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Policies & FAQs

We are located in the country-side of beautiful southern Delaware on our 100+ acre family farm.  OtterTail Pet Resort offers a safe, secure, loving home for your furry family members while you are away.  We offer a wide variety of personalized services for the ultimate care and comfort of your companion.  You’ll find that we do things quite differently from more traditional boarding kennels, but everything we do is for the health and comfort of our guests!  Our long list of very happy clients enjoy the differences and we hope that you will, too!
What are your business hours?
Everything we do is by appointment during the following hours & around our family schedule:
Monday - Friday 8:00am - 9:30am and 4:00pm - 5:30pm
Saturday 8:00am - 9:30am 
Sunday 4:30pm - 5:30pm

Our last appointments are scheduled 15 minutes prior to close.  

We have a fully secured and gated property on a dead end, gravel, private road.  For the courtesy & safety of our guests, clients, family and staff, EVERYTHING we do is scheduled by appointment.

What if these hours do not work for me?
As we provide care for our furry guests 365 days a year, we RARELY make exceptions to our lobby business hours.  If you would like to discuss a special situation, please call.  If available, there will be a minimum $30 special appointment fee and you will be charged for the full time of the occupied space.
Why are you so appointment oriented?
We understand that our appointment system is very different than more traditional boarding kennels – and for good reason!  Running an appointment based schedule allows us to offer the best and safest care to our in-coming and existing boarding guests, and give the most courteous and efficient service to their owners!  Our goal is to provide undivided attention!  Please be courteous and arrive at your scheduled time.  If you need to adjust your time, just give as much notice as possible and we will gladly try to accommodate you!  We will always return your call to confirm any changes to appointments.  If we did not return your call by the end of our business day, we did not receive your message!

How far in advance should I book a reservation?
It’s never too early! During all weekends and holiday/summer weeks we are usually booked out at least 5 weeks in advance.  Our reservations are booked on a first-come-first-serve basis with a credit card deposit and we do not ever “pencil in” a reservation.   Although we are always very busy, never hesitate to give us a call for last minute reservations because our schedule changes every day!  We understand that life happens and we will make every effort to accommodate you!
What if I need to cancel or change my reservation?  
Like a hotel, we require a credit card deposit/hold at the time of booking all reservations. We must enforce a minimum 3-day cancellation/change policy for all reservations.  During peak season reservations (many weekends, all holidays, and Memorial Day - Labor Day), we have a 7-day cancellation/change policy to avoid charges.  We are extremely busy year round and are accepting a limited number of pets.  If we have held a space for your pet, it is certain that we have turned many other families away for that space and our services.  All changes must be made by telephone call or email & confirmed by us.  If we did not return your message, we have not received it!
You pay at arrival for the space and services you request.  We do not issue refunds or credits should you decide to pick up your pet earlier than originally scheduled.
Changes made in accordance with our policy will be issued a refund of any deposit received, otherwise your deposit is considered a cancellation/change fee.  If a deposit was not applied to your card at the time of booking, the two-day boarding fee per pet will be charged if you cancel inside the window outlined on your confirmation email.
How am I charged & how may I pay?  
Full payment for all services is due upon arrival.  You pay, in advance, for the time & services you have reserved.  Any deposit taken at the time of booking will be processed the day you book the reservation.  That amount will be deducted from your invoice at arrival.  Much like a hotel, all charges are per day.  Morning departures have no charge and evening departures are considered a full day charge.

Sunday departures are always a full day’s charge since we only have hours in the evening (all weekends are considered a 2-day minimum charge).  We accept cash, personal checks & major credit cards.   All rates are subject to change without notice.  

We do not issue refunds for shortened vacations and we have a minimum 3-day year round cancellation/change policy.  During holiday and other peak seasons, the cancellation period will be 7 days.
A 3% service fee is automatically charged to you by our merchant service for all electronic transactions. Save 3% by paying with cash or a check!
Do you offer discounts for multiple guests/extended stays?  
We accept a limited number of pets, so each "heartbeat" that we care for gets the special love and care that is so well deserved.  All rates are per day per guest.  We regret that we are unable to offer multiple pet discounts or extended stay discounts.
What are your vaccination & flea prevention requirements? 
For the best protection of your pets, vaccinations should be administered at least two weeks prior to arrival.  No guest will be permitted on the premises without record of CURRENT vaccinations/titers.

Dogs:  DHPP, Rabies, & Bordetella (this vaccine must be current within 6 months of vacation with us – this may be different than your veterinarian’s protocol, but it’s our policy!) 

Cats:  FVRCP & Rabies

Every dog and cat must be current on an approved flea prevention product while in our care.  We can provide this service at arrival, if needed.  Every guest is checked at arrival and will be treated, at your expense, if any evidence of fleas is present.


Do I bring food? 
We prefer that you bring food from home.  However, we do require that all food is packaged in DISPOSABLE bags.  All dry foods must be in daily meal size portions in zip-loc bags.  We will not accept any open bags or large storage containers.

We offer Purina Pro Plan dry kibble as our “house” food option.  There is a $5/day charge (includes breakfast & dinner) for our food.  We are able to refrigerate, freeze, and micro-wave special diets and there is no extra charge!  The most important  thing is that your pet continues to receive the very best care – just like at home!  Cats can be very picky, so we encourage you to bring your own food from home, and any canned food or extra special treats that may be needed to keep your kitty happy.  We feed breakfast around 8:30am and dinner around 5pm.
What about baths and pedicures?  
Because it is our goal for your dog to have the ultimate vacation with us, they are going to get dirty!  They are going to run, dig, jump in our pools, and roll in the dirt!  Doggy paradise!  If you would like to add a bath, the service includes a high quality wash, ear cleaning and light blow dry/brushing.  If you would like to add a pedicure with bath service, the cost is $15 and we grind the nails, when possible.  Pedicures only are $20. It’s always nice to come home to a fresh and clean dog!  If you decline the bath service, that’s your call!  You just have to promise not to talk bad about us because your pup had so much fun rolling around our playground and getting slobbered on by all of his buddies!  Sorry, but we do not groom cats!  We do not do any work with scissors or clippers, but we are happy to recommend a professional groomer for those needs! September 2022, - At This time we are only grooming boarding clients. 
Will you give medications?
We will gladly administer medications to your pet.  There will be no additional  charge if your pet eats the medication along with a meal without care.  Please bring all medications in their original containers as dispensed from the veterinarian.  DO NOT PRE-PACKAGE THEM INSIDE THE FOOD!!  There is no extra charge for giving oral medications on a twice daily schedule.  Additional administrations will incur an extra fee.  We do not accept pets that have life-threatening illnesses or require injections.
What if my pet requires veterinary care while at OTPR?  
Should your pet need medical attention for any reason, we will first contact you and your personal veterinarian on file.  If your vet is not available, one of our qualified on-call vets will be consulted.  We also have the Pets ER very close by for emergency situations.  If your pet is over 10 years of age or has a pre-existing medical condition, we will ask you to fill out our Health Care Directive form stating your wishes for care and expenses.  You will be responsible for all veterinary costs incurred for treatment of your pet.
How do I book a reservation?  
Please email (preferred and will get you the fastest reply) or call (302) 846-CARE (2273) to leave a message.  We endeavor to return calls by the end of our business day, so if you did not hear back from us, we did not yet get your message!  As you can imagine, we are not sitting by the phone very often!  We will always email you to confirm any cancellations.
Can I come for a tour? 
Of course! We love to show off our amazing facility and meet new friends!  Please call for an appointment. Please do not bring your pets along for the tour. There will be plenty of time for us to get to know them in the future!
A personal note from Karen (the owner) . . . Thanks for your interest in our services!  We live here at OTPR and raise our family on this farm.  We run a great business for our clients and generally have business hours 7 days a week (except for some holiday weeks)!  Please be respectful of our family, privacy, and our own pets that enjoy our farm life freedom outside of our business schedule.  Please do not “drive by” or “stop in” unannounced.  We live on a dead-end road, have a gated driveway & 24/7 video surveillance, so there is no way for you to “check us out” without being noticed.  Just give us a call so we can schedule a convenient time for everyone so that we may welcome you appropriately!  
Preparing Your Pet for Boarding:
Most pets, like people, enjoy an opportunity for a change in scenery, step up in exercise, fresh air, and new friends.  Once they familiarize themselves with their new surroundings, most of our guests thoroughly enjoy their stay at OTPR!  However, there are a few critical steps that must be taken to make the most out of their stay:
Make sure your pet has received all of their vaccinations at least two weeks prior to boarding.  This will ensure that they are as protected as possible when entering a new environment – and and allows any possible vaccine reactions to occur before you leave town!  Receiving vaccinations can leave your pet feeling under the weather for a few days, so best that they are able to fully recover from a vet visit/vaccinations and build their immunity while still at home (vaccines are not effective immediately!)!   
Also, please keep in mind that vaccines are not 100% effective, but studies show that pets who are as protected as possible recover from “bugs” much more quickly compared to under-vaccinated pets.  Please plan ahead!


What  should I pack?
You really don’t  have to bring anything accept your happy dog on a leash or your kitty in a carrier!  We take care of food, bowls, water pails and beds!  Do bring any special dietary requirements & medications (in original containers from vet, please).   Every guest has a shoe-box size basket for personal items, so please keep that in mind when packing.  “Less is more” is a good philosophy!  We offer lots of exercise and entertainment (included in the rate) and our entire facility is comfortably climate controlled at all times!   A few toys (no rawhide or plush toys) are ok, but our dogs are usually so busy while they are here that they don’t pay much attention to their toys from home. Please bring any behavioral aides you use at home (medications, supplements, bark/training/citronella collars/thunder shirts, etc.)
Can I bring my pet’s bed from home?
The answer is “NO”.  Every guest is provided with our superior quality Kuranda dog bed, included in the boarding rate.  These beds are extremely comfortable & clean and therefore, we do not accept any type of bedding from home.  Simply put, accepting bedding from home is the easiest way for us to introduce fleas into our facility.  No one thinks they have fleas, but they are out there!  Keeping all of our supplies “in house” ensures that everything is sanitized to meet our strict specifications.  You may choose to add our additional plush bedding to the visit for an extra $3/day.
Will you accept my pet if it is not spayed or neutered?
The answer is “YES”.  However, if your female comes in season during your scheduled reservation, she will not be accepted for boarding and if she is here and comes in season, she will have to be picked up immediately.  Please make plans for an emergency contact.  Our cancellation policy stands and you will not receive a refund of your deposit or paid boarding should you have to cancel or pick up early.
We board many intact male dogs at OTPR.  We take each dog on his own merits and evaluate them individually for social time and group activities, if you request these services.
Puppies, kittens, or recently adopted shelter dogs:  Dogs & cats that are at least 16 weeks old are welcomed – as long as they have received at least 3 distemper/parvo vaccinations, a rabies vaccination, and a Bordetella vaccine (dogs only) as documented by your veterinarian.  We regret that we are unable to accept pets that have been in a shelter or rescue facility for up to 30 days prior to their vacation due to the extended incubation period of contagious diseases.
How many pets can you accommodate?
We pride ourselves on individual attention for every guest.  We have 25 completely air-conditioned indoor/outdoor accommodations for dogs and we can house up to 8 felines in our gorgeous cattery.  However, we have "downsized" our operation since reopening post-Covid and are limiting our reservations to reflect our staffing and family schedule. Thank you for your understanding!
How often does my pet go out for exercise time?
Our canine guests go outside for a free run and potty-break multiple times every day just like at home (365 days/year) – it’s already included in the boarding rate!  A potty-break is about 15 minutes long, depending on the temperature and the demands of our guests!  You have the option to purchase additional exercise time, social time, leash walks and other services, as well.  Check out our a la carte options!  Our kitties are exercised individually and on a rotational basis inside our cattery.  They have as much or as little time out as they want.
Who can’t stay at OTPR?
Several breeds are excluded from our services based on insurance regulations.  Please don't be offended or take it personally; we just have to follow the rules.  Included, but not limited to:  Doberman Pinschers, German Shepherds,  Pit Bulls/Staffordshire Terriers, American Bulldogs, Rottweilers, Chow Chows, Shar-Peis, Presa Canarios, Akitas, Cane Corsos, Alaskan Malamutes, Huskies, Wolf dog/hybrids, most Mastiff breeds, Belgian Malinois, and Great Danes.  
Regardless of breed or size, no aggressive dogs or females-in-season will be accepted.  If your female comes into season during her stay with us, she will be removed from the kennel immediately and you or your emergency contact person will be required to find other accommodations for her.   The same policy holds true for any dog that becomes aggressive, regardless of breed while at OTPR.  No refunds will be issued in these cases.
We are do not accept clients of any age with life-threatening health issues (i.e.  addisons/cushings/diabetes/heart conditions/seizures, etc.).  We are not accepting new clients over 12 years of age.
For the safety of your pet, our other guests & our employees, we will not board any pet (regardless of size) that we cannot safely handle with ease.  We may require an overnight evaluation prior to overnight commitments for some breeds of dogs.  Guests that have major separation anxiety issues that become a health concern and/or make life disruptive for our other guests will not be allowed to return.   We strive to have a comfortable, “hands-on”, fun and relaxed atmosphere . . . that’s what vacation is all about!
Can I take my dog to its room & say goodbye? 
The answer is “NO”.  To minimize disruption and maximize safety for all of our guests (furry and human), we do not allow non-employees in the kennel.  It is extremely disruptive for our guests to have strangers in and out, and we make every effort to provide a stress-free and relaxed environment.  Please say  a positive & quick goodbye when you hand your pet to one of our experienced staff members.  Emotional goodbyes from you will give your pet the wrong idea of OTPR!  This s a fun place to be and we want them to know that walking in the door!

A note from Karen . . . Our pets are very in tune with our emotions – and they will often reflect in themselves what we are feeling in our hearts.  It’s why we love them so much!  With this in mind, it is IMPERATIVE that we avoid a big emotional farewell scene.  This will only increase your pet’s anxiety (not to mention yours and mine!).  Put your best game face on and remain calm and confident that you have made a great choice for your friend!  Trust that your companion will be in the best possible care in your absence and that you have made the best possible arrangements – and leave your pet with that knowledge and confidence, as well!  We make the check-in process very swift and will usually whisk your pet away quickly so they can get straight to the fun!  Please understand that we are not trying to minimize your time for goodbyes, but only minimizing your friend’s stress and confusion!

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