Local kennels are full of patrons' pets and pets whose owners have left Augusta on vacation. (April 8, 2011 / WRDW-TV)
News 12 First at 5 / Friday, April 8, 2011
AUGUSTA---Masters visitors aren't the only ones in town this week; so are their best friends. Visitors are dropping off their pets at kennels, and locals who are out of town have done the same.
Marlin Watson made plans to check his puppy Liko in at Paradise Kennels in Augusta.
"We are taking the kids to the aquarium (in Atlanta) and to see the Braves games, because we want to escape all the Masters traffic," said Watson.
Liko is a part of the Watson family, but there are just some places he can't go.
"We wanted to bring him to a place where he would be taken care of while we were out of town," said Watson.
Paradise Kennels owner Richard Lord has been in the dog business for over 30 years. He says every year he is prepared for this busy season. He believes the Paradise lodging experience is one that will take the worry out of leaving your furry babies behind. Paradise is a 25,000 square foot heated and air-conditioned facility with one goal in mind: comfort.
"During the Masters, some people book a year ahead," Lord said. "We have our local people that rent out their houses or just go on vacation, so they check in their pets. For years now we have had many returning Masters visitors who simply do not want to leave their pets behind."
With over two hundred pets checked in Paradise Kennels, the workload doubles during this week. Lord says volunteers are more than welcome to come and help them out during the weekend. Staff worker Ashton Lord says she has been working this busy season for over six years. She grooms and cares for pets around the clock.
"I'm very tired, but I love what I do," Ashton Lord said. "This is a busy time for us and other kennels."
Ashton said dogs are not the only ones who can check into the kennel. They also accept cats, birds and rabbits. Despite a full house, the staff at Paradise Kennels says they will do do their best to accommodate all their guests.
"During the week of Masters, we have people checking in and out every day, so something always opens up, and we have a waiting list," said Richard Lord.
Meanwhile, Liko will be waiting for his family to pick him up Sunday night