Archbold, OH

Recommend Conditional Use For Pet Spa Business

“I’m not the type of person who ever thought he would be in the doggie day care business,” Clay Cameron, Wauseon, told members of the Archbold Planning Commission at the Monday night meeting, July 14.

“When my brother told me he took his dog to day care, I teased him,” Cameron said.

But now, Cameron is in dog care, and the Archbold Planning Commission voted to recommend a conditional use permit to his business, The Savvy Dog Pet Spa.

Cameron, Heather Merillat, and others plan to operate the spa in the strip center at 104A South Defiance Street.

The building is in an area zoned for B-2 commercial business; a conditional use permit is required.

The Building

Cameron told commission members the building owner, plus lots to the east, will allow the construction of a 30×50- or 40×60-foot dog run and construction of a chain link fence on the lot behind the building.

Dogs will use it for exercise and to relieve themselves; they will not be allowed outside overnight, he said.

The pet spa will take up two units. The units are separated by a fire wall; a door will allow access.

The unit will be designed to suppress noise from barking dogs.

In the north unit, Cameron said there will be space to house 12 to 15 dogs.


Based on a question by Roger Zimmerman, who owns a home near the strip center, commission members discussed whether the permit should be limited to current business owners, or made permanent.

If the permit were permanent, the business could be sold, and the permit would go with it.

Jim Wyse, Archbold mayor and commission member, said another owner may not take care of the property.

Carma Grime, village zoning inspector, said if the property becomes a nuisance, it will be handled through zoning laws or village police.

Cameron said he did not object to requiring a new business owner to come before the planning commission.

With Linda Ross and Doug Rupp, commission members absent, Wyse, Ed Leininger, council member and commission chair, and Denny Meyer voted to recommend granting the permit.

The issue, with the commission’s recommendation, will go before council in 30 days, said Dennis Howell, Archbold village administrator.

Business Plan

Cameron told the commission his investment in the business is “just shy of six figures.

“I’m not trying to convert an old garage,” he said.

Cameron said there is a big need for dog boarding in Fulton County and the tri-county area.

He wants to create an upscale business, where people will feel comfortable leaving their pets.

There are four parts to the business plan, he said. One is dog grooming, handled by Heather Merillat, who appeared before the commission.

Merillat has 12 years experience as a veterinary technician.

Cameron said the business purchased Sari’s Pet Detailing, a dog grooming business with 300 active customers.

The business plan also calls for retail space, selling quality dog food, and pet boutique items.

Plans also call for a bakery for home-made pet treats.

Cameron said dog day care is turning into a very lucrative business. A facility in Napoleon handles 75 dogs a day. One in Monclova hosts 120.

“People are spending more and more on pets. Empty nesters are filling their nests with pets, and they do not want to feel guilty locking them up all day,” he said.

Day care also benefits the dogs by giving them a chance to socialize with other dogs, he said.- David Pugh

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