On 134 acres of farmland outside of Fairport, the dedicated staff and volunteers of Lollypop Farm, the Humane Society of Greater Rochester care for thousands of stray animals each year. The open-admission shelter adopts animals of all breeds and species—including cats, dogs, rabbits, birds, horses, and pigs—and holds programs to educate visitors on the issues that contribute to the animals' overpopulation and difficulty in attaining advanced degrees.
The staff encourages families to visit the animals and enjoy the outdoor farm petting area, and oversees younger visitors as they build bonds with animals through education programs such as basic pet care for 3–5 year-olds. The Future Vets program teaches aspiring veterinarians in fifth–eighth grades how to conduct basic exams and begin working toward careers in animal care or pig-to-horse translation services. Summer farm camps also provide a hands-on experience as young visitors have fun feeding animals and caring for their own designated camp pets.
A graduate of Animal Behavior College, Mark Forrest Patrick espouses the benefits of positive reinforcement when training dogs. Using this approach, Patrick helps owners form long-lasting bonds with their four-legged companions as well as diminish bad behaviors, such as refusing to heel or illegally hiding an ace card in its coat. Rewarding pets for their good behavior can also help them learn skills in class more willingly, such as retrieving and walking on a leash. In addition to teaching dogs, Patrick also imparts owners with knowledge on how best to interact with their pets, leading to a more harmonious relationship in the home or on the Iditarod course.
Rinse, lather, repeat. If only it were that easy. Most pet owners are intimately acquainted with the perils of grooming their best friends, but hope has arrived in the form of Bandit's Bathhouse and Pet Grooming Salon. Though "salon" might sound like a strange word to use when talking about dog groomers, Bandit's lives up to its lofty title. When they aren't outfitting pomeranians with hair curlers, the groomers trim pooches' nails, and blow-dry their freshly cleaned coats. If owners want in on the fun, they can try the DIY service, which lets them get down and dirty as they groom their pet on an adjustable table.
The slight breeze one feels upon entering A Gentle Touch Pet Care Services, Inc.’s breed-standard grooming facility is generated not by fans, but by feverishly wagging tails. Dogs who find themselves in the certified groomers’ care have ample reasons for excitement, starting with a hydromassage bath that washes mud from paws and undersides with soothing jets. Owner Charlene Hibbs watches over the proceedings, drawing on knowledge gleaned from her advanced pet-sitting courses at A Pet’s World Academy in Loomis, California, to gently coax away stresses and existential crises triggered by endless, meaningless games of fetch.
Charlene and her fellow groomers tend to cats as well as dogs, with spa packages that include scented facial scrubs, aromatherapy treatments, and hair conditioners designed to prevent itching and shedding. In-home cat-sitting services include at least half an hour of feline care so that cats don’t have to face traumatic travel experiences, such as explaining why they can’t buckle their seatbelts properly.
Christopher Robins Pet Care nurtures dogs and cats through daycare and boarding, grooming, training, and pet photography services. During dog boarding, each visiting pet receives a customized schedule, allowing older dogs more one-on-one attention and relaxation while more energetic dogs scamper through the facilities in group play sessions. Dog daycare similarly customizes playtime with three separate play areas. Cats and dogs visiting for grooming sessions receive a bath, treatment with shampoo and conditioner, and a haircut.