February 27, 2013

Caring For Man’s Best Friends


American consumers spent $51 billion on their pets last year, and 62% of US households have pets according to a Time magazine report.  Pets have become part of the family, and consumers are willing to spend more on toys, healthcare, and opting for pet motels instead of kennels. Kamron and Vicky Fultz couldn’t agree more.

While pursuing theater and music majors in college, Kamron and Vicky were casted for the leading roles in a local theater production. Art brought this young couple together, but it’s the love of animals that brought them to the Rio Grande Valley to manage Kamron’s mother new investment: the Valley Pet Motel.


Vicky Fultz has worked in the care of animals for seven years. Kamron is not a stranger to the industry for he grew up in the valley admiring his grandfather, veterinarian Dr. Jack Valerius, who serves as the motel’s on-call veterinarian. Both Vicky and Kamron worked at the Animal Inn in Houston, Texas, prior to relocating to Harlingen.


It has been one year since the Fultzes came to manage the Valley Pet Motel. They have been busy remodeling and expanding the property. Their main focus is to provide a safe, hygienic, clean, and efficient facility. Following new industry standards, the Fultzes have made some changes to the daily routine of animal care. To them, the safety of the animal comes first, but most importantly they say is love. “You have to love animals more than you love your free time,” said Kamron. Both expressed the challenges of taking over an existing business, especially when the business was struggling. “Several previous customers swore they would never come back,” said Kamron, “but they have not only come back; they are now loyal customers.”

The Valley Pet Motel offers professional grooming for all breeds of dogs and cats. Bathing, nail trims, and dips, plus indoor and semi-indoor boarding, as well as a doggie day care. A new service of pickup and delivery of pets, or pet-taxi as the Fultzes call it, has just been introduced for all boarded pets. Additionally, in-home pet care is available for those who prefer their pets to remain in familiar surroundings. The tropical landscape that surrounds the property provides a resort-like environment that accommodates up to 200 pets. It even boasts a playground and salt water swimming pool; “Salt water is gentler on a dog’s coat,” said Vicky. Private dog suites come complete with glass doors, windows overlooking the gardens and pool, playtime, snuggle time, a biscuit at bedtime, and even movies. The Valley Pet Motel is also home to a pet cemetery, but there are few plots left.  The Fultzes do not foresee any more plots will be added.

Things are moving right along as customers drive from McAllen and all over the valley to drop their dogs for boarding and grooming. Clients have surely noticed the positive changes the Fultzes have introduced, and how they personally oversee the care of each and every animal. Furthermore, the Fultzes live on the property offering customers great peace of mind. “Most of our customers have been referred to us by other customers,” said Vicky, “We have not really spent much money on advertising; we have relied on word of mouth referrals.”

Kamron and Vicky have seen an increase in their clientele which motivates them to embrace a new year full of great projects. Vicky plans to pursue an acupressure and massage certification for dogs and horses that will allow them to offer special care services for older animals.  They are researching the possibility of turning the property’s additional nine acres into a dog park. “People are very interested in having a dog park in the valley,” both said. Kamron and Vicky are also looking at the latest technology tools to provide even better customer service. They want to send updates on pets via text messaging, and they want to install live video inputs so clients can log in to their computers and check on their pets. Because pets are like family members, and the Fultzes know the importance of keeping pet owners informed and content.  

Today, pets enjoy a higher status than ever before; one million were primary beneficiaries in their owners wills. The latest trend shows consumers will continue to indulge their pets. This is what drives Kamron and Vicky Fultz, for they want to provide the best pet motel the valley has seen. At the same time, they want to make it accessible and appealing by offering something for everybody. They toil each day with this purpose in mind. Their knowledge and love of animals will be their guide as they continue working towards providing the best pet’s home away from home.

I wrote this article for the February issue of the Valley Business Report  - The photo is by Moyan Brenn

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About the Author

Tapia - Gonzales
La Vida Valle is where I write about "la vida" living in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Life, art and culture, poetry, prayers, travel, and camping! yes, that's my new thing. I blame the heat and high humidity for the madness. Contributions and comments are always welcome .


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