Bennecke’s motto is “Pamper your pet with the best.”
From this initial idea La Pooch Pet Resort and Groom Spa was born.
As his business progressed, Bennecke decided he needed help, so he hired Tammy Williams.
“She trained horses and would demonstrate grooming techniques at pet shows,” Bennecke said. “It was at a show in Dallas that we had our first encounter. I hired her on the spot.”
Mark found Tammy to be compatible as his partner in both business and life.
The couple has a combined 25 years in the industry and has spent the last 10 years as man and wife. After building their client base to 1,400, the business outgrew their shop at Shannon Square.
In September of 2007, they moved La Pooch Pet Resort and Groom Spa to its current location on Highway 19, just south of I-30. Consisting of five acres and a 5,600 square foot facility, they are able to provide their clients’ dogs with many more luxuries.
“Customers come to us because we have large country spaces, and we only take about 30 dogs at any one time,” Mark said. “We provide all of their needs including beds, blankets, toys, special food and a lot of playtime, too.” Mark is certified by the International School of Canine Cosmetology.
Blue Buffalo, an all-natural, organic food, and Royal Canin, a breed-specific food, can be found at La Pooch.
Services at La Pooch Pet Resort and Groom Spa include day care, overnight care and full service grooming on large and small breed dogs with assistance from three other certified employees.
Hollie Proctor is the full time stylist, Melissa Ashby handles the boarding pets and Shellie Scott is a grooming apprentice.
“We style them all,” Bennecke said with a grin. “Some of our best advertisers are the local veterinary offices, mainly because they see a lot of our work. Grooming is by appointment. The dogs receive 100 percent of our attention. Each is massaged with not one but two shampoos and one conditioner, and we always hair dry by hand.”
While their facility is a bit off the beaten track, Bennecke says they continue to gain momentum with satisfied customers spreading the word from places as far as Dallas and Fort Worth to Texarkana.
The couple resides upstairs on the property, making their business even more appealing to clients.
“We have eight separate supervised sections divided by chain link fencing, and we always group the breeds according to temper tests, size, activity level and client’s wishes,” Bennecke added.
Dogs really are kings of their kingdom at La Pooch.
Each day begins with a schedule for alternate feedings and playtime. Each pampered pooch is provided with cable television, night lights, and climate controlled rooms with intercom-capable video cameras and organic feed.
“We are just big pet lovers,” explained Bennecke. “They are as much our entertainment as they are our source of income. We change for them; we don’t change them (dogs and their routines). Our philosophy is about having fun. We want them (dogs) running to our door, instead of away from it.”
The Benneckes enjoy their line of work, especially the joy of watching little puppies grow, and also their own dogs. They are the proud owners of a standard poodle, Australian shepherd and a dachshund.
“We also have three cats, but they stay out of the way of the dogs,” Bennecke said jokingly.
La Pooch Pet Resort and Groom Spa are located at 2232 Hwy 19 South, Sulphur Springs. Bennecke noted how their location is a hub for many other small neighboring towns and is excited with the growth of Sulphur Springs.
“We have gotten huge support from the Hopkins County Chamber of Commerce and other businesses,” Bennecke noted.
Cost for overnight care is $25 per night per pet, day care is $12.50 per day and grooming varies per breed. Hours are Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to noon with special arrangements available. To contact Mark Bennecke, call 903-438-0406.
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