In Olde West Chester sits a charming home, built in 1901, that is a place like no other. The Fetchington, a luxury boutique hotel for dogs, offers a true five-star experience for pets and owners alike. Owner Tonia Wheeler and her husband, Josh, have converted the home into an exquisitely cozy space and crafted the perfect safe haven for West Chester and Liberty Township’s fury friends. The Fetchington is a one-stop shop for boarding (referred to as the hotel), daycare and grooming.
“In the past, when we needed boarding or daycare for our dogs we were just never comfortable because everywhere was so big and there were 50 or more dogs,” Wheeler explains. “I started thinking about what I wanted out of a boarding facility and how I could make the experience better for others.”
The Fetchington’s differentiating factor is their size. Being in a converted house with only 15 luxury suites, Wheeler has the opportunity to give each guest her undivided attention.
“It sounds weird, but our goal isn’t to grow. The business model is meant to be very small, very exclusive and very upscale. You’re not going to find this in every neighborhood,” she continues.
In fact, the suites themselves are upscale: spacious with glass doors, a cot, blanket, pillow, hardwood floors, a soft rug, beautiful tile walls and a chandelier. Many suites also feature windows.
“I want the dogs that come and stay with us to feel like they’re at home."
The Wheelers found inspiration in their rescue dog, a Border Collie mix named Daisy, who joined their family about seven years ago. At eight weeks old, Daisy was filled with fear and anxiety and the Wheelers set out to help. They provided Daisy with much-needed love and called in a trainer to help develop the social skills and confidence she needed to become a well-balanced dog. Since then, Wheeler has quit her 15-year career in marketing to pursue her passion to care for and help develop dogs. She has spent time traveling the country and learning from the best in the pet care industry, while continuing to build upon her vision for The Fetchington.
“I’ve learned how to read dog body-language, intercept unacceptable behaviors and perform temperament tests,” Wheeler states.
Her travels have taken her everywhere from California to Massachusetts where she has attended multiple conventions and seminars to learn from pet care experts and has obtained several certifications along the way.
On top of the extensive knowledge and training that Wheeler has under her belt, she knew there was a specific look and feel she wanted The Fetchington to have.
“I want the dogs that come and stay with us to feel like they’re at home. They’re not in a kennel or on concrete floors and they don’t have a chain-link fence around them,” she explains.
The building, surrounded by nearly one acre of land, features many of its original details with modern updates. The ornate theming of the décor is fitting, given the level of service The Fetchington strives to provide for each guest.
It’s not just the dogs who will be receiving elevated service. The Fetchington will also accommodate clients by offering a valet service, where they will pick up your dog from the car when arriving for daycare, a custom SUV that will pick up pets for boarding, and they will offer amenities such as a complimentary coffee bar and fruit-infused water.
“I love our community and I’m excited to be able to bring something different and special to our friends and neighbors. We live here in this community and want to contribute to its continued success by developing genuine personal relationships with our clients and providing exceptional care for their dogs,” Wheeler expresses.