Cat Gyiraszin said there have been times when she boarded animals and they were left in an empty space with no blankets, bedding or attendants on hand.
“All it takes is a split second for something to happen,” Gyiraszin said.
It was that kind of service she and her fiancé, Red Linder, hoped to avoid when they opened The Barking Lot – an indoor, climate-controlled dog day care facility at 11806 S. Route 47 – last week.
A grand opening event took place Saturday, when the owners worked to spread the word about their new business and gather feedback on what kinds of services pet owners are looking for.
Gyiraszin said employees have backgrounds as dog trainers or veterinary technicians, so dogs will be in a safe environment while in their care.
Although McHenry County is home to a number of animal day care centers, Linder said what separates their facility is the 6,000-square-foot indoor dog park. The space is reserved for animals to roam for two hours a day, but it also can be rented for training purposes.
On their first visit, clients must complete paperwork to verify required immunization, and a temperament test must be performed to confirm the pet’s ability to be safely housed with other dogs. Although dogs currently cannot be boarded overnight, Linder said he is open to the idea down the road.
The owners are expecting to house 20 to 30 dogs on average, but a maximum of 40 dogs would occupy the estimated 9,750-square-foot space at one time.
“Dogs are social,” Linder said. “They don’t like being home alone.”
Business hours are from 6 a.m. to
6 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday; from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday; and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Rates are $30 for a full day, which would be six hours or more, and $18 for a half-day. A five-day package, including one free dog park visit, is available for $135.
Use of the indoor dog park is $10 for a half-hour and $15 for an hour.
Linder said he is working to form partnerships with Del Webb’s Sun City to watch over some of the residents’ animals, as well as Huntley’s Animal House Shelter to organize adoption or fundraising events.
For updates on training opportunities or special events, visit The Barking Lot Facebook page.