GRANITE FALLS - Right when stepping through the door at Stony Run Kennels in Granite Falls you get the idea that this is not your ordinary boarding service. A mural painted by Clarkfield resident Tammy Isfeld stretches the length of the wall featuring all of the dogs that owners Jody and Tim Hempel have owned over the years.
"I liked her work and know she does really good with animals," Tim Hempel said. "Its something so people feel more at home right when they walk through the door."
While preparing to take a vacation a few years ago the Hempels called around to area kennels, but found that all were at capacity. The couple, avid dog lovers, had thrown around the idea of starting up a pet-related business, but it was not until they found this need for boarding services in the area that they settled on kenneling. Now, after a few years of planning, the Hempels are ready to launch their business.
Photo by Phillip Bock
Tim and Jody Hempel recently started their new business Stony Run Kennels, which features a mural created by local artist Tammy Isfeld.
"I'm excited," Tim Hempel said. "It's something we've wanted forever and now the hard work's done."
During the design phase Hempel said he wanted to take all the features of local kennels and expand on them. As a result, Stony Run Kennels has a few features, such as complete climate control, that other area Kennels simply do not offer.
"It's heated in the winter and air conditioned in the summer," Hempel said.
For the heating, Hempel installed a radiant in-floor heating system. The intent, he said, was to install a heating system that would provide the best comfort for the animals.
"They'll be lying on the floor and be warm," Hempel said. "Otherwise they'd be cold, and I don't want that."
Dog comfort was at the forefront of the design process when construction began. The facility features 12 spacious 5-by-6 foot stalls as well as two larger 5-by-8 foot stalls that will be used for families who want to store two dogs in the same kennel. Each indoor kennel has a door to a 6-by-9 foot outdoor fenced in enclosure. The idea, Hempel said, is that the dogs have a little more privacy indoors, but can socialize and see the other dogs outdoors.
Looking to the future, the couple plans to add even more features to the kennel compound. A 3,000 square foot play area complete with dog-toys, obstacles and an in-ground filtered pool is slated to be installed in the spring. The enclosure was scheduled to be installed this fall, but heavy rains prevented the project from moving forward.
The Hempels also plan to offer dog grooming as a service once the business gets going. The dog shower and grooming room are about ready, but Hempel said he is going to hold off on that service for a little while, but expects it to be offered in the future.
"For now it's just a hobby," Hempel said. "But this will be perfect when I retire."
The kennel has space for 20 dogs with prices starting at $15 a day. For families who wish to house multiple dogs, Hempel said it is $25 a day for two dogs in a single kennel and $35 for thee dogs in a single kennel. For a small added fee, pets can be bathed prior to being picked up after their stay.
According to Hempel, dogs will be walked and fed twice a day and that any special treatment, such as medications or special foods, can be worked out. Hempel stressed, however, that in order for dogs to be kenneled they must be up-to-date with shots for kennel cough, distemper and rabies.
For more information the Hempels can be reached at 320-564-4735. The kennel is now open and accepting reservations.