When a haggard, helpless stray pup wandered into the backyard of Mrs. Carter H. Downing house in 1940, he had no idea he was about to trigger the creation of one of San Francisco's most respected animal hospitals and shelters. After searching fruitlessly for a safe shelter for the dog, the determined Carter Downing took the frightened animal home with her, along with all of the other pets caged up in the local pound. After setting up her own impromptu pet adoption agency, Downing proved to be successful at connecting stray and homeless pets with loving families. More than 65 years later, Pets Unlimited carries on Downing's vision, maintaining a network of foster care, community education programs, and a 24-hour veterinary center. The work of the dedicated staff keeps dogs and cats off the streets and puts them right where they belong⎯in the loving arms of humans and Sesame Street characters.
To support their work, a portion of the proceeds from their top-notch veterinary center goes to support Pets Unlimited's charitable vet care, shelter programs, and adoption services. Doting pet parents can bring in their pets for routine checkups, dental cleanings, and boarding, all the while supporting the noble causes of connecting abandoned cats and dogs with nurturing homes.
Since 1995, VIP PetCare has been operating community veterinary clinics to make preventive care accessible and affordable for all pet owners. The clinics rotate through 250 markets and provide heartworm tests, flea treatments, dewormers, and other vital care on a regular basis to keep pets healthy. Furry friends stay easily identifiable after microchipping services, and vaccination packages protect from maladies that range from rabies to kennel cough. Each clinic is overseen by a state-licensed vet to ensure the safety of each animal. VIP PetCare also partners with pet retail stores and animal shelters in each of their markets, and has donated more than $400,000 in supplies and materials to animal shelters and rescue groups over the last three and a half years.
Founded in 2006, the Vincent family's 3-acre ranch makes pups feel right at home when their families can't be there to care for them. "There are no cages here," Andrea Vincent explains on her website. "There are no kennels." Unlike even the best boarding facilities, where dogs are isolated in private suites, the Vincents' maximum of four furry guests roam their house at will. An enclosed outdoor play area stretches 1.5 acres, providing plenty of room for canines to play fetch, investigate odors, or negotiate a peace agreement between themselves and their own tail.
Fit 'N' Furry Pet Resort pampers dogs and cats with day and nighttime pet-lodging services in a safe, spacious, certified-green facility. Basic overnight care for dogs (a $29–$41 value/night depending on size) and cats (a $21–$24 value/night) houses wee loved ones in personal rooms or suites adjacent to three large playrooms, all viewable via 24-hour webcam or dog-whisperer telepathy. Enhance sessions with various additional à la carte items (not included with the Groupon), including treats, nature walks, and coin-operated petting machines.
Aiming to keep the friendship between man and man’s best friend as fresh as possible, SplashHound is home to an easy and fun dog-washing system that helps your favorite canine companion stay clean without splashing your home bathroom in eau de dirt. With the self-serve dog wash (a $12–$15 value), owners don’t need appointments to completely cleanse their dirty pooch, and the only clock they’ll be racing is a broken one. Standing in a well-spaced and waist-high line, six large metal washtubs allow walk-in entry for the biggest dogs while leaving plenty of room for complicated pre-bath exercise routines. After donning a waterproof apron, parents purge impurities from their animal children with SplashHound’s special bathing wand, which conquers the thickest of coats with cleansing hypo-aloe and hypo-watermelon shampoos while also administering a satisfying massage to worn-out cat-catching muscles. After the bath, dogs are blow-dried and pampered at the grooming station.
With up to 1,100 square feet of outdoor space, private suites, and splash pools, Wag Hotels would be a swanky destination for any human. But as much as they might want to?and as much press as they might have read about the hotels?bipeds aren't welcome to spend the night at either of the hotel's locations. Instead, cats and dogs rule the roost at these luxury pet resorts.
All locations are open 24/7 and offer more than 10,000 square feet of indoor playrooms where pups romp around. Spacious boarding rooms with flat screen TVs await canines spending the night while two-level kitty condos keep cats entertained with built-in exotic fish tanks. And for top dogs, Wags offers Ultra suites outfitted with raised Queen beds and in-room aromatherapy dispensed by employees. Animals can even indulge in the hotel's spa, which offers such grooming services as oatmeal shampoos and pet tattoos.
To ensure each four-legged guest's visit is comfortable, Wag's team employs the Wag Care 360 approach. This approach includes sanitizing the facility regularly and allowing owners to check in on their pets via the hotel's web cams. Wag also provides dog training courses.