Wiggles and Wags

Harold and Tami Teeter watch thier puppy Kick run the hallways off their new location for their Pet Resort, Wiggles & Wags in Tempe. Sept 22, 2011 Darryl Webb/AFN

Darryl Webb

Just two years after opening the doors with a dream of staying in business, Wiggles and Wags Pet Resort is expanding to make room for its non-stop business.

Ahwatukee Foothills residents Howard and Tammy Teeter opened Wiggles and Wags Pet Resort in Tempe in October of 2011. They had run a successful mobile dog training business in the Valley but wanted to open a day care and boarding place like Tammy once had in Georgia.

At the time the couple knew they would need at least 30 kennels available to keep their doors open so they took over three suites in a Tempe shopping center, two full of kennels and one with a lobby and grooming station. Outdoor space in between the suites is used for training and classes. The goal was to pay off their construction bills in three to five years and then consider expanding into a fourth suite.

The company has paid off their original loan, almost tripled their staff, and exactly two years from opening their doors they’ll be opening 17 additional kennels and occupying nearly 5,000 square feet of air-conditioned space next month.

“We’ve basically hit a plateau,” Howard said. “There’s only so much room. We hit that in April and haven’t gone down since.”

Part of the secret to the couple’s success is how versatile the business is. When day care isn’t at full capacity, grooming may pick up. During the summer boarding keeps the kennels full but during the off season they may have more training classes going on. There’s always a balance keeping them busy.

“Every person opens a business hoping it will become what you want it to be,” Tammy said. “Obviously, we put in a lot of work and a lot of skills from the previous boarding place I owned… I think it exceeded our expectations early on. You think it will take X amount of time to get settled and get your name out there. When we opened we opened with 800 customers from our mobile training and we have grown exponentially since then. It has been amazing.”

To celebrate the expansion and thank their loyal customers, Wiggles and Wags will be hosting an open house from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 5 at their location, 1811 E. Baseline Road. There will be pony rides, free snacks, pet refreshments, police dog demonstrations, Flyball demos and animal rescue groups.

For more information, call (480) 491-4040 or visit wigglesandwags.com.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

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