Trae Ashley and Kenneth Cooper interact with foster dogs at Lucky Dog K9.
Lucky Dog K9, Hurricane’s newest dog grooming facility, has a mission to provide services to the community and help dogs in need.
The business is a joint project that got its start out of serendipitous circumstances. Groomer and trainer Trae Ashley wanted to establish her business in a new location, and her friend, Kenneth Cooper, wanted to start a business with a focus on rescuing and fostering high risk dogs. Completely independent of each other, they ended up looking at the same location on Putnam Avenue. When they discussed their plans for their respective projects, they decided to team up to start Lucky Dog K9.
Lucky Dog K9 opened up in December. The facility offers boarding and grooming, and will be providing doggy daycare services starting on February 6. Cooper and Ashley also plan on offering training services in the future. The business is located at 2902 Putnam Avenue in one of Hurricane’s older stores, which the team spent several months renovating.
Grooming services range from a basic bath and nail trim to a complete day spa. The facility features televisions in both the boarding and grooming areas to comfort pets. The lights stay on at all times so that the dogs are not kept in the dark.
Multiple security cameras are set up around the facility to ensure the safety of the dogs, and the kennels feature multiple locks to deter dogs who are escape artists. The building is also equipped with a smoke detector system linked to Cooper and Ashley’s phones. Both owners live a short distance from their business, so they can get there quickly in the case of an emergency.
While boarding, dogs are let outside 4-6 times each day for thirty minutes of exercise and playtime. When the weather is good, they are allowed to play outside in a fenced in area. There is also an indoor playground for inclement weather. The kennels in which the dogs stay are much larger than the average kennel offered by most businesses offering similar services. Lucky K9 offers a standard 35 square foot kennel, as well as a deluxe 70 square foot kennel.
When pet owners come to pick up their dogs, Cooper and Ashley ensure that all laundry is washed, and customers are given a complementary gift bag.
Lucky Dog K9 also has a small retail area, where customers can purchase hair bows, collars, candles, dog clothes, and dog party supplies.
Law enforcement canines receive free services at no charge to police departments, as part of Lucky Dog K9’s working dog program.
In addition to boarding and grooming, Lucky Dog K9 also fosters high risk dogs and tries to find them permanent homes. Not all dogs do well in shelters due to the loud, chaotic environment, and show fear-based cage aggression. Many animals have been abused or come from traumatic backgrounds. Shelter workers and volunteers do not have the time it takes to socialize these animals, and they often get euthanized. Cooper and Ashley are currently fostering three dogs – Capone, a German Shepherd, and two pit bulls, Lucky and Boom.
Cooper and Ashley want to convert the back room in the store into a foster center for high risk dogs. Before being put up for adoption, the dogs would be taught social skills and basic obedience. “We try to get them where they would make a great companion,” says Cooper. Prospective owners will be thoroughly vetted before acceptance.
Cooper and Ashley also hope to start a program to train service dogs for veterans and then match those dogs with servicemen and women who need them. They are looking for trainers and evaluators for this project, and reaching out to contacts in the military.
Ashley, who served in the Army, was introduced to Cooper by a friend who served in the same unit that she had. Unfortunately, the friend lost his life to PTSD. This is one of the reasons why Ashley and Cooper want to help veterans.
“There are so many dogs in shelters and soldiers on waiting lists for service dogs,” says Ashley. “We have a weak spot for dogs and soldiers, and want to find a way to help them both.”