Chicago-based Paradise 4 Paws Pet Resort to assume operations of Petco's Pooch Hotel brand

Wed. February 17, 2016 4:38 PM by Ross Forman

saq nadeem founder and ceo of paradise 4 paws

Saq Nadeem of Chicago is the Paradise 4 Paws founder/CEO – and openly gay

His world just got, well, a lot furrier.

Saq Nadeem, 38, who lives in Chicago's Buena Park neighborhood with his partner, Daniel, and their five furry children (three cats and two dogs), is the founder and CEO of Paradise 4 Paws.

In early-February, it was announced that Paradise 4 Paws, which operates four premier pet resorts for dogs and cats, will assume the operations and management of Petco's Pooch Hotel brand and its properties, including all 10 locations across the U.S., effective March 1.

"I am truly thrilled and honored about this transaction," Nadeem said. "At Paradise 4 Paws, our vision is to become the trusted provider of pet care services in the country. We already serve so many pet parents and pets via our airport locations and they have been asking us to also provide care for their pets near their homes or offices, so this is a natural next step. This enables us to expand our reach and focus even more on what we and Pooch do best. With this, we can also provide more opportunities for our combined Paradise 4 Paws and Pooch teams, who are truly the best pet care givers in the industry."

There are currently four Paradise 4 Paws airport resorts (near Chicago O'Hare and Chicago Midway, Dallas DFW and Denver), plus New York JFK coming later this year, two Boarding Lounges (near Dallas Love Field and in central Denver). As of March 1, Paradise 4 Paws will operate 10 Pooch Hotel locations – three in the Los Angeles area (Santa Monica, Hollywood and South Bay), one in Sunnyvale/San Jose, one in San Diego, one in Richardson/Dallas, one in Newton/Boston and one in Norwalk, Conn. Plus, Paradise 4 Paws offers extensive dog training options through its AnimalSense Canine Training and Behavior Company across multiple locations in the Chicago area.

Nadeem's Paradise, over the past seven years or so, has won numerous awards and accolades, including Best New Consumer Service Concept in North America by Airports Council International, One of the Coolest New Businesses by and Best FIDO Friendly Hotel by FIDO Friendly magazine. 

"After Petco approached us, we toured the Pooch Hotels, did our due diligence, and decided that this was a great opportunity for us that fit well within our business plan," Nadeem said. 

Jason Michal, Vice President of Emerging Business for Petco, said that Paradise has a proven track record in the pet-boarding business and that it has the same high standards for animal care and superior customer service. "They have the right experience, leadership and resources to continue to expand and improve upon Pooch Hotel's past success and its compelling business model," Michal said.

Pooch Hotel, first opened in 2004 and acquired by Petco in 2011, is a luxury boarding and daycare destination for dogs that provides an interactive and enriching day and overnight care experience for pets, including on-site grooming, spa and dog training services. 

"We are going to focus on integrating Pooch and Paradise 4 Paws, learning from each other, sharing best practices and creating the best offerings for our teams, our clients and of course our four-legged furry guests," Nadeem said. "We are honored to assume the operations of Petco's Pooch Hotel brand to further elevate our focus on being the trusted provider of premium pet services across the country. The Petco's Pooch Hotel brand offers a level of service and care that is closely aligned with our mission; to provide superior quality and care for pets and the utmost convenience and service for their human parents. We look forward to expanding our operations and services and welcoming existing employees of both entities to provide unparalleled access to exceptional pet services as we become the largest premium pet service provider in the country."

The business will be Chicago-based and operate under both the Pooch Hotel and Paradise 4 Paws brand names. Services for both entities will remain the same and include premium dog boarding, social doggie daycare, world-class grooming and salon pampering, and dog training. 

Amenities at each location will differ slightly, but both Pooch Hotels and Paradise 4 Paws Resorts offer large play areas, webcams, plush suites with in-suite TV, pooch styling salons, as well as on-site certified veterinary technicians and dog trainers.

"We are very excited about the doors this opens for our expanded team," Nadeem said. "Together, we will offer the widest, most exceptional menu of amenities, services and convenience of locations throughout the country. This partnership will enable us to further invest in our service offerings and superior care to both our human clients and furry guests, in industry leading technologies that touch all aspects of our businesses, and, most importantly, in our combined team with more growth opportunities and personal and professional development paths. 

"In short, this collaboration allows us to take the best of Pooch and the best of Paradise 4 Paws and create something truly special the pet world has never seen before."

Nadeem will continue as the CEO of Paradise 4 Paws, and in that role also will provide the leadership for Pooch Hotels.

Since the transaction was announced, Nadeem said it has been "a non-stop, exciting, adrenaline-rush of an experience."

Nadeem and his leadership team visited the Sunnyvale and San Diego Pooch Hotels the day of the announcement, followed by the remaining West Coast locations, then Chicago, Dallas and the East Coast. "It has been an honor to meet the Pooch Hotel teams and speak directly with them. I am so excited to start collaborating with them on March 1," he said.

Nadeem added: "As many of us in the LGBT community have personally experienced, the business executive leadership community, especially at a national level, has historically been significantly conservative and not as conducive for openly gay leaders. As a proud gay CEO of one of the largest pet services providers in the country, I hope this is a testament that the traditional business world is changing and the opportunities are on the trend towards equalizing. And of course, we are already proud to have and will continue to build one of the most inclusive teams, not just in our industry, but in any industry."