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Owner of popular Hydro Paws in Morley announces retirement as messages of praise flood in

Michelle Wilson, 45, made the announcement on her business Facebook page on Monday.

Michelle started her Hydro Paws business ten years ago after the passing of her Grandma – with funds from a house left to her allowing Michelle to take a huge career jump from accounts to starting her own business.

Hydro Paws, on Ackroyd Street, treats animals with conditions including spinal injuries using specialist pools and water treadmills.

Hydro Paws, on Ackroyd Street, treats animals with conditions including spinal injuries using specialist pools and water treadmills.

All animals swim under strict supervision and control of a qualified hydrotherapist.

After “starting from scratch” with the business by offering therapy services to dogs within her extended family, the demand soon spiraled and Michelle has helped to treat hundreds of dogs in the last decade at the facility.

Michelle has now made the difficult decision to retire and shut down the business due to shoulder and back issues.

She is now hoping to spend more time with her parents and her own dogs following the last day of business planned for October 31, 2022.

Hydro Paws, on Ackroyd Street, treats animals with conditions including spinal injuries using specialist pools and water treadmills.

Speaking to the YEP after her announcement, Michelle said she had loved every minute of helping the dogs alongside staff at her business.

She said everything had “become unmanageable” due to her health issues but that the business remained “thriving” until the end.

“The dogs have become part of our family,” Michelle said.

“There are definitely worse ways to spend your days.

Feature on Hydro Paws Ltd in Morley. Pictured canine hydrotherapist Leanne Szostak with French Bulldog Ned on the underwater treadmill. 12th March 2021. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

“It will be so hard to leave them all.”

Michelle has a degree in applied zoology but was originally working in the business sector ten years ago.

Her grandma passed away, leaving a home to herself and her brother who lives in Australia.

The pair sold the house and Michelle decided to use her portion of the money to take the risk and set up her own business.

Feature on Hydro Paws Ltd in Morley. Pictured canine hydrotherapist Leanne Szostak with Beagle Deefa. 12th March 2021. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

“I thought if I just had the money to dip in and out of, it would go with nothing to show for it,” she said.

“I wanted something which was a bit of a legacy for her.

“Something in her honour.”

Michelle started the business amid a credit crunch alongside her former role managing accounts.

She realized she would have to quit to focus all of her efforts on the company.

“We started with dogs in our family,” Michelle explained.

Feature on Hydro Paws Ltd in Morley. Pictured canine hydrotherapist Leanne Szostak with French Bulldog Ned on the underwater treadmill. 12th March 2021. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

“The business really took off from there.”

Michelle battled through difficult Covid restrictions in the past few years but saw her business continue to expand.

Hundreds of dog owners have taken their pets to Hydro Paws in the last decade, with many taking to social media in the aftermath of her announcement to heap praise on the business.

One said: “Well all we can do is thank you for all the love and dedication you have shown Millie over the last 8 years.

“If it wasn’t for you and your team, I really don’t think we would be lucky enough to still have her with us at nearly 16 years old.”

Michelle said it would be difficult to be without the dogs.

She added: “I was a little taken back by all of the lovely comments.

“I got a bit choked up to be honest.”

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