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Meet Elaine Reiter of Wildside Unlimited in Little Italy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Elaine Reiter.

Elaine, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started training exotic animals for marine mammal parks and zoos starting in the early 90’s. I had the pleasure of working with dolphins, killer whales, sea lions, big cats and even falcons.

While at a happy hour with a group of trainers, we started discussing the training of domestic animals, dogs and cats. We were questioning the techniques used on the family pet, choke collars, pinch collars, etc., We wanted to know why we were working with animals considered dangerous using positive reinforcement, but “man’s best friend” was being shocked and choked down the street. That was the start of Wildside Unlimited. We joined forces and started a company called “Wildthings” in Miami, Florida. Our primary focus to keep animals from being surrendered to shelters for unwanted behavior. Many phone calls started with “You are the last chance, if this doesn’t work we have no choice but to drop him off at the shelter”.

We grew through the years and eventually changed to Wildside Unlimited Animal Training and Production, becoming the 2nd largest animal training and production company in South Florida. Our goal to prove that animals once undesirable, naughty pets were highly trainable and now in demand. Animal stars in movies and photo shoots throughout Miami.

In 2001, I left Florida and joined a contracting company training animals for the U.S. Navy Marine Mammal Program in San Diego. Missing my work with the community, I reopened Wildside Unlimited and started again traveling to people’s homes training domestic animals. I met my husband in 2006, a Navy Diver, and through the years he became passionate about the mission of Wildside. In 2015 he retired from the Navy and took his retirement savings and opened a brick and mortar in Little Italy.

I still work for as a contractor and my husband Chris runs our store. We train animals in an effort to help replace harmony in homes through San Diego for families with pets. Wildside has grown to include compassionate groomers to provide services in a spa like environment. Our dream to become the pet hub of Little Italy, a place to find holistic solutions, state-of-the-art training, compassionate groomers and all of your pets’ essential products has come true.

My journey has truly been a fairy tale come true.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Starting a brick and mortar is probably the hardest part of my training journey. The store is our baby. It requires a commitment of one of us being there daily. We are committed to providing the community with a place that they can go to get the solutions and customer service that they deserve. Our motto is ” Let us exceed your expectations!” That means being available days, nights, weekends and holidays.

We do not take lightly hiring people to join the team. Our team consist of a group of professionals that we trust to work as passionately as we do. Our groomers and trainers are experts and it is important that the community understands we take it to heart that they are entrusting us with their pet.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Wildside Unlimited – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Our company is the pet hub of Little Italy. We offer animal training, grooming, holistic pet care solutions and pet essentials.

Our animal training classes are A.K.C. Puppy Star, A.K.C Canine Good Citizen and Advanced Training. We also offer problem behavior training and private lessons. Our training classes differ from our competitors by the level of expertise that we offer.

Our grooming spa is a no cage zone. We book appointments when there are openings, so that pets can expect to be pampered from the time they enter Wildside. Our groomers will work with your pet to create a stress-free environment. We call pet owners 15 minutes before we are finished so you can be reunited with your pet as soon as the grooming appointment is finished. Our products are natural and top of the line. No extra charges for shampoos or products that meet the special needs of your pet. (medicated shampoos, odor helpers, etc.)

We are most known for our services and holistic solutions. People come in looking for help with itchy skin, anxiety, food allergies. We do not only supply products, but we are knowledgeable about the products we stock. We only carry supplies that we have tested and are eco-friendly, made in the US and work. We offer nutritional counseling to assist the community with choices for pets with food allergies.

Our customers comment on our commitment to provide a place to go to seek solutions that work.

So, what’s next? Any big plans?
In the future we would like Wildside Unlimited to grow into a holistic wellness center. We would like to provide therapy solutions for aging and medically compromised pets. That would include water treadmills, cold laser, and other holistic modalities to help our members.

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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