Designer for canines now offers daycare

Hutt News, September 20, 2016

Anna Sutherland, holding Zoe, with her partner Jesse McLean, said part of the reason she started Pucci was so their dog Riley had a great place to go during the work week.

Anna Sutherland, holding Zoe, with her partner Jesse McLean, said part of the reason she started Pucci was so their dog Riley had a great place to go during the work week.

A fashion designer for dogs has turned her attention to daycare for the canines.

Anna Sutherland’s business, Pucci, shares the same name as her fashion line, which is a play on Gucci, and includes bandanas and tops for canines.

Sutherland said she followed her high school friend’s into studying fashion design, despite wanting to be a vet.

She went on to study vet nursing but the self-described softie found being around surgery too hard so she took those skills and those she learnt through managing a pet store into her new business.

Before she opened in July she made the industrial building on Gracefield Road in Seaview homely by using bright greens and pinks.

She picked flowery names like Precious Petals and Big Blossoms for the different pens for different-sized dogs and their various temperaments.

There was also an outside area that had paddling pools and all areas had toys and furniture so the dogs could play or relax.

Before she met a dog the owners had to fill out registration forms that detailed the dog’s vaccinations and temperament.

Her clientele didn’t have dogs with behavioural issues, because the owners had taken the time to ensure they were well trained and socialised.

When a new dog arrived the other dogs would be penned up so it could wander around and “have a sniff and settle in “before being introduced to the rest of the animals.

“If any dogs get too excited I get in between them and the other dog to give them some space as we want their first visit to be positive.”

Although Sutherland is surrounded by more than 20 dogs each week day, with capacity for up to 50 dogs at the centre, she also runs a homestay for dogs at her Kelson home.

The 27 year old, who feeds her own dog raw meat, preferred owners provided their own dog food, as a change in diet doesn’t always agree with an animal’s stomach.

Pucci is holding a medium to big dog playdate on September 24th at 2pm, 115 Gracefield Road, Seaview.