Take a moment to imagine your perfect day.
For some, the perfect day could entail the wind in your hair, the sun on your face, and running among the trees and sprawling fields, while some may prefer to spend the day hanging out with friends and having hours of fun. Others may enjoy a slow, quiet day of pampering and relaxation at the bath house.
Camp Happy Tails owner Dani Petty has the setting for the perfect day waiting—if you’re a dog, that is. Camp Happy Tails is a 7-day-a-week doggie day camp and sleepover destination. Complete with a bath house for all those in-between-grooming-appointment needs, Camp Happy Tails has more than half an acre of fenced outside play areas and a 4500-square-foot indoor, climate-controlled inside area for pups of all sizes to enjoy.
Campy Happy Tails also offers dog training. With three trainers on staff, private, stay and train, and their “pooch prep” play and train sessions are available.
A dog lover from childhood, Dani began her professional career as an advertising executive. One day in 2014, she drove out to Benton and noticed that I’ll Be Doggone, a local doggie daycare and groomer, was for sale. She inquired about the sale and joined as a partner. In 2018, Dani decided to focus on the doggie daycare business and created Camp Happy Tails. Four years later, Dani purchased the new facility located at 18335 I-30 in Benton.
With approximately 60 dogs at Camp Happy Tails each day, dogs of all sizes can enjoy enriching indoor and outdoor play. If your pup needs one-on-one attention, the team at Camp Happy Tails can set up a private play area with one of the camp’s staff members.
Camp Happy Tails offers before and after-hours drop-off and pick-up times, making it easy and convenient for customers. If you’re taking a vacation, Camp Happy Tails even provides overnight accommodations. Reservations fill up quickly and are required for service.
Throughout the year, clients can also take advantage of specials and add-ons. From frozen treats, to field trips, to a special holiday framed photo of your pup. “I like to throw something special in throughout the year,” explains Dani.
If you ask Dani where her love of dogs stems from, she’ll tell you about growing up with family pets, but her first love was Bailey, a chihuahua who lived with her for sixteen years. “He was my baby and a ‘gateway dog’ into [rescuing] dogs,” said Dani.
With a deep love of dogs running through her veins, Dani began rescuing every dog she found. In 2005, Dani moved to Benton and found her first dog, a beagle mix. She did everything she could to find his owner, but when no one came forward for him, the Helping Hands rescue helped her place him. “There are a lot of dogs in Saline County who need help,” said Petty. From that moment on, Dani continued to rise to the challenge to help the animals. At times she would welcome litters of puppies from an owner-surrender, or house a dog from a shelter that had reached its capacity. She would find individual dogs on the loose and take in dogs that lived in a county without animal control.
Whether a dog is returned in an adoption or a stray, Dani is always willing to take a dog in. Camp Happy Tails has sheltered many dogs in between foster homes for CARE for Animals and Out of the Woods.
After nearly twenty years of rescuing dogs, Dani has been able to save and re-home close to 100 animals. And she doesn’t do this work alone. With the help of local animal rescues like Out of the Woods and CARE for Animals and local veterinarians like Dr. Belt at Reynolds Road Vet Clinic and clinics around the region, she’s been able to get dogs the care they need and to connect them with loving forever homes.
As for her home, you’ll find Dani surrounded by her four-legged friends. With ages ranging from 2-13 years old and sizes ranging from a Yorkshire Terrier to an Anatolian Shepherd mix, Dani is in great, loving company. “Half of my dogs are old and half are young,” explains Dani. “It’s not too chaotic.” Her younger pups come to daycare with her and the older ones get a break 2-3 times a week.
The staff at Camp Happy Tails log more than twelve hours in a typical day, but for the team and for Dani, it is a labor of love. Even on holidays, while most are gathered with family and friends, Dani is surrounded by furry friends, taking care of those who are boarded over the holidays.
“I didn’t set out to be an entrepreneur,” said Dani. “I have a passion for helping dogs and it just grew. I’m very invested and I wanted to make a place for the dogs to come have fun and to give peace of mind for the owners. We consider it an honor to be there for them when they need us. I enjoy taking care of the dogs and letting them be dogs.”