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Red Roof Animal Hospital opens in Ottertail

The staff at Ottertail's new Red Roof Animal Hospital, left to right, April Carlson, Veternarian Sara Krumwiede, and Jason Krumwiede. In Sara's arms is their "clinic cat" Lemur.1 / 2
Sara Krumwiede walks through the rows of new kennels for boarding dogs.2 / 2

Appropriately named, "Red Roof Animal Hospital," recently opened on the outskirts of Ottertail city in--you guessed it--a building with a red roof.

The animal hospital and boarding center is located in the former FMI trucking company building, just north of Ottertail on Highway 78. Prior to its transformation into a pet hospital, the building stood vacant for almost two years.

Sara Krumwiede, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, first discovered the vacant building over the internet while living in Nevada. She and her husband Jason, who both grew up in the lakes area, had been living in Nevada for the past year and were looking to move back to East Otter Tail County.

Both Jason and Sara are Perham High School alumni, with Jason graduating in 1995 and Sara in 1997.

In June of 2008, the Krumwiedes made the move back to Minnesota and officially took over ownership of the former trucking company building. However, before they could set up shop, there was a lot of remodeling to be done.

"It's really been a family operation," explains Sara Krumwiede. "Jason's dad has poured cement in the kennels. My dad has done a lot of the plumbing. Jason did sheetrocking."

Family members pitched in to give the entire building a new paint job, carefully selecting colors to create a warm and inviting environment. Some existing walls were torn down, with others built to create the different areas needed for both a boarding facility and a veterinary hospital.

"We do have a full surgery sweet," Sara says. "We can do pretty much any lab test as well." Most of the surgeries at Red Roof are scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The new facility includes separate kennel areas for animals that are being boarded and for animals that have been admitted to the hospital. There is an x-ray room, an indoor exercise area, and even a tiled washing tub. There are also specialized "dog" and "cat" exam rooms, complete with fitting décor.

Sara primarily treats dogs and cats, but says she'll also take some "pocket pets" such as hamsters, rats, and guinea pigs.

Although dog boarding is a relatively common business in the area, Sara says there are far fewer places that cater to cats. She has installed specialized "cat condos" that adjust in size depending on how many cats they are boarding at any given time. This gives cats the maximum amount of boarding space available. Cats and dogs are boarded in separate areas of the facility.

Red Roof boarding fees are set on a per night basis, at $15 for dogs and $12 for cats. If a pet stays seven nights, the eighth night of boarding is free.

Once the ground thaws, a 20 x 40 run will be built behind the animal hospital to provide plenty of room for pets to exercise. The lot that Red Roof sits on stretches back to Buchanan Lake, making it possible for the Krumwiedes to take dogs on leash walks down to the lake for some additional outdoor exercise.

For now, Sara's husband Jason is helping her get the business started up, serving as the hospital's receptionist until May. They then plan to hire someone to fill the position. Also working with the Krumwiedes at Red Roof is technician April Carlson.

On Saturday, May 16, Sara is planning an open house for the hospital. The public is invited to come and tour the remodeled building and enjoy some refreshments. There will be door prizes for pets and for pet owners.

"My mom will be making some homemade dog treats," says Sara, revealing a family history of pet-lovers. In fact, the Red Roof reception area is a sort of tribute to a long lineage of family pets, with their black and white photos artistically framed on the walls.

With previous experience working in both Perham and Pelican Rapids, Sara says she's thrilled to once again be working in the lakes area--and this time as a business owner. "It's very nice to be back in the area," she says. "We have no plans to leave in the future."

To schedule a veterinary appointment or a boarding time, call Ottertail's Red Roof Animal Hospital at 218-367-RRAH (7724).