By Christopher Kersey
Jim Henry, who used to own an auto body shop in Stanton, opened The Dog Stop of Middletown on Dec. 18 at 108
Sleepy Hollow Drive, offering dog daycare, boarding, grooming and retail.
Henry, who solely owns the business, operates it as a franchise from a Pittsburgh-based company, which was started in 2009 and started allowing franchises in 2015.
The Middletown location has 12 employees and 8,000 square-feet inside and 2,000 square-feet outside for the dogs
to play. There’s daycare for dogs and enough boarding rooms for 42 dogs.
Henry described the rooms as unique because they are made of fiberglass and plastic instead of chain-link where dogs noses and paws can get stuck. Also, dogs who are boarded can use the daycare facilities for the same boarding price, he said.
In the daycare section, the doors are opened periodically in the winter, so the dogs can go outside if they wish. In the summer, the doors are open almost all the time for the same reason, Henry said.
There’s a “special cuddle time room” with a sofa so staff members can play with the dogs. Otherwise, there are three indoor play areas, divided by the dog’s age and temperament, and each area has outdoor play areas, Henry said.
The Dog Stop accepted its first daycare dog on Dec. 18 and had its first boarder on Dec. 22. Grooming started
Monday. Staff also can bring their own dogs to the business to be cared for.
Besides boarding and daycare for dogs, the business also has a large retail section where dog food, treats and toys
are sold. In the grooming section, there’s two bathtubs and a cutting and drying room.
Henry previously owned Henry Brothers Auto Body in Stanton and sold it in 2015 to a chain of Minnesota-based auto body stores called Abra.
“When I got out of the auto body business, I wanted to do something I enjoyed and also where people would want to come for my service,” Henry said.
“In the auto body business, nobody wants to come to you. They damaged their automobile. They really didn’t want
to be there,” he said.
“And I figured if people are interested in bringing their dogs in for daycare, it would be something they enjoyed coming to.”