Urban Tails is Casper’s newest pet lodging facility, but there’s more to this tale than meets the eye.

In 2022, Cece Tolin and Dana Bonander were thrown a curveball when the facility they used for their own dogs started experiencing changes that affected the care they would receive. When it came to their doggos, they expected the best.

Casper is home to a variety of pet lodging facilities, doggy daycares, grooming facilities and retail stores, but very few offer all of those services under one roof.

Enter Urban Tails.

“We were going to another facility with our dogs,” Tolin shared. “The staff we grew to love was changing and the business model had shifted. So Dana and I were looking for somewhere else to take our dogs and we wanted a place that could elevate what was in Casper. We felt like there was something else that could be done with a well-run pet facility.”

So, instead of looking for that perfect place, they decided to create it themselves.

Tolin and Bonander partnered with Kylee McLean, a former shelter director who had spent the last five years managing a different boarding and daycare facility. She had the experience, the skills and, most importantly, the heart for the job, and with that, Urban Tails had its general manager.

Tolin and Bonander purchased the building, located at 430 N. McKinley St., in December 2022 after spending the previous three months working out all of the details with McLean. Construction and renovation of the building began in January and continued throughout the rest of early 2023.

The goal, Tolin said, was to be a beacon for pets and their humans. Urban Tails is broken up into four areas, with purrfectly named puns: Twisted Scissors Grooming, Day Camp at Washington Bark, Lodging at Wagging Hills, and Hotel Catsylvania.

Urban Tails will also sell a variety of local and regional pet products, including Ask Wellness CBD, and will include a “Guest Relations” area right at the front of the facility to answer phones, assist guests, and more.

It’s said that Urban Tails is “like an all-inclusive resort for your pet, but better.” This is so much more than a cage and a 10-minute walk. When pets are brought to Urban Tails, they are treated as if they are kings and queens. And, let’s be honest — when it comes to our pets, that’s exactly what they are.

Wagging Hills, according to Tolin, “is very much a town within a town. We try to make it look like a town, with streets and sections. Our two areas are completely separate; there should be no integration between our lodging animals and our daycamp animals. We also have a senior center for the older dogs who just want to relax, take it easy and don’t necessarily need all of that playtime that younger dogs get.”

McLean said that Urban Tails, as per industry standards, will be offering smaller playgroups of dogs with more handlers. This gives the doggos more one-on-one time than if they were just part of a group of 20 to 30 dogs. This way, the dogs will get more attention, more enrichment and more individual focus.

“This results in less anxiety for the dogs as well,” McLean said, “and it lets them stay in their natural state instead of just wearing them out completely before going home. That’s not how it’s supposed to be. When they are stimulated, it’s the appropriate amount. They’re not exhausted from the fatigue of so much stimulation. They’ll have plenty of play time, but they’ll have plenty of rest time as well.”

Day Camp at Washington Bark will include Group Play, Enrichment, Quiet Time, Indoor & Outdoor Play Areas and a Meet & Greet with the staff, which is required so as to find out who fits best with whom.

Urban Tails will also feature grooming services, courtesy of Twisted Scissors.

“Eventually, we’ll have full-time, full-service grooming,” Tolin said, “but for now we’ll be offering baths and brushes for short coats and toenail maintenance.”

Urban Tails has a shower for humans, and two tubs and a sink for the animals. It also has a prep kitchen, called Parker’s Pantry. This is where staff will prepare meals and medications for all overnight animals.

Speaking of overnight animals, the lodging aspect of Urban Tails features a myriad of different-sized spaces for different types of doggos.

“We have little houses for them,” Tolin said. “The streets are named and the houses are numbered. Each house has its own raised bed. At least five times a day, they’ll get to go out to a park with our staff. It’s really like a home away from home.”

The “houses” for the overnight doggos come in three different sizes: 5×6, 4×4 and 6×8. All of them are designed to ensure maximum comfort for guests. Wagging Hills features various skylights, and streets named after important people in the owners’ lives, or Casper streets that are well known to the masses.

“Most of our streets are streets that we all grew up on or lived on, like Beech Street,” Tolin said. “But then, Dana’s mom passed away last year, so we have a street named ‘Jolene Way’ in honor of her, and we have another street named ‘Sarah Lane’ in honor of my sister.”

Urban Tails features an “infirmary” area, All Wags Health, for animals that may become ill while in the facility. This area is completely isolated from the general population and features separate ventilation in each space. 

The entirety of Urban Tails is very much summed up as a community. It’s a community for pets, a community for their humans and a community for the staff as well.

“I had been in the food and beverage industry for 20 years,” Tolin said. “I guess I’ve always been in the entrepreneur world of some sort, mostly opening things for other people. But I was needing to fill a void in my life and figure out what I wanted to do. I realized from my last job that I needed to be back in the business and entrepreneurship world. So, Dana and I talked and luckily, we’re able to do this.”

Tolin said that the entire process, while it hasn’t been easy, has felt “right.”

“It was just something that felt natural; not only filling my need and a need for our dogs, but also filling a void that’s in our community,” she said, “and we want to be able to give back to our community in that aspect as well.”

That’s exactly what Urban Tails is doing. It’s only officially been open for a little over a month, but in that time it has already seen an immense amount of support from the community. Urban Tails started as a dream of three people. They just wanted the best care for their own animals, and they knew that they could help others as well.

That’s exactly what they’re doing and it’s what they will continue to do for pets across Casper…and their owners.

“This is just the beginning,” McLean stated. “We cannot wait to grow with our community!” 

For more information on Urban Tails, or to schedule a Meet and Greet, visit their website or follow them on Facebook.

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