Different from the average pet-boarding facility, Paradise 4 Paws has a bone-shaped pool surrounded by more than 20,000 square feet of indoor play area, plush accommodations, and comfy boarding suites. Staff members roam the facility 24/7, playing with animals during the day, tucking them in at night, and performing à la carte services such as grooming, obedience training, health checkups, and canine massage therapy. Paradise 4 Paws has its own training academy, and its pet-care professionals have received pet-first-aid certification from the American Red Cross.
The pet-minded staff cares about pet owners, as well, granting access to the play area’s real-time webcams and offering airport parking and transportation.
In 1997 PAWS Chicago set out to halt the unnecessary killing of thousands of homeless cats and dogs in the region, establishing a no-kill shelter and organizing public-awareness campaigns. More than 20,000 adoptions later, team members still visit Chicago Animal Care and Control every day to take as many pets into their care as they have room for, providing necessary medical attention as well as spaying and neutering services. The Luerie spay and neuter clinic and GusMobile spay and neuter van serve the pets of low-income families and tackle the problem of animal overpopulation in city neighborhoods, catching, treating, and releasing more than 18,000 cats and dogs every year to prevent the unchecked growth of local animal colonies. Through the Adoption and Humane Center in Lincoln Park, PAWS also adopts out animals that enter its shelters. The center maintains a cage-free facility to ensure pets live in comfort and dignity until they can be matched with an adoptive family.
Though lifelong animal lovers, owners Jennifer and Chris Stavrianos' passion for dogs and cats reached a new level of dedication when they began caring for strays around their Westside Chicago neighborhood. The experience inspired them to open Pet Care Plus in 1998. In the 13,000-square-foot facility, pups can scamper across an expansive rubber-surface playground, enjoy training and grooming services, and, in the summer months, head outdoors to frolic in the in-ground swimming pool. Some dogs stay only during the day while their people are at work, but Pet Care Plus also hosts overnight guests of both canine and feline persuasions. Training classes for dogs of all ages are available to keep behavior in check when pets return home. Grooming packages range from simple baths with brushing to a full-service mane makeover complete with nail polish or custom conditioners.
Outfitted with spas and treadmills, Pooch Hotels are nearly the same as human accommodations, with one key difference: your dog might get a tummy-rub with their turndown service. These venues were all designed by dog-lovers whose main priority was canine comfort, regardless of the length of each guest's stay.
Dogs on daycare visits, for example, are sorted by size and temperament before entering one of multiple play areas. Monitored by human "Pack Leaders," they socialize amidst toys, treats, and wading pools at select locations, or run outside if the weather and facilities permit. Those who have booked a room for the night can relax in a private suite, outfitted with a glass door rather than bars. These range from standard to presidential and even palace suites?rooms outfitted with luxury bedding and flat-screen televisions tuned to dog-friendly programming. Customers might also schedule a spa appointment for their pooch, choosing from services such as baths, "pawdicures," and even facials.
The hotels pursue peace of mind for owners as actively as they pamper their dogs. Certain locations have installed web cameras in the play areas and suites, enabling people to check in on their pets and guilt them about the time they napped instead of writing a postcard. Staff remain on-hand at all times to welcome newcomers and care for already-snoozing pups.
For Joseph Giannini and Tommy Spinosa, the standard cement-and-chain-link boarding facilities they encountered simply would not do for their pooch. They decided to create their own facility where pets could live like kings among dangling chandeliers, plush sofas, and a staff who know them each by name.
The product of their imaginations is a cage-free boarding zone where every dog and cat forgoes the confines of stressful, cramped crates, and a chaperone is always on hand to ensure pets are safe and not blowing their life savings by shopping for chewable shoes on the Internet. A pickup and drop-off taxi runs pups to and from the boarding facility. And each dog is live on a webcams, where owners can check in to ease their minds. Aside from doggie boarding and daycare, Urban Out Sitters’ services also include at-home kitty sitting for self-possessed felines who don't want to pack up their things and leave home simply because their humans did. An onsite retail completes the pet-care puzzle, selling grooming products, food, and collars and leashes.
Founded in Oak Park, Illinois, in 1996 by pet owners who were sick of bothering neighbors to care for their furry charges when they were busy or away, Out-U-Go! keeps beloved animals happy when their owners are unavailable. Certified members of Pet Sitter International, Out-U-Go’s fully licensed and bonded pet professionals undergo a rigorous screening process, putting in time at the company's Dog Walk University to learn how to deal with willful pets, calmly handle emergencies, and internalize animals’ fear of vacuums. New customers start off with a free meet and greet, with sitters coming to the house to meet dogs, cats, and smaller critters, and discuss special needs and routines. Services range from daily walks to full-time housesitting and pet taxi rides to groomers, vets, and kennels.