Montgomery Animal Hospital in Pineville opens pet-friendly hotel

Going out of town and can’t bring your pet? So book them a “room” at Hotel Montgomery Animal Hospital More on Hwy 28 East to Pineville for their own vacation.

Having a pet hotel has been veterinarian Dr. Morgan McDaniel’s lifelong dream, said practice director Kara Brown. As a young girl, McDaniel imagined that the walls of a beautiful, posh hotel would be adorned with large black-and-white photos of her cat.

“It’s definitely something she’s wanted for a very, very long time,” Brown said.

This dream has now come true with the opening of the facility next to the hospital. And, black-and-white photos of pets adorn the walls.

Other than the Pet Inn in Alexandria, practice manager Kara Brown said there was no other place like it in the area. The hospital received many inquiries regarding the care of their pets, as well as questions regarding home sitters.

For years the hospital housed animals in the hospital, but they booked every weekend and had to turn people away.

The hotel is not just for Montgomery Animal Hospital guests, Brown said. During the month it opened, most hotel guests were non-Montgomery guests.

But to reserve a place at the hotel, vaccination records are mandatory.

Owners are allowed to bring their pets' bedding, blankets and toys to make them feel more comfortable during their stay at the newly opened pet hotel at Montgomery Animal Hospital.

“We make sure everyone staying at the hotel is up to date on vaccines,” Brown said.

Additionally, all pets also pass boarding exams.

“We just want to know what condition they’re in and that there’s nothing wrong with them and stuff like that,” Brown explained.

Prior to boarding, pet owners and pets are given a tour of the facility. There is a check-in to know the personality of the animal. Questions, such as whether the animal is suffering from storm anxiety, are asked. And a liability waiver must be signed. All information gathered is kept on file for future onboarding, Brown said.

Although dogs and cats are common guests, the hotel can accommodate a few small pets such as rabbits. They got on board the week they opened.

But Brown warned they might not be able to board a hamster, but each guest would be assessed on a case-by-case basis as they would need to ensure any pets staying at the hotel were safe.

There is no maximum or minimum stay, but Brown advises calling 2-3 weeks in advance during holidays. During the Thanksgiving holiday they were fully booked. Brown predicts the same will happen over the Christmas holidays. For regular weeks, Brown said calling a week ahead is enough.

The hotel has 30 to 40 kennels and is open from 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A night watchman takes over at 5.30 p.m. and makes rounds every two hours until 7 a.m. At 8 a.m., the animals were taken out for bathroom breaks.

The hotel is in a separate building from the clinic, but check-in is still at the hospital reception. A security fence surrounds the hotel. A keypad lock is on the door and only staff and pet owners are allowed inside.

Many people think of pets as their children, so they want a place they can trust and are comfortable with plenty of room in the kennel for their pets to roam, Brown said. .

The dogs spend most of the day playing in an outdoor play area surrounded by a high chain-link fence. They come out 3-4 times a day for 30-40 minutes each time. The area is also separated into smaller spaces where each dog can run. There is also a spray bar and a playset.

“We have people here who can play fetch and love and hug them,” Brown said. “And that’s what people want to know. That they’re not just sitting in a kennel somewhere with their sad, sulky little faces.”

Owners take comfort in knowing that someone is watching and loving their pets.

Cat houses have shelves for cats to jump or perch on and a separate area for their own litter box.

A large window at the reception also allows workers to look into the kennel.

The Montgomery Animal Hospital Pet Hotel has 30-40 kennels and is open 7:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.  A night watchman takes over at 5.30 p.m. and makes rounds every two hours until 7 a.m.  At 8 a.m., the animals were taken out for bathroom breaks.

“I’m going to pop in every few minutes or so and talk to them and let them know there’s someone here,” said Vanessa Hogan, who manages day-to-day operations.

The hotel offers a few perks such as homemade peanut butter and oatmeal candies. The guests, they really love them, Brown said.

And everyone takes a bath. If they stay three nights or more, they also receive a bandana.

Owners are allowed to bring their pets’ bedding, blankets and toys to make them feel more comfortable during their stay, Hogan said. And pets also like to have their own business with them.

The property also has a washer and dryer in case the pets have an accident on the blankets or bedding.

“I’ve had several furry moms – and a few daddies – after their first visit, they’d come back to the office and we’d finish everything and they’d say, ‘We’re so relieved. know what burden has been lifted because I know they are going to be very well taken care of here,” Hogan said.

To schedule a visit or reserve a suite, call (318) 473-8177 and press option 5 or visit www.montgomeryanimal.net

Dogs spend most of the day playing in an outdoor play area at the newly opened pet hotel at Montgomery Animal Hospital.  They come out 3-4 times a day for 30-40 minutes each time.  The area also has a spray area and a set of games.

Benjamin M. Yerger