The Next Best Thing to Home: Discerning pets can attest
Did you know the Tri-State is home to a five-star lodging facility that includes luxury suites with pleasing décor, special orthopedic floors, soothing music, television and DVD player – all for $25 (or less) per day?
On-site amenities include a salon offering individual styling sessions, massages, and plenty of outdoor activities and opportunities to socialize.
Meals are provided for an additional 50 cents per day, and there’s no limit on the amount you can drink. If you don’t like the bedding provided, you are welcome to bring your own. You can also bring your favorite toys (limit two).
If you haven’t already figured it out, this high-class accommodation has one big restriction – only guests of the four-legged variety are allowed to stay there.
Barboursville, W.Va., is home to Club Pet, a pet resort that has serviced approximately 4,000 clients since it opened in 1997.
“We have a great atmosphere and a terrific staff,” said owner Heather Sansome-McCallister of Bellefonte, Ky. “All of the guys in the back, who take care of the kennels, have worked here five years or more. They know all the dogs by name, and they are really gentle with them. We get some (dogs) that are scared to death, and our guys will sit in the run with them and pet them, and make them as comfortable as they can.”
Staff members pay careful attention to a dog’s temperament, she said. ”We know which ones will get along and which ones won’t. And if we don’t know them, they will go out to play by themselves.”
Kellie Nunley of Ashland, Ky., said her two boxers, Brody and Cleo, had a blast during their recent one-week stay at Club Pet. “They had a wonderful time,” she said. “And I felt good about leaving them there.”
The outside play area – called Critter Park – is full of hoops, agility equipment and other fun activities for dogs, Nunley said. It even has a fire hydrant. “They had a hard time getting Brody to come inside after an hour. He loved it,” she said.
There are several other things about Club Pet that impress Nunley – all dogs must be current on all their shots; large and small dogs are separated; close tabs are kept on which dogs are fixed, and which aren’t; and the staff is great with special requests, such as medicine.
“My mom took her dog there. He couldn’t eat much, and he needed special food. They warmed it up and gave it to him,” Nunley said. “If your dogs have to stay somewhere else, this is a really nice facility.”
Brody and Cleo stayed together in a 5 x 15-foot kennel with an indoor/outdoor run, heating and air conditioning, and soothing music – for $24 per day. For a week, the cost was slightly over $200. Well worth it, Nunley said, and preferable to the last time she and her husband Ben left town, and the dogs stayed at home in the care of their teenage son.
“The dogs are very routine-oriented and … well, a teenager isn’t,” Nunley joked. “I always let them out at 6 a.m, but that’s hard to do when you sleep till 11. I came home and had to spend about three hours just cleaning the house. So this time, our son helped pay for them to stay at Club Pet. It worked out much better.”
The pet resort has 51 indoor/outdoor kennels and five outdoor cabanas (with ceiling fans and dog houses). There are also 10 cat cages in The Cattery – a special area for feline guests that’s home to Purrwood Forest.
“We average about 80 to 100 animals on the weekends,” said Sansome-McCallister. “We are nearly always full, especially on holidays and weekends. I probably turn down 40 people or more at Thanksgiving and Christmas.”
When planning upcoming summer vacations, she suggested calling for pet accommodations at least three weeks ahead. And, if it’s the grooming facilities you want, better make it four.
“Our groomers are amazing. They paint nails and use bandanas and hair bows,” she said. “Each styling session is carefully planned based on your breed of pet.”
Club Pet also offers puppy and obedience training. A state trooper conducts the eight-week obedience training course, held on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. Individual sessions also can be arranged. “We want both the owner and the pet to leave here happy and well educated,” Sansome-McCallister said.
There is an on-site retail shop, and the facility is also open for day care, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. weekdays (cost is $12 for dogs, $9 for cats). Or, if you and your dog want to stop by for some play time together in Critter Park, the cost is $5 for 30 minutes.
4 Stor More Drive, Huntington
(on East Pea Ridge, across from the 7-Eleven)