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Don't put off Sparky's boarding when making holiday travel plans: kennel space is in demand

photo of dog in kennel
Kabir Bhatia
Pet owners who intend to board their pets this holiday season should make kennel reservations at least one month in advance and expect a higher bill for the service.
Secrist on heavy demand for kennel space

Of the disruptions the COVID -19 pandemic has caused, one might put a crimp in your—and your pet's— holiday plans. If you’re looking to board your pet while you travel this holiday season, you might be in for a surprise as kennel space is at a premium.

There are two factors causing the problem. Across the country more people who’ve been vaccinated are making the choice to travel once again. A shortage of help at kennels is making things worse.

Nancy Secrist, the owner of Easdale Kennels in Akron, said everything hit at once.

“When people were once again able to travel, they all wanted to leave all at the same time," Scrist said. "And as I mentioned, my great team has disappeared on me and moved onto other things so we were trying to train new people, hire new people and at the same time being slammed to capacity.”

The International Boarding and Pet Services Association advises anyone looking for a kennel to book at least a month in advance.

Jay Shah is a broadcast journalist finishing her Master of Arts degree at Kent State University. She joined WKSU as a news intern in 2020 and now works as a freelance producer for Ideastream Public Media’s daily local news headlines.
Mason Lawlor is a senior studying journalism at Kent State University, with a minor in entrepreneurship. He has been a reporter for The Kent Stater for three semesters covering sports and the city of Kent.
Kelly Krabill is a multiple media journalist at Ideastream Public Media. She is excited to engage viewers with visual storytelling. While living near Canton most of her life, she recently moved to Cleveland.