Doggie day cares have been popping up all over the country and a new one will soon open its doors in the Odessa-Midland area this summer.
Camp Bow Wow, a national franchise of daycares for dogs will be expanding to the Permian Basin with its location at 11310 W. County Road 100 in Odessa.
The official opening date hasn’t been set, but Manager Brittani Shipman is hopeful that they will open in late June or early July.
“The owners love dogs and they were driving by one day and saw one somewhere else and saw that this is something that they wanted to look into and decided to open one here,” Shipman said.
Camp Bow Wow offers daycare, boarding, grooming and training.
“Our facility’s going to offer the boarding and the daycare and the grooming at first and then we’re looking for a trainer still,” Shipman said. “They strive to make sure that the dogs are super clean and they also work with rescues, which is important to me because I work with rescues.”
Shipman has worked with dogs for a long time, working with Permian Basin Animal Advocates and Fix West Texas.
“The rescue stuff is near and dear to my heart,” Shipman said. “Whenever the owners asked me to take the job, they said I was allowed to keep the foster dog care at Camp Bow Wow so we can advertise to find it a home and raise money for it. It’s awesome that they’re letting me tie in both things.”
The daycare is convenient for families with dogs who are either traveling on vacation and unable to bring their fur friends along, at work for most of the day, or any other similar situation.
“Sometimes people come visit family from out of town and they don’t want to have the dog at someone else’s house while they’re away,” Shipman said. “I had a lady call and said they are moving their daughter here and they don’t want the dog at the house while they’re moving so they’re wanting to have it here.”
Shipman says it comes in handy for owners of dogs that have high energy or live in apartments.
“They feel bad about leaving their dogs left in a kennel all day,” Shipman said. “They can bring them here so they can play all day.”
Camp Bow Wow in Odessa will have eight play yards with four inside and four outside, complete with a unique flushing system.
“You step on a thing and it flushes the urine and feces out,” Shipman said. “Then we’ll have playground equipment for them and inside too so if it’s hot we can switch them out.”
They will keep the smaller pups separated from the bigger dogs.
“That’s why we have so many play yards because we split them up according to size,” Shipman said. “When the owner brings in the dogs, we have an interview process they go through. We get their temperaments and things they don’t like and certain things they do like and we get to know all the dogs and figure out who goes best together.”
The camp is still in the process of hiring people, but all certified camp counselors are extensively trained in dog behavior, pet first aid and CPR.
Each dog is required to pass a socialization interview, be spayed or neutered and be current on vaccinations.
“There’s a process,” Shipman said. “We introduce them one dog at a time and see how they interact with the other dogs and after doing the process of introducing them to one, we introduce them to two and then you take them off a leash and let them roam around and if they do good with that part, we introduce them to the play yard so all of that is separated because you don’t want to overwhelm them. After that, we call the owner and see if they want to leave them here all day or pick them up after three hours.”
In addition, facilities are monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week and live webcams are used for the owners to check in on their dog from anywhere using a computer or mobile device.
Shipman has been working with Camp Bow Wow since last October in preparation of the opening with the building being constructed from scratch during that time.
Darrel Farris is the co-owner of Camp Bow Wow in Odessa along with his wife Tonjua Farris.
“It’s been a long process because we built the building from the ground up,” Shipman said. “Most Camp Bow Wows go into an existing facility already. But the owner was like if ‘we’re going to do it, we’re going to do it our way,’ so he started from the ground up and made it how he wanted and it took a long time because Camp Bow Wow had to approve the plans and the city had to approve the plans and he’s very particular about how everything should be because he wants it to be perfect for everybody.”
The new facility broke ground in December and with COVID and the ice storm in February, the construction fell behind by nearly a month.
“Between COVID and the ice storm, we’re about three to four weeks behind schedule, but we’re doing the best with what we have,” Darrel Farris said.
February’s storm left them short on workers for a week due to the conditions.
“People couldn’t work that week because it was too cold,” Farris said. “No heater or anything inside. Then they had other things at home they had to take care of.”
However, with the weather cooperating now, the construction crews have since been able to get back to a regular schedule and are currently working to get it ready by the middle of this summer.
Meanwhile, Shipman has been busy getting the word out to people everywhere about their opening, relying on partnerships and advertisements.
“We’ve been posting a lot on social media, trying to get everyone to be aware of the situation and going to events like Midland Farmers Market and we’ve met a lot of people there,” Shipman said. “Next week, we’re going to Bark in the Park at the RockHounds and we’re a partner with them for that. We’re going to have rescues there. We’ll be at the Big Swing Golf Tournament so we’ve been going out in the community and making everyone aware that we’re coming. Everyone’s been excited.”