2018-04-16 / Business & Real Estate

Business BEAT: Furry members of family get care day and night

By D. K. Christi


Bonita Boarding Kennel and Pet Camp celebrates 10 years of providing pet care to the community this fall. From left: Faith Harrison with Loki, Cheryl Harrison with Bailey Boy, Debi Braendle with Gracie. Bonita Boarding Kennel and Pet Camp celebrates 10 years of providing pet care to the community this fall. From left: Faith Harrison with Loki, Cheryl Harrison with Bailey Boy, Debi Braendle with Gracie. Bonita Boarding Kennel and Pet Camp, BBK, will celebrate 10 years of providing pet care to Bonita Springs’ furry family members – and to some without fur – with a fall open house in November 2018. More than 10,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space, with 5,000 under air, is for pampering the family pet just off Old 41 and Bernwood roads.

“We also have a cattery, specially outfitted with condos for our feline friends,” said Debi Braendle, one of the owners, who shares hands-on management with her husband, George, and daughter Lisa Kirkland. “We try to accommodate our community’s pet boarding needs, even when their pets are not typical.”

One family left several pets, including a small turtle. Braendle said she wouldn’t charge for the turtle. That was a mistake. The turtle’s special requirements took more care than the rest of the family’s pets combined.

With an official capacity of 50 animals, Braendle considers accommodating birds and turtles and even boarded a ferret.

An African grey parrot was particularly memorable. His cage was in the office. Soon, the parrot was saying quite clearly, “Bonita Boarding Kennel. How may we help you?” That wasn’t too bad until he started mimicking the ringing phone, too.

The animals enjoy their special time, whether day care or vacation boarding, in a spotlessly clean environment. Owners may bring in special items unique to their pet if they wish.

Dogs enjoy small pools in hot weather. Caretakers are professionally trained with CPR, first aid and more at monthly lunch-and-learn meetings. Safety is a primary concern, and a prospective guest and owner may not tour if the pet’s veterinary shot record is not current. A professional groomer is on site for that final touch just before the pet goes home.

“Clients have been with us since we opened 10 years ago,” said Braendle. “They spoil us, bringing food and treats for our employees because they take such good care of all their pets.” For frequent day care guests, BBK offers a frequent camper program with a punch card to fill and the 11th visit is free.

Manager Cheryl Harrison keeps everything running smoothly and has been with BBK for nine years. “The family feeling keeps me here – with the clients and the kennel. (It’s) close-knit, light, personal, loving and caring.” According to Braendle, customers treat finding the right dog care like finding child care – in a place where family members are safe and cared for the same as home. Holidays require planning ahead for reservations.

BBK is located at 9240 Brookwood Court, Bonita Springs, 34135. See bonitaboardingkennel.com for a video produced by Braendle’s granddaughter. For detailed boarding and day care information, call 239-992-6878.

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