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 and Grooming 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.

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 and other pet seminars or 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), along with his wife (#18) who still holds that position. 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 22 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 with something else! 


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!