• 50°

Local pups give Four Paw ‘five stars’

What began as a side job for an animal-loving Longwood student has transformed into a highly successful business that offers comfort to pets and peace of mind to dog owners in and around Farmville.

Today, the Four Paw Bed & Biscuit performs boarding, grooming and daycare services to area canines as well as pet sitting on a case-by-case basis. On any given day, dozens of dogs come to the kennel located at 2097 Persimmon Tree Fork Road to spend time at their home away from home.

However, it was only a few years ago the booming business was just a dream in the back of Farmville resident Amanda Wells’ mind.

Although she graduated from Longwood University with a degree in biology, growing up, Wells originally wanted to be a veterinarian.

“I’ve always had a passion for animals,” she said during a Thursday, Aug. 19, interview.

In high school, Wells spent much of her free time working at a veterinary clinic in Appomattox. While studying at Longwood, she worked at a clinic in Blackstone and also began pet sitting.

“That kind of became a nice side business,” she said.

After graduating, Wells continued to work at the vet clinic in Blackstone. After having two children, she decided to quit her job and found herself with more time to work with furry friends. She continued walking dogs and began pet sitting/watching dogs at the family’s home.

As time went by and Wells’ services increased in popularity, the house saw more and more wet noses and wagging tails.

“Then we decided, gosh, we better build a kennel,” she added.

In 2018, with the help of her husband, Wells built a large kennel right next to the family home on Persimmon Tree Fork Road in Farmville.

Appropriately named the Four Paw Bed & Biscuit, Wells’ pet sitting and dog walking side hustle had suddenly become a full-fledged business.

Catering to dogs big and small, Four Paw Bed & Biscuit, now in its fourth year of operations, offers doggy daycare, overnight boarding and grooming services.

Operating seven days a week from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., the kennel, according to Wells, includes a lobby/check-in area, a grooming room, a living room area, large dog runs and — the favorite of many local canines — a 400-foot outdoor play area where dogs can run, play and socialize together.

On a busy day, the kennel can easily see between 30 and 40 dogs. While pups big and small enjoy playtime, belly rubs and making new friends at doggy daycare, others enjoy a grooming session with Wells, who also serves as the kennel’s primary dog groomer. On a typical day, Wells performs grooming services for six to eight furry friends.

When dogs stay overnight while their owners are away, they enjoy being able to listen to music or watch TV during their stay.

And while friendly dogs can socialize together, those who prefer to keep to themselves can be housed alone during their stay.

After doubling its business in the first year alone and continuing to increase in popularity each additional year of operation, Four Paw now employs approximately seven staff members.

For Wells, the kennel is a dream come true — while this dog lover can’t have every dog, being able to take care of area canines and giving them a home away from home allows Wells to play a role in the lives of furry friends far and wide.

In the future, Wells hopes to expand the kennel in order to keep up with Four Paw’s ever-increasing popularity.

For now, she looks back on those pet sitting days of not so long ago and smiles at how far things have come.

“I had no clue that our business would grow exponentially like it has over the past couple of years,” she said.