New owner plans to transform problematic dog boarding and grooming facility

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A new owner moved into the former Luv N Care boarding and grooming facility in northeast Albuquerque, and he has a lot of work to do.

“As I started to look into what needed to be repaired and the like, I started to see evidence of remarkable abuse,” said Dr. Finnie Coleman, the new owner. “Really kind of stunning.”

Lisa Berry, the former tenant, reportedly used it to house dogs she said she was training and other animals.

“I can’t imagine that a pet was placed in here,” said Coleman, as he showed a filthy sink, dirty kennels, and broken and scratched fences.

“The damage in these kennels tell a story. So, when I look here and see boards like this you can see where dogs have been trying to get out of this,” he explained. “This was just cruel.”

His plan is to transform the place. Once they remodel and replace most of the kennels, he’ll work with the city, county, and other rescues to make a home for dogs who need one, like dogs on a euthanasia list at local shelters.

“We want to bring them here, give them an enrichment opportunity, train them on some basic skills, give them a good bath, have them play and just be a dog for a while and then take them back to the shelter or people can adopt from us directly,” said Coleman.

Another part of the plan is to build a low-cost or no-cost spay and neuter clinic, have a dog food pantry for food-insecure animals, and provide job training for veterans through a program called Vets for Pets.

“I’m one of those people who believes homeless, and veteran should never be in the same sentence,” said Coleman. “And I’m a veteran myself, I’m a disabled vet, and I know that veterans need opportunities for job training more than what we have.”

Albuquerque-based Cross My Paws rescue is already on board and is sponsoring a GoFundMe page to help with remodeling costs.

Coleman says he’s had some promising conversations with Mayor Tim Keller’s office and a couple of state lawmakers, but state funding could take a while.

If you’d like to donate to help with demolition and remodeling now, click here.