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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Pet Envy Provides Professional Grooming and More

Jul 27, 2015 04:50PM ● By Brandi Barnett

Pawsitively Precious

August 2015
By Jordan Venema
Photos: Christina Hopper

Heather Busby is running a little late, but the reason couldn’t have been more appropriate. “Sorry,” she apologizes. “One of my dogs had an accident.”
Busby isn’t just a pet owner and animal lover; she and her husband Greg own and operate Pet Envy Grooming & Boutique. For Busby, a dirty dog is just another day at work, but as animal lovers, grooming is more than business – it’s about loving and caring for their pets.
“I grew up in the county,” explains Busby, for whom animals were always a part of life – “chickens, horses, I have had a pet turkey. His name was Virgil.” But by the time she got married, she had simplified to a single cat. Well, marriage changes things, and “family” eventually followed.   
“Right now we have 12 dogs, eight cats and two birds,” says Busby. “We have a bunch of koi, about 20 of them, and one saltwater clown fish.”
Chalk up the petting zoo to country living. “People dump animals so much by where we live, so we end up with more and more,” explains Busby. She also sometimes temporarily cares for a customer’s pet while the owner tries to find a new home.

Between finding, collecting and adopting animals, the Busbys’ home has become a kind of halfway house for pets, though she hints it’s just as much a risk they’ll end up keeping the critters. Busby isn’t just a groomer; she’s like an SPCA poster child.
As much as they love animals, the Busbys never envisioned professionally grooming other people’s pets. In fact, they didn’t really see the fuss of grooming their own (professionally, anyway), until they got a Maltese in 2006. “After that we started to understand the upkeep that they need,” admits Busby.
The Busbys moved back to the Central Valley and opened Pet Envy in 2010. Greg and Heather had both lived and worked in LA. Busby describes that period of life as “constant travel, never seeing each other, just wanting to find a way to get back home.”
And it just made sense: let’s move home, work with what we love. “We wanted to open it here because this is where our family is,” says Busby, even though LA might have seemed a more appropriate milieu for a pet salon.
Busby agrees. “You’d think San Francisco and LA would be where a pet salon is more prevalent. But we’re actually so much larger than any of the salons in those areas,” she says. “We’re actually the biggest grooming salon on the West Coast.”
Busby gives two reasons for their success: affordability relative to location, and people who love their pets. “For a lot of our customers, their dogs are their children.” And whereas customers might pay $80 to trim a Yorkie in San Francisco, they’d pay less than half for a full groom at Pet Envy Grooming & Boutique.
Pets might be like children to some, but when it comes to bathing, animals are rarely as compliant. “Not every dog enjoys a bath or their toenails trimmed,” and Busby admits grooming can be be difficult, messy, complicated for owners. “We have tubs designed for dogs, ramps where they can walk in,” as well as special hoses. Basically, says Busby, “you can’t do the same things” – or provide the same care – “from home.”
Ultimately, Busby says professional pet grooming isn’t just about looks or convenience for the pet owner – it’s about animal care and health. “I’ve actually seen animals have to get put down from neglect, not being groomed,” says Busby. Many are bred for specific coats, meaning breeds have specific needs. Cocker spaniels, for example, have finer fur that can mat between toes, causing discomfort, even limping.
However you cut it, whether it’s animal hygiene or pampering pets, Busby’s grooming salon fundamentally cares about animals – and not just the pets that can afford to pay. “We also offer discounts to rescue animals,” says Busby, “a 25 percent discount rate to make an animal more adoptable.” Busby works with “any of the local rescues, the SPCA, the Love of Animals, Gabby’s Animal Rescue – basically any that stop by,” she says.

Pet Envy Grooming & Boutique •
5121 West Goshen Ave., Visalia • (559)-741-1442
1237 North Cherry St., Tulare • (559)-366-7674
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