Whispering Pines Pet Resort is owned and operated by Regina Windham and her family and offers doggie day care, grooming and boarding.
The Dadeville facility is set off state Route 49 behind a gated entrance and has been opened since Memorial Day Weekend in 2017.
Originally from Tallassee, Windham and her husband, John, moved back to the area from Arizona in 2015 to be closer to family. They purchased this land to build their dream house but had a change of heart after the holidays that year. Windham realized they had just as many dogs as they did people in the house and convinced John to turn the property into a kennel instead.
“I jokingly told him, ‘If we build it, they will come. And if they don’t, we’ll have a really nice kennel for all of our family dogs,’” said Windham. “But we did it, and two years later, the dogs are still coming.”
A lot of research went into the construction of the building, kennels and fencing, she added. Fence walls are more than 6 feet tall, and concrete underneath prevents dogs from burrowing out.
All the kennels are 6 feet by 6 feet inside with outside covered runs measuring 6 feet by 10 feet. The facility is properly heated and cooled, as well. Inside kennels are sealed to prevent cross-contamination. Both inside and outside have privacy panels to keep dogs from agitating one another and also to help keep the noise level down, said Windham.
The maximum capacity of the facility is about 40 dogs, and WPPR typically sees a daily average of about 25.
There are four different areas for the dogs to play, and Windham segregates groups for safety.
“It’s the same as with kids at daycare. We see who can play together. The ones that come often are pretty predictable, but new ones we kind of monitor first to test their temperaments,” said Windham.
The play areas include playground equipment, a shaded mulch area, pea gravel recreation areas and plastic swimming pools for the hot months, so dogs can keep cool.
As a dog owner herself, Windham is very aware of the dogs’ needs and personalities. She ensures the larger dogs are separated from the smaller ones, unless they are from the same family and the owner requests they play together.
“Playtime is always supervised, and all collars are removed while kenneled and playing, for the dogs’ safety,” said Windham.
She also recommends owners bring their dogs’ own food with instructions, to prevent possible stomach issues. There is a $5 charge per day to feed dogs the in-house food, and a $5 charge per day to administer medications.
All dogs must have up-to-date vaccinations, including rabies, distemper and bordetella (also known as kennel cough). They also are required to be spayed or neutered for boarding. Veterinary information and alternate contacts are on file for each pup in case of emergency.
Aside from daycare and boarding, WPPR offers grooming services provided by Jenna Neipp, who has worked there since its opening. Neipp operates a call-when-ready business, so each dog receives her undivided attention from start to finish, with no kennel drying.
Qualified with veterinary assistance and grooming certificates, Neipp offers bath and haircut services seven days per week by appointment only. To schedule a grooming appointment, call or text Neipp at 864-414-5629.
Pick-up and drop-off hours for day care and boarding throughout the week are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. only; and Sunday 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Whispering Pines Pet Resort is located at 4240 state Route 49 South in Dadeville. For day care and boarding appointments or more information, call Windham at 334-379-6494 and visit the Facebook page or wpprlakemartin.com for photos and updates.