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A New Leash On Life
by Missy Sheehan + photos by Christopher Jackson
New owner of Two Paws Up! Kevin Moriarty preserves shop’s focus on pet’s health, happiness, and safety.
At Two Paws Up! in downtown Frederick, new owner Kevin Moriarty’ passion about pets is front and center. The two-story building housing the shop, located at 15. S. Carroll Street, is brightly painted to look like a giant doghouse and features a three-tiered water fountain for passing pooches. The shop’s previous owner, Allison Levitt, who opened the store in 2004, created the whimsical exterior but Kevin says he has no plans to change it. The building has become a recognizable part of the downtown landscape. “And it’s become a fun thing for visitors to Frederick to have their photos taken in front of,” he says.
Kevin — a Washington County native — had been a customer of Two Paws Up! for six years prior to taking over in October. He also had worked with Allison on numerous projects over the years through his job as the director of community relations for the Frederick County Humane Society. He says becoming the shop’s owner has been the greatest thing he’s ever done. “I feel more that Allison has entrusted me with something important rather than me just taking over,” he says.
Over the last decade, Two Paws Up! has played a large role in making downtown Frederick a dog-friendly community. The shop provides water dishes for dogs and stickers for stores to place at their entrances that let customers know which businesses welcome four-legged friends. Kevin says he encourages customers to bring their dogs in to try samples of treats and food. In fact, his dogs, Mike, Roger and Rose, often take turns monitoring the front desk.
Two Paws Up! offers a large selection of dog and cat supplies, including food, treats, nutritional items, toys, apparel and amusing gifts for pet lovers. “We focus on your pet’s health, happiness and safety,” Kevin says. He stresses that the pet foods Two Paws Up! carries, which include high-protein, grain-free and raw-diet options, are very carefully selected. “We pay close attention to nutritional content and where it’s manufactured,” he says. “We try to focus on American-made goods, including food, whenever possible.”
Besides its array of pet products, Two Paws Up! also offers training services and a grooming spa for dogs. “Usually when you go someplace for grooming, there’s a lot of hustle and bustle, and dogs are often stuck in cages while they wait,” Kevin says. At Two Paws Up!, there are no cages, and the shop’s groomers focus on creating a relaxing and serene experience for even the most timid dogs.
Other than expanding the products the shop carries and updating the logo, Kevin says he hasn’t changed much since taking over. “I want to take care of what’s been created here and keep it the best it can be,” he says.
Two Paws Up!
15 South Carroll Street
Frederick, MD 21701