New downtown shop a haven for pets

Staff Writer

Pet Pals Resort owner Patricia Paliseno organizes pet toys and treats.Pet Pals Resort owner Patricia Paliseno organizes pet toys and treats.


Staff Writer

METUCHEN — Upon entering Pet Pals Resort on Jersey Avenue, one is likely to be greeted by two boisterous and friendly golden retrievers.

The dogs, Sundance Jr. and Jesse James, respectively, are two of the loves of Ron and Patricia Paliseno’s lives.

PHOTOS BY FARRAH MAFFAI staff Golden retrievers Jesse James and Sundance Jr. model the new kennels at Pet Pals Resort.PHOTOS BY FARRAH MAFFAI staff Golden retrievers Jesse James and Sundance Jr. model the new kennels at Pet Pals Resort.

After Ron retired from the corporate world not long ago, the North Edison couple decided to pursue their passion for pets on a professional level.

"I wanted to do something I loved," Ron said. "It was always Patricia’s dream to open a pet care facility."

Pet Pals Resort, which held its grand opening last weekend, is the result.

The venture will offer dog and cat owners day care, 24-hour supervised boarding, full grooming services and a "boutique" full of unique pet supplies and gift items.

"We saw there was a tremendous need" for this kind of facility in the area, Pat said.

And for dogs and cats, the place will truly be a resort.

Start with the large indoor and outdoor playgrounds for dogs, for instance.

Or the multitiered cat cages twice the standard size.

There’ll even be wading pools for the dogs in the warm weather months.

Perhaps most significantly, the dogs and cats will be given free roam in spacious playrooms to socialize, exercise or just hang out.

In fact, animals will only be caged for sleeping and eating purposes.

Unlike the vast majority of pet boarding facilities, Pet Pals will oper­ate with 24-hour supervision.

"It’s a major thing we’re investing in," Ron said, noting that heating and air conditioning system breakdowns have led to the loss of animals at other kennels in the region.

"We want to duplicate what we would do with our own pups," Ron said.

"Everybody who works here has to be a real dog lover," Pat said.

To that end, in addition to having someone on the premises at all times, a special alarm has been installed that will detect any drop in temperature be­low 55 degrees or any increase over 85 degrees.

If that isn’t enough to ease pet own­er’s minds, coming soon to the Pet Pals web site ( will be a Web cam where owners can check in on their furry friends overnight.

In addition, owners are free to bring their pet’s toys and beds from home to make them more comfortable.

The hands-on style of boarding does mean that Pet Pals cannot accept ag­gressive animals.

Certain breeds can present particu­lar difficulties: "Pit bulls don’t do well in groups, and they have jaws of steel," Pat said.

Pet Pals cannot take in strays, ei­ther, and all animals are required to be up to date on their vaccinations.

However, Ron and Pat will work with to help match un­wanted pets with willing owners in the community.

So why Metuchen?

"We looked around for months, and we can’t ask for a better place than Metuchen," Ron said.

Pat said the community response has been immediate and overwhelm­ing, with people coming in to book their pets well before the facility’s opening.

"We have gotten such a tremendous response already," Ron said.

Prices range from $22 a day for daycare for dogs, to $40 per visit in boarding fees for a dog. Boarding fees for cats are $18 per visit.