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Arlington Dog Daycare Moving To Falls Church

by Aaron Kraut July 30, 2012 at 11:05 am 4,056 25 Comments

Dog Paws ‘n Cat Claws dog daycare (940 S. George Mason Drive) is moving out of Arlington.

The move, to a bigger space at 5818 Seminary Road in Falls Church, will allow the five-year-old business to serve as a dedicated pet adoption center, says owner Ryan Folcher.

The current space, just off of Columbia Pike, allows only for standalone pet adoption events, said Folcher, who also cited concerns about Arlington County’s move away from the type of light industrial zoning his business uses.

“We want to kind of reconstruct the building. But I don’t have the money or time to do that and risk that Arlington just says, ‘No, we’re not going to approve it,'” Folcher said. “The only thing that is zoned for Arlington is high-rise apartments and condos. I was interested in staying but my business model really can’t adopt. Financially, I just need to let the business evolve and that’s not where it’s going to happen.”

Daycare manager Lisa Niel said the current space holds between 50 and 60 dogs a day. Folcher and another employee showed off the new 7,400-square-foot daycare and retail store to clients in an open house on Sunday.

“We’ve already heard feedback from clients dropping off dogs that they love the new space,” Niel said. “We think it will broaden our client base into Alexandria, Bailey’s Crossroads and Fairfax.”

Folcher also cited Arlington County signage restrictions as an issue. Last year, the county told him he could not post temporary signage advertising holiday sales.

He hopes to have the new location ready to open by late August.

  • YTK

    That was a nice place– i wish them well in their new location.

    Their present location was in a seedy neighborhood anyway.

  • dallynd

    With the business goes the revenue and a service that was well used in a neighborhood of condos and apartments. Virginia may be one of the most business friendly states, but we need to clean up our zoning and signage policies and reputation, I don’t understand why the zoning disallows industrial: we do have to have some industrial space to provide residents with a full range of services.

    • WeiQiang

      I don’t know how douchey the county is being on light industrial zoning, but the business community [incl the developers] should be clamoring for a sane light industrial policy. It would complement the higher density residential and office development by keeping consumer circulation nearby. For those things that residents and non-resident workers need to get done in their lives (car repairs, dog stuff, paint stores, storage, whatever-t-h), I think Arlington should be able to offer reasonbly convenient light industrial accomodation. When folks need to run errands for their cars, kids, pets, homes, whatever – if I was a biz owner – I would not want customers who live or work near me to schlep to Alexandria, Fairfax, or Springfield. When I have to do these things myself outside of Arlington, I wind up grabbing lunch or adding on other shopping where I go. It doesn’t take a first-year MBA to figure this out … and it might add 75 new jobs.

  • Wilbur


  • Jerry

    Arlington sure is becoming a real a-hole to businesses and companies.

    • YTK


  • Don

    I wonder if we’re going to see localities discovering major downsides to de-emphasizing light industrial use, just as we’ve discovered the downsides of mono-use zones like Tyson’s Corner…. and have these same sort of hugely expensive remediation projects.

  • Becoming indifferent

    Probably leaving because of the trolley.

  • noooo this was such a good place to pick up domesticated dog babes!!!!!!!

    *howls & runs to falls church*

  • Skeptical

    That whole shopping center (I live pretty near by) is such a cruddy dump that I suspect it limited their business anyway. Every time people complain about the Pike being “gentrified,” I wonder if they really love it being seedy. (Disclaimer: I think the trolley is a boondoggle. I just don’t see anything wonderful about a bunch of rundown storefronts with grimy windows and parking lots.)

    Now that Lost Dog has made itself ridiculous by trying to wreck things for a lot of little one-horse out-of-state businesses who were unlucky enough to choose the same name years ago, it’s nice to think there’ll be another hub for pet adoptions.

  • JohnB

    That entire shopping center/strip mall is going to be razed and replaced in the next 5 years so this is a good decision by the proprietor. Going to find out if the gripe about light industrial is true…

    • 5555624

      Five years? I think it might be less than that, unless the opposite corner gets razed first. (I don’t think they are owned by the same person/group, I just think one will get built up before the other.)

    • JohnB

      Seems like this guy is right that kennels are only explicitly allowed in the CM limited industrial uses and the property is zoned C-2 service commercial. Looking at the other uses allowed in both areas it seems like the real problem is that kennels belong in a different zoning district than “Foundry casting lightweight nonferrous metal not causing noxious fumes, noise or odors” uses. I do wonder how he does boarding now though. Perhaps a use permit from the zoning administrator? Seems like a simple enough amendment to allow for boarding of animals under a certain weight in commercial zoned districts.

  • Good for them. They were in a bad location.

    As for the whole zoning debate, I don’t know the details, but if Arlington is serious about a car free diet, then it should realize that there is more to walkable communities than just condos, restaurants and grocery stores. People need access to all sorts of services, and pet care is just one of them.

    • Elmer

      Arlington does not want businesses where people get their hands and clothes dirty as in blue collar professions, thus push out the light industrial.
      We are an urban village of offices, bars, restaurants, condos, think tanks, shopping and professional services. Have to keep the enlighted, gentrified world class image.

      • drax

        Stop making things up, Elmer.

        • Elmer

          I know the truth hurts but the proof is before you and becoming more so with every county board approved development/waiver and rezoning.

  • Westover

    I just don’t see how anything on Seminary Road can be labled “Falls Church”. City of Falls Church should sue Fairfax County for name infringement.

    • DK

      Blame the Post Office, not Fairfax County. It’s a mailing address issue. The smae goes for the Alexandria designation. That goes almost to Ft. Belvoir.

      • Westover

        USPS goes with what the community asks for, not the otherway around.

  • Andy

    Doggone it.

  • Shirldog

    My pooch loves Dog Paws – went to the open house and was very impressed, especially for the space dedicated to Homeward Trails Rescue. We’ll be making the extra 5-10 minutes drive west…Arlington, you’ve lost a great business that contributes more in taxes than it requires in services.

  • Marlene Bocast

    Yay, even closer to me!


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