All About Animal Resorts

About Animal Resorts


Located on a 25 acre historical farm (circa 1750) in Downingtown, Chester County, PA, this country estate is set back from industrialized corporate centers and busy road traffic, yet is still convenient for all residents in the surrounding areas. An extra few minutes of driving for the safety, security and health of your furry family member is time well spent! 

Our Facility was established in 1970, and in 1996, we became the first real "Animal Resort" to offer Daycare and additional activities like play-times, play pals, hikes, and pond swims.  We also offer Professional Training services and are one of the few remaining kennels to offer adjoining indoor/outdoor private suites in our area. This amenity makes it possible for us to board shy, fearful or aggressive dogs. There are over 6 acres of real grass area fenced for individual and/or group play for your pet’s pleasure. Another 10 acres is fenced for nature hikes through open and wooded trails with streams and a pond.

Real Mother Nature at her best!

Our facility provides for a clean, fresh-air environment, and lots of attention and activity, essential to your pet's good health. Our staff strives to provide the best accommodations and care for your pet! We recommend you sign up for additional activities to provide your pet with more attention and they will most likely have a better time on their "vacation" than you do on yours!

We, the owners, who operate and live on site, believe your pet’s safety, comfort, and happiness to be our first priority, a belief that is also shared by the entire staff.  All full-time employees have attended dog behavioral training schools or other pet seminars and are pursuing animal oriented careers. We do not hire temporary or unqualified caretakers. Read more about our staff below!

Drew McElya CPT


Drew is the owner here at Animal Resorts. He has 30+ years experience with many styles of training. He believes there are a multitude of ways to train and you should always be open to adjusting your methods to give each dog exactly what they need in order to learn and flourish. He continues his education by attending a variety of pet training and behavior seminars, believing that you can never stop learning. He graduated from The Master Trainer Course at National K-9 Learning Center in 1999, receiving every certification the program offered, including: Basic/Advanced Obedience, Utility, Retrieval, Scent Detection, Tracking, Support Dog, Police K9, Personal Protection. He attended Cornell University's Solving Canine Behavior  problems and many other seminars as well.  He was one of the first American Kennel Club Canine Good CItizen Test Evaluators (Evaluator #19).  He is also a member of Penn Treaty Kennel Club an AKC all breed club, who is continually looking for new members.  Drew is certified by the American Red Cross in canine first aid and CPR. He has experience with a vast array of breeds, his personal dogs are rottweilers, shiloh shepherds, labs, belgian malinois, and mastiffs. He has lived on premises here at Animal Resorts since we opened, over 25 years ago.

Claudia McElya CPT

Claudia is the office manager and a trainer here at Animal Resorts. Her love of animals began when she was young and she has been working with dogs for close to 15 years. She received her Certified Professional Trainer certificate form National K9 Learning Center in Ohio in 2010 and has been helping owners with their dogs since! She is always looking to learn more and has attended multiple seminars including TBTE seminars which is a very unique, but effective way to help dogs change their behaviors. Claudia is always interested in making your pet's life the best it can be!


Ryan Bedford

Ryan started working at Animal Resorts in October of 2019 after working in corporate America for 25 years. He wanted something different in his life and what better way for a change than to work with friends and animals every day? He has quickly become an integral part of the Animal Resorts team and we can't imagine what we did before he came along! He's great with the animals and is always ready to help out! 


Erin started working for us in spring of 2019 and she has been a star from the start! In the beginning, she was planning on Animal Resorts being a summer job, but decided to stay on after the summer and we are so thankful! She is such a joy to work around and dedicates just as much time to the small animals (rabbits and birds) as she does to the big ones! She is definitely an animal and human favorite and we are so grateful to have her on the team!



Megan is a University of Delaware student and this is her second year with us. She has worked extremely hard over the past few years. So much so she was promoted to our supervisor position! All the dogs love her and so do we! 


Lindsay is a Temple student and this is her second year with us as well. She has really gotten to know our resort like the back of her hand. We didn't know how much we needed her help, as well as her fun energy, until we were lucky enough to have her as part of our team! 



Haley has been a family friend since she was in diapers - literally! Her family started bringing her dog Wiley to us in 1996 when she was just born. Since then, a family friendship grew and in 2019 she joined our team. She is our sunshine during those early morning shifts - We are all so lucky to have someone so consistent and loving to start the day with!


Maria is also like family; I met her aunt (whom she is named after) 40 years ago. She has worked here for a couple years now and has proved that she is up for almost any task! She cares for all the dogs as if they were her own. 

Her brother Dominic works here as well, helping out with the dogs as well as the farm itself! 



Karsen has been working at our resort for a few years. She makes everyones day with her cheerful personality! She is easygoing and carefree, but still has what it takes to work with unfamiliar animals. She has became a fearless protector of pups. She is always thinking ahead and doing what's best for the dogs!


Karissa has spent almost every weekend through her high school career with us (she's graduating this year!) She has so much love for the oddball pets and has been one of the most reliable staff here. She's a lover of dogs but always dedicates her time to the cats and other animals too!