By Raiza Giorgi
Because Breann Hollon is a dog groomer, people kept asking her where they could find a boarding facility for their animals in the valley.
“I thought to myself, there really is nowhere people can take their pets during the day or overnight in the Santa Ynez Valley, and I started researching how to make it happen. I heard then a former facility opened up for lease and I jumped on it,” Hollon said.
Hollon’s Hounds opened in mid-October on Meadowvale Road in Santa Ynez. It offers day care for domestic animals of all kinds, as well as overnight services if people need to go out of town.
“We are not just putting the dogs in small cages. We are all inclusive and have large spaces where dogs can roam. We have ‘Yappy Hour,’ play time, go for walks, give baths and can give medications. All our staff have veterinary technician skills and we have an onsite dog trainer,” Hollon said.
She sees her business an asset for wine country and tourism, as a lot of hotels don’t allow pets to stay and many wineries or restaurants don’t allow pets on their property.
“If there is someone who loves to travel with their pets and can’t take them certain places, which is understandable for health code reasons and such, we can offer their pets day care or overnight care if needed,” Hollon said.
Hollon’s Hounds is on eight acres and will have a capacity for 40 dogs by the first of the year. They now can hold 20 until the rest of their pens are finished.
“We aren’t just going to leave the dogs in the pens. We are very active and watch them all closely throughout their time here,” Hollon said.
Hollon knew from a young age that she wanted to spend her time near animals. An unfortunate incident with her father sparked an interest in rescuing and caring for animals.
“My parents split up a lot and I went to 25 schools before I graduated high school. The only thing that I could really take comfort in was animals. I remember my dad leaving a kitten in the bushes once when my aunt tried to give me one as a child. That scarred me and I knew I wanted to be their voice,” Hollon said.
A summer of working at the zoo at Busch Gardens in Florida gave Hollon the idea to become veterinarian, so she moved to California and attended Cal Poly, but her dreams of becoming a vet got put on hold when she married and had children.
“I wanted to stay near animals and show my children how special they are. Dogs in particular give you unconditional love, so I became a dog groomer,” Hollon said.
Hollon’s Hounds is also a way to get her passion of rescuing animals a jumpstart on her nonprofit Milton’s Mutts. It is named for her grandfather, who would go to animal shelters and adopt dogs of all breeds and ages.
“My grandfather had poodles, pit bulls, labs, cats, anything he could rescue. Even if they were older and didn’t have a lot of time left, he instilled that love of rescuing in me as well, which is why I named the nonprofit after him,” Hollon said.
Hollon’s goal is to rescue senior dogs and those that are close to euthanasia and give them more time to find a home, or care for them herself. Hollon said the property will be the home of Milton’s Mutts and is working on permitting and licensing to get it open as soon as possible.
One of the first events Hollon is hosting for Milton’s Mutts at Hollon’s Hounds is Pawsgiving from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Nov. 20. They will be giving Thanksgiving themed dog treats and having an ugly sweater or collar contest.
Hollon’s Hounds is at 1553 Meadowvale Road. For more information, log onto www.miltonsmutts.com, or see their Facebook page.