Sunland Acres continues to expand beyond boarding

Posted

Sunland Acres Pet Boarding Camp in Fruit Cove has been offering a place for owners to leave their dogs and cats since 1976, and it continues to be a fixture in the north Florida area.

Lynn Lamoureux bought the business at its Fruit Cove Road location five years ago from original owner Marjorie Winchester and has expanded the boarding facility to include a grooming service.

The business has been in its current location for so long that houses were built around it over time and now it is in a quaint setting tucked in amongst a neighborhood.

“Every dog needs attention, but different dogs need different things,” Lamoureux said. “We hire people that really just love working with dogs and have the patience and want to be doing this kind of work. It takes a special person to be good at reading the dogs.”

Eight members currently make up the Sunland Acres staff, including team manager Tish Finnieston.

“The most important thing is having the right culture, and that means having the right people in place,” Lamoureux said.

As a result, Lamoureux is always on the lookout for passionate animal lovers that have an interest in their program and learning the ropes as either a groomer or pet receptionist at either of the facilities.

“It’s like dropping your child off at daycare,” Finnieston said. “These owners are dropping their pets off and trusting that everything is going to be good and happy.”

One of the things that spurred the addition of the grooming service at Sunland Acres was going through the COVID-19 pandemic, which was a period where not many people were traveling, and therefore they did not have to board their dogs.

There was so much interest that the grooming option has continued, even once people started traveling more. It also led to the opening of a location in

“This year people started traveling again and even more people wanted their dogs groomed,” Lamoureux said. “It was a new challenge of how to gear up for the extra work that quickly. That’s where Tish does an amazing job of verifying that all the things are lined up and running correctly.”

Sunland Acres consists of 48 rooms and some dogs that come together can stay together, which means they can house more than 48 dogs at one time depending on the situation.

The rooms inside each have a door on a pulley that can be opened and allow the dogs to go back and forth from their inside room to their individual fenced-in space outside.

Lamoureux also owns Green Dog Spa on Baymeadows Road in Jacksonville, which has been open 10 years and focuses solely on grooming of dogs and cats.

“We work with the National Dog Groomer Association of America to follow the guidelines and perform the specific breed profile haircuts,” Lamoureux said.

Each dog that is boarded at Sunland Acres gets groomed right before they go home to their owner.

“We love it, because we love to see them (dogs) looking pretty and getting all fixed up with bandanas and bows,” Lamoureux said.

Comments

No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here