Under the umbrella of Pet Medical Centers, nine Miami-Dade and Broward-area veterinary hospitals provide sophisticated healthcare for furry, feathered, and scaly family members. The hospitals’ specialty services include nonanesthetic dental care, ultrasounds, radiology, and endoscopies. All locations boast surgical operating rooms equipped with windows and cameras to give owners peace of mind, and many of the clinics are equipped with lasers for blade-free incisions. Besides emergency care, the doctors and technicians—some of whom have appeared as specialists on Univision and Animal Planet—perform general wellness examinations and informative nutritional consultations.
Although medical care provides what pets need, boarding services treat pets to what they want. Most locations double as cat and dog hotels, but only one deserves the title of pet resort—at Coral Springs Pet Resort and Medical Center, animals enjoy a climate-controlled dog park with a pool, baths with massaging jets, and expansive canine suites with window views.
Trail Animal Hospital's luxurious facilities cater to pets' excitable whims with veterinary vacations that provide exercise, play, and pampering spa services. Tempered glass fronts keep doggy suites well-lit and airy, and three-story cat condos keep curious kitties entertained with a high-rise view of the facility's electronic fish tank and hourly dolphin shows. Bowlfuls of each animal's favorite food arrive twice daily, served precisely according to the owner's instructions, and a dedicated walker spins four-legged pals ’round the block at least three times a day. The dulcet tones of slow-moving music relax animal eardrums as furry friends settle into their raised beds or plush piles of blankets for an evening's rest, where midnight snacking urges are smartly satisfied with a Kong-like toy. Climate controls regulate temperature throughout the entire facility, protecting dogs and cats from summer heat and keeping them warm all through Miami’s blizzard season.
Four-legged friends—and pet parents—turn to Pou Veterinary Group for high-tech treatments and expert care. The clinic's two veterinarians welcome cats, dogs, and lizards dressed in dog suits for a slew of services, including preventative care, dentistry, dermatology, and radiology. They also groom pets take care of them for out-of-town owners.
For 20 years, Donna Mole woke up at 4 a.m. to get her horses ready for a full day of riding, managing up to 50 horses at once as she trained jockeys and groomed thoroughbreds for racing. After that, she switched gears, choosing instead to watch the sun rise in such places as Kenya, France, Ireland, and Australia as she taught students who desired to see the world from the saddle. Headquartered in Florida at her own ranch, At Ascot Farm, Donna?along with her right-hand equestrians Carissa Baskett and Charlotte Harris?works with both adults and children as young as two, tailoring to the needs and personal goals of each student as they learn to develop proper riding to avoid a fall.
As a young girl, Monica Castillo was walking home when she realized she was being followed by a neighborhood cat, which then waited outside her house until she reemerged. The cat, a feral stray, allowed her to pet him, and eventually, adopt him. Monica?s mother, Francie, recounts this tale often, claiming that after this experience, Monica declared emphatically that she wanted to be a "doggy doctor," and never strayed from that path. After immersing herself in volunteer work, Monica attended school to become veterinary tech, a title she has held for the past four-and-a-half years. In 2011, the mother-daughter team opened Pepe Le Pooche Resort & Spa to better prepare Monica for her continuing education in veterinary school and to care for animals with kind attention and respect for their needs.
"Dogs know when they are being treated well," says Francie. To this end, she surrounds herself with staff members who were raised by animals or just have an affinity for them. Le Salon & Spa at Pepe Le Pooche hosts a crew of groomers who all hold certifications and have experience working around the particulars of different breeds, such as which prefer the scissors over a comb and which relish well-groomed mohawks and hair dye, upon request.
Pepe Le Pooche's onsite boarding and daycare facilities are cage-free, meaning dogs have free rein of play areas for most of the day, and hunker down in 1 of 10 large suites at night. Staff members stay on watch around the clock to ensure pets? safety and play classical music to keep them calm. The resort does not have the capacity to board felines, but they are welcome to stay for daycare. The crew also plans all aspects of dog parties, from procuring the cake to hosting a blowout bash complete with party favors.
The dog groomers at Pet Avenue bathe and board pups of all sizes and breeds, performing services that range from basic grooming and teeth cleaning to de-shedding and administering medicated flea baths. Using all-natural shampoos, including a blueberry-facial tearless variety, the groomers bathe dogs after cleaning out ears, squeezing glands, trimming nails, then finish them off with a spritz of cologne. They can groom all boarded animals before sending them home. Owners can also pick out an adorable pet outfit from Pet Avenue?s boutique, perfect for gussying up pooches for holiday gatherings or their own retirement parties.