Herald JournalWinsted-Lester Prairie Journal, May 6, 2002

Pet care from the animals' point of view

By Lynda Jensen

Love, concern and enjoyment of animals are the driving force behind a new animal service to open June 1 in Winsted, called Caring Hearts Pet Service.

The business, which is owned by Bruce and Charlene Anderson of Winsted, is located at 22174 Babcock Avenue.

Caring Hearts offers long and short term kennel services for pet owners "from the perspective of the pet," Charlene said.

The service includes domestic animals such as cats and dogs, but also can keep horses as well, she said.

Some existing pet services are expensive places that look fancy, but do not suit the needs of the pet, she said.

Caring Hearts offers heated floors and air conditioning for the animals, more room, solid wall dividers, 16- by 54-foot outdoor area for running, with more to be added later, she said.

For horses, there are three acres of pasture to roam, a large arena, and 10 by 10 foot boxstalls.

The Andersons designed the building with animals in mind, and conceived of every convenience they thought would be necessary for their own pets, she said.

The building construction was done by Bruce, with the help of family and friends.

During her plans, she consulted Dr. Katrina Gustafson of the Watertown Veterinary Clinic, she said.

"I have been an avid pet lover all my life. I've had pets ever since I can remember," Charlene said.

"Since I was very young, I was drawn to animals and spent many summer vacations at my great aunt's farm . . . by the end of the summer, my 'special calf' would come when called, every wild barn kitten was tamed, and the farm dog would wait for me by the house, instead of going to the barn, when my great uncle did chores."

Charlene owned a menagerie of animals over the years, including horses, cats, dogs, hamsters, parakeets, turtles, fish, rabbits, ducks, and chickens.

"Considering this, starting a pet care service was a natural direction for me to follow," she said.

The Andersons have many modern-day pets, including a dog, cats, goats, birds and a horse.

The wonder of animals is their loyalty and devotion, as well as the unconditional love they give ­ which can seldom be matched by humans, she said.

"They can teach us valuable lessons we sometimes fail to see in this fast-paced, electronic world . . simplicity, a connection to nature, and an awareness of basic emotions," she said.

Some phases of the facility are currently under construction, but the Andersons are now taking reservations for indoor accommodations for cats or dogs. For a tour of the facility or to make a reservation, call (320) 485-4281 or (320) 485-7387 (PETS).

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