Pet boarding

New owners for Hydrant Hotel, pet boarding business in LI

RIVERHEAD, NY – The Hydrant Hotel, a pet boarding and grooming business in downtown Riverhead, is ready for its next chapter.

The company was purchased by Eva LaMere and Rick Chiorando, respectively president and CEO of Austin Williams, a Hauppauge marketing, advertising, digital and public relations agency.

The Hydrant Hotel, a 10,000 square foot facility at 845 Raynor Avenue in Riverhead, was previously owned by Anthony and Rebecca Pollina, who also own Dog Town in Southold.

The business opened in 2015, providing boarding and grooming services for dogs and cats whose owners live, work and vacation in Long Island’s East End, the new owners said.

“It’s a real passion project for us because we love our pets, especially our dogs,” said LaMere, who lives in Southampton. “We saved our dogs Dixie Doodle and Monty and encouraged even more. We thought it was a call for us to revitalize a business that serves such an important need for pet owners and their children to four legs.

LaMere is also Vice Chairman of the Board of Canine Companions Inc., a national non-profit service dog organization that provides service dogs to adults, children and veterans with disabilities, as well as Facility dogs to professionals working in health care, criminal justice, and educational settings.

Canine Companions Northeast Headquarters is located in Medford.

The company’s day-to-day operations are led by Kerri Ficke and Jessy San Filippo, who will remain in their roles, the new owners said.

“Kerri and Jessy are essential in ensuring that pets receive the exceptional level of care they deserve and in reassuring their owners when they entrust them to us,” said Chiorando. “We plan to give them even more resources and expand services and amenities for dogs and cats who call this their second home.”

In addition to the indoor facility, The Hydrant offers an outdoor agility course and a one-acre “nature walk” area where dogs can play and exercise daily. Inside, an advanced heating and ventilation system with ultraviolet and infrared lighting keeps airborne viruses at bay, and insulated ventilation zones prevent odors from traveling between the dog boarding area and the cat boarding area, the owners said.

Looking ahead, LaMere and Chiorando also plan to tap into their day jobs as marketers and advertisers to give the facility a new look.

“We have big plans for the interior design of the facility and we will revamp the website to add new features and functionality. We want the Hydrant brand to be known as the East End’s premier pet boarding house,” LaMere said. “We want people to like it and like to tell their friends about it.”