NEW HAVEN, CT — The inspiration for a new pet day care and boarding facility in New Haven goes back to the “co-parenting” of a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy named Maya.
Paw Haven, which is celebrating its grand opening at 1175 State St. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Aug. 20, features a dorm and campus of more than 15,000-square feet of open space. The dog and cat-friendly facility includes state-of-the art housing with memory foam dog beds.
“Paw Haven is a place for all wags of life,” said Jon Nisula, Paw Haven’s general manager. “We pride ourselves on being able to adapt and accommodate dogs and cats of all sizes and personalities. It is our mantra to go above and beyond for our Paw Haven pack – if your pooch loves the water, we will make sure they have access to our bone bath.”
Paw Haven was co-founded by Jackie McFadyen, her husband John McFadyen, and Kevin Rocco. The inspiration for Paw Haven goes back to early 2017 when Rocco got a Rhodesian Ridgeback puppy named Maya.
Rocco traveled frequently for work so John and Jackie would often take care Maya.
“As neighbors and friends, we really shared the challenge and joy of raising Maya together,” Jackie McFadyen said. “At the same time, we became increasingly aware of the lack attractive day care/boarding options in the immediate area, similar to those you might find in New York City or Boston, so we set out to create our own.”
Jackie McFadyen said after nearly two years of market research, zoning appeal hearings, lease negotiations, and their construction build out, they officially opened their doors in July.
“We are so excited to bring Paw Haven to our backyard in New Haven,” she said.
They began construction in January, which Jackie McFadyen said in hindsight was “terrible timing” with the coronavirus pandemic “rearing its ugly head in March.”
“However, we decided a half-built facility wasn’t of any value to anyone, so we pushed through the challenges of construction and then hiring a staff to launch Paw Haven in July,” she said. “Our plan remains to help provide dog and cat owners a safe, fun, professional partner to help take care of the needs of both animal and owner.”
With the majority of people working from home, and avoiding air travel, during the pandemic, McFadyen said the demand for day care and boarding has been “negatively impacted, no question.”
“But the reality is dogs are social and active animals, sometimes very active, and so owners often can’t meet their dog’s needs for exercise, socialization or attention, even if working from home,” she said. “We have found there is still good value to our customers sending their dog to day care while they are working from home or even traveling locally, spending the day at the beach, or even running errands. While at Paw Haven your dog will exercise, socialize, and get lots of attention, and so at the end of the day, your dog will be happier and your time together will be less stressful and more enjoyable.”
She also said that Connecticut’s stay-at-home order provided the “perfect opportunity for many people in the area to finally make the leap and adopt a pet.”
“While having an owner who works from home is heavenly for the pet, many owners have started thinking about what happens to their pets when they return to work,” McFadyen said. “Paw Haven offers a great solution for either newly adopted pets or pets that have simply gotten spoiled by all of the human attention throughout the pandemic. Doggy day care can help to alleviate separation anxiety and get dogs the social interaction with other pups that they crave.”
For more information about Paw Haven, visit its website here and on Facebook here.