My Main Street-Holiday Pet Care
Best in Show
Cheryl Orletsky and Solange Hendricks have been taking care of Vaughan residents’ four-legged friends for a quarter of a century. Their unique cage-free approach and their love of all furry breeds has made a mark in their industry, and in York Region.
Owners Cheryl Orletsky and Solange Hendricks in front of their store
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but we’re willing to bet the folks at Holiday Pet Care can — and have. Cheryl Orletsky and her partner, Solange Hendricks, run the centre where pooches are lovingly taken care of 24/7. Doggie daycare is ideal for pet parents who are unable to give their four-legged family members the attention and exercise they need during the workday, and overnight dog-sitting is available to families when they’re away. (The team also take care of other creatures that remain in their homes when their humans aren’t around.) Orletsky and Hendricks have three adult children who are involved in the business, but they currently get their dog fix from the centre — their Staffordshire terrier passed away a few years ago. “When the next one catches our hearts, we’ll bring them home,” they say.
Holiday Pet Care Staff
Orletsky started the business 25 years ago. She worked in the fitness industry, but when she moved to Ontario from Alberta, she wanted to change course. “I knew that if money wasn’t an option, I’d want to be home with my animals. So, I started putting up signs in my neighbourhood offering to watch dogs for people who were on vacation. It turns out I was good at it — the home-based business grew from word of mouth.” The first people in Vaughan to start a dog daycare, Orletsky and Hendricks (who joined the business 19 years ago) moved into their current location on Yonge Street in 2001. What makes their services distinctly different from other providers is their cage-free approach. “Most facilities use cages because they find it tricky to deal with the extra labour costs of having people at the centre all night. But the cage-free philosophy is at the core of what we do.”
Owners and staff at playpen
The couple are seasoned entrepreneurs, but that doesn’t mean they’re not open to advice and assistance when it comes to growing what they’ve built. They previously participated in the city’s Starter Company Plus program, but when they learned about the My Main Street program through a representative from the Vaughan Business and Entrepreneurship Centre, they applied. They weren’t just interested in the funding (though they used the grant to replace the windows on the front of their building) — they also greatly benefitted from the market research they received. “We learned about the changing demographics in our area. Our representatives not only gathered data, but they also took the time to go over it with us. It has helped us launch new marketing programs,” says Orletsky.
Contrary to popular belief, their business is about more than petting dogs all day — yes, there’s always hair and poop to be cleaned. But that’s okay for the women and their team. “We have truly helped families stay together. Dogs are energetic and can be disruptive if they don’t have a release,” Hendricks explains passionately. “Many people don’t realize this and end up wanting to return their dogs. It’s an amazing feeling when you can come home after work and your pet sits quietly beside you because they’ve already had their day of excitement at our centre. It betters families.”
8234 Yonge Street, Vaughan