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n a recent World Vets mission trip, a Peace Corp volunteer entered the makeshift clinic carrying a stray puppy named Feaita. The villagers had given the puppy the moniker – meaning “ugly girl” – and chased her away. Feaita was starving, having tried to survive off of garbage. “She was destined to die,” said Dr. Bob Bohacek, a veterinarian at Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital in Eau Claire and a veteran World Vets volunteer. “Our group took her in, got her well, and someone brought her back to America. She now lives with a vet who is completely in love with her.” Since 2010, Bohacek has taken numerous volunteer trips with the Fargo, N.D.-based nonprofit group World Vets to provide aid to animals that wouldn’t otherwise receive it all around the world. Bohacek had always entertained the idea of going on an animal mission trip, but many of the offered trips were tailored to those who treat large animals,


an eye-opening experience,” Bohacek said. “But even in situations like that, the bond that exists with people and their pets is universal.” Since that inaugural trip, Bohacek has also done missions in Ecuador and the Dominican Republic, but he keeps returning to Roatan. “Along the way I became good friends with the local people,” Bohacek explained. It was those friends who urged him to come back, but this time to go deeper into the island. On his trips with World Vets, Bohacek and the others veterinarians were cloistered on the western half of the island – an area where roads are paved and cruise ships are frequent visitors. “They talked to me about the need in an area that was too remote for World Vets to go, but where a lot of medical attention was needed,” Bohacek said. “There just aren’t services in that area of the island.”

“The extreme poverty in the area was an eye-opening experience. But even in situations like that, the bond that exists with people and their pets is universal.” – Veterinarian Bob Bohacek, on his volunteer missions treating animals in Honduras such as cows and horses. It wasn’t until he was flipping through a veterinary journal that he read about the small-animal mission trips available with World Vets. He jumped on board and three years ago made his first trip to Roatan, an island off the coast of Honduras. “The extreme poverty in the area was

Bohacek’s friends showed him that on the eastern half of the 30-mile island, unemployment is rampant, law enforcement is nonexistent, and education is only through the fifth grade, although many children can’t attend school because they don’t have the money to buy the uniform. The area is also rife with animal

Dr. Bob Bohacek treats an animal in a makeshift hospital in Honduras. overpopulation because few animals are spayed or neutered. There are many strays, many of them bordering on emaciation. Unfortunately, Bohacek said, the overpopulation problem is handled with gruesome techniques such as poison, shooting, and – in some instances – animals being hacked by machetes. Bohacek decided to get off the beaten path – literally, as there is only a single unpaved road on the eastern part of the island – and led the first privately funded veterinary mission last October. In the course of three days, Bohacek spayed or neutered 56 dogs and cats, provided surgery, and treated ringworm and various tropical skin and tick diseases. “It was incredibly well-received and so appreciated that we were asked to come back again this year,” Bohacek said. “As odd as it sounds, this was new to many people, but now that we’ve had the 28 June 20, 2013

clinic there is a greater knowledge and confidence in it.” After the success of last year’s trip, Bohacek is anticipating a much greater demand for veterinary services, so he enlisted backup. Dr. Todd Leavitt of Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital, along with three technicians and two assistants, will be joining the expedition this October. Prior to the trip, the group needs to raise an estimated $8,000 to $10,000 for medical supplies and medications. The group’s major fundraiser has been a reduced-cost spaying and neutering clinic. The first was in May, and another will be Sept. 7-8. All of the proceeds from the clinic will go toward funding the trip. Anyone interested in getting involved can donate by visiting and clicking on the “Honduras Mission” tab.

Pet Project

on-the-go grooming MOBILE service brings the



on’t want to truck your dirty, unkempt, or otherwise in-needof-grooming pooch to the doggie salon? Don’t have time to squeeze a visit to the dog groomer between your other errands? A local pet professional has a unique solution. For the past year, certified pet stylist Judy Kippenhan has been the proprietor of Pawsome Lodge Mobile Pet Grooming, an on-the-go business based in a super-customized van that brings a full array of pet grooming services to clients’ doorsteps. Lead Fido – or Mr. Whiskers ­– up the ramp into the van and onto the electric-powered table to get the haircut, bath, nail trim, or other grooming service he or she needs to be a more pleasant household companion. Kippenhan, of rural Chippewa Falls, is a longtime dog lover and began to dabble in pet grooming years ago. “My husband used to groom our dogs, and I looked at them and thought, ‘There has to be a better way,’ ” she said. In time, she began grooming friends’ and neighbors’ dogs and finally decided to pursue grooming as a real, moneymaking career. “I need to make a change, and I decided to do something I loved,”

she explained. For Kippenhan, who as a teen aspired to be a vet, becoming a mobile pet groomer allowed her to be close to animals all day. There are numerous pet groomers in the Chippewa Valley, so Kippenhan decided to carve out a niche that wasn’t filled in the region: making house calls. She bought the van last year from Wag’n Tails, an Indiana firm that specializes in creating mobile grooming salons. Think of her unit as a mobile pooch-prettifying command center. The gleaming white, customized Ford E-350 Super Duty Extended Van contains everything you’d expect to find in a pet salon. In the center is a table big enough to handle a St. Bernard, with a wing that extends outward to allow the pampered pooch to step directly into a stainless steel tub. The tub is connected to two 50-gallon tanks, one for fresh water and one for wastewater. There’s also a built-in vacuum cleaner, a generator, a hot water heater, and climate controls to keep the interior warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Kippenhan said her customers tend to be people with multiple dogs or dogs that don’t like to travel, as well as pet owners who live in rural areas or who don’t have a lot of extra time. Among them is Sarah Wojcik of Lake Hallie, whose 85-pound German shepherd, Maia, needs special grooming attention. “They call them ‘German shedders’ for a reason because they shed like crazy,” Wojcik said. Maia dislikes car rides while her owner dislikes cleaning the car out after drool- and fur-filled trips to the groomer. “She is very large and very hairy and she’s in her elderly years, so it’s just more convenient to have her groomed here at the house,” Wojcik added. Likewise, Lisa Martino of Chippewa Falls wasn’t thrilled about hauling her greyhound-boxer mix, Penny, back and forth to a groomer. Then she discoverd

Judy Kippenhan poses with her customized pet-grooming vehicle and a satisfied customer.

Pawsome Lodge. Now, instead of going to a shop full of barking dogs, Penny gets one-on-one pampering. “She’s just nice and soft and silky now,” Martino raved. Many of Kippenhan’s clients are from outside Eau Claire. Without her service, they would have to drive to the city to have their animals groomed. 29 June 20, 2013

“They’re excited that something like that is in the area, that I can come to them,” she said. For such clients, the convenience of a pet-grooming house call is truly Pawsome. To learn more about Pawsome Lodge Mobile Pet Grooming, visit www. or call 715-944-4232.

Pet Project

pet-sitting empire the nation’s second-biggest network for

pet-sitters iS based here in eau Claire WORDS: BRIANA BRYANT PHOTO: ANDREA PAULSETH


ake and Kelly VandenBush have a pretty neat niche in the pet care industry, and they might just be on the way to making Eau Claire even more famous. They began their business, Pet Sitters Associates in 1998, without the foreknowledge that 15 years later they would have more than 5,000 members throughout the United States. Kelly VandenBush says it may have all started with her college years, when she was a nanny and pet sitter for a local family. Her husband, Jake, pondered what would happen if something ever went wrong with the dog she was taking care of. The next step was a marketing class that Jake took at the university, which required him to create a sample business plan. He made one for a pet-sitting network, and after the grades were in for the project, the couple decided to make it a reality. “The next thing we knew, we decided to start it, and it just went crazy from there,” Kelly says. They started the business in October 1998 and had almost 100 members by the following January. They saw a need for a service like theirs. For one thing, the market was a bit cornered by two major competitors when the VandenBushes started their business. Today, Pet Sitters Associates is the second-largest business of its kind in the U.S. Pet Sitters Associates likes to keep it local. The insurance company that provides insurance for its members is based in Eau Claire. “We are a nationwide company,” Kelly says, “but we are here in Eau Claire, so we like to use the local insurance, the local animal hospital, the local Web designers, because that is just how we wanted to make our business and help our community.” So what exactly comes in a membership package? Pet Sitters Associates provides numerous services to members. These include a code of ethics to show customers the company’s ethical treatment practices toward animals, a customer checklist to write down specifics for animal care, a daily report template to tell clients what care was provided for their animals and at what times, as well as the use of the company logo and new search engine, which makes it easy for customers to search for services online. Unlike its competitors, Pet Sitters 30 June 20, 2013

Kelly VandenBush engages in a typical pet-sitting activity. Associates includes pet insurance immediately upon membership. Other perks include discounted rates for websites, as well as other services that clients may be interested in. The basic package costs $185 and provides coverage for a full year. Members also get a quarterly newsletter that includes news about price changes, information from Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital, and soon a sort of “Dear Abby” column for the pet industry with expert answers to questions. The VandenBushes have high hopes for the future of Pet Sitters Associates, saying they hope that “within the next five years, we can double our membership and become the number one pet sitting association in the U.S.” To learn more about Pet Sitters Associates, visit www.

Pet Project

GET YOUR DOG TAGGED! surprisingly few pet owners license their animals –and that’s a problem WORDS: TOM GIFFEY PHOTO: ANDREA PAULSETH

Playing with pups at the Humane Society


’ll be the first to admit I’m a procrastinator, and paying for my pet licenses is no exception. I had months to send a check to the city of Eau Claire, but as usual I waited until just a few days before the March 31 deadline to schlep down to City Hall and hand over a check to keep my household’s ownership of one dog and two cats on the up-and-up for another year. My procrastination would be unremarkable except for one thing: It led me to a revelation about the dismally low percentage of people around here who license their pets. And that drew me up onto my soapbox to make a plea for licensing your animals for their own good – and the good of the rest of their furry friends. Before the guilt trip let’s take a detour to Mathville. Unlike most other communities, the city of Eau Claire requires that cats be licensed just like dogs. When I paid the modest sum of $13 each for my two neutered male cats, the nice lady at the city treasurer’s office handed me two small metal tags, numbered 709 and 710. Considering that the deadline was just a few days away, I figured these were two of the last cats that would be licensed in 2013. And that got me thinking: Could there really only be 700-some cats in a city the size of Eau Claire? Considering how gaga Americans are for their companion animals, that’s about as likely as Odie outwitting Garfield. In fact, it appears that only the minority of dogs and cats in the city (and dogs in the county) have their tags. According to city records, 912 cats and 3,657 dogs were licensed in the city in 2012. How do I know this is out of whack? The Humane Society of the United States estimates there are 78.2 million dogs and 86.4 million cats nationwide. Breaking this down to a per-capita basis and applying it to the city of Eau Claire, that means there should be approximately 18,281 cats and 16,541 dogs in the city (assuming, of course, that our pet-ownership rate is approximately the same as the nation’s). To put it another way, only 22 percent of Eau Claire canines and a mere 5 percent of Eau Claire felines are street legal. Meanwhile, 7,603 dogs were licensed last year in all of Eau Claire County. Based on the estimates about dog ownership made above, there should be about 24,867 dogs in the county – meaning only 31 percent of them are licensed. To be sure, that’s better than the city total, but it’s still well below half. So what? It’s not as if owning an unlicensed dog is like driving without a license, or practicing medicine or law without one. That’s true, I suppose, but

there are still a number of good reasons that you should pay up annually. First, it’s the law. ’Nuff said. Second, a good chunk of the money you pay for a license ends up directly helping animals in need. Dog licenses are required by state law but are sold on the municipal level (i.e., by cities, villages, and towns) and the bulk of the money is filtered back to the county. (Got that?) After sending a small portion to the state and setting aside some to cover expenses and dog damage claims, the county sends the rest of the money – this year, that’s $42,765 – to the entity that is contracted to look after stray animals. Around here, that’s the Eau Claire County Humane Association. That figure may not sound like a lot, but it can provide a lot of kibble and clean a lot of kennels for homeless pets. Eau Claire County humane officer Bekah Weitz wasn’t surprised when I told her about the low licensing rate I calculated. “While it is illegal to have an animal without a license, the penalty isn’t so great that it is something people think about,” she said. “It’s also something that’s not very well enforced.” As the sole humane officer in a county of about 100,000 people, Weitz has her hands full investigating cruelty and abuse claims and no time to check up on untagged dogs: “To be frank, I’m a lot more concerned with someone who’s not feeding (their dog) than someone who’s not licensing it.” Be that as it may, licenses are still important. Sometimes stray dogs brought to the shelter are reconnected with their owners because they’re wearing their dog licenses, Weitz said. Paying the license fee – in the city of Eau Claire, it’s just $18 for an altered dog and $37 for an unaltered one – might just reconnect you with your beloved pet if he gets lost, and it will certainly help other critters in that predicament. “It’s the responsible thing to do,” Weitz said of licensing your pet. “The

money goes to a good cause, and you’re showing responsibility of the owner.” For more information on getting your pet licensed, contact your city, village, or town hall or your local humane association. The Eau Claire County Humane Association can be reached at (715) 8394747. 31 June 20, 2013

Pet Project



PET SHOPS, ADOPTION, trainers, daycares, hospitals, & GROOMING


Awards & More 2425 Seymour Rd, Eau Claire • (715)

839-8666 •

Woof Naturals (715) 577-5634 •


Bark Avenue Bakery Available at the Phoenix Park and

Bob’s House for Dogs • 715-878-4505 • info@ •

Kustom Kritterz 1827 Brackett Ave., Eau Claire • 715-

Chippewa County Humane Association 10501 County Highway S South, Chippewa Falls • (715) 382-4832 • •

Festival Foods farmers markets, Eau Claire • 715-2144614 •

523-9187 • •

Pet Food Plus 3460 Mall Dr., Eau Claire • (715) 835-

5733 • •

Petco 3731 Gateway Dr., Eau Claire • (715) 832-0200 • PetSmart 4142 Commonwealth Ave, Eau Claire • (715) 831-1532 • Pic-a-Pet Plus 2421 Hwy 25 North, Menomonie • (715)


Dunn County Humane Society 302 Brickyard Rd., Menomonie • (715) 232-9790 • •

Waggin’ Tails Doggie Daycare N4668 471st St.,

Menomonie • (715) 235-3188 • •


All Pets Great & Small Boarding S 12460 State Road 37, Mondovi • (715) 926-3748.

Bifrost Farms E2062 930th Ave., Boyceville • (715) 643-2208 • •

Canine Comfort Inn 2600 S. Broadway St., Menomonie

• (715) 235-8669 • Boarding, Grooming, Training.

Cozy At Home Pet Sitting Service Eau Claire • (715)

emBARK 2109 Fairfax St., Eau Claire • (715) 864-3263

Eau Claire • (715) 832-9091 • •


Brittany Hills Kennel N7130 740th St., Menomonie •

Sue’s Dog Grooming and Supply 120 W Greenville St,

Cut Away Kennel 8434 County Hwy N, Chippewa Falls

Thompson’s True Value & Variety 319 E. Clairemont

Freed’s Bull Dogges Chippewa Falls • (715) 523-9909 • •

Waggin’ Tails Doggie Daycare N4668 471st St., Menomonie • (715) 235-3188 • •

County, Bloomer • 612-251-3845 • caninecounselor@

Hestekin Hills Pet Adoption Services 4147 Soley Lane,

Shure Pets • (715) 829-3808 • •

Tropic Waters Pet Center & Bark Avenue Grooming Salon 3015 E Hamilton Ave, Eau Claire • (715) 8320174 •

The Canine Counselor, LLC Chippewa/Eau Claire


Birdstone Labradors 6555 Kestrel Rd., Eau Claire •

Ave., Eau Claire • 715-834-1239.

833-1880 • •

Eau Claire County Humane Society 3900 Old Town Rd., Eau Claire • (715) 839-4747 • •

Poochie Heaven 1728 Spooner Ave, Altoona • (715) 271 - 4991 •

Chippewa Falls • (715) 723-2118.

Claire • (715) 831-1532 •

Rude Dog U & K9 Dorms 904 Lake Rd., Altoona • (715)

(715) 835-6100 •

(715) 235-3106 •

• (715) 726-1257 •

Lakewood Labradors Altoona • (715) 833-1880 • •


Ann Braue’s Canine Training 800 Wisconsin St., Eau Claire • (715) 839-0993 • •

Bifrost Farms E2062 930th Ave., Boyceville • (715) 643-2208 • •

Daneville Grooming and Portraits N 3485 390th St., Menomonie • (715) 235-1257 • •

Happy Pooch Doggie Day Care 2208 Heimstead Road, Eau Claire • (715) 552-5298 • •

Happy Pooch Doggie Day Care LLC 2208 Heimstad Rd., Eau Claire • 715-552-5298 •

Shiloh Kennels & Stables E8561 530th Ave., Elk Mound • 715-879-4564 • • www. Silver Lining Kennels Inc. E 9315 1010th Ave., Colfax • 715-962-3682.

Totaduck Kennels E 8559 620th Ave., Elk Mound • 715879-5687 • • www.totaduck. com.

While Away LLC • (715) 832-0224 • whileawayllc@

White Tie & Tails Canine Country Club N7218 County Rd. H, Mondovi • 715-926-1101.


Animal Wellness Center of Buffalo Valley 201 In-

dustrial Dr. #1, Mondovi • 715-926-3836 • awcbv@ • animalwellnesscenterofbuffalovalley.

Ark Animal Hospital 2914 Mondovi Rd., Eau Claire • (715) 834-3221.

Brakken Veterinary Clinic 2215 Schneider Ave., Menomonie • (715) 235-8404.

Cadott Animal Clinic 504 E. Chippewa St., Cadott •

715-289-4241 •

Chippewa Veterinary Clinic 14961 81st Ave., Chippewa Falls • (715) 723-3655 • •

Dr., Eau Claire • (715) 838-0326 • cvwildliferehab.

Kon Aire Boarding Kennel S11800 County Rd. F, Eleva

County Veterinary Hospital 1320 15th Ave., Bloomer •

Lake Wissota Animal Hospital 16780 County Highway X, Chippewa Falls • (715) 726-8811 •

East River Veterinary Clinic 411 East River, Colfax •

• (715) 878-4400.

Mecca Kennels E 9976 County Road C, Elk Mound • (715) 874-6863.

Muddy Creek Kennels E 7561 370th Ave., Elk Mound

Northern Paws Pet Lodge 25927 115th Ave., Cadott • (715) 289-4244 • •

Ave, Chetek • 715-642-2421 • •

833-1880 • •

K-9 Country Club 10055 County Hwy K, Cadott • 715382-4562 • • Find us on Facebook.

Leerburg (Dog Training) Video & Kennel Menomonie Northwoods Animal Learning Center, LLC 2775 8th

• 715-875-4558.

Rude Dog U & K9 Dorms 904 Lake Rd., Altoona • (715)

Chippewa Valley Wildlife Rehabilitation 8135 Burnell

(715) 830-8444 • •

• (715) 664-8708.

• (715) 235-6502 • • leerburg. com.

Rock Falls Veterinary Care E9348 135th St., Rock Falls

Hillcrest Kennel LLC 1212 N Hillcrest Pkwy, Altoona •

emBARK 2109 Fairfax St., Eau Claire • (715) 864-3263 •

• (715) 831-1885 • •

Northside Pet Hospital 1727 Western Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 835-0761 • •

Osseo-Augusta Veterinary Clinic 12936 12th St., Osseo

Paws on Positive Dog Training W. 573 US Hwy 10,

Mondovi • (715) 833-9915.

• 715-597-3158 // 106 W. Brown St., Augusta • 715-2862001 •

PetSmart Dog Training 4142 Commonwealth Ave., Eau

Paws & Claws 3820 Old Town Hall Road, Eau Claire

715-568-3612 •


Eau Claire Animal Hospital 2504 Mall Dr., Eau Claire •

(715) 835-5011 • •

Four Paws, Five Treasures LLC Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital, 4616 Commerce Valley Rd., Eau Claire • Inquiries & house calls (715) 579-9472; office appts (715) 835-0112 • • Kindness Animal Hospital 1902 Hallie Road, Chip-

pewa Falls • (715) 834-9201 • •

Lake Wissota Animal Hospital 16780 County Highway X, Chippewa Falls • (715) 726-8811 •

Mondovi Veterinary Service 1006 E. Main St., Mondovi • 715-926-3821 • Northside Pet Hospital 1727 Western Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 835-0761 • •

Oakwood Hills Animal Hospital 4616 Commerce Valley

Road, Eau Claire • (715) 835-0112 • • oakwoodhillsanimalhospital. com.

Osseo-Augusta Veterinary Clinic 12936 12th St., Osseo • 715-597-3158 // 106 W. Brown St., Augusta • 715-2862001 • Painted Pony Equine Service N3302 630th St., Menomonie • (715) 664-8140 • • Rock Falls Veterinary Care E9348 135th St., Rock Falls • 715-875-4558.

Westgate Animal Hospital 2135 N. Clairemont Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 834-7538 •


All Pets Great & Small Boarding S 12460 State Road 37, Mondovi • (715) 926-3748.

Ark Animal Hospital: Professional Grooming Services Eau Claire • 715-834-3221.

Bark Avenue Grooming Salon 3015 Hamilton Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 559-3647 •

Bifrost Farms E2062 930th Ave., Boyceville • (715) 643-2208 • • Canine Comfort Inn 2600 S. Broadway St., Menomonie • (715) 235-8669 • Chippewa Veterinary Clinic 14961 81st Ave., Chippewa 32 June 20, 2013


• (715) 835-0761 • •

Paws & Claws 3820 Old Town Hall Road, Eau Claire • (715) 831-1885 • • Pawsome Lodge Mobile Pet Grooming • 715-944-4232 • • www.pawsomelodge. com. Petco 3731 Gateway Dr., Eau Claire • (715) 832-0200 • PetSmart 4142 Commonwealth Ave, Eau Claire • (715) 831-1532 • Puckabees 24 S. Barstow St., Eau Claire • 715-5141003 • Sue’s Dog Grooming and Supply 120 W Greenville St,

Chippewa Falls • (715) 723-2118.

Tropic Waters Pet Center & Bark Avenue Grooming Salon 3015 E Hamilton Ave, Eau Claire • (715) 8320174 • Waggin’ Tails Doggie Daycare N4668 471st St., Menomonie • (715) 235-3188 • • Westgate Animal Hospital 2135 N. Clairemont Ave.,

Eau Claire • (715) 834-7538 •


Paws & Claws Falls • (715) 723-3655 • •

emBARK 2109 Fairfax St., Eau Claire • (715) 864-3263

Cindy’s Grooming 4720 W Folsom St, Eau Claire •

Foxy Fashions 2208 Heimstead Rd, Eau Claire • (715)

(715) 835-6140.

Daneville Grooming and Portraits N 3485 390th St.,

Menomonie • (715) 235-1257 •

Eau Claire Animal Hospital 2504 Mall Dr., Eau Claire • (715) 835-5011 • •


Happy Pooch Doggie Day Care LLC 2208 Heimstad Rd., Eau Claire • 715-552-5298 •

239-5086 • •

K-9 Bath Plus 1936 Hallie Rd., Chippewa Falls • 715-

Fur ‘N’ Feathers 1032 Oak Dr, Altoona • (715) 832-

Kindness Animal Hospital 1902 Hallie Road, Chippewa


Grooming Hut 121 W. Grand Ave., Eau Claire • (715) 835-2840.

836-7555 • Hughes •

Falls • (715) 834-9201 • •

Northside Pet Hospital 1727 Western Ave., Eau Claire 33 June 20, 2013

Chippewa Valley Cremation Services 1604 Spooner

Ave., Altoona • 715-835-3333 • • This local cremation service is the only funeral home in the entire region that offers private pet cremation, a burial alternative becoming more popular every year. They also provide pet urns, caskets plus keepsake pendants and jewelry.

Westgate Animal Hospital 2135 N. Clairemont Ave.,

Eau Claire • 715-834-7538 • In addition to Westgate Animal Hospital’s wealth of services, the hospital also provides exceptional advice regarding a decision to say goodbye to your pet, euthenasia, pet crematory services, and provides resources for help and support.

Pet Projects 2013  

Volume One's guide to Chippewa Valley pets!

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