Room To Roam
Zionsville Country Kennel’s 17 Acres Makes It a Popular Pick For Dog Owners
Writer / Megan Jefferson
Photography Provided by Zionsville Country Kennel
Zionsville Country Kennel (ZCK) has been in existence since the late 1980s. In 2010, Debbie Douglas, who worked as an accountant for many years, bought the kennel. She has always loved animals and wanted to get into something different. In the past eight years, Douglas has expanded the kennel.
The kennel is on 17 pastoral acres and is an all-inclusive pet resort offering animal boarding, grooming, training, doggie daycare and a leash-free dog park.
There are many things at ZCK that make them different than other daycare or play areas for dogs. For starters, all of the play areas are outside. There are seven fields that are fenced in, each is from a fourth acre to a full acre where the dogs can run unrestricted and play to their heart’s content. They are separated into different groups according to size and temperament and staff members are present at all times when the dogs are outside. If it is very hot or cold, there is an indoor training room where they play, but Douglas prefers for the dogs to play outside as much as possible.
“The majority of daycare kennels are just large indoor warehouse spaces,” Douglas says. “Here at ZCK, the dogs run and play outside. We have agility equipment they can play on, and we put out small swimming pools and hoses when it’s hot. When the dogs go home from here, they’re happy and tired.”
Another feature that sets ZCK apart is their member’s only, 12-acre Bark Park. Dogs need to have a free assessment completed and there is a membership fee. The park is open sunup to sundown and has three separate play areas: one is for larger, more active dogs, one is for smaller dogs who might be intimidated by more rambunctious dogs, and the third area includes a lake with a dock for dog diving and swimming. The lake area is fenced separately so that owners can keep their dogs dry and cleaner if they choose.
ZCK also offers boarding facilities for many types of animals. They’ve cared for cats, dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs and even birds.
Douglas shared that in her previous career she dealt with a lot of people, who could sometimes be contentious. However, with dogs, they’re just always happy — happy to see people and happy to play. She says ZCK has a lot of repeat customers. Douglas enjoys getting to know the dogs and receiving unconditional love from them all the time.
“When dogs play with other dogs they get a lot more exercise than when you take them for a walk,” Douglas says. “They’re not going to get near the level of exercise they would running around in a field for an hour compared to walking or even jogging for an hour on a leash. And they have such a good time playing with other dogs. I think it’s like taking your kid for a walk versus having them play with other kids – they always have more fun playing with other kids. It’s the same with dogs.”
The Zionsville Country Kennel is located at 5370 S Indianapolis Road in Whitestown. You can give them a call at 317-769-6172 or visit them online at zionsvillekennel.com.