Cat Care Clinic Looking to Expand in Reston

After five years in its current space, a cat-specific care center in Reston plans on expanding.

Just Cats Clinic (1601 N. Washington Plaza) outgrew its original office and decided to take over an empty space next door at Lake Anne Plaza, Elizabeth Chapman, the owner and head veterinarian, said.

Chapman said the expansion will include three more exam rooms — allowing the center to double its cat boarding capacity. In addition, the center plans to offer cat ultrasounds.

With more than 4,500 clients, Chapman said the center is currently at capacity.

“We are busting at the seams really,” she said, adding that the clinic will also look into hiring another veterinarian eventually.

Once the expansion is complete, the vet clinic will be roughly 5,000 square feet, Chapman said.

The center is waiting for permit approval from Fairfax County before kicking off construction. Chapman hopes the expansion will be finished by spring 2020.

Photo via Just Cats Clinic

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Pet Care Service Woofie’s to Hold Reston Opening in April

Updated at 12:25 p.m. on Friday (March 29) — The grand opening will be held on April 27 at Jimmy’s Old Town Tavern between 11 a.m.-3 p.m. There will not be a soft opening on Monday (April 1).

pet care service called Woofie’s plans to hold a grand opening near the end of April for its new Reston location.

Established by pet owners in 2004, Woofie’s currently serves locals in Ashburn, Pomotac Station and Lansdowne with more than 70 pet sitters and dog walkers, along with offering seven mobile pet vans, according to its website.

The new spot at 1897 Preston White Drive is right off of the Dulles Toll Road and close to Lake Thoreau.

Woofie’s also plans to open another franchise location in Leesburg.

Photo via Woofies/Facebook

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Reston Locals Band Together for Dog-Walking Group

A group of Reston and Herndon residents has come together to form a grassroots local dog-walking group.

According to the Meetup page for Herndon/Reston Walking With Dogs Morning Exercise, the 23 member group is open to the public — not just for people who own dogs, but for people who would like to walk with them as well.

“I would love to form a morning walking group for people who have or don’t have dogs,” the group’s organizers said on the page. “This would be an hour or so walk on the pathways in the surrounding area.”

The group was formed in late November, according to its Meetup page.

The group’s next walk is scheduled for this Friday (March 29) at 8 a.m. at the Foxclove Road trail. Sturdy shoes are suggested, and leashes are required.

The hike is estimated to be around an hour and a half.

Photo via Meetup

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Thursday Morning Notes

Diva Central Accessories Drive ends — A donation drive to collect shoes, jewelry, handbags and other accessories for the Reston Community Center’s annual prom and middle school formal dress giveaway ends today. [Reston Community Center]

General Assembly wrap-up — An infographic gives an easy breakdown on which bills failed and passed. [Virginia Public Access Project]

Pet hedgehog photo — Who doesn’t love pictures of pets? An article rounded up some pictures of Restonians’ pets. [Connection Newspapers]

Reston Hospital Center wins award — “Reston Hospital Center announced it is the first facility in Virginia to earn The Joint Commission’s Gold Seal of Approval(R) for Advanced Certification for Total Hip and Total Knee Replacement… Reston Hospital Center performs more than 1,000 total joint replacements every year.” [Reston Hospital Center]

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Pet Care Service ‘Woofie’s’ Set to Open Franchise in Reston

(Updated at 9:35 p.m. on Feb. 21) Woofie’s, a pet care service that offers a mobile pet salon, pet sitting and dog walking, plans to open one of its two upcoming franchise locations in Reston.

The Facebook page for the Reston location says it is “coming soon” to 1897 Preston White Drive. The spot is right off of the Dulles Toll Road and close to Lake Thoreau.

“We are shooting for an opening date in early April,” Renee Ventrice, the vice president of Marketing for Woofie’s Pet Ventures, told Reston Now.

The second franchise location is set for Leesburg.

Established by pet owners in 2004, Woofie’s currently serves locals in Ashburn, Pomotac Station and Lansdowne with more than 70 pet sitters and walkers and seven mobile pet vans, according to its website.

Photos via Woofies/Facebook, Google Maps

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Board of Supervisors Ends Prickly, Decades-Long Debate Over Pet Hedgehogs

Despite strong opposition to hedgehogs as suitable pets, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors approved adding them to the list of commonly accepted pets, along with chinchillas and hermit crabs.

Yesterday’s decision ends a nearly 20-year-long push to legalize the prickly animals as pets.

Strong concerns about pet owners’ abilities to care for them dominated the public testimony before the supervisors voted.

While hedgehogs seem trendy, that doesn’t mean they are ideal pets, Christine Anderson, a member of the county’s Animal Services Advisory Commission, said. She then listed several reasons, including their risk of spreading salmonella, their high maintenance care and potential animal abandonment.

Others argued that it’s not so much the animals, but rather the humans who are the main problem.

Chris Schindler, the vice president of field services at the Humane Rescue Alliance in D.C., argued that exotic animals often suffer from poor care, highlighting a disturbing news report about 15 hedgehogs found in a trash can in Ocean Beach, Calif.

After the novelty of the impulse purchase wears off, people often don’t like hedgehogs’ noisy, aggressive and destructive behaviors, he said.

“It’s easy to think ‘What’s the harm?'” Schindler said. “When wild species are kept as pets, it’s the animals who suffer the most.”

While several supervisors acknowledged the potential risks for hedgehogs and humans, ultimately they argued that people armed with resources and education can make the right pet ownership decisions.

Hunter Mill District Supervisor Cathy Hudgins said she cautiously supports the proposal. “This has come to us quite a few times, and with that in mind, maybe it is time,” she said, adding that she wants to the county to monitor the impact of the change.

Hedgehogs first popped up in a proposal to add them to the list of commonly accepted pets in 2001, Casey Judge, a senior assistant to the county’s zoning administrator, said in a presentation. Ever since then, the county has continued to receive inquiries from residents about them, she said.

Fairfax County now joins Loudoun County with allowing all three pets. Meanwhile, Arlington County only allows chinchillas and hedgehogs.

Fairfax City and Falls Church either do not allow or are unclear about the three animals.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals that require space, exercise and room temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure they do not start hibernating, according to the Hedgehog Welfare Society. Judge said that care for chinchillas is similar to rabbits, while care for hedgehogs is similar to ferrets.

Two students argued in the animals’ defense, saying that other pets, such as lizards, also require special care and that their pet care costs are comparable to dogs.

The student from Longfellow Middle School said that breeders ensure that future owners have the training and resource materials needed to help them take care of hedgehogs.

In response to Gina Marie Lynch, from the Human Society of Fairfax County, saying that hedgehogs breed like rabbits, the student said that hedgehogs will fight if left in the same space. “If you don’t want babies, don’t keep a male and female together.”

The student from Sandburg Middle School pointed out that the county won’t have to worry about escaped or abandoned hedgehogs becoming an invasive species. Since African pygmy hedgehogs can’t hibernate, they would not survive the cold weather.

While the three animals are unique pets that require special care, Chairman Sharon Bulova said that she does not expect everyone to go out and buy them.

“I frankly don’t think that this action will open up a floodgate of many, many situations where people will adopt a hedgehog or a chinchilla, but some people will,” Bulova said.

Images via Planning Commission and Kelly W.

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Planning Commission Moves Forward Pet Hedgehog Proposal

Chinchillas, hedgehogs and hermit crabs are one step closer to legalized pet status in Fairfax County.

The Fairfax County Planning Commission last night (Dec. 6) approved changing the definition of commonly accepted pets to include all three.

“All those hedgehogs in Fairfax County are extremely happy tonight,” Chairman Peter Murphy, who represents the Springfield District, said after the vote.

Hunter Mill District Commissioner John Carter voted against the proposal, along with Vice Chairman James Hart and Mason District Commissioner Julie Strandlie.

Strandlie said that while she supports chinchillas and hermit crabs as pets, more input from professionals is necessary regarding hedgehogs.

The increasing popularity of chinchillas, hedgehogs and hermit crabs as pets in recent years spurred the proposed amendment to the county’s zoning ordinance, according to the proposal.

Arlington and Loudoun counties allow hedgehogs and chinchillas as pets, with Loudoun County also permitting hermit crabs. Fairfax City and Falls Church either do not allow or remain unclear about the legality of the three animals as pets.

The commission tackled health and safety concerns mainly around hedgehogs as pets at a public hearing last Thursday (Nov. 29), deferring a decision to last night at the request of Mary Cortina, an at-large member of the commission.

Some of the concerns that came up involved hedgehogs’ ability to spread salmonella and how well owners can care for hedgehogs, given their high levels of maintenance.

Hedgehogs are nocturnal animals that require space, exercise and room temperatures above 70 degrees Fahrenheit to ensure they do not start hibernating, according to the Hedgehog Welfare Society.

Hart said he concludes that hedgehogs still fall under the “exotic pet” definition based on the temperature requirements raised during the testimonies last week.

Dranesville District Commissioner John Ulfelder said he took four areas into consideration when deciding how to vote — public safety, public health, environmental impact and animal welfare.

Addressing the salmonella concerns, Ulfelder said that other animals, such turtles, can spread the bacteria.

For him, the prickliest issue concerned animal welfare. “It is true these animals are a little bit difficult to take care of,” he said. “I think for people who are up for that, they can be very nice pets.”

Strandlie praised a student from Longfellow Middle School in Falls Church, who argued at the public hearing in favor of legalizing pet hedgehogs.

The student, who said he has cared for his turtle for eight years and his monitor lizard for two years, said he believes hedgehogs are easier to care for than reptiles, based on his research. If the county approves the amendment, he said he would get a hedgehog.

Even though Strandlie voted “no,” she said the student probably persuaded some of the commissioners to support the proposal.

Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors authorized a public hearing at 4 p.m. on Jan. 22 to consider the controversial proposal.

“I think we should be allowing people if we can — if they have the ability — to have hedgehogs as pets,” Ulfelder said.

Photo via Planning Commission

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Herndon Animal Medical Center Seeks Expansion

After more than 30 years of business in the Herndon community, the Herndon Animal Medical Center is gearing up for an expansion.

In a proposed before the county up for a vote by the Town of Herndon’s Planning Commission tonight, the center is seeking a special exception to allow a veterinary clinic in land zoned for office and light industrial uses. If approved, the new clinic would move to 360 Herndon Parkway.

“Our current space limits our ability to see patients and practice easily with modern equipment and modern handling techniques,” wrote Kristan Gutowski, the center’s owner.

The building will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday; between 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; and between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Saturday. The clinic, which employs 15 people, could expand its hours to accommodate more clients and patients.

Gutowski said the new facility will allow staff to continue practicing a handling technique called “Fear Free” that aims to reduce patient anxiety by separating patients from each other in separate exam rooms away from other animals and noises. The move will also allow the center to avoid odors from its current neighbor, a boarding facility that Gutowski said has “negatively affected” the center’s work environment.

We do everything we can to control an unpleasant odor that can occur with pets,” Gutowski said.

Town of Herndon staff recommended approval of the project.

Photo via Town of Herndon Government

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Tomorrow: Grand Opening for Herndon Pet Sitting Company

A local pet sitting company that offers services for Herndon, Reston, Sterling and Ashburn, will celebrate its grand opening tomorrow (April 17) at 2:30 p.m. in front of Herndon’s Old Town Hall.

Pooch Pros Pet Care Services is owned by Herndon resident Cyndie Anderson.

Anderson, who has lived in Northern Virginia for 21 years, left her corporate job in 2000 to stay at home with her two stepdaughters. She opened her business after becoming an empty nester.

She owns two fur babies: a 14-year-old mixed breed and a nine-year-old Maltese.

The business is licensed, bonded and insured through Business Insurers of the Carolinas and Travelers Insurance, according to its website. A reception will follow the ribbon-cutting ceremony at ArtSpace Herndon (750 Center Street).

Photo via Pooch Pros

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Pet of the Week: Kirby

Becky's Pet Care

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

This week’s Reston Pet of the Week is Kirby, a 12-year-old purebred Papillon who is a longtime Restonian.

Here is what Kirby’s owner, April, had to say about her:

Kirby is a purebred Papillon who will turn 13 on Dec. 14, but often gets mistaken for a puppy, partly due to her small size (she weighs anywhere between 7 and 8 pounds depending on what she just finished eating) and also because she’s still every bit as energetic as her younger counterparts.

She was born in Toledo, Ohio, but has been a Reston resident for nearly 10 years. She was named after the famous Kirby who won Best in Show at Westminster in 1999 (the only Papillon in history to accomplish this so far) and she has even befriended one of famous Kirby’s descendants via the Northern Virginia Papillon Owners Meetup group. (Shoutout to Chancois Nolley!)

True to her breed’s name (“Papillon” is French for “butterfly”), Kirby is a social butterfly who can often be seen walking around Reston Town Center and Lake Anne, where she enjoys patronizing the local businesses and chatting up fellow Restonians. She also enjoys accompanying her human and friends to nearby Northern Virginia wineries in her pooch purse, although she is not a wine drinker herself.

She has quite a social media presence, including nearly 100 Instagram followers. Her Instagram handle is “yappy_pappy” due to how talkative she can be. Kirby is almost never at a loss for words, especially when there’s food nearby.

Although she is very friendly and energetic, she’s also extremely protective of her home and her human and will voice displeasure if you come too close to either without her permission. Once you’re in Kirby’s Circle of Trust, though, you’re pretty much in there for life.

Kirby loves living in Reston because of how dog-friendly it is — namely its paved pathways, caring residents and high concentration of squirrels.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Pet of the Week: Stormy

Becky's Pet Care

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

This week’s Reston Pet of the Week is Stormy, who enjoys her life in North Reston.

Here is what Stormy’s owner, Lisa, had to say about her:

Stormageddon the Dark Lord of All (Stormy for short) is our 4.5-year-old Ragdoll cat. My husband and I named after an obscure Doctor Who reference, but to less nerdy parties we say it was because the summer got her was the stormiest one we’ve seen. As the runt of her litter, she weighs in at a lean and mean 9 pounds with a personality that busts at the seams.

Her meow is worse than her bite. Literally. Two years ago, Stormy had to have every single last tooth removed, otherwise a degenerative gum disease was going to take her life. This small setback hasn’t stopped her from being the alpha in the house. She still bites (gums) at toys and wants no special treatment as she still eats dry food and treats.

Stormy demands belly rubs whenever she sees you, but her preference is to run away to the stair landing, flop over and receive the pets there. She is finicky and fastidious and friendly to a fault.

She spends her day perfecting the cat “trill” we all love, lounging just out of arm’s reach, and bossing around her cat brother Sokka, who is one year younger, 4 pounds bigger, but knows his place.

You can see it in her face — Stormy suffers no fools.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Pet of the Week: Cheese

Becky's Pet Care

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

This week’s Reston Pet of the Week is Cheese, the newly adopted sister of a memorable Pet of the Week from earlier this year, Kevin.

Here is what Cheese’s owner, Mark, had to say about her:

When we first found Cheese, I wanted to name her “Oriole.” I wanted to give something positive — anything positive — to my other cat, Kevin, an Orioles fan, after the dumpster fire of a season they had this year. I figured giving her a sister whose coat matched the flames of the Orioles’ season might somehow give Kevin some solace.

But then my fiancée vetoed that idea (she prefers the Nats), and after Googling “orange things,” I found a picture of Old Bay Cheese Puffs. Close enough. And so, Cheese inherited her name.

Cheese is more like a dog; she plays all the time, she cuddles excessively, and she loves to lick your skin. My fiancée, a “dog person” at heart, has developed a special bond with Cheese, and the two can often be found napping about the house together. After a few days of posturing and bouts of hissing, Kevin warmed up too, and the two are often heard scampering around the house together.

It feels like home with those two kitties. It feels happy. It feels complete for now. We are very lucky to have added Cheese to the family. To many more laps around the house, Cheese!

 Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Pet of the Week: Pipley

Becky's Pet Care

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Pipley, a white and brown cat available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society have to say about him:

Pipley is amazingly affectionate and playful. He was the runt of the litter, but don’t let his size fool you — he leads the crew. He’s our little greeter.

Consider adopting him with his sister Petunia.

(Note: Little Buddies has adoption events every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Pet Valu in the North Point Village Shopping Center.)

Are you and Pipley (or Petunia) a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Pet of the Week: Rose

Becky's Pet Care

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Rose, a tabby kitten available for adoption locally.

Here is what her friends at Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society have to say about her:

Rose is a very affectionate kitten. She loves to cuddle in laps. She is also a fun-loving kitten who enjoys chasing around after toys and after her sisters.

Rose will make a terrific companion to anyone looking for a cat to love and cherish.

Rose was about 3 months old the middle of August.

(Note: Little Buddies has adoption events every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Pet Valu in the North Point Village Shopping Center.)

Are you and Rose a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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Pet of the Week: Aransas

This is a sponsored post from Becky’s Pet Care, a professional pet care service in Northern Virginia.

Meet Aransas, a cat who escaped Hurricane Harvey who is now available for adoption locally.

Here is what his friends at Little Buddies Adoption and Humane Society have to say about him:

Aransas is quite the snuggler. As you can tell from the photo, he is super sweet and loves to be held.

This super cat is easy to love and just adorable. He came to us from the Houston animal shelter when it was overwhelmed at the time of Hurricane Harvey. He has come a long way to see his forever home.

Aransas is about 9 months old.

(Note: Little Buddies has adoption events every Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. at Pet Valu in the North Point Village Shopping Center.)

Are you and Aransas a match? If so, let us know and our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, will send you some treats and prizes.

Want your pet to be considered for the Reston Pet of the Week?

Email [email protected] with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a sample of dog or cat treats from our sponsor, Becky’s Pet Care, along with $100 in Becky’s Bucks.

Becky’s Pet Care, the winner of three Angie’s List Super Service Awards and the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters’ 2013 Business of the Year, provides professional dog walking and pet sitting services in Reston and Northern Virginia.

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