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Meet Amanda Crook of Pawtropolis

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Crook.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Amanda. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
During college, I had the dream of owning my own pet care facility and using its profits to support a rescue organization. Pawtropolis opened when I was only 23 years old, just 7 short months after graduating from UGA. I started in a rental facility with only 5,000 square feet. Despite opening just months after 9/11/2001, when all other industries were taken big hits. I’m proud to say that my business obtained a profit within just a couple of months. It has steadily grown year after year.

In 2007, I bought my own land, designed my facility and built my own free-standing building. Despite this building being 12,000 square feet, the business outgrew it. In 2013, I purchased another tract of land in Athens, once again designing my own facility, and built Pawtropolis Eastside; it boasts 17,000 square feet, indoor heated pool, an outdoor in-ground pool, state-of-the-art filtration system, and more.

I now employ over 50 employees offering benefits such as health care, paid time off, a retirement plan, and, of course, benefits for their pets. I pride myself on employing UGA students. I feel Pawtropolis a stepping stone for young students where they can learn good work ethic, make a fair wage while making a difference with animals, and make valuable relationships with clients and coworkers.

Pawtropolis managers occasionally attend UGA job fairs and always looks for applicants that are current students. I strive to create schedules that allow students the flexibility they need to attend school and have good study habits.

I started Helping Paws Rescue shortly after I opened Pawtropolis. Once I was profitable, I began using funds to help dogs and cats in need. The rescue has been running for 16 years and has rescued over 750 animals. Because of my work with the rescue, I received the American Boarding and Kennels Association Community Service Award in 2007.

My success has not gone unnoticed; I was recognized as the Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Small Business Administration. I was also honored as one of the top three finalists for the Woman Entrepreneur of the Year for the state of GA. In 2006, I was selected as the state representative for the American Boarding and Kennels Association in 2006. Pawtropolis’s growth hasn’t stopped. Pawtropolis has been recognized as a Bulldog 100 Fastest Growing Business for five years. It’s no small feat for a business to continue such rapid growth even after being in business for 15 years.

I now also consult other pet care facility owners. I run Dog Daycare Business Consulting, was featured as the keynote speaker for the Pet Boarding and Daycare Expo this past May in Burbank, California, and lead several talks during the east coast expo in Hershey, PA. I have consulted businesses from Florida to Washington, D.C. to California.

My biggest blessings are my children. I have a 5-year old daughter Evelyn, and 3-year-old twins, Grayson & Lydia. My husband, with the official title of “Facilities Manager”, helps in all areas of the business. John is a constant support for my many endeavors. My life is devoted to God, my family, and my business. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Taking care of dogs presents some rather unique business challenges. Think a regular sheetrock wall will hold a dog that wants out… nope. Think there’s a doorknob that a dog can’t open…. nope. Think that shiny new hose will last a few years… nope.

Dogs can be brutal in a facility. It’s important to constantly reinvest money back into the facilities and grounds. By doing so you can keep your standard of cleanliness and hygiene high, present a beautiful and welcoming facility to your clients, and always provide the above and beyond experience for your clients both four-legged and two.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
It used to be when someone heard the word “kennel” it brought to mind a prison-like environment where dogs sat pining away until their owners came back to pick them up. Pawtropolis has changed that here in Athens. We not only provide amazing facilities with bright open rooms, clean overnight “bedrooms”, “apartments”, and “suites”, but we also provide much needed physical and emotional support and stimulation that is imperative when helping dogs and cats feel comfortable when away from home.

Our goal is to create a unique “experience” for each boarding pet. If we have a senior dog, she might want to stay in a suite and add-on massages each night and extra bedtime cuddles. If we have a rowdy lab puppy, daycare is the place to be. Whatever the pet’s needs, we have a solution. We even offer Concierge services that allow us to cater to your pet specifically making changes each day as needed by your pet and how they are doing.

Dogs literally pull their owners through the doors to get inside. Some even pull their owners back in when they try to take them home.

What were you like growing up?
Loved pets! Even teaching our dog to jump over old boards in the yard when just a young girl.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageATL is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Shirley Sanders

    January 26, 2018 at 6:48 pm

    This is a great place for your pet. I began using Pawtropolis shortly after they opened to give my sheltie was so easy to use and convenient. I lost my sheltie in 2005, but got a Maltese in 2006. I bathe him there, from time to time, and now have him groomed there. He never seems to mind when I leave him and looks good when I pick him up! These people really seem to care about the animals.

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