the story of animals at home pet spa
Wanting to escape the fast pace city life to focus on raising our two daughters Brittany and Olivia Leeds, my husband Mark and I relocated to Dahlonega in the spring of 1995. Our family has always loved our pets. So it only made sense when we bought our 8 acre homestead to begin growing our ‘fur-family’ even bigger. We began taking in rescues, kitties, dogs, horses, goats, sheep. I worked full time and as the girls got busier with school, family time was becoming scarce. It was time to make a change.
In ’98 I decided to start my own business one that could involve the entire family, our love for the outdoors, nature and animals. The business of Animals at Home was born. I began offering my pet sitting services to the community for dog walking during lunches, before and after work. Within a year I was turning in my notice and able to move into my dream job full time. My daughters were now able to join me at work and once they turned 16 began taking on their own pet sitting appointments. Our family business quickly became a trusted source of pet care among North Georgia families.
As our clientele grew, Mark brought forth the idea of building a pet spa resort on our homestead. We could bring the pups to us. Less time driving means more time to love and play with our extended fur-family. We began construction in 2001 and are forever grateful to the community, friends, family, and volunteers who put their love, support, time and sweat into helping us with the entire building process. Animals at Home Pet Spa Resort held its ribbon cutting and grand opening in the spring of 2002. My daughter Brittany returned home after graduating from UGA to take on a more prominent role in the business. Together with more than two decades of caring for thousands of pets, we look forward to each day with our extended fur-family and welcome every opportunity to do what we love: provide an enjoyable, activity-rich, safe and social home-away-from-home for your pampered pets.
Founder/owner, Pet care specialist
Sharon is an Atlanta native and loving mom. She moved her family to Dahlonega in the early 90’s to fulfill her dreams of raising her family close to nature and having horses. She initially worked with the Lumpkin County School system to be close to her children. As her daughters grew, she started working for Wachovia Bank and then Hammond Dental Lab. Feeling the need to spend more time with family, she began Animals at Home pet sitting services. It was an exciting time for the family as Sharon turned their passion and love for animals into a family run business. A once city girl was now collecting eggs and milking goats with her two daughters along side. Gaining more loyal clients than the family could keep up with, she decided to build Animals at Home Pet Spa Resort. Sharon’s vision was to create a peaceful retreat where pets could frolic, play and enjoy nature while their families were on their own adventures. She has been running Animals at Home Pet Spa since it opened in 2002 and has over 20 years experience with pet care. Her nurturing spirit is evident in all she does.
“I will take every step possible to ensure each and everyone of our guests feels comfort and love.”
Co-Owner, Pet care specialist
Growing up in Dahlonega, Brittany gained her respect for nature from her mother Sharon. As a child she never missed a chance to go on a pet sitting adventure with her mom. Once Brittany began driving, she took on a more prominent role in the family business, eventually helping with the construction of the pet spa resort.
In 2008 Brittany moved to Athens, GA where she continued to pet sit while attending school. She is a University of Georgia alumna with a BA of Landscape Architecture. After graduation she traveled the country living and working on organic farms. This furthered her knowledge and passion for animal care and being a responsible steward of nature. Bringing home these lessons, she returned to Animals at Home in 2013. She enjoys implementing new techniques and sustainable methods around the resort continuing Animals at Home’s tradition of creating an environment that will have a positive effect on all our guests and planet earth.
“It’s amazing to get to do what I love everyday! To be surrounded by so many animals is the closest I can get to Heaven on Earth!”