Suite Paws opens in Milford

Marrow, a 1-year-old Beagle, dressed up in a fairy costume by her owner Alice.

Marrow, a 1-year-old Beagle, dressed up in a fairy costume by her owner Alice.

By Brett Milam

A new resort and spa has officially opened in Milford, with such amenities as movies all day long, a pool, plentiful treats and a cozy bed. The catch? It’s for dogs and cats.

Suite Paws had its grand opening on Oct. 14, with the Amelia Police Department’s official brass, the K-9 Officer Gator, on hand for demonstrations, as well as face-painting, Brent Naughton with Orange Collar Pet Portraits, and a tour of the 12,000 square foot property on the hill overlooking U.S. Highway 50.

“It’s a nice facility and it’s gonna be really nice for the dogs to stay in,” Heintzelman said.

Tom Rhoads is the co-owner, who started the first Suite Paws in Raleigh, North Carolina, at the behest of his daughter, Laura Muntel. Their second location is in Durham, North Carolina.

Muntel, the founder, came up with the idea after staying in California and combined it with her passion of being a lifelong animal lover and a commitment to animals through volunteering with animal rescue operations.

The Raleigh location opened in 2008 inside a 20,000 square foot building, a “go big or go home” strategy, Muntel said, who had pictured the business as more of a small-time, ma and pa facility with 10 kennels.

“We’ve done something right and people like it,” Rhoads said.

The new Milford location will house between 125-150 dogs, depending on the circumstances, with 15-20 employees overseeing their care.

There’s also a cattery inside the facility, featuring space for eight cats and a television airing aquarium footage for them.

Inside each suite for the dogs is a television, which plays dog-related DVDs, and a webcam, so owners on vacation can check in on their dogs.

There are different size suites and villas available: junior, standard, grand, and family. The suites range from junior to standard to grand and are the ones with the television and webcam.

There’s also a yard in the back, complete with an inground pool and large areas of “K9 grass”.

On the day The Sun was out, numerous dogs were splashing in the pool.

The spa and resort also offers grooming services and doggy daycare.

For those pet-lovers who wonder how their pet would do at the resort while they are away Muntel says to check our Facebook daily for updated pictures.

“We tell them to look around. We’ve been doing it for nine years in Raleigh,” he said. “We’re doing something right. I think we’re reasonably priced.”

To that, Rhoads said he does encourage owners to bring their own food because it’s what their pet is used to.

The best thing, Rhoads said, is that his resort gets the dogs tired and tired vacationers coming back appreciate a tired dog.

For more information, please call 513-987-4266 or visit their website: