|He’s got a lot of friendly companions at his resort
Upon entering Paradise Pet Resort in Rohnert Park, you can always expect to be met with a lot of greetings, from the chatter of the two beautiful blue macaws in the corner, the bubbling of the large wall aquarium and, of course, the wagging tails and excited yelps of the employee dogs: Pirate and Radar. The front room portrays the abundance of services and accommodations the resort supplies, as well as how different it is from your typical dog kennel.
“I always try to be the employer that I always wanted and to do right by the customers and their animals,” says Mike Campbell, who has been the owner for about three years. “We strive to be the best place that people can leave their pets while they are away.”
For 26 years Campbell worked as a manager at Long’s Drugs, but like many, grew tired of retail and turned instead to his other passion: animals. In 2007 he joined the Camp Bow Wow franchise in Santa Rosa with a family friend and found that it was the perfect fit. He then left the franchise, leased what was formally Boardwalk Pet Village, and turned both into Paradise Pet Resort: a family owned and operated business. In fact, the building is supposedly one of the first commercial structures built in Rohnert Park.
The services range from boarding, day care, grooming, minor medical treatment, a canine diving pool and both agilities and obedience training by the manager, Debbie Port. There is a small gift shop and frequently animals up for adoption in the lobby. Since their opening, Campbell says they have helped more than 300 pets find forever-homes. They work with Noah’s B’Ark, a local nonprofit dog rescue center; their unique location widens publicity as well as allows the dogs to be exposed to more playtime than if they are kept in a shelter.
What sets Paradise Pet Resorts apart from a typical kennel? Not only do the dogs get 9-10 hours of playtime a day, but their owners have access to live webcams.
“What makes us really unique, which I’ve never seen anywhere else, is that we have a swimming pool for dogs for diving and pool time,” notes employee Mario Contreras. He points out the heated floors for the dogs during particularly chilly nights.
Although they are often undercut by cheaper kennel prices, the resort offers a flat fee for all amenities, including additional outdoors time, grooming and any medical treatment, and does not charge deposits or cancellation fees, making the value better in the long run.
“Our goal is for the pets to have a good experience and for their owners to relax and not feel guilty when they go on vacation,” says Campbell. “The dogs have a good time, so it’s like a vacation for them too while their owners are away.”
While dogs take up their largest clientele, they have large suites for cats, they’ve had potbelly pigs and at one point, up to seven parrots. With 15 employees working on an average day, there is always someone overseeing the dogs during playtime.
“Dogs are hardwired to be social animals. We have 70 dogs out there right now and they’re all getting along.”
With such a large facility (they can hold up to 250 dogs comfortably at one time) Campbell has offered his services to the American Red Cross in case of a large-scale emergency. If a disaster akin to Katrina occurs, such as a major earthquake, there would be tons of displaced pets that would need a safe place to stay. Paradise Pet Resort may just be that safe haven.
While maintaining fulfilled promises and healthy relationships with his customers is crucial, Campbell is also extremely active in the community, continually participating in many local events. Paradise Pet Resort sponsors the Rohnert Park Farmer’s Market, the Santa Rosa Wednesday Night Market as well as the Founder’s Day Parade.
“I think it’s important as a business to be a part of the community and to give back to the community,” he says.
Additionally, Campbell’s wife Iva is in her last year of veterinary school, and their two dogs, Louie and Lea, are often in the office, proving Paradise Pets to not only be a passionately local business, but a close-knit family business as well.
“It’s nice to have her here as a consultant for any medical issues that come up,” says Campbell of his wife. “She’s usually here.”
No matter how long or far their travel plans take them, owners can rest easily knowing that their furry family members are not only being well-cared for in their absence, but on a vacation of their own as well.