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A home away from home for pets

Minneota veterinarian sets up a new boarding facility at her clinic

December 12, 2011
By Jenny Kirk , Marshall Independent

MINNEOTA - Lynn Buysse has learned a lot in her 22 years as a veterinarian, especially that pet owners need a caring safe haven for their beloved animals when they have to be away from home, which is why Buysse decided to expand her business at Minneota Veterinary Clinic.

Buysse has owned the clinic, which is located on the south edge of Minneota, for 14 years and has offered some limited boarding services to customers. But thanks to a recent remodeling venture, Buysse now has plenty of space for pets that need a safe place away from home to stay.

"We didn't advertise before," Buysse said. "We just did boarding by word- of-mouth for our clients. We just see the need for a boarding facility. When it's at a vet clinic, it's nice because then the pets can get veterinary attention if there's a problem, or if they need various medication."

Article Photos

Photo by Jenny Kirk
Along with veterinarian Lynn Buysse, 6-year-old black lab, Raven, checks out one of the new individual kennels available for boarding at the Minneota Veterinary Clinic.

A kennel provides a good solution for the many people who travel for their work, Buysse said. She also offers reduced rates for long-term boarding, for the pets of people who go south for the winter.

In all, there are 27 new kennels, 14 of which are large ones. For families with more than one pet, there are also two suites available.

"Over Thanksgiving, we were fairly full," Buysse said. "Everything in the new boarding area was full except for one suite. We had cats stay in a separate room. Dogs barking tend to upset cats, so we don't want them stressed."

Buysse has three separate areas where dogs and cats can be kept. Sometimes older or smaller dogs seem to appreciate a more quiet room.

"In almost every new kennel, there's a window, high enough up that they can't escape," Buysse said. "They get nice, natural light, and everything is very sanitary and clean."

Numbers are engraved on each cage, with corresponding bins where items for each pet are placed. For safety reasons, dogs and cats are required to have their rabies and distemper shots. Dogs also need a vaccine for kennel cough, which Buysse can give them.

"Kennel cough is a bacterial infection that they can get, upper respiratory, kind of like us with a cold," Buysse said. "The dogs can't get nose-to-nose here, but it can still be in the air. We'd also love it if they didn't have fleas when they came. I just don't want to take any chances."

Besides colorful decals on the walls and bright blue paint inside the kennels, Buysse also designed the boarding facility to include heated floors, ceiling fans, proper ventilation systems, a vaulted ceiling and even night lights. But one of the most eye-catching aspects is the flooring.

"It's Spartacote," Buysse said. "It's durable, it's not slippery and you can't scratch it. It's also bacteria-resistant, like the epoxy paint. I splurged on the flooring, but I just wanted it to last."

Buysse chose to contract all the work locally.

"Frank's Electric next door did our in-floor heat," she said. "One of the gals that works for me, her boyfriend did all the electrical work. Our plumber is my neighbor. I go to church with him."

Buysse is still working on a more accessible fenced-in area for dogs to run, but everything else is ready to go, including the expansion of the grooming area because of the remodeling effort.

"We'd like to do more grooming, too," Buysse said. "I have a technician, Aleia Larsen, who does that."

Buysse currently employs three high school students as well.

"They're highly-trained and hand-picked," she said. "At first, it's cleaning and walking the dogs. Then, they can work up to more. It works pretty well."



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