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Hotel the ‘creme de la creme’ for pooches

Carol Kelly owner of the Paw Pad in McDonough.

Carol Kelly owner of the Paw Pad in McDonough.

JONESBORO — Clayton County dog owners are among those who have found the Paw Pad Dog Hotel the “creme de la creme” for their pooches.

“Yes, we get Clayton County business, Fayette County business, people from Conyers, Covington — we’ve even got people who’ll come from Macon,” said Paw Pad owner Carol Kelly.

She says it’s the only upscale 24-hour hotel/daycare/rescue shelter on the southside, although some have asked if she’d consider franchising it.

“I haven’t done it yet. I’m still getting my arms around this one,” Kelly said.

Until that happens, it’s a short ride from Clayton County to the McDonough facility and dog owners seem to have found it worth the ride.

“We’ve got a lot of Clayton County people who come here from Lake Spivey and Lake Jodeco,” said Brandi Foster, the overall pack leader at the hotel who makes sure the dogs are treated with top quality. “We’ll serve anybody anywhere anytime.”

The dogs are the stars at the Paw Pad and are treated like it.

“We take pride in what we do and how we treat our animals here,” Kelly said. She added that they house anywhere from 70 to 100 dogs a day.

The facility is equipped with geothermal heat and air conditioning, solar panels for electricity, a rain-collection system for outdoor watering, doggy cams, so owners can observe their pets while on vacation, and an automatic watering system for fresh water. The dogs’ luxury suites have flat-screen television, a music system and plush beds. The two 1,220-square foot outdoor play pens have artificial turf to keep the pets clean.

The dogs even get around-the-clock room service from employees and “Yappy Hour,” or social time with other doggie guests, where they are treated to organic ice-cream and peanut butter congs.

“It’s run just like any daycare or hotel,” said employee Tari Dunton.

It was in 2009 when the hotel opened with the purpose of generating more revenue to fund Kelly’s non-profit dog-rescue organization, “Praying for Paws.”

“I was running the rescue shelter out of my home and I needed extra room,” Kelly said. “Things were getting expensive.”

So she searched and found a piece of land next to a veterinarian’s office in McDonough and purchased it. The hotel resides in a quaint building at 133 Jonesboro Road.

“I love dogs!” she said.

Why Kelly loves dogs so much is simple. It’s their unconditional love, intelligence and loyalty.

“Dogs provide a lot of service to people,” she said. “The make great companions, offer assistance to those who have certain health problems.”

Kelly says this hotel is just another way for her to express her love and pay homage to man’s best friend. In addition to the plethora of services, she also offers grooming services, behavioral training and pet adoption.

Foster agreed it’s the perfect place for a dog lover to work.

“I love what I do and I love what this hotel has to offer,” Foster said.

Foster said the animals are fed all organic foods transported from North Georgia.

“We make sure our dogs have the best,” she said.

However, in order for residents to bring their dogs to the hotel there are a few requirements.

Kelly said all dogs must be vaccinated for rabies, distemper, bordetella and K9 influenza.

“This is vital if they are going to be around other dogs,” she said.

In addition, all dogs must be spayed or neutered after 6 months of age.

“Just like a little kid daycare, no facility is immune to coughs and colds,” Kelly said.