Happy Tails Pet Retreat is owner Nichole Bower’s dream come true. As a native Delawarean Nichole knew she wanted a career taking care of animals. As a child Nichole adored her family pets and thrived on the responsibility of caring for them. She began volunteering at a local animal hospital in high school and also worked at a Boarding Kennel. After acceptance into the University of Delaware, Nichole continued to stay active in animal studies; it was in college that Nichole became an advocate for animal rights. Growing up Nichole would always help out to find homes for stray animals and would save every insect that crossed her path, but it wasn’t until college that she began to educate others on animal welfare and alternatives for a meat-free lifestyle. During her sophomore year of college she became a vegetarian and joined the group PAW (People for Animal Welfare). The members were able to rescue many mistreated animals from neighboring pet stores and also helped raise money to support the SPCA’s efforts in its trap and release program. Joining in the crusade to buy animal friendly products, and soy based meals; she began leafleting for PETA as well, and continues to do so after all these years. With family and friends knocking down her door to watch their animals while they were away, Nichole started her own pet sitting service calling it Happy Tails. Going door to door with flyers and homemade business cards for several months finally paid off and Nichole began pet sitting full time over the last few years. With the success of Happy Tails Pet Sitting Service Nichole researched boarding kennel design and construction along with animal care management. After finalizing a business plan along with designing not only a beautiful facility on the outside, but creating a safe and functionable full service retreat, she teamed up with local custom builder W.T. Wilson, Inc. to bring it to life. "We have truly thought of everything, there is nothing like this in the area and we couldn’t be happier". Happy Tails Pet Retreat opened on April 10th, 2009. Nichole hopes that in addition to providing the area with a luxury pet boarding facility she can also use this business as an outlet to spread awareness for adoption and the importance of spay/neuter programs. Nichole is also certified in Pet First Aid & CPR through The American Red Cross. "The unconditional bond I share with my pets reminds me everyday that there is no other career out there for me. This job is both amazingly satisfying and challenging; I can’t wait for what the future has in store, I am devoted to the very end".
Nichole lives with her husband, their two children, and of course their furry, four-legged, adopted crew. Brodie is a yellow lab mix who is outnumbered by his feline friends Simon, Sophia, Buddy and last but not least Ginger. Anyone who has been to the kennel knows Ginger. She was found, along with her 6 kittens, a few years back. The poor thing had been living under debris in the cold of winter. She was skin & bones, but just the friendliest little thing. Ginger was given shelter, medical care and was even spayed. Her kittens were put up for adoption through the SPCA kitten program, but Ginger decided Happy Tails was her home :)
The U.S. faces a severe pet overpopulation crisis, as millions of animals are killed each year, because there are not enough good homes for them. There is a solution to this tragedy in which everyone can participate. By spaying and neutering all pets, we can end these unwanted births and reduce the needless suffering that homeless animals endure.
Please contact the Delaware SPCA for more information at http://www.delspca.org/