Later in 1997 Shannon took what little money she had, rented out a tiny shop on Haven street in Reading and started grooming a small amount of dogs. After the closing of Riverdale she left with her grooming book in hand with some client phone numbers, but with the help of her family and friends and the determination needed to become a small business owner. She slowly but surely gained the trust of her clients and built a thriving grooming facility. In September of 1998 she received a phone call from a Veterinarian who had recently rented the old Riverdale building and was asked to come back to her old location to rent a space for grooming. Knowing she was pregnant with her first child (Casey) She made the move after seeing the space and knowing it had more space and a separate room where she could bring Casey to work with her after she was born! Her business continued to grow she took over the kennel and added on a daycamp to the facility. During this process she had 2 more children Michael in 2002 and Riley in 2008 who were also able to spend the first year or so of their life at work with her everyday with her mother there to help care for them. As her children got older each one of them had worked there with her.
This truly was an in town family run business filled with dedication and a true love for these animals. Even staff members that had worked with her over the years have stayed in touch with her and her family.
She worked long hours, weekends, Holidays and had many sleepovers there with her children during storms to make sure the dogs were safe.
Although the rent was high and there was constant upkeep to keep this older building running, she did it. Every update to her rented space was considered to be her responsibility, be it landscaping, shoveling, fixing broken cages, outside kennel runs, washers, dryers she did it. Her former husband was constantly fixing something but she kept going making sure the dogs were safe and happy truly loving what she did.
Caring for animals comes naturally to Shannon growing up in a "dog" family. Her Step Father was the Winchester Police K-9 officer and a German Shepherd trainer and breeder. She watched and observed him working with his dogs and gained invaluable experience from adolescence to adulthood. She worked at animal clinics, volunteered at shelters and cared for friends and family pets as a teenager.
She learned how to handle every type of dog from the dominant to aggressive, passive and scared to the energetic and unruly puppy.. She is both a professionally trained and life learned expert in her field who has worked extremely hard to get where she is.
Unfortunately 2017 proved to be the hardest and most challenging year of Shannon's career and life. After being forced to leave this location she has lost a huge part of her income and is struggling to keep her business up and running.. She is actively looking for another location for her daycamp but because of strict zoning laws and the fact that she cannot run the daycamp at her new location she is struggling financially. I can tell you that Shannon has been nothing but a asset to this town, providing countless jobs for people, providing excellent care for these dogs, contributing to charities, sponsoring in town sports teams, donating gift certificates for school events, fundraisers etc.. Shannon is a hard working single mother who built her business from the ground up and is now currently fighting for her lively hood. Please help Shannon, her children and her dedicated staff get through this while she continues to groom every day and search for a new daycamp location.
Shannon would say: Due to circumstances beyond my control I can no longer run my business out of Park Street Blah, blah, blah and I think that is because she had tried for months to make it work after she was told she could no longer groom there due to high water usage in March of 2017. She tried to reason and come up with different solutions and after exhausting all other options she purchased a Mobil Grooming Van which she was going to run at Park Street, Unfortunately having herself and 2 other groomers at the time she realized they could not make that work space wise. She then located a space for grooming on Main Street where she could have the van and do some grooming inside too. In the midst of all this one of her groomers had left to find another job. She had no intention on any of this happening and had planned on running both locations but when her staff was complaining of headaches and sinus issues while working on Park Street she ran a mold test and the results were not good, a copy was sent to the Town Of North Reading.
Throughout all the years of Shannon and her family running this business, moving her family to North Reading so they could be closer I myself have worked there, brought my dogs there and had my children there and I can tell you after seeing the mold results I was concerned.
Any help would be greatly appreciated as it would be a true tragedy if she was forced to shut her business down after all these years..
Thank you in advance for your support.
- Judith Caloahan
- Janice Sarno
- Rebecca Timberlake
- M Herlihy
- Eric Gellar
Organizer and beneficiary
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