Company Background

Little Wolfe's Pet Resort opened our doors on October 1, 1986. I (Ann E. Wolfe) received my Bachelor's degree in Interior Design from the University of Alabama in 1980, and after working in the field for 6 years, I decided to change professions to something where I could keep my Labrador Retriever puppy with me all day. I decided to speak to a dear family friend, a retired veterinarian, who proceeded to tell me I could not go wrong with going into the grooming/pet industry, as people will always have pets and will need someone to take care of them. So I researched grooming schools and decided to attend New York School of Dog Grooming in New York City. I had never been to New York and thought what a great way to start a new adventure. I packed my bags and headed to NYC for the 5-week Pet Grooming course. It was hard work and many long hours, but I graduated in August of 1986.

Behind the Name

I returned to Winter Haven and decided to open my own business in the town where I was born and raised. I went to the bank and borrowed $5,000 and started converting the garage of the house at 114 Avenue E NW into my grooming shop. With a little drywall, paint, electrical and plumbing assistance, I had the shop ready to open by October 1, 1986. But, I had to come up with a name for the business and I wanted a name that meant something to me. My father owned Wolfe's Sporting Goods and my brother owned Wolfe's Citrus Tree Removal, so one day it hit me. I am the littlest Wolfe so I decided to name my new business Little Wolfe's Pet Resort. I created some flyers and started distributing them all over Winter Haven and had my opening day on October 1, 1986.

Company Background
Company Background

My First Day

I remember it to this day. It was a Wednesday and I had my appointment book ready and I waited for the phone to ring. I actually ended up with 2 dogs to groom that day; a Shetland Sheepdog and a West Hyland Terrier. The day went great but I knew at this rate I was going to starve before I became a successful business person. I did not give up. I kept putting out the flyers and going to the different vets in town to ask them to send business my way and before I knew it, I was working 6 days a week, doing all I could physically do.

I soon realized the best way to build a business was to treat people the way I would want to be treated and go out of my way to make everyone happy. By the end of my first year, I hired someone to bathe dogs for me so I could get more grooming done. By the end of the second year, I trained my bather to become a groomer and I hired another bather.

From Grooming to Boarding

My dream was coming true, I could finally afford cable TV, but I realized I needed more space. So, after 2-1/2 years of being in business I went back to the bank for another loan and I added 900 sq. ft. onto my grooming shop. Business was good and it just kept growing. I kept getting requests from my clients to board their dogs but I wasn't zoned for a boarding facility.

My future father-in-law suggested I buy some property and build my own Grooming and Boarding Kennel. This was such a huge step and really scared me, but with the push of my future father-in-law and future husband, I found an empty lot on Hwy 17, the current location of Little Wolfe's Pet Resort. I purchased the empty lot in June of 1991 and with my Interior Design skills, I started designing my future 5000 sq. ft. building.

Company Background
Company Background


Construction was to begin in November of 1991 and the day before the ground breaking I remember a huge tractor being parked in the middle of the lot and I climbed up on the tire and started crying, wondering what had I done. But, I had committed myself and it was too late to back out now so it was time to work even harder. By March of 1992 the building was finished and I was ready to open. I had myself and 2 employees.

Company Background
Company Background

I remember one of the first things I learned in college: the 3 most important things to keep a business going is location, location, location and, it has proved to be true. With the new location on a major road through Winter Haven, more people now knew I existed. I couldn't justify hiring another employee for the first year so I would get to work between 5:30AM and 6:00AM and not leave until 6:30PM or 7:00PM, 6 days a week, and took care of the kennel again on Sunday's putting in 5 hours. After the first year in the new location, I trained my other bather to be a groomer and hired another bather for a total of 3 employees at this time.

Our Growing Business

The business just kept growing and I decided to add Camp Little Wolfe's Doggy Daycare. I rearranged some of my spaces to make a large breed play area and a small breed play area. We have some great pets that come on a daily basis; we love our pets and their parents.

I am proud to say 33 years later that I now have 15 employees and they are the greatest group of people anyone could ask for. We are one big happy family with some great long time employees. I must say this is the best group of people I have ever had at one time; I couldn't do it without them. They all are very dedicated and love working with animals.

Company Background
Company Background

What I Have Learned

I have learned so much over the past 33 years about people and running a business. I always keep an open mind, listen to the ideas of everyone around me, always be fair, and the customer is always right. Several of my motto's are, I will never ask anyone to do anything I wouldn't do, I will never give up on anything, treat people better than you want to be treated and always believe you can accomplish any goal you set for yourself.


  • First Place in Best of the Best Polk County - 2016
  • Second Place in Best of Central Florida - 2019
  • Haven Magazine Best of Doggy Daycare - 2019
  • Haven Magazine Best of Grooming - 2020
  • Haven Magazine Best of Doggy Daycare - 2020

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We take pride in our service and invite anyone to come view our facility at any time. Visit Us.
We love Little Wolfe's! From their grooming to their boarding... it doesn't get better than this! Krista T.
Monday – Friday7:30am - 5:30pm Saturday8:00am - 2:00pm Sunday4:00pm - 5:00pm Holiday Hours Vary
555 6th Street NW Winter Haven, FL 33881