New cageless pet hotel opens in Astoria

By Bill Parry

A new pet hotel in Astoria puts a premium on creature comforts.

NYC Pet Services held its grand opening Saturday at 23-08 30th Ave., offering small private rooms for overnight boarding complete with beds and couches.

“We’re completely cage free because they make the pets nervous,” owner Samantha Aguilar said. “The small but lavish private rooms have toys and a TV to make them feel more at home.” Larger communal rooms are available for dogs that don’t want to be alone.

Aguilar moved her business to a larger space after three successful years on 24th Avenue.

“Saturday’s opening went very well,” she said. “We signed up many new clients and many of my customers from the old place showed up to offer support.”

In addition to lodging and day care, NYC Pet Services offer grooming, dog-walking and training. The facility shares a floor with the Mount Sinai Animal Clinic, a veterinarian hospital that used to be located on Ditmars Boulevard, whose owner and Aguilar once worked together for the same vet.

“We wanted to create a one-stop shop for clients so they can get all the services at the same time,” Aguilar said. Born and raised on nearby Crescent Street, Aguilar began walking dogs at the age of 13. Now 25, she says she saved every penny from all those years as a walker so that she could open a business like this.

“I worked for several years at a very popular kennel in Manhattan and it always bothered me how the animals were mistreated, even by professionals,” Aguilar said. “I used to get upset seeing how depressed the animals got and how upset that made their owners. I wanted the animals and their owners to be happy with our services.”

Aguilar also knows how important trust is for her clients.

“I have one client who went without a vacation for 14 years because he was so worried about putting his pet in a kennel,” she said. “That’s a long time to go without a vacation.”

While NYC Pet Services is completely cage free, it does have crates available for use by special request.

“Some people prefer to have their pets sleep in a crate from a very young age. We can accommodate that,” Aguilar said.

There is also a room for cats and a space for birds. There is 24-hour supervision.

There are currently six rooms but Aguilar expects several more when construction is complete. Daycare costs $30 a day and overnight boarding runs $45 to $65 a night.

Aguilar said dog-themed movies play on the TVs and there is also free Wifi at the pet hotel.

“The dogs don’t use the Wifi, though, “ she said. “They’re too busy playing.”

Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparry@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4538.

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