The handlers at Iowa Reptile Rescue handle reptiles and amphibians with attentive foster care. While their reptilian guests vary, the shelter may house tokay geckos, bearded dragons, and russian tortoises, as well as the occasional orphaned rose-hair tarantula or a velociraptor who's burnt out after years of typecasting. Once animals are deemed ready for reentry into loving homes, the staff adds the animal to their list of current adoptables. To help fund their operation, the Iowa Reptile Rescue team organizes events, such as benefit concerts, and recruits the support of local business sponsors.
Dog Days & Cat Naps maintains a welcoming environment where pets can feel safe and secure while away from home. The knowledgable staff watches over dogs, cats, birds, and other animals of all sizes with its boarding service and offers half-day and full-day daycare options. It also keeps pets clean with various bathing packages, some of which include care for nails, ears, and glands.
Helmed by a pair of Iowa State University graduates, Family Pet Veterinary Center keeps furry friends in good health at three locations across the Des Moines area. A third-generation veterinarian, Dr. Jen Emerson-Mathis joins forces with Dr. Ashley Williams to deliver medical, surgical, and diagnostic services to beloved animals. With their team, doctors Jen and Ashley go the extra mile by making sure clients understand every facet of their pet’s medical condition, and every step of the treatment process. Even more, the Family Pet facilities provide boarding packages, as well as on-site grooming for dogs, cats, and CEOs who need a break from making so many decisions.
Founded in 1933, the Cedar Rapids chapter of the Iowa Junior Chamber of Commerce—or Jaycees—hones the leadership skills of its members through projects and programs that benefit the community. Once-a-month Sunday breakfasts bring locals together in the common pursuit of pancakes, and Uptown Friday Nights in Green Square Park are filled with music, food, and drinks. The Jaycees also fling wide the doors of its newly opened Jaycee Center to renters for conferences, parties, wedding receptions, and driving-school-class reunions.
At Matthias Arabians, seasoned horse trainers Leon, Lon, and Kim Matthias teach visitors the art of steed steering in a scenic setting. In one-hour riding lessons, students of varying equine aptitude can take the reins of safe learning mounts, absorbing instructors' wisdom until their horses glide over terrain as smoothly as refurbished hovercrafts. Topics covered may range from horse-care fundamentals to proper discipline or mastering a stately trot, but all are presented with expertise and a sense of humor.
Woofables’ chefs cater to canines with an array of handmade, preservative-free dog treats. Pups and their owners can waltz into the Woofables' shop to sniff through 16 flavors of specialty dog biscuits including Bark-BQ-Rib biscuits and tooth-shaped Puppermints (each $9.99 per lb.). Bakers handcraft all of the boutique's treats with natural ingredients and no preservatives or chemicals, also stocking an assemblage of specialty treats decorated to look like pizzas, shamrocks, or frogs ($0.99+). Please poodles with chews, gift baskets, and 6-inch birthday cakes, which can be personalized with messages thanking man’s best friend for defending the house against mailmen ($11.99).