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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 an aspiring broadcast journalist pursuing a Master of Arts in media and journalism at Kent State University. Jay’s student media career began as an undergraduate student at Old Westbury Web Radio (OWWR) of the State University of New York College at Old Westbury. She is passionate about raising community awareness on social justice, and environmental issues as well as local music and art. Her spare time involves attending local music showcases, experimenting with weird food combinations and painting. Jay wishes to use her journalistic abilities for providing a voice to the voiceless.
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 senior journalism major at Kent State and will be graduating Spring 2022. She is a general assignment editor for the student-run newspaper, Kent Stater. She has also worked as a copy editor, opinion writer and photographer. She already holds a photography degree and worked in the health insurance field almost 12 years before returning back to school to receive a second bachelor’s degree. With her minor being in nonprofit studies, she hopes to work in a nonprofit newsroom as a multi-media reporter who tells stories about the local community.