GLENWOOD SPRINGS — Downtown has gone to the dogs, and cats too, but it’s all in a good way.
High Tails Dog & Cat Outfitters owner Laurie Raymond officially opened her new Downtown Dogs and Cats store this week at 823 Grand Ave., in the Melby Building space formerly occupied by Personality boutique.
The new downtown storefront will serve the retail side of the High Tails business, with an expanded range of dog and cat food, toys and supplies, Raymond said.
High Tails’ pet day care and service center at 50633 Highway 6 in West Glenwood is also expanding with a new veterinary technician on board and a new groomer as well.
“We were needing to expand the dog day care space,” Raymond said. “The West Glenwood location is perfect for the services, but not so much for retail.”
Joining the “old” High Tails crew of Robbi Villemaire and Mike Downing at the West Glenwood location are vet tech Jessica Carlson and groomer Morgan Myrick.
Raymond first opened High Tails in February 2004, on Valentine’s Day, along with her former business partner, the late Beth Byerly.
She said she had been thinking about opening a separate retail location for several years. But, with the downturn in the economy, and after Byerly’s death three years ago, the timing wasn’t quite right.
Recently, after talking to some other downtown business owners about the benefits of a central location with lots of both foot and vehicle traffic, she said she decided downtown was the place to be.
“People are always looking in as they’re cruising downtown. It’s the perfect size, and I just love all the windows,” Raymond said the front display area, which features an arrangement of stuffed dogs and cats peering out to those passing by.
“It has a certain look and just fits in the mountain resort downtown,” she said, adding she also looks forward to reaching more tourists with her new location.
Joining Raymond at the downtown store is longtime local business woman and animal advocate Becky Spagnolo.
“I’ve always loved animals, it’s just sort of been my thing, and so I thought this would be a fun venture,” said Spagnolo, who formerly owned Spagnolo’s Pizza in Glenwood Springs with her husband Corey.
Most recently, she was the dog and cat department manager at Petco in the Glenwood Meadows shopping center.
Spagnolo said she has always tried to help the local shelters and other pet-related causes through her restaurant and other businesses over the years, and also helped organize the effort to build the city dog park along the Rio Grande Trail.
“This is definitely something I wanted to do, and the downtown location will be great,” she said.
The new store features a 72-cubic-foot freezer for High Tails’ growing inventory of fresh-frozen raw dog and cat foods and bones, which have become more popular among pet owners.
The retail store also carries dog and cat beds, cat furniture, cold-weather apparel and recreational gear for pets.
“All of our people are knowledgeable and skilled when it comes to pet needs,” Raymond said. “We like being a community resource for pet owners.”
The new downtown store hours are from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.
At the West Glenwood location, new special day care areas for small dogs, puppies and elderly dogs are being completed. Expanded day care hours will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, and Sunday afternoons by appointment.
The popular Dundee Benefit Dog Wash days will also continue at the West Glenwood location on the first Sunday of each month. The program raises funds to provide financial assistance to pet owners who are facing unexpected veterinary bills.