This bright-eyed pup was enjoying herself at the soft opening of The Dog House dog park and grooming facility.

EDWARDSVILLE - Sometimes, you just have to run around a yard, play with some new friends and enjoy the sunny spring mornings. 

Dogs and their owners got to do just that this Saturday morning as Hawthorne Animal Hospital of Glen Carbon softly opened the doors to its brand new dog park, grooming and training facility appropriately titled The Dog House.

As the gates opened, dozens of furry little friend and the humans that love them so were excited to take advantage of the park's wide and open spaces for both large and small dogs alike. 

Owning the business along side Dr. Paul Myer, Dr. Phil McKinney is happy to be able to share his new facility with the community.

"We've sure lucked out on the weather and the support from the community has been great," Dr. McKinney said. "It's our chance to give something back to the community which has been so good to us for so long."

Some puppies and their owners mingle at the new dog park.Cassie York, one of The Dog House's rehabilitation technicians and nutrition specialists, believes that this new addition to the Hawthorne family is a step in the right direction for the veterinary practice. 

"I think my favorite part is going to be the convenience that this is going to offer for so many people," York said. "To have a dog park, a training [facility] all right here, it's a much more open facility. We're also going to be eventually moving our technician appointments here. It will be a much more expedited process."

Metro East Humane Society brought some of its sweetest available puppies and cats to meet some potential new families both inside and outside the facility. They were also taking adoption applications on site. 

The Dog House is open to all of the hospital's clients whose pets are up-to-date on their necessary vaccines, including rabies, distemper, parvo, bordetella and a negative fecal sample.. Non-clients with proof of vaccines can purchase a membership to the dog park quarterly or yearly. 

Specialty grooming for both canines and felines are also available depending on the size, coat condition and temperament of the animal being groomed. 

"We're having another big grand opening on Sunday, May 1 from 1 to 5 p.m., so we're going to have a lot of people here," York said. 

The Dog House is located at 24 Kettle Drive in Glen Carbon. They can be reached by phone at 618-288-3971.

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To contact Madelaine Gerard, contact madelaine@riverbender.com or call 618-465-9850 at ext. 235.

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