Battle Ground groomer wins Best of Clark County recognition for second year in a row


Wags N’ Whiskers Pet Grooming in Battle Ground serves its furry clients with a thorough sense of care.

The business recently won Best of Clark County recognition in the grooming category for the second year in a row.

“It’s great,” owner Lloyd Neste said of the award. “The first year, we were excited to be voted, again the second year is just great. I told everybody at work ‘you know what, you guys did this as a team, so we’re going to celebrate as a team.’”

To celebrate, employees of the business went to NW Escape Experience, an escape room in Vancouver.

Neste and his wife, Wendy, who is the manager of Wags N’ Whiskers, started the business after they were inspired to do so by a family member.

“It started with my wife and I deciding that we were looking to start a business and happened to have a niece that was a dog groomer, and she told me that she was tired of working for other people and would be willing to work for us,” Neste said. “We looked into it and said, ‘alright, well let’s go.’”

They started the business about six years ago with just one groomer and then worked their way up to the five they have now. 

“Our location in Battle Ground is just amazing. The people in the surrounding area are just incredible to work with and work for,” Neste said. “Our four-legged customers are awesome to have.”

He said working with animals is “the best part” because they’re always happy to see the staff and “love being spoiled.” The owner’s reactions stand out to him as well.

“It’s just really satisfying to do a great job for people and see their appreciation, just in their face alone, tells you everything you need to know,” Neste said.

The COVID-19 pandemic impacted the business because it affected the employees’ incomes, which Neste said hurt to see. He said the lockdowns affected the animals too, since dogs and cats that don’t get their nails trimmed can experience health problems. For example, with a cat’s claw, he said it will curl into the paw if it is not trimmed in time, which can cause injuries and infections. Neste said that isn’t a common problem he experiences since owners tend to take their pet’s needs seriously.

“You got to understand, to most people, their pet is like a child. It’s like their kid,” Neste said. “They go above and beyond and make sure they’re taken care of correctly. When we groom an animal or bathe them, sometimes we may find an issue on the animal and let them know.”

Neste said Wags N’ Whiskers stands out from other businesses because of their “undying love for animals.” They also groom cats, which not all groomers do, he said.

“We treat the animals, our clients, like they’re our own,” he said. “I feel that the owners of our clients see that. Then the owners come in and it’s all one big giant room, and many have made that comment, that they enjoy the fact that they can see everything that’s going on.”

Wags N’ Whiskers is located at 710 E. Main St. in Battle Ground. The business is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Tuesdays through Saturdays.