The Evolution Of Pattie Boden’s Animal Connection, A Charlottesville, Virginia Icon


Editor’s Note: This is episode two in a three episode Pattie Boden series.

Customer service and an entrepreneurial spirit. These two qualities have transformed Pattie Boden’s Animal Connection into an icon in Charlottesville and Central Virginia.

Animal Connection, CVille’s most successful all-natural pet store, has enjoyed more than 17 years of servicing the Central Virginia community thanks to fantastic customer service and the willingness to try new things.

Pattie’s team will greet customers with more than a smile. Most of the time they know your name, your dog’s name and your dog food of choice. You don’t get this level of service at big box stores.

Also, it’s important to recognize Pattie’s entrepreneurial spirit. Over the course of 17 years, Pattie has transformed her store from 800 square feet to a whopping 3,200 square feet.

Furthermore, Pattie has been willing to pivot her model and integrate new services and revenue streams. For example, Pattie added grooming services and now has a full-time groomer on staff. She’s designed and developed Charlottesville’s best self-service dog wash, which is literally like a spa for your dog at an affordable price. Pattie is also the visionary and heartbeat behind DogFest, Charlottesville’s most fun outdoor party for dogs. This yearly festival attracted more than 2,000 people to the Ix Art Park on September 30. Think about that, people!!!

We get to know Pattie Boden the businesswoman and the social entrepreneur in episode 2 of “The Pattie Boden Experience” on The I Love CVille Show powered by Greenberry’s Coffee at Barracks Road Shopping Center.

Editor’s Note: This is episode one in a three episode Pattie Boden series.

Pattie Boden embodies all the enterprising qualities of a successful social entrepreneur.

Pattie, the creative and forward-thinking businesswoman behind, Animal Connection, launched her business more than 17 years ago out of her garage after her Chesapeake Bay Retriever, Ernie, developed cancer. Pattie’s veterinarian said Ernie would die in less than two years.

Instead of expensive chemotherapy and a daily drug dosage, Pattie chose to change Ernie’s diet from the national brands to a raw food diet.

“A raw diet [for a dog] was a new thing 20-some years ago,” Pattie explained, “but when your dog has cancer, what do you have to lose?! I tried it, and six months later, Ernie is cancer free!”

Instead of the grim two-year prognosis for Ernie, Pattie enjoyed six-and-half more years of love and laughter with her Chessie.

“Not only did the cancer go away, but the fatty tumors melted away. He had sparkling clean teeth. He never needed expensive teeth cleaning from a vet,” Pattie said. “Ernie was a picture of health.”

After Pattie discovered the right raw food diet for Ernie, she then needed to figure out where she could source the meals moving forward. When she could not easily find the raw food, Pattie realized that she had a business on her hands.

Today, Pattie owns 17-year-old Animal Connection, the epicenter for everything animals in Charlottesville and across Central Virginia. Located in the McIntire Plaza, Pattie started with 800 square feet. Now, she has 3,200 square feet, including the addition of grooming services and a spa-like self-serve dog wash that is the best one in Charlottesville.

Pattie has created a business that is without question making Charlottesville and Central Virginia a better place. For example, Pattie launched “Dog Fest: Charlottesville’s Most Fun Outdoor Party For Dogs” with her own money and sweat equity. Today, “Dog Fest” is a marquee Charlottesville event and recently enjoyed more than 2,000 dog lovers in attendance at its event in September in the Ix Art Park.

Pattie Boden, your hard work, your vision, your creativity and your courage are a big-time asset to Charlottesville, Virginia. Thank you for being you!

If you liked this article, you might also enjoy Journalist Hawes Spencer Discusses His New Book: “Summer Of Hate” And Other Charlottesville, Va Events On The I Love CVille Show and Is Charlottesville, Virginia A Better Place Today Than It Was 30 Years Ago?

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CEO Jerry Miller

Jerry Miller is the CEO of The Miller Organization, The I Love CVille Network, VMV Brands, The Blue Ridge Venture Fund and I Love CVille Real Estate, which are all headquartered in Downtown Charlottesville, Virginia. Jerry is passionate about the #ShopLocal movement and supporting locally-owned businesses. Get to know Jerry at