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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Aug 01, 2018

Dick Palazzo: Lifetime of Loving Animals

Dick Palazzo Purrn Pooch

Many animal lovers around the nation have heard about Dick Palazzo’s love of animals. He has saved thousands of animals’ lives, raised over a quarter million dollars for animal causes, and changed the pet care industry.

Palazzo, 69, his wife, Mary, and daughters Koren and Betsy work with him at two Purr’n Pooch locations in Tinton Falls and Wall Township, and for the Purr’n Pooch Foundation. Most of his employees have worked with him for at least 10 years – and many for more than 30 years.

With a background in veterinary medicine, training, behavior, grooming and business, Palazzo created the nation’s first fully enclosed pet boarding, grooming and training facility, and developed the country’s first doggie daycare program. He attributes his success to seeing the world from a dog and cat’s point of view.

“I feel like everything originates from the seed of determination,” he said. “It is the stepping stone for passion and that is where I am blessed. Passion and a love for what I do are the reasons for my success.”

Palazzo studied veterinary medicine and graduated from the respected Jack Volhard’s School for Dog Training. He became an expert in K-9 police training and tracking, and was a respected competitor in breed shows, excelling in the obedience ring.

Palazzo also graduated from the Stanton School of Dog Grooming, training with some of the most respected names in grooming. His first business, It’s a Dogs’ World, was a professional dog training and grooming company in Long Island, NY. In the early 1970s, he started the Purr’n Pooch concept.

Purr’n Pooch Pet Resorts became the nation’s first, fully-enclosed, controlled environment and full-service pet boarding, grooming and training facility. Palazzo used his canine social interaction expertise to establish the first leash-free indoor and outdoor environments for his canine “guests” – a catalyst for “Doggie Daycare” across the nation.

Purr’n Pooch now operates more than 40,000 square feet of carefully designed space at two luxury resort locations.

Purr’n Pooch offers aquatic exercise programs, open play and catteries for boarding cats, and services for special needs and geriatric pets. Other services include swim parks, party planning, wedding packages, reiki, massage and spa packages.

Palazzo was a charter member of American Boarding and Kennel Association. He is a trustee of the Purr’n Pooch Foundation for Animals, a 501 c3 organization that raises funds for other non-profit organizations. The foundation has donated thousands of pet supplies and food to animal charities, canine law enforcement teams, military k9 units, sea life mammal rescue and rehabilitation groups.