Purr’n Pooch’s President Dick Palazzo is an industry innovator and passionate animal welfare advocate. Dick’s background in veterinary science and vast experience as a trainer, behaviorist, groomer and businessman have been essential to Purr’n Pooch’s 43 years of success.
After graduating from St. Leo University, he studied veterinary medicine at the University of Florida. It was at this time that Dick decided to pursue a career in the fields of pet care, training and grooming. Through this extensive schooling, Dick developed and maintained a thorough knowledge of techniques, developments and trends in the field.
Dick started his professional career in the early 70s as a dog trainer, receiving his practical training and experience with Sinclair Eaton and Tom Macek. He continued his zest for knowledge by becoming one of the first students to graduate from Jack Volhard’s School for Dog Training. Furthering his education, Dick worked as an assistant to a thoroughbred trainer and equine vet. He also graduated from the Stanton School of Dog Grooming under the instruction of Joe Stanton, Tom Meyer and Shirlee Kalstone, some of the most respected names in grooming. Dick also competed in breed shows and the obedience ring with CDs, CDX, and Shutzhund dog training. In fact, Dick and his beloved German Shepherd Yada won the Purina Award in the Frisbee competition and the Feline Friskee’s Grand Champion Award with his cat Shadow. Thanks to these early experiences, Dick was able to observe and utilize a wide variety of training and behavioral modification techniques that would serve him well throughout his career.
In 1973, Dick pursued his first entrepreneurial endeavor and opened It’s a Dogs’ World, a professional dog training and grooming company in Long Island, New York. One year later, he relocated his business to Monmouth County, New Jersey where he expanded his services to include dog boarding and developed a concept that would revolutionize the industry. He worked with a veterinarian to establish Purr’n Pooch – the nation’s first enclosed controlled environment and full-service pet boarding, grooming and training facility.
Soon after creating Purr’n Pooch in Wall Township, a second facility in Tinton Falls was established to accommodate the high demand that this new concept generated. By concentrating on positive attitude reinforcement and social interaction, Dick established leash-free indoor and outdoor environments that promoted stress reduction and healthier living. This concept was the catalyst for “Doggie Daycare” across the nation.
Currently, with more than 40,000 square-feet of luxury space at two luxury resort locations, a staff of more than 60 highly trained pet care professionals and a reputation as an industry leader, Dick Palazzo has developed one of the most successful pet care facilities in the world.
Dick Palazzo lives on the Jersey Shore with his wife Mary, also an animal welfare advocate, trainer, groomer and partner in the success of Purr’n Pooch.