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April Hammer


I have been surrounded by and loved many dogs over the course of my life.  This life-long passion ultimately led to the opening of Play All Day Doggie Daycare & Hotel in 2011.  Prior to this, I had a 25-year career as an oncology nurse and healthcare administrator.  This career required critical thinking, compassion, and a thirst for knowledge, all of which helped in the formation and success of Play All Day.  

Throughout my healthcare career, my passion for dogs continued.  I was involved in obedience dog training, teaching dog training classes, dog rescue, and a continuous pursuit of expanding my dog knowledge.   During this timeframe, I was learning about dog body language, dog play behaviors, dog nutrition, and I was developing my personal philosophy of what dogs need from their guardians. 

Four years of dog daycare research was conducted before Play All Day opened in 2011.  And the research did not stop after opening.  I continued to learn from other daycares, experts in the field of dog behavior, and from my own experiences.  And changes to the daycare program were made as knowledge was gained. 

One of the biggest changes came in 2012.  I made the decision that all dogs who attended Play All Day would come on a regular basis, at least once weekly.  This could have been a business-ending decision for such a young company.  But I saw that structure and consistency was key in providing the daycare that the dogs deserved.  The decision has served Play All Day well and because of this decision, we now offer a thoroughly unique daycare experience for the Peoria area.

Throughout my healthcare administration career, I held to the value of “Do the right thing and success will follow”.  I brought this with me to Play All Day and it guides decision making when there are tough choices to make.  Because of this, Play All Day is a product-driven daycare, not a profit-driven daycare.   And that product is driven by our mission of providing a fun, safe, and enriching environment for the dogs in our care.   My goal is to send home a better dog at the end of each daycare day.  Mission Accomplished…for now…until we can figure out an even better way to do it.