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Doggy daycare opens in New Richmond

Jenna Zimmer owns and operates Play & Stay Pet Lodge, a recently opened doggy daycare and boarding business off Highway 64. (Photo by Jenny Hudalla) 1 / 3
Play & Stay Pet Lodge owner Jenna Zimmer’s dog, Copper, shows off his playful personality during social time at the pet lodge. Zimmer said Copper was her inspiration to start the business. (Photo by Jenny Hudalla)2 / 3
Play & Stay Pet Lodge owner Jenna Zimmer cuddles up to one of her daycare dogs, Margo, during play time. (Photo by Jenny Hudalla)3 / 3

The dog days of summer have arrived, and so has Play & Stay Pet Lodge, New Richmond’s brand new doggy daycare located at 1051 North Dakota Avenue, just off Highway 64.

Owned and operated by Jenna Zimmer, the pet lodge is a place people can bring their dogs to socialize and romp around in a safe environment. Zimmer said her own dog, Copper, inspired her to start the business.

“We wanted a place we could bring him to burn off some energy and interact with other dogs,” she said. “If we needed to board him, we wanted him to be able to run around and play, not be isolated in a cage all day.”

Because the facility was previously a car repair shop, Zimmer and her husband spent a whirlwind month painting, flooring and trimming before the business opened its doors on Monday, June 9. Besides laying new gravel and enlarging the parking area, Zimmer also had to put up fencing and install kennels to make it feel more like home for her four-legged friends.

“I’ve been working with animals my whole life,” said Zimmer, who worked for nine years as a certified veterinary technician. “With this, I decided to try my own thing and be with dogs when it’s about having fun and playing with them, not medical procedures.”

The pet lodge offers partial- and full-day doggy daycare, as well as overnight boarding for any length of stay. While Zimmer prefers customers bring their own food to avoid switching the dogs’ diets, she provides plenty of things to keep them entertained: a play area with a swimming pool, toys, human interaction time, and even a couch for lounging is on its way.

Now open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., the daycare welcomes dogs of every age and breed. The only dogs unable to stay and Play & Stay Pet Lodge are those that show aggression toward people or other dogs.

“The best part of all this is watching the dogs get to run around and be part of a group,” Zimmer said. “We just want them to have fun.”

While Zimmer has round-the-clock access to nearby Countryside Veterinary Clinic, she herself is trained in pet CPR and can recognize signs of illness. Having graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor’s degree in veterinary technology, Zimmer worked in small animal practices before teaching at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine.

“My knowledge as a veterinary technician sets me apart from any place around here,” Zimmer said. “It’s not about making money for me -- I’m in this because it’s been my passion my entire life to work with animals.”

The pet lodge is already booked for the Fourth of July, and according to Zimmer, it’s all set to be a paw-stomping, tail-wagging good time.

Additional information on pricing and reservations can be found at

Jenny Hudalla
A senior at Bethel University, Jenny Hudalla is pursuing degrees in journalism, Spanish and reconciliation studies. Having graduated from New Richmond High School in 2011, she served as editor-in-chief of the Tiger Rag before taking a job as editor-in-chief of Bethel's student newspaper, The Clarion. After completing her internship with the New Richmond News, Hudalla plans to move on to a career in social justice.
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