Central Bark Philly is Ten!

Added on June 26, 2017

It’s been ten years since our official Grand Opening date of June 26, 2007.

2001 S 29th st playgroups

Our original location at 2001 South 29th Street

We’ve all gone through a lot of changes, personally, professionally and most importantly in how we care for and understand our canine companions.

Medically, what was once a death sentence, cancer, is now better treatable, and dogs who once were give a few months to live can enjoy a full life, or at least an extra year or two due to advances in treatment and management. It’s amazing to see dogs recover from cancer and continue their lives as if nothing had been wrong.

Our relationships with our dogs has grown as well. From SHHHT! to sit, the way we relate to our pups has been in constant development and the language barrier between us and our canine companions is eroding. The science of dog behavior is continually discovering more about how dogs’ brains work, and how day cares specifically can use that to improve the lives of our canine AND human customers, as well as facilitating better dog relationships while they are in our care.

In a day care setting, there is a wider range of staff development options and ways to stay ahead of the curve for businesses that rely on canine-human communication as we do. Something that may have taken a dog handler 6 months to learn on their own is now taught in our initial training requirements. Refining the way we care for dogs based on the latest scientific research and available products is a constant in this industry, and helps keep my awe and wonder alive even after being in it for ten years.

Over the past ten years we have raised our “minimum” starting wage from $8.00 per hour to $10 per hour, added health care benefits for full time employees, and we provide paid time off for all employees, even though our small size exempts us from local legal requirements.

Halfway towards this goal, we moved to a larger, more accessible facility, with even more improvements planned in the upcoming months (no I’m not going to tell you what just yet!)

We’ve also been able to formalize and develop our charitable relationships, with ten years of supporting the PAWS Mutt Strut (and we’ll do it again this year!) establishing ourselves as a founding supporters of the Monster Milers’ Rescue Run, and the Mums and Mutts annual charity event. In addition, we are a donation drop off point and emergency shelter for Red Paw Emergency Relief Team. Contributing to our local rescues is very important to us, and we participate with pleasure.

For Central Bark Philly’s tenth anniversary, I took myself to Walt Disney World to study their customer service … and ride a few rides!

Thank you for your support over the years. You are all very much appreciated.

I am so excited that we have made it to ten years, and can’t wait to see what the future brings.

Woofs and wags and wonderful things!


Hear THE BARKTM about "Central Bark Philly is Ten!"

  1. William Francis Dorning
    June 26, 2017 at 11:27 am

    Now I wanna be a dog!

    1. portiapalko
      June 26, 2017 at 12:00 pm

      HAHAHAHAHA! Is your name Iggy?

  2. Karen Belding
    June 26, 2017 at 3:08 pm

    Reese loves central bark! She thinks Portia’s office is her personal nap room ! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. portiapalko
      June 27, 2017 at 6:10 am

      Thank you Karen! You know Reese helps me stay calm in the office too – it’s mutually beneficial!

  3. Sandra Mack
    June 26, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    Portia, You and your staff deserve this outstanding accomplishment. Mr. Bert has been coming for close to those ten years and even at 9 1/2 years old his tail thumps wildly when we say he’s going to central Bark.
    Thank you for providing excellent service. We trust you and your staff to always do right by our big boy Bert!

    1. portiapalko
      June 27, 2017 at 6:11 am

      Thank you Sandra! You know we love Mr. Bert. I’ve been looking at our old photos, and it’s amazing to see him and the old school gang who are still coming to us! I love it!

  4. Eric B
    June 26, 2017 at 6:21 pm

    Congratulations!! Must get my dog enrolled.

    1. portiapalko
      June 27, 2017 at 6:11 am

      Thank you – we look forward to it!
      Here’s a handy link to the beginning of our enrollment process. 🙂


  5. Tedford
    June 26, 2017 at 11:48 pm

    Ten years already? Happy anniversary! Congratulations on making it this far and best wishes for the future–I know you’ll leap from strength to strength!

    1. portiapalko
      June 27, 2017 at 6:13 am


      Thank you Tedford – you’ve had a ot in the past 10 yourself… those adorbz kids…

  6. Laura Powell
    June 29, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    Congrats on ten years! We were one of your first clients with our beagle, Jezebel! You treated her so well and she loved going there everyday. So happy for you all on this anniversary!

    1. portiapalko
      July 3, 2017 at 9:33 am

      OMG JEZZIE! Hi! How are you? 😀

  7. Kathy & Johnny Ciancaglini
    June 29, 2017 at 10:19 pm

    My Maxx, My Baci and now My Chloe all 3 German Shepards have been going since day 1 and we thank you for giving them a great time 😘

  8. Robin Greenspan
    July 2, 2017 at 9:17 am

    Congratulations Portia!! I can’t believe it’s been 10 years!! Thank you for taking us in on the fly, when Chewy was a little pup at 11 months. You, Anthony and your wonderful staff helped shape him into the well behaved (haha!), gentle soul that he has become. We can’t begin to thank you for the endless love, advice and photo ops that will hopefully continue to welcome new friends for years to come 😘. We wish you many more years of success!!!


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