Business

Happy tails: Super Groomers to help people and pets in need

By Kathy DeLucas
For The Taos News
Posted 9/26/18

Superheroes to people and pets. That's what a new dynamic duo hopes to be in Taos.

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Business

Happy tails: Super Groomers to help people and pets in need

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Superheroes to people and pets. That's what a new dynamic duo hopes to be in Taos.

Mark and Sherri Perry, who opened the pet grooming salon Super Groomers, will not only run the salon, but help people and animals in need.

Sherri was a top pet professional when living in New York, having groomed dogs for the prestigious Westminster Dog Show as well as running her own pet salon. She has an equivalent of a doctorate in dog grooming; she's practiced the profession for more than 30 years and earned the title of Nationally Certified Master Groomer.

The Perrys had a dream of helping both animals and people in bad situations, but New York was becoming too cost-prohibitive. They traveled to Taos in 2017 to investigate the grooming salon Critters, which was for sale. They soon discovered that Taos was the right place for them to live their dream, running their grooming business and a nonprofit called Rescue Rescue.

"Rescue Rescue is where people and pets rescue each other," Sherri said. The couple plans to work with domestic violence shelters and Stray Hearts to help displaced victims and troubled critters.

Rescue Rescue will be a school, teaching all things pet-wise. Sherri has written a curriculum for the future nonprofit and is in early discussions with other local nonprofits eventually to offer a paid apprenticeship.

Sherri credits dog grooming for saving her life. She was a domestic violence victim as was her mother.

"I've seen these women with children in the shelters. They don't have money or a way to go back to school," Sherri says.

"I saw that in my mother. She was a waitress. She struggled and struggled to support us kids," she explains. "I was gifted by being taught pet grooming by one of the best in the world, and I saw a need to give back."

Groomers can make good money, enough to support their families, according to Sherri.

Even in Taos, with eight grooming businesses listed online, Perry sees the need for more groomers.

"There are 10 times more animals than there are groomers, and it's not something that we teach in universities or vocational schools," she says. "There are people in dire situations who don't want to be there and this is a way out."

"It's what my mom taught me," she says. "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day. When you teach a man to fish, he eats for a lifetime."

The Perrys also help animals in need, grooming dogs that Stray Hearts brings in for free.

"People will take home a clean dog with a cute bandana a lot faster than a dirty, nasty one."

Super Groomers offers fear-free grooming with a zen grooming room that is quiet. They play soft music. Employees move slower. They evaluate temperaments. The dogs wear sound hoodies, so they don't hear the loud dryers.

"Mostly," Sherry says, "it's energy work. We don't look at them as a 'thing.'"

The duo wants other people to learn their passion for the animals. The Perrys have hired their first two employees and will have them certified in fear-free grooming, traveling to Hershey, Pennsylvania for additional training.

"It's a growth industry," Mark says. "Love conquers all."

Mark has the business brains and quickly shed his suit and tie for a set of scrubs when he met Sherri 11 years ago. He left his executive job to become Sherri's dog bather, and became her business and personal partner. He is certified in animal health and safety.

"I come home every day and I feel good about what I do," he says.

"It takes a certain person for this job," Sherri explains. "It takes patience, but it is the most rewarding thing in the world to see a little dirty, scared dog come in here and leave beautiful and relaxed and wagging its tail."

"When I was a business person, I was never a spiritual person," Mark says. "I was always missing something. I would do rescue on the side."

Now, he said, "We do it all for love."

Super Groomers has tripled its business since they opened earlier this year. The Perrys offer competitive pricing and are at 1033 Paseo del Pueblo Sur, Suite G.

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