Jill’s Pet Resort: Creating Happy Owners & Tail-Wagging Pets
By Kathy Hosler
Photos provided by Jill's Pet Resort
“When my husband, Donald, and I decided to build a luxury pet resort, we knew that we wanted our facility to be a jaw–dropping showplace,” says Jill Nobles. “And, we wanted it to have a homelike atmosphere where every pet enjoys their stay, and the owner can enjoy their own vacation knowing that their pet is getting the best of care.”
When Jill was seventeen, she became a bather in a grooming salon, and later she apprenticed and became a groomer. After working for others, then managing the grooming department for a veterinary practice, she opened her own grooming shop. That expanded into a boarding facility which became so successful she outgrew it.
Three years ago, Jill and Donald Nobles built a new facility on twelve spacious acres in New Bern, North Carolina.
“We drew on our own experience, did a lot of research, went to pet boarding expos and networked with others to get ideas,” says Donald. “We planned everything down to the last detail, then began construction.”
Their main building is over 10,000 sq. ft. and has 80 pet suites. Their Classic, Deluxe and Grand Luxury suites are constructed of stainless steel and glass and were all designed for the dogs’ comfort and safety. Their Grand Luxury Suites are located in a relaxing, quiet area of the building. Each suite has a flat screen TV for the dog to watch, and a 24–hour web–cam so the owners can watch their dog. They also have resting benches and luxury bedding.
There are lots of additional options available for boarding guests—day play, night walks, one–on–one time with a staff member, pool time and more. They can also enjoy freshly baked “pupcakes” and other special snacks. Jill’s mother owned a bakery and she lovingly prepares the treats.
The resort also has a beautiful cattery that is outfitted with 2’x2’x6′ four–story cat condos. It is located in a quiet area away from the dogs. Two large picture windows allow the felines to see into the yards and the park area. The cats get time out of their condos, one cat family at a time, in the cattery play area.
“Safety was one of the foremost concerns when we were designing our facility,” Donald says. “All of our buildings are equipped with smoke, carbon monoxide and heat detectors that are linked directly to the local fire and police departments. The resort has a UV light air filtration system. And, there are more than thirty webcams that we can access at any time, even from our home.”
In addition to boarding, they average fifty to sixty dogs per day in their day play program. Ten acres of the property is fenced. All of the outdoor areas are covered with K9Grass or real grass and there are gorgeous plantings throughout the property. They have small and large agility yards and a 1/2 acre walking trail with play equipment for the dogs. Most of the outdoor yards have sun shade awnings that let filtered sunlight through, yet help keep the grass cool. They are so well built that they have withstood hurricanes.
There are also indoor air conditioned play rooms and webcams in all the day play areas which allow owners to watch their dogs.
They have a beautiful bone–shaped pool with a sandy, beach–like entry that deepens to five feet at the far end. The shallow end has many water features, such as mushrooms that squirt water and different sprays for the dogs to play and cool off in.
They can also provide daycare to dogs that do not play well with others. “We have sixteen outdoor walking yards and other grass yards on the outskirts of the property,” says Jill. “The non–social dogs can stay through the day and be individually walked and played with by a staff member.”
Of course, the resort also has a state-of–the–art grooming salon. They have nine groomers on staff that can give breed specific grooms or customize a hairstyle to the owner’s desires. They offer creative finishing touches such as hair coloring, and average more than fifty grooms a day.
“You can’t do all of this without a wonderful staff,” says Jill. “We have 32 employees, some of them have been with me for more than 12 years. My staff is one of the biggest blessings we have. That’s where we stand heads and shoulders above our competitors.”
Their website, www.jillspetresort.com, has been a big part of the huge growth of Jill’s Pet Resort. Owners can make online reservations, grooming appointments, see the facility and all the services they offer, and watch the webcams.
“We send out report cards for the pets who are here for daycare and boarding,” says Jill. “It’s a real hit with the owners. It makes their Mommas and Daddies happy. We try to send owners a couple of pictures of each pet during their stay and also pictures of them during day play.”
Social media also plays a huge part in the resort’s success. “We are Facebook and Twitter nuts here,” says Jill with an infectious smile. “People love to see their babies and share them with others.”
When Jill and Donald were designing their new facility, they made sure to plan for future expansion. They have just added a beautiful new 8,000 sq. ft. building to accommodate more boarding suites and day play activities. The building has an open floor plan that allows them to hold agility, obedience and other training classes—and additional activities in air–conditioned comfort.
And, they just opened a spectacular members only dog park. Each member has their own access card that allows them entry to the park. It has lots of room for the dogs to freely enjoy all the park’s amenities, and is a safe place for members to bring their pets. The park includes a beautiful second outdoor swimming pool. The pool house is where the dogs and their owners check in. The owners can relax there and socialize with other pet parents while their dogs romp and swim with their friends.
“No people in the pool please,” says Donald with a hearty laugh. “The pool is for dogs only.”
“Our new dog park is exploding with events and activities.” says Jill. “Donald and I are thrilled with the incredible success our resort is experiencing. We are surrounded by happy owners and tail-wagging pets.”