Dogs were already checking out the boarding facility at the new Canines, Cats and Critters Susannaberg location last week.
After 13 years at Palm Plaza, the island’s only veterinary office is moving shop to Susannaberg near Paradise Lumber with the intent of expanding current offerings and adding new services.
The move started last week, and owner Dr. Laura Palminteri hopes to be up and running at the new location by the end of this week. Finishing touches, including the installation of an AstroTurf play yard, were being completed last week.
At the new location, Canines, Cats and Critters will be able to offer a service that’s long been lacking on St. John: dog and cat boarding. The veterinary office and pet shop did offer minimal boarding at its Palm Plaza location, but in Susannaberg, there will be 20 kennels and an 800 square foot dog play yard.
“The biggest thing about the new location is boarding,” said Palminteri. “There’s a big play area in the back that will have AstroTurf, and art classes from Gifft Hill School will put a mural on the back wall. We have dog runs, some of which are connected with a removable door to offer more room for one pet, or for two pets who want to board together.”
There will be a staff member dedicated to the boarding pets, ensuring they’ll be taken out three times a day and given the opportunity to run and play in the AstroTurf yard. Six to eight dogs were already boarding at the new facility last week.
Once fully up and running, the Susannaberg office will be able to board a total of 20 dogs and up to 15 cats.
Other exciting offerings at the new location include a grooming facility, where residents can bring their pets for bathing, nail clipping and haircuts. Canines, Cats and Critter’s current groomer expertly handles shave downs, and Palminteri is trying to find a groomer to come from St. Thomas one or two days a week for specialty cuts.
The pet shop will also be widely expanded, Palminteri explained.
“We’ll have all-natural pet foods, a more complete line of prescription diets available for animals with special needs, and we’ll have more in the way of toys, treats, leashes and collars,” said the veterinarian. “We’ll also have more tropical fish and aquariums.”
Even the veterinary services will be expanded. Palminteri, who graduated in 1991 from Penn Vet at the University of Pennsylvania and moved to St. John and opened her business in 1998, also operates a satellite clinic on Tortola and takes care of horses on St. Thomas and St. Croix.
To help fill in when she’s not on St. John, Dr. Julie Outland, a doctor of veterinary medicine, was hired in September, meaning veterinary services will be offered five days a week, and a vet will always be on call for emergencies.
Palminteri encourages the public to stop by and check out the new facility.
“People can come, walk around and see what’s available, and we’ll be happy to meet with them any time to show them around,” she said.
Additionally, Canines, Cats and Critters will host an open house once they’ve settled in to their new location. To learn more about their new services, call 693-7780.