Sign In

Dog Day Care

January 4, 2021

A Pittsfield businesswoman is bringing her passion for pooches to Lee.

Despite the economically crippling coronavirus pandemic, the owner of Love Us and Leave Us in Pittsfield is opening a second dog day care facility, along Route 102. The site, in a former child care business that closed in 2013, is across the highway from Valley Veterinary Service.

Renee Dodds expects to open the Lee location in February, offering a broader range of services and pet options, as the building and 1.3 acre-site is larger than her current business on West Housatonic Street in Pittsfield.

Dodds recently bought the Lee property for $320,000, through the MacCaro Agency, according to its principal Realtor, Anthony Caropreso.

While most small businesses struggle to keep a single commercial space open during the COVID-19 pandemic, Dodds says her expansion fills a need between Great Barrington and Pittsfield.

“Lee does not have any boarding or [dog] day care nearby, and the location is close to the [Massachusetts Turnpike], so, we’ll be convenient for people traveling,” she said. “I had been eyeing the building for a few years, and I noticed it was for sale at a discounted price, and I was saving money toward expansion.”

The original asking price was $389,000.

Dodds expects to hire “at least 10 people” in Lee, while offering dog kennel suites for boarding, indoor and outdoor play areas, cat and small animal boarding, spa services, and separate areas for big and little dogs. The Pittsfield location, which Dodds owns, will remain open. It currently only takes dogs and has seven employees.

“We’ll have more room in Lee, which means we can offer more services, and I’m sure we will keep adding more stuff as we grow,” the Lanesborough native said.

Boarding animals will be on hold until the pandemic passes; when that happens, she expects that people with pets will be traveling in droves.

“I feel like we’ll get slammed with phone calls right off the bat,” she said.

Dodds’ canine care career began in northern Vermont, where, in 2003, she landed a job caring for dogs at an inn while the owners went skiing all day. She returned to the Berkshires to work for a local restaurant and hike dogs on the side before starting a home-based dog care business in 2006. Six years later, she rented space from the owner of 1525 West Housatonic St., buying the building in 2018. “I knew my passion was always to be with dogs, and I knew I could make it happen,” she said. “I have always had the vision to have two locations, and the dream is being fulfilled.”

Register Your Dog

  • Most Recent News

    Students Get Therapy Dog

    When middle school students return to class on Jan. 11, they’ll find a new face at the door: Daisy. Daisy is a therapy dog and the personal pet of Rob Kreger, principal of the Rock L. Butler Middle School. The five-year-old golden retriever is not a school pet or mascot, but rather a working dog […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dogtor

    Last March, Caroline Benzel, a third-year medical student, began to notice the stress and discomfort her nurse friends were feeling from the pressures of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. “[Personal protective equipment] can be really rough on the skin,” Benzel, 31, tells PEOPLE. Benzel and her 3-year-old Rottweiler, Loki (who’s also a therapy dog) hatched a […]

    Read more

    Therapy Dog Pups

    When Stanley the miniature fox terrier’s owner passed away, the little dog started a ‘paw-some’ new role – bringing puppy love to some of the Gold Coast’s oldest residents. After Carinity Cedarbrook Diversional Therapist Julianne Staff adopted Stanley, he began visiting the aged care community at Mudgeeraba as a therapy dog. Therapy dogs help to […]

    Read more

    Puppy Cams

    A nonprofit is providing an unusual form of therapy for those on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic – puppy cams! “You spend five minutes with a puppy and try not to smile,” said registered nurse Robin Lingg Lagrone. Lingg Lagrone says watching little furballs wag their tails and prance on their paws helps […]

    Read more

    Pet Committee

    When Moore County’s school doors were abruptly closed earlier in 2020, two- and four-legged volunteers from the Moore County Citizens’ Pet Responsibility Committee (PRC) were in their 12th year of presenting a six-session Pet Responsibility Education Program for fourth-graders. The PRC quickly shifted gears and placed its program materials online as part of a home […]

    Read more

    The Right Rescue Dog

    If your New Year’s resolution is to add a canine family member, good for you. Somewhere out there is the perfect puppy or adult dog for your family. You have a lot of things to think about when you begin to look for that new family member, puppy or dog? Large or small? Purebred or […]

    Read more