The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) of Wake County was originally founded in 1969 to transform the region into a humane area where every animal could find a home. Today, it works toward this goal by sheltering and securing the adoption of more than 3,000 animals every year and providing lost-and-found services for missing pets. The organization also supports pet owners with classes to help them care for their animals and addresses the problem of overpopulation through catch-and-release spay or neuter programs.
Brier Creek Pet Hotel proprietor Lisa Sarvas is a veterinarian who also breeds and shows dogs. The pet hotel—which offers both daycare and boarding—is an extension of her love for animals.
Daycare charges enjoy several indoor or outdoor play periods, either in groups or one-on-one with staff members. Overnight guests bunk down in private suites with access to a covered outdoor run; upgrades include elevated beds, televisions, and exclusive exercise space. There's also a groomer on staff to make sure dogs look their best for any upcoming dates with fire hydrants.
Training riders and horses is a family affair at Chapel Ridge Farm, where members of the Bennett family draw from more than 75 years of combined equestrian boarding, training, showing, and sales experience. Owner and head trainer Meagan Bennett takes the reins of each riding class, teaching students how to improve their horsemanship, from basic horse care to fine-tuning their jumping skills for AA competitions. While Meagan is out with students, her mother and one-time state equestrian team coach, Linda Bennett, handles day-to-day operations at the farm. Tom Bennett, Meagan’s father, also helps out and is often available to help transport horses between Chapel Ridge Farm and other equestrian centers to save steeds the aggravation of hitchhiking without thumbs.
Paws At Play supports pet owners with a variety of services from doggie daycare and cat boarding to pet grooming. During doggie daycare, pets get access to an indoor play gym, multiple outdoor play yards, and a dog pool. Overnight boarders can take advantage of these amenities before hunkering down in one of 38 private suites, which feature a window, adjustable feeding bowls, and raised bedding. The facility also boasts 18 private cat suites where felines can bask in natural sunlight and sway to the sounds of classical music. Separate ventilation systems prevent the smell of canine boarders from stressing out visiting cats.
Dogs naturally travel in packs, eat in packs, and play in packs, which is why the dog nannies at Happy Tails Dog Care socialize each tail-wagging guest with the other dogs in their cage-free boarding facility. Every four hours at the daycare center, the pet specialists walk the dogs using proper leash methods to prevent them from tugging. They also provide daily grooming services by clipping nails, brushing coats and teeth, and cleaning ears. In addition to cleaning pets, dog nannies are on hand every hour of the day.
Bubbles float through the air as dogs try to outdo each other by catching them between their teeth. Meanwhile, their comrades bound up playground slides and race across artificial turf. The dogs spend most of the day socializing in one of the play yards with like-minded pups. They chase balls thrown by an automatic machine and cool off in an in-ground pool as attentive staff members keep a close watch. Dogs who are less active due to age or temperament can cuddle with staff members on sofas in the lounge. Additionally, the center offers training classes, during which dog owners learn to influence their pooches with basic commands such as "sit," "stay," and "give me back my shoe." Both training sessions and grooming appointments can be arranged during daycare or boarding, so that dogs look and act their best when they are reunited with their owners. Clients can drop their pets off at their convenience during the day for daycare, when pets are scheduled for grooming.