725 W Market St Orwigsburg, Pa 17961

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Paw Prints celebrates 20 years of ‘pawsome’ grooming

BY JANIS MCGOWAN
SOUTH SCHUYLKILL NEWS CORRESPONDENT

K.C. Hughes, a groomer at Paw Prints, gets a warm, wet welcome kiss from Ginger, who is obviously happy to see him.

This month, Paw Prints Pet Salon, 725 W. Market St., Orwigsburg, is celebrating its 20th anniversary, and owner Pat Falco is doggone proud of her business.

Falco’s expertise goes back almost 40 years, when she and her family started showing dogs. Putting her knowledge and love of animals to use, Falco began grooming dogs at Blue Mountain Animal Clinic in New Ringgold. She graduated from the New York School of Dog Grooming in 1989 and came back to Orwigsburg to start Paw Prints.

Falco, a mother of three, began working out of her home. As the business grew and her children got older, Falco moved to her location on West Market Street.

When she first moved, neighbors thought she was barking up the wrong tree. Falco said at the time people didn’t really understand how a pet salon would make it, but she doggedly pursued her dream. Today, the biggest change Falco sees is people’s attitudes toward their furry friends. Pets are part of their families.

“Even in hard times, people will still pay to get their dogs groomed or buy them presents. People will even forgo vacations to take care of their pets,” Falco said.

On average, a dog owner spends $1,285 a year, according to USA Today. Millennials expect to spend more money on their dogs over the course of the pet’s lifetime than they do on their own lifetime health care costs. That prediction bodes well for pet salons.

In addition to full-service grooming, Paw Prints offers a retail boutique, Stay and Play doggie day care, and is an agent for dog licenses. With a staff of 10, Paw Prints is open six days a week, from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays, and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays. On Sundays it is closed, as all the staff is dog-tired by then.

Furry friends

Falco said that many of the dogs come in almost monthly; the average is six weeks.

“We really get to know the dogs that come on a regular basis,” Falco said. “We get to know what they like and don’t like. At the end of every groom, every single dog gets a spritz of cologne and a bandana or bow, and they do a happy dance.”

Not just dogs are customers, however. Falco has seen rabbits, cats and even a guinea pig come through the doors. The guinea pig comes to Stay and Play with its dog, she said.

Stay and Play, a doggie day care facility at the rear of the salon, has an indoor and outdoor play area and accommodates large and small dogs. Like a child day care center, it offers structured group activities, free time, laser tag, snack time and, of course, nap time.

Paw Prints holds monthly themed events that have been so popular that it has added a second monthly event.

Canine participants need to be updated on vaccinations, have kennel cough vaccines and parvo distemper and rabies shots. Paw Prints is licensed by the state.

Falco is a member of the Orwigsburg Business and Professional Association and was president for eight years. She was Orwigsburg Lions’s Citizen of the Year in 2016 and Businesswoman of the Year in 2018.

Contact Janis McGowan: 570-385-7358 or news@southschuylkillnews.com.

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