Tails Pet Salon opens doors in Athol 

Owner Danielle Rouleau blow-dries Rumor while Taylor Dunn works on Fern at Tails Pet Salon in Athol on South Main Street.

Owner Danielle Rouleau blow-dries Rumor while Taylor Dunn works on Fern at Tails Pet Salon in Athol on South Main Street. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Natalie Quiet blow-dries Max at Tails Pet Salon in Athol on South Main Street.

Natalie Quiet blow-dries Max at Tails Pet Salon in Athol on South Main Street. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

Tails Pet Salon located in Athol next to the VCA Adams Animal Hospital on South Main Street.

Tails Pet Salon located in Athol next to the VCA Adams Animal Hospital on South Main Street. STAFF PHOTO/PAUL FRANZ

By GREG VINE

For the Athol Daily News

Published: 12-04-2023 3:32 PM

ATHOL — A new pet salon has opened its doors in recent weeks to serve a growing need for pet grooming services in the North Quabbin area.

Tails Pet Salon at 1265 South Main Street in Athol will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 9. The public is invited to stop in to see the new business, which opened about four weeks ago.

Opening the pet grooming salon has been a longtime dream for Daniell Rouleau, who has worked as a certified veterinary technician for 25 years at VCA Adams Animal Hospital, just across the parking lot from her new business. Tails is located in the building long occupied by Athol Granite Works, which closed its door after nearly 170 years of operation.

“I’ve always wanted to go into business for myself,” Rouleau said. “The availability of this building presented that opportunity. So, I considered what knowledge and experience I have that I could turn into something. It became obvious to me that we needed a grooming salon.”

She said many clients doing business at the animal hospital had complained that they couldn’t conveniently access grooming for their pets in the Athol area.

Assessing her first few weeks in business, Rouleau said, “I think it’s been going fantastic. We’ve had a lot of clients through the door. People have been really positive, saying that they’ve been waiting for us to open. So, it’s been great.”

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Rouleau is setting up shop in a community where she has lived since birth. She and her son occupy the home she purchased 20 years ago. She said she has taken more than a year getting the location remodeled and equipped to her specifications, investing nearly three-quarters of a million dollars into the business in her hometown. Seven people from North Quabbin are employed at the salon.

“One thing a lot of people don’t realize, is that being a pet groomer is a physically demanding job. And to be a groomer, you have to be creative and have very good skills, and you have to have high standards. It’s a lot more involved than most people are aware,” Rouleau said.

In addition, a groomer has to be able to gauge the personality of clients who can’t speak to know how to handle them. Rouleau also wants potential clients to know the salon serves more than just dogs.

“We’re cat-friendly,” she said. “We take our time with them. We know that every cat has its own comfort level. Everything we do comes down to how they’re handled.”

Tails’ website states, “We have Fear Free Certified staff that understand your pet’s behavior and body language to recognize increased fear, anxiety, stress and are well versed in calming techniques to implement. They have received special hands-on training in low stress handling of both dogs and cats with a variety of temperaments.”

The facility boasts a large finishing room where four different groomers can do their work. She also has comfortable kennels where dogs can be kept until owners arrive to pick up their pets, as well as a separate soundproof room for cats.

Tails Pet Salon offers Basic, Full, and Deluxe services, a puppy plan, A la Carte services, walk-in service and, of course, cat grooming services and a kitten plan.

Appointments may be made by calling (978) 830-0487 or visiting the Tails Pet Salon website: www.tailspetsalon.com. Hours are 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.