ST. GEORGE – Cheers were had and tails were wagged during the grand opening of Bed ‘n’ Biscuits, a dog boarding and daycare business that is the latest enterprise launched by the Switchpoint Community Resource Center.
Bed ‘n’ Biscuits, 1206 W. Sunset Blvd., is the second “macro enterprise” opened by Switchpoint, Executive Director Carol Hollowell said. The first was the Switchpoint Thrift Store that opened last year.
The purpose of these enterprises is to aid in providing funding for Switchpoint as well as job shadowing, she said.
“We feel that those who have had extreme poverty in their lives, or homelessness, need some job training,” Hollowell said. The idea of a business involving dogs felt like a good fit due to the animals’ general accepting nature. “Who’s the most nonjudgmental person you can meet? A dog.”
Dogs don’t care if a person has a tattoo or is covered in them, is homeless or a felon, Hollowell said.
A trio of dogs bounced around Aaron Romine, a Bed ‘n’ Biscuits employee, as treats were handed out. Like others working at Bed ‘n’ Biscuits, Romine is a former resident of Switchpoint.
“Switchpoint has help me – a lot,” Romine said as the dogs played nearby. He said he was grateful for Hollowell’s hiring him on after the shelter helped him transition from once being homeless to now having a home and a job.
Switchpoint, which opened in September 2014, has assisted in sheltering over 2,000 people and has helped many find housing and employment. It also provides a plethora of services geared at helping the impoverished through the many like-minded agencies it is partnered with.
“I didn’t want people taking care of me for the rest of my life because of my downfall,” said Carla Brennan, another Bed ‘n’ Biscuits employee who helps man the front desk as a part of her duties. “Knowing I could pay my own bills, pay whatever I needed when I needed it, it’s been amazing.”
Brennan was involved in an auto-pedestrian collision in March 2013 that resulted in the death of St. George resident David Henson. The incident allegedly involved Brennan’s texting while driving and led to the creation of a statewide anti-texting campaign spearheaded by Henson’s family. Brennan took a plea deal in the case and pleaded no contest and was sentenced to serve jail time.
Following her release, Brennan ultimately ended up staying at Switchpoint for a time and was able to get a new start, something for which she also thanked Hollowell.
“She’s helping people from Switchpoint to get back on their feet again,” Brennan said.
In addition to helping provide jobs and training for Switchpoint clients, money raised from the doggy daycare and boarding business helps fund the community resource center, Hollowell said.
As a nonprofit, Switchpoint needs to look to other means of funding outside of the federal government as grants can be hard to obtain and the dollar amount that comes with them can fluctuate, she said.
“So we’ve got to be self-sufficient, and that in my mind means macro enterprises,” Hollowell said.
For those interested in using Bed ‘n’ Biscuits services, Hollowell said it has what she considers to be three big advantages over other K-9 boarding and daycare sites.
- First, Bed ‘n’ Biscuits has an overnight staff, providing added security for those pets left overnight.
- Second, the business is open Sundays, allowing visitors and others to leave their dogs somewhere safe on a day they may otherwise have to take them along.
- Third, Bed ‘n’ Biscuits accepts “bully breeds” including the American pit bull terrier, American Staffordshire bull terrier, boxer, Boston terrier and bulldog.
Bed ‘n’ Biscuits also partners with a veterinarian who is on-call as needed and provides low-cost vaccinations.
“We just want to make sure people know we want their dogs,” Hollowell said.
You can visit the Bed ‘n’ Biscuits website for more information here.
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