Martin Lavander was born loving animals and had a menagerie when he was young. “I had dogs, cats, turtles, snakes, rabbits, geese and even a pig” said Martin with a big grin. “My mom was a very good sport!” He bred and showed toy and non-sporting breed dogs, primarily poodles and hounds. Then, at the ripe ol' age of 25 he and his partner opened his first full service pet shop – PetPets on US1 in Vero Beach. They learned grooming techniques from some of the nation's top grooming teachers at the International School of Dog Grooming in New York. Eventually, they turned the shop into just a grooming and specialty supply facility.
In order to expand their grooming business to include boarding, they secured an empty lot behind Kmart and built Blue Ribbon out of poured cement block, impact resistant windows and shutters, and reinforced strapping the exceeded the category 5 Miami-Dade standards. Two months after they moved in, Vero took a direct hit from the infamous hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. Blue Ribbon survived without incident along with 150 happy pets and evacuees from two local kennels that were destroyed in the first storm.
Today Blue Ribbon is known as the premier pet care facility on the Treasure Coast offering grooming, boarding, day care and a unique pet boutique!
Grooming is not all about looking good. It’s also about good health and hygiene for your beloved companion. Sure your dog will be smell great, and have a soft, manicured coat, but regular grooming can also help detect illnesses such as ear infections, tooth decay and skin cancer. The trained groomers at Blue Ribbon may unknowingly protect your family as well by identifying parasitic infestations such as fleas, ticks and tapeworms that can transmit disease to people.
Boarding at Blue Ribbon is more than just a place to sleep. It’s all about companionship. Your dog will miss you, but the compassionate staff at Blue Ribbon will do everything they can to make his stay comfortable and stress free! They’ll provide two meals per day, a full day of daycare and exercise with both canine and human companions and lots of love and attention. Day care is administered with the same detail and attention. You pet will have so much fun that he’ll think he’s the one on vacation!
The Pet Boutique offers a wide variety of products including custom dog beds, bowls, clothing, leashes, collars, gates, toys, treats and food. Your pet is your best friends so it’s nice to surprise him with something special every now and then.
Blue Ribbon Grooming and Boarding is designed with one thing in mind – the health and well being of your furry friends. It’s so much more than a kennel as the staff takes the time to understand your pet's likes and dislikes. Each guest gets the right balance of activity, quiet time, good food and great company to make him feel right at home!
Blue Ribbon Charitable Foundation 5013c & the Pet Medical Assistance Program (PMAP)
When the economy took a nosedive, Martin noticed that many people just couldn’t afford the proper care for their pets. “This transcended good grooming. Finances were making it impossible for owners to get their pet’s medical attention when necessary and many were giving up their beloved companions to local shelters." Martin saw a need and created a non-profit organization, Pet Medical Assistance Program (PMAP) to help owners who could not pay for the medical needs of their pet. The program is supported entirely through the generosity of the community with their tax-deductible donations to Blue Ribbon Charitable Foundation, (501-C3). 100% of all the donated money goes to pets in need.
Martin organizes two “Yappy Hour” events a year to raise money for the charity. He’s donated thousands to the Indian River Sheriffs Dept which they used to buy bullet proof vests for each of the working police dogs and oxygen masks for every fire rescue station in the county. His latest event was held at Dyer Subaru was a Halloween pet parade and costume contest.
HappyYappyHD on ZFlashTV.com
In order to keep the public informed about events and pet worthy news, Martin hosts a weekly Internet TV show broadcast on ZFlashTV.com. The variety show is all about pets. Guests include local veterinarians, trainers, breeders, groomers and more. “HappyYappyHD is a platform where we can disseminate valuable information to pet owners in an entertaining way” said Martin. “We have a lot of fun but we cover a lot of important topics as well.” Tune in to ZFlashTV.com for this and other fun, informative and excitingly innovative shows.
Vintage Vero on ZFlashTV.com
As if the effervescent Martin didn’t have enough on his plate, he has now branched out with another Internet TV show focusing on the “old days” in Vero Beach. “I was raised in Vero Beach and it’s changing so quickly that there is a thirst for nostalgia” he explained. “I invite other long time Vero residents to share some of the unique history of our town. There’s nothing like hearing a first hand account of days past to relive those simpler times. If you or a family member grew up in Vero and have some interesting tidbits to share, be sure to call me and schedule an appearance.” Vintage Vero can be viewed anytime on ZflashTV.com
More to Come….
“I’m having so much fun with this Internet TV deal that I’ve created a studio for the filming of my shows” said Martin. “I have 4 different sets for the 4 existing shows and I’ll design one for my newest show still in the works. Z-Flash will be a music and entertainment format where I can showcase local and International talent he continued. “It’s mind boggling how many talented people live in this town!”