Karen Bartolomei has never had a job that didn't involve animals.
"My first job was working for a vet in kennels," Bartolomei said.
She has turned that into a successful business that is everything animals. Although primarily a groomer, Karen's Pet Grooming is also a kennel, a doggie day care and part owner of a rescue organization.
Truly an animal lover, Bartolomei trained for animal grooming in a time before the field of grooming had established training.
"You were very lucky back then to get somebody to train you," Bartolomei said.
Her apprenticeship was two years long. She spent a number of as a vet tech, but eventually, she found her way back to grooming.
Karen's Pet Grooming has been in business since 1998. They were voted the winners of Patch's Readers's Choice in August. Last year, she moved to her current location on Republic Ave. The space is 3,000 square feet with additional growing space outside, which she plans to finish in the coming years into an indoor play room for the dogs.
"I can't wait, most of us cannot wait for it to be finished," Bartolomei said.
Her newest addition to her complex is the animal rescue. Called All Those Left Behind, the rescue is recognized, but is waiting on paperwork finalization. Despite that, since April, the group has adopted out more than 40 animals.