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Lilac Grove Boarding Kennel

6489 Mapleward Rd, Thunder Bay, ON
47 reviews
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Lilac Grove Boarding Kennel, Thunder Bay Reviews (47)

4.4
47 reviews
5 Star
40
4 Star
0
3 Star
1
2 Star
0
1 Star
6
By my3sons on Jan 05, 2016
Lilac Grove is a 5 Star Boarding Kennel that caters to all my dogs needs and wants....you have to see to believe it ....walks, playtime, craft time, TV time and bedtime stories. Wendy and her "aunties" truly are amazing!
Thank you
By Haley1 on Dec 03, 2015
Haley is 11 years old, first Time she was in a Kennel, I cried when I left her. Picked her up after 9 days. She was happy clean. Loved the art work also reading her day to day journal. The ladies are fantastic. I will be bringing her there again.
By LadyDi56 on Sep 07, 2015
My dog "Teddie" became a part of Lilac Grove Boarding Kennel for 17 years. This kennel is more than just a kennel it became our 2nd family. Over those 17 years Teddie, myself and my daughter Latasha developed a very special bond with this kennel's owner(Wendy).

Wendy was at my "50th" birthday party. She took the time to come celebrate this special occasion. She has helped me over the years whenever help was needed

She was always there for Teddie and his health issues, I always felt that he recieved the best care when he was there. I could ask her anything I might have concerning Teddie.

I loved Teddie's artwork and his daily activity sheet I would receive when I picked him up. Along with those special treats. I still have Teddie's artwork and activity sheets.

One night last April(2014) I had to call Wendy I was very upset, something was wrong with Teddie. She advised my daughter what we should do and we took our beloved Teddie to the vet. It was a very rough night for us. After talking with Wendy and the Vet, Latasha and I decided to put down our family member of 17 years.

If you have ever had to put down a family pet that you loved dearly you know the pain that comes with this decision. Wendy was amazing she knew our pain, she sent us a beautiful pet sympathy card writing in her card how she felt with us losing Teddie.

She told me to keep in touch, that I was part of the family. I donated craft supplies, items of Teddie's I know could be used by the kennel. She put out an invitation to me to come walk the dogs when I felt up to it.

It took over a year but this past June(2015) I started coming out to walk the dogs. It feels good to be part of Lilac Grove Kennel again. My daughter started working there this May(2015) she is enjoying her time there.

Wendy is a wonderful boss, an amazing friend with a heart of gold.

Thank you Wendy, Nicole and the rest of the amazing staff at Lilac Grove Boarding Kennel.

Diane and Latasha Schaller
By JoVic on Aug 11, 2015
Lilac Grove was highly recommended to us and we certainly discovered why. Our 6 year old Duffy just spent 2 weeks with Wendy, Nicole and the Aunties. He had a blast and we did not have to worry about him. We called a few times to check on him and were never made to feel like we were bothering them. What a friendly and wonderful crew they are. The walks, dog park, TV, bedtime stories, crafts and all the loving they give is greatly appreciated. Thank you all so much...we'll be back!

Vic & Joanne Bobinski
By Amethyst Hare on Mar 23, 2015
Lilic Grove is by far a very caring, healthy and safe home for our Papillions while we are on vacation. We know they get plenty of excercise, are able to play with other dogs of theirs size and enjoy plenty of fresh air.
Wendy and Nichol are exceptional in there care of our girls and we know that all their needs are being met. The kennel is very clean, well stocked and has a great staff ensuring our girls get plenty of attention.
We appreciated the daily activity reports that we recieve along with the bicuits they enjoy. I highly recommend this kennel to anyone looking for a happly, healthy and clean place for their pets while they are away on vaction.
Bob M.
By Umber Elk on Feb 21, 2015
My husband and I have been long standing customers of this Kennel for many years now. We boarded our first dog there and now with our second. We can honestly say that we have been treated with nothing but respect and professionalism each and every time we have dealt with Wendy and her staff. This Kennel has been around for at least 20 years and these girls ( 6 in total from what i have read from my last activity report) work tirelessly caring for these pets. My dog gets quite excited when he is going for a visit. Once we arrive he runs right down to the Kennel gate and awaits for the Aunties to let him in. Each and every time i have been there I see the girls out walking the dogs or running them in the large fenced in offleash park area. I even remember one day last summer when we picked up our dog on a rainy day and arrived to see them watching a movie and snuggling with some of the dogs in the office. They print off an activity report after each visit so I can read up on what my dog did and the friends he played with. This is one busy little Kennel and for obvious reasons...it is the best by far. I can say without a doubt that we trust Lilac Grove implicitly with the care of our precious dog.

J & N Smith
By nejimi on Feb 10, 2015
I could go into a long drawn out story here, but the bottom line is I would not use this kennel again under any circumstances. The first time we were treated with professionalism and courtesy by both the owner and staff and our dog seemed genuinely happy when we picked her up. The second time, we dealt only with the owner who was working alone even though she had a full kennel when we arrived and she was alone again when we picked up the dog 8 days later. There was no courtesy and no professionalism this time. She rushed us through the intake process and when we picked up our dog all she could do is complain about how much our dog barked. She even insisted on being paid in cash. What is with that? Though I would never go so far as to say our dog was abused, as there was no physical evidence of that, but the dog certainly wasn't as happy leaving there as the first time. The dog couldn't wait to get out of there and literally ran to the truck and laid there in the back seat shaking until she was sure she was on her way home. Our dog is not a stranger to kennels and this reaction was unusual and concerned us. The dog never had that reaction to being in a kennel before that, and has not had that reaction since. I wish the dog could talk. I do not like this kennel's practice of enclosing the dogs in their kennels and only opening the door to the outdoor run once every two hours (or perhaps longer, who knows for sure), and I have to wonder just how long the dog was shut up in its little space. Would I recommend this place? Not if you love your pet.
By pnpenney on Nov 23, 2014
Lilac Grove was recommended to us by a friend and we decided to give it a try when we need a vacation.I was meet by Wendy , the owner and could tell right away she was a workaholic who loved what she does.The first impression of the kennels was impressive . The place spotless and you could not tell that any animals were there but for the noise . All you could see and smell was *clean*.. I had no problem leaving my new pet with this place. They look after all pets as if they were their own . my dog was happy and healthy when we got her back and I will continue to use this place as I know my pet will be looked after...Thanks Wendy and thanks all the great staff.

Paul and Lynda Penney
By Alex5 on Nov 10, 2014
I am an owner of a senior dog with special needs. I have been using Lilac Grove for more than 13 years now. Wendy and her staff have always been very accommodating, kind and compassionate when it come to the care of my dog. Because my dog has neurological issues he is a lot of work and these people care for him as I would. This means a lot to me! When I leave him I know he is in good hands.
For the people who wrote the review "Problems" I am always surprised how people hide behind social media to discredit a fine business such as this. Perhaps you were not respectful or reasonable when you called to complain!? There is always two sides to every story!
By Purple Pike on Oct 09, 2014
I first want to say that with our previous dogs we had a good experience at Lilac Grove and with the owner Wendy Astle.
However with our last experience it was less than satisfactory. Our dog a rare breed had problems after we picked her up at Lilac, a problem with her health. As all good dog owners we have been trying to search back to find the problem and any information that we can glean would be helpful.

Now the problem with our little dog is that she is now have difficulty with seizures, and this did not happen prior to her boarding at Lilac. In an effort to unmask the problem we of course called the kennel and my wife talked with the owner Ms. Astle. We were met with defensive comments and the inability to believe that perhaps something went terribly wrong at her kennel and all we were trying to find out was the truth, to assist our little dog.

In my opinion this kennel does all the fluff required to meet the human heart in an effort to make our canine friends seem comfortable. An ability to assit with out the defensive posturing would have been welcomed.

By Red Swordtail on Jun 19, 2014
Our family has been boarding our pets at Lilac Grove since the kennel opened. Wendy, Nicole and their staff have been amazing to our pets over the years. We had a senior diabetic cat who Wendy took care of in her own home as he needed two insulin shots a day. Our dwarf bunny spent many weekends there and the care provided to him was excellent. We now have two chocolate labs that have been boarded at lilac numerous times over the last eight years. The care that is provided to them is exceptional. We have not had a single concern and will continue to board our pets there. We will continue to recommend lilac kennel to friends and others who are looking for a kennel. Wendy is an amazing woman who genuinely loves all animals and ensures their need for attention, exercise, and fun are met during their stay . Nicole is fantastic with our dogs and all the staff we have met have been great and love animals. I trust them fully and my healthy, happy dogs have always had terrific visits, coming home as happy and energetic as ever!
By Purple Tree-frog on Jun 17, 2014
I have taken my dogs to Lilac Grove for the past 15 years. I currently have a 7 year old German Shepherd who has been labelled "reactive." When I am with him, he takes his protective role far too seriously and is always "working." When he goes to Lilac Grove, he is allowed to be on vacation and relax. He walks and plays with other dogs of all shapes and sizes and loves spending time at his home away from home(I call it his spa vacation!).

All of the staff (Aunties) have been phenomenal in his care and treatment. I am confident that he is exercised and stimulated every day and his special diet (yogurt with breakfast) is accommodated.

I agree with Wendy's adherence to policies (re. health, vaccinations) and to the hygienic practices followed in maintaining a clean and safe environment.

All of the staff that I have had the privilege to meet over the years have been outstanding and professional - and demonstrate their love and passion for dogs in everything that they do.

As others have said, I plan my holidays around when my dog can be accommodated at Lilac Grove. I will not send him anywhere else!
By Debra on Jun 07, 2014
I read the negative post of the lady from last month and was upset actually with what she said. I have taken two dogs to Lilac Kennel over the years. My current dog is fifteen years old and has been there since she was a pup. She was there just a few weeks ago and had to have medications given, special diet now, special instructions for walking because of her age - the staff took care of her very well. In fact, I will not book a plane or trip if I can't get her in there first. The aunties and staff treat her like their own. I had to book her one Christmas and it was worth the line-up to be fair to others. It just reminds me how in demand Lilac Grove is. My dog is worth every penny I pay for her to be there, and Lilac Grove is worth every penny they charge to take care of her. Kudos to Wendy, Nicole, and staff. They are the best.
By Shannon on Jun 06, 2014
We have 2 dogs and they have been going to lilac since they were puppies. 11 years for one and 7 for the other. The staff are caring,loving and very helpful. I would not trust any other kennel with my dogs. Our oldest dog had surgery 4 years ago and we had to bring him to the kennel for a few days a couple of months later. Nicole , Wendy and all the staff took good care of him knowing his limitations and my girl as they always do. They love our animals like their own and I would not trust any other kennel to care for my dogs as they do. They are the only kennel that my dogs go to and when they do they run right up to the gate tails wagging, they never hesitate. I have peace of mind knowing they will be loved, walked and not simply stuck in a cage all day and night. My dogs are never anxious going to Lilac and never anxious when they come home, giving us peace of mind. I know that Lilac always books up fast , so I book our holidays for the dogs at the beginning of the year. If something comes up I know Wendy or Nicole will try to accommodate us and if they can't we change our plans as I would not put my dogs in any other kennel except for Lilac.
By Cinnamon Antlion on May 30, 2014
I'm distressed to hear about the bad experience one pet owner had after she picked up her puppy from Lilac Grove. I have never had any issues or doubts about the care my dogs have received at Lilac Grove over several years. They have always been happy to arrive there for their stay, they obviously respond positively to Wendy and all the staff and look forward to meeting new friends and enjoying the dog park. I know that a dog can become quite attached to it's owner and feel quite betrayed by being abandoned even in the best of care. I had a puppy pee on the pillow of a girlfriend and outside the door of a new roommate. It was an apparent jealousy issue which was totally out of character and unexpected but if you look at how my dog might feel you can start to figure it out.

I suggest to this owner that your dog has emotions and responds to them like you do, your dog can mis-interpret your best intentions the same way your spouse can be upset by your own best intentions. I am sure your puppy was well cared for at lilac grove and just reacted adversely because he/she missed you and perhaps thought you would never be back, he/she is only 5 months old after all. I'm not saying you shouldn't follow up on your personal investigation but I am quite confident you won't find any problems with Lilac Grove or the staff, Wendy and Nicole are awesome and their staff appear to be well trained.

I hope your puppy is feeling better BTW I never like to see a dog in distress.
By Violet Wildcat on May 27, 2014
I just read the terrible review of Lilac Grove kennel from the woman who says her pup was not the same when it came home. I have been in the dog profession for over 40 years and as such, I've had my share of encounters with unreasonable people. This woman sounds like such a person. I have been leaving my dogs at Lilac Grove since they opened and I can honestly say that I have Never had any problems whatsoever. I have met the staff who are professionally trained by Wendy , who is herself , a gem.
I simply cannot fathom how this woman could have such a horrible experience when everyone else raves about the wonderful care that their pets receive at Lilac Grove.
I strongly suspect that her pup suffers from a lack of proper socialization. No dog of sound temperament would react as this lady describes. Perhaps it was premature of her to leave her pup at such a tender age and She should take responsibility for her pups lack of confidence instead of blaming the kennel. And what a mistake it is to attack this particular kennel. Without a doubt it is the BEST boarding kennel in the area. Just ask the hundreds of satisfied customers who feel fortunate when they are able to get a spot at Wendy's
By the way, wherever did she get the idea that kennel owners must be on the property 24/7? How unrealistic is that. Get a grip lady. Is this your first dog?
Anytime you take your dog out of the safety of your arms bad things can happen to it. Perhaps you should just stay home and coddle your dog and forget about boarding it with anyone. Pity the poor kennel or groomer who has to deal with your neurosis.
I've never had any of my dogs come out of there dirty and even if they did, so what? Lilac grove is a Boarding Kennel and not a groomer and it was unrealistic of you to expect a perfectly clean animal. Having said that, I Must say my dogs have always come back as clean or cleaner than when they went in. You really do sound like a novice dog owner who needs to focus on strengthening your dogs temperament instead of blaming Lilac Grove.
There are many great training facilities who can help you and your dog I urge you talk to someone more knowledgable before you are saddled with a problem dog.
No dog with a sound temperament would ever fall apart as seriously as you imply that your dog did. In fact, if I were the owners of Lilac Grove I would be calling a lawyer. You are making some serious accusations which in my opinion are totally ridiculous and unbelievable.
New customers, ignore that woman's review. She sounds like someone with really unrealistic expectations and frankly, a bit of a nut case. Go visit Lilac Grove and judge for yourself. You will be impressed
By Gail on May 27, 2014
I have had 3 dogs over the years stay with the Aunties at Lilac Grove Boarding Kennel. When I first moved to the area with a puppy and had need of a kennel, I of course tried whatever was recommended to me. Unfortunately, Lilac Grove was not the first one mentioned to me. I tried a few - they all said they exercised their dogs. You know when you pick up your dog and they are quivering - that they have not been exercised. I have picked up my dog from other kennels, smelling like urine.
I forget how I hooked up with Lilac Grove. I have been forever grateful. I have used the kennel for over fifteen years now. I had had enough of kennels promising services they do not provide.
I asked if I could see the kennel before I brought in my dog. I was allowed to see the entire kennel. The place was spotless. I dropped in at random times to make sure it was not a one off deal. Each and every time, I was allowed to view the kennel. I know the staff to be responsible, genuinely caring for the pets in their care. I know they exercise their animals. I have joined them on some of their walks, so I know it is not just lip service.
I leave my pet there with full confidence that he will be cared for, socialized appropriately, fed what he is supposed to be fed and just loved.
By Cherry Spider-monkey on May 26, 2014
I have started my own business a few years ago with the encouragement and support of Wendy and the Kennel.
I have spent a lot of time at the kennel as I have been teaching training classes during the summer for the last few years there. I see how hard Wendy and her staff work. The dogs have a schedule and receive a walk or playtime everyday and a lot of outdoor time.
I recommend all my clients here and will continue to.
I mention to people that if you can't get into Lilac Grove then you need to change your vacation.
Wendy and her staff are intelligent and hardworking group of people and only deserve the up most respect
By Lavender Chipmunk on May 25, 2014
We have not only boarded our 2 dogs at Lilac Grove many times, we have also attended many obedience and agility classes run in the exercise area by The Dog Classroom.

Our dogs are very well taken care of, well exercised, fed and pampered while they stay there! With activities scheduled DAILY for each and every dog - walks, plays in the exercise area (which is HUGE and well fenced!), arts and crafts, movies on extremely cold or rainy days, and BEDTIME STORIES!!! What more could you ask for!! Our dogs come home exhausted, happy, well-fed and, yes, dirty! Why are they dirty?? Because they're dogs! They play! And if it is necessary, Wendy and her team bath the dogs. And in response to others comments about dogs barking... dogs bark. It's their way of greeting us and each other. If the dogs are unsettled, they are moved to the kennels in the back of the building so that they disturb the other dogs less.

I know that my dogs are safe at LG. I know that if I want to call every single day to check on them that I can and Wendy will give me accurate updates. I know that heaven forbid a medical emergency ever occur that my dogs would be on their way to MY vet (not a vet chosen by LG) as soon as they could be loaded into the car. I fully and completely trust my decision to board my dogs with Wendy.
By Bole Marsupial on May 25, 2014
I had the pleasure of visiting Lilac Grove to attend an obedience class in their huge off-leash area. I had been chauffeured out by my friend, her 10 yr old son and his friend. While they waited for my class to finish they wandered the grounds. The owner of the kennel saw them from her chair on the deck and immediately gathered them up for a guided tour. She was enthusiastic and educational, telling the boys about all the animals she had on the property and letting them handle them. There were lizards and turtles and alpacas and ponies and horses and of course dogs! All being responsibly card for my herself and her busy staff. My friends could not stop raving about how kind this woman was to take time out of her limited personal time to make the day of a couple of little boys who just appeared on her property. The grounds and the kennels are not only clean, they are pristine! They will be my first call when I have to kennel my dogs!
By Cinnabar Irish-Wolfhound on May 25, 2014
I have boarded 1-2 dogs at Lilac Grove several times. They always come home happy, healthy and tired. I also do a lot of work in the area of the kennel and I see the dogs being walked regularly while I'm out working. The runs are big and the thing I really like is the double size kennel. I'm not confident to leave my dogs in that space together but Lilac Grove provides a barrier at no extra charge. So my dogs are "together" but they can't annoy each other and get in a fight.

I would board again at this kennel without a second thought.
By Lava Booby on May 24, 2014
I am writing this review simply because I am a former employee of Lilac Grove Boarding Kennel. I was totally shocked to read this previous review (I did notice that she did not sign her REAL NAME!) I was given a chance to work with the Lilac Grove Aunties when I was in my first year of high school. I continued to work with Wendy and her staff till I was accepted to go on to University to study Animal Science greatly due to Wendy influence and her enthusiasm for this industry. I have worked with the staff that are working there NOW. Nicole has been working there a total of 19 dedicated years. The other four support staff are in Lakehead University studying Biology in hopes of becoming accepted to University of Guelph to go on to become Veterinarians. Some of the staff are also employed at Veterinary Clinics on a part time basis as well as working for Wendy. I can only tell you that these wonderful girls that I worked with for four years have nothing but the dogs best interest at heart. They are kind and respectful of all the clients that they board and to say anything to the contrary is absolutely FALSE!!!!!! Wendy works long and hard hours assuring that this Kennel is the best. She is one of the kindest and most compassionate animal lover that I have ever known. Anyone that knows her and has used this Kennel knows this. I hope anyone reading the previous review will take the time to read all the positive reviews that this Kennel has received. Trust me, there is no better place to take your dog in this town, I worked there, I know!!!
By Chestnut Bee on May 24, 2014
I wouldn't leave my dogs with any other boarding kennel. There is a reason this kennel books up so far in advance.

Where else does your pet get outdoor time in a huge, securely fenced area to run and play in addition to daily walks and one on one time with staff (including crafts and story time)?

The kennel area is very clean and sanitary. Wendy and her staff do a wonderful job.
By Lava Pinniped on May 13, 2014
My husband and I decided after researching places to have our pup stay while we went on vacation we decided on Lilac Grove... Biggest mistake we could have made.

Our 5 month old pup went there as a very happy, loving, and energetic pup, and came back a scared, timid, filthy fur baby that was afraid to be petted. Her ears were filthy so I went to get the bottle of drops and she tried to hide and then when I convinced her it was ok, she came crawling towards with her head down.... What the HELL DID THEY DO TO HER.

I CALLED THE KENNEL TO BE TOLD NOTHING HAPPENED, SOMETHING HAPPENED.
I took her directly to the vets when we noticed these disturbing changes, and they also were very disturbed by her behaviour as she has been to this vet from the very beginning and they know her. Personality.

So today being Tuesday, nod having picked her up on Sunday we needed to bath her.....again our terified little fur baby peed on the floor when we were going to bath her. she has had many baths before and NEVER HAS SHE PEED ON THE FLOOR OR BEEN AFRAID, SHE ALWAYS LOVED THE BATH BUT WAS AFRAID ?....

When we dropped her off we were old that she would be checked on by the owner Wendy through the evening....SURPRISE..WENDY WAS NOT THERE AND HAD BEEN AWAY FOR A WEEK..RED FLAG..
WHY WERE WE NOT TOLD THIS, And the Sunday when we picked her up there were only young students there, that could not give me a straight answer how long Wendy had been away, one of the girls said a week the other girl said just a couple days...what was it?

It may have been a good kennel at some point but believe me, it's not now. My sweet pup will never be left at any kennel after this experience and I would be cautious to anyone thinking of leaving your pet there. Because ours has come back needing to learn that she does not need to be afraid of anything and that she is so loved and that she does not need to be fearful of anything in her surroundings.

I will be awaiting a call from the owner whenever she returns, as I want answers to what happened there, and also if she tries to blow it off and does not take this serious the SPCA will be involved.



Comment by gizmogill on May 24, 2014
I have been using Lilac Grove Kennel for years and I absolutely cannot relate to your comments. I know the staff at the Kennel and each and every one of them are compassionate animal lovers and would NEVER in any way purposely or otherwise harm an animal, especially a young puppy. Through the years, my dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets and even hamster have stayed with Wendy and her staff and I trust them implicitly. Certainly the owner of ANY business cannot be expected to be on site 24/7 and as much as you wouldn't expect the owner of KFC to cook your chicken himself, it is unrealistic to expect Wendy to take care of each animal by herself and without any time off.

Threatening to involve the SPCA is ludicrous. The SPCA's mandate is to protect animals from cruelty and if you read all previous "reviews" you will see that you won't have any support in your claims. The SPCA's time shouldn't be wasted in a baseless case. So many animals truly need help. I am sorry your puppy is having a hard time readjusting being back in your home after being away for a few weeks. And as far as being "filthy", it is spring and i assume your puppy went out to play in the doggy park and might have ended with muddy paws but I can vouch that every single time I have been in the kennel, it has been impeccably clean. In fact, I was there 5 times this month and 3 of those times were unannounced and still, the place was impeccable. I do some work for Wendy and being an animal lover myself, I can't help myself but look at the pets when I am there and they are always looking good and happy.

Have a look at the bulletin board in the entrance of the kennel. It is filled with letters from happy pet owners thanking Wendy and her staff for taking such good care of their beloved pets. How can so many people be wrong?

I am upset that by your review, you might hurt an ethical business that is only deserving of praise. We need more people like Wendy and Nicole in this world and less people quick to destroy other people's good work. In summary I am not sympathetic to your cause whatsoever and my guess is that neither will be the hundreds of satisfied Lilac Grove Kennel customers. Your only redeeming quality is that you obviously love your dog and I am thankful for that but so does the Kennel's staff.

By Cyan Panther on Apr 04, 2014
Lilac Grove is the only kennel we use.After deciding on a vacation destination,our first booking is with Lilac Grove before plane tickets,concert tickets or hotel asccomodations.If there isn't a spot for our dog at this kennel,there is no holiday,and that is perfectly fine with us.The wonderful care,the activities,the doggie art and bedtime stories are all indications they go the extra mile to provide a comfortable stay for our dog,not tyo mention the pristine condition of the facility itself!We can can enjoy our holiday with peace of mind knowing our beloved pet is in such good hands!Thanks for taking care of our dog as though she were your own! Terry and Dave zmarcon.
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