Let me start off by saying that when family members take care of your pet (in our case our dog)…you have peace of mind and can rest assured that your pet or dog is being cared for just like the family member they are. However, many times placing the burden of this care on a family member can be unfair to them. My Brother and his wife or my other Brother would watch our Beagle, Devon whenever Lee Ann and I would go on vacation or just need someone to watch him for a few days while we were gone. I hated taking advantage of them even though they never complained…and I’d like to think they enjoyed Devon’s company. So this past year we have been searching for somewhere else to “board” Devon that met both HIS needs and our peace of mind for his stay while we were gone.
Thus our quest for an adequate place for Devon to stay began. We looked around Searcy, Beebe, Cabot and even Little Rock. Our goals for Devon’s boarding had to meet the following criteria: 1) It had to be clean. 2) It had to be secure. 3) It had to be larger than just a cage 4) It had to have either human interaction or other dogs to play with 4) And finally, we had to get the “vibe” that the person running the boarding facility was doing it with good intentions – in other words, we wanted someone that would not mistreat Devon.
Although online reviews (such as this one) can give some insight as to quality of a business or product, I still prefer to hear from people by word of mouth. By talking with friends and/or relatives (sometimes even talking to strangers) you get a true idea of how a business is ran. After much research, I had narrowed it down to a couple of boarding facilities. Finally with a little more research and also some word of mouth recommending one specific place, we decided to try Piggs-N-Paws, LLC Dog Boarding right here in Searcy. Several friends and acquaintances had boarded their dogs there and the initial reviews were positive.
About a month before our week long vacation I contacted the owner of the facility, Wendy Pigg and asked to see area where the dogs were kept, and she said I could come anytime, I told her I’d be there in about 15 minutes. When I arrived, Wendy met me and we toured her facility where she keeps the dogs. She kept the doors locked at all times upon entering and leaving. The day I toured the kennel she had about 7 large kennels and each one had a doggie door to the outside concrete pad. (Note: since my initial visit they have added a few additional kennels). The indoors was air conditioned and security camera’s are installed in the facility so she can see each kennel whenever she is away from the property. Outside of the kennel is a “playground” which is about 90% covered in Astra-turf for easy clean-up, but still has some grassy areas for those dogs that prefer their bathroom to be “Au-naturel”. But here’s the thing…our senses play a very important part in how we perceive a business. Every kennel I have visited in the past smelled of dogs, dog feces and dog urine. THIS PLACE HAD NONE OF THOSE SMELLS and there were no dog messes anywhere to be found. Sure they go…but the kennels were completely clean (and not recently cleaned…as they were not wet from being washed down). This tells me that Wendy works hard to keep a clean and healthy facility. Here are some bullet points as to what I observed on my initial visit:
- Kennels were CLEAN…very clean!
- Security cameras for remote monitoring
- Kennel door locked at ALL TIMES
- Outside kennel runs did not have gate or outside access (secure!)
- Indoor kennels air conditioned (temp control) at all times
- All kennels had both a food bowl and water bowl
- Very reasonably priced for daycare and longer stays
- Generous updates on your pet during long stays
- Large play area (dog park) outside of kennel for interaction with other dogs
I was impressed enough to schedule a trial stay and made an appointment to have Devon stay just for a “daycare” type of visit. Basically he would just spend the day there after dropping him off early and picking him up in the late afternoon. Of course Wendy requires that an information form be filled out prior to accepting any dog. The form requires your vet’s name, shot records, medical history if any and that your animal does not have fleas or ticks. I dropped Devon off and helped place him in his kennel. The first thing he did was to head out the doggie door and check out the rest of the kennel. I left and when I returned later in the day, he was fine and did not appear stressed in anyway. It was a good start. I decide to go ahead and reserve Devon a spot for the week that we would be on vacation.
On the morning of our vacation, we dropped Devon off early along with his food and directions on how we fed him. We also included a blanket for him to use as his bed (at home he actually sleeps in a wooden dog crate). Wendy keeps blankets and dog bowls as needed. Again Devon went right in his kennel and I left. Throughout the week we were gone Wendy sent texts and Facebook posts of Devon playing. It was great and I could see he was actually ENJOYING his time there. Those little text messages and pictures definitely eased our mind.
Upon returning home…as soon as we unpacked I headed over to pick Devon up. He was no worse for the wear and I could see no personality changes, nor any changes in his bathroom habits or anything else that might indicate he did not enjoy his new adventure. We came away from this experience with confidence and trust. We are happy to say Piggs-N-Paws, LLC Dog Boarding will be our new “home away from home” for Devon when we travel.
Piggs-N-Paws, LLC Dog Boarding was everything we had hoped for in a safe, secure and CLEAN place for Devon to stay when go out of town. The cost was VERY REASONABLE, the care of Devon was great, and we could tell Wendy’s business is not just a business, but also a passion. THAT MATTERS to me.
I also recommend that if you have plans for a vacation that you make your reservation as far in advance as possible. Word of mouth about her services spread fast…and for that reason its best to reserve as soon as you know your plans. I HIGHLY recommend Wendy Pigg’s business, Piggs-N-Paws, LLC Dog Boarding if you want a great place for your dog that gives both you and your dog…peace of mind during their stay.