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VOL. 132 | NO. 3 | Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Memphis' Newest Doggie Daycare Offers Downtown Pets a Place to Play

By Patrick Lantrip

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There are a lot of things that Downtown Memphis has in abundance like great food, entertainment and a rich history, but one thing it is short on is large, grassy areas for pets to play in.

Mutt Island Dog Daycare, located at 320 Monroe Ave., offers day care, grooming and boarding services for pets in the Downtown area.

(Daily News/Patrick Lantrip)

While the roughly 25,000 people who live in and around Downtown still have scenic spaces like Tom Lee Park and the Mississippi River Greenbelt to walk their pets, many residents don’t have their own yard where their pets can run free without a leash.

With this in mind, two long-time Memphians, Brande Callahan and Heather Reese, opened Mutt Island Dog Daycare last month in the Edge District, which is situated between the core of Downtown and the Medical District.

Located at 320 Monroe Ave., the 10,000-square-foot facility has a 5,000-square-foot outdoor play area with a 10-foot privacy fence.

Beach Investment Co. principal F. Ford Beach Jr. was the broker for both the tenants and the landlord, Mike Todd.

“That was an ideal use of 10,000 square feet of a retail shopping center,” Beach said. “It’s really a testament to what you can do Downtown if you just have creativity.”

Callahan said it was hard finding a place Downtown with an outdoor area that was grass, but ultimately the pair got lucky.

“The biggest thing for us was to have an outdoor run area for the dogs,” Callahan said. “There are so many apartments, condos and people with animals that they can’t do anything with besides walk them on a leash.”

Callahan and Reese both began working at veterinary clinics right out of high school and have roughly 35 years of veterinary and grooming experience between the two of them.

The pair met while working at a specialty clinic in Cordova, and have expressed interest in opening their own doggie daycare for seven or eight years before deciding that the time was right.

“We just love animals and this is what we wanted to do,” Callahan said. “We like to take care of other people’s dogs.”

In addition to providing pups a place to play while their owners are at work, Mutt Island also offers full grooming services, separate areas for large and small dogs, and overnight boarding with 4-foot-by-8-foot suites, which means no crates or cages.

“We just want to offer you a yard, because you might not have one,” Callahan concluded.

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