and working from home with our pets for a long time, and it’s good to get them out and socializing with other pets.”
From Monday until Aug. 2, Dogtopia of Purcellville is advertising a founder’s offer, which allows patrons two weeks of unlimited daycare prior to the location’s grand opening for $129. The offer is limited to the first 50 dogs.
“The best thing for us is to have lots of dogs in daycare when we open up,” Leslie Payne said.