Walker Methodist Care Suites in Edina hosts regular playgroups for dogs provided by Fresh Air Training. Dogs must be less than 20 pounds to participate; however, your bigger dog can come if it could use some encouragement. Please make sure your pet’s vaccinations are up to date. If you’re interested in participating often, ask about a participation pass: $90 for 10 playgroups, $160 for 20 playgroups and $210 for 30 playgroups. This is a terrific opportunity for dogs to get out for a safe and enjoyable playtime experience.
Edina residents love their dogs, and love to keep them by their side. Last October, the City of Edina passed an ordinance allowing dogs on restaurant patios. This does not force businesses to adhere to a dog-friendly environment; it simply puts in place health and safety regulations in the event that they choose to allow dogs. The city was aware of Edina’s love for pets, and therefore put this ordinance into action to better keep pets and people safe in public spaces.
Since July 2013, Chuck & Don’s has teamed up with Minnesota’s Spay Neuter Assistance Program (MN SNAP) to ensure that all pets receive the medical care they need for the best quality of life. Once a month, MN SNAP parks a mobile unit at a Chuck & Don’s location. Pet owners can drop off their pets at Chuck & Don’s for appointments beginning at 8 a.m. on scheduled days. From there, veterinarians bring the pets out to the mobile unit to be neutered, spayed or vaccinated. This is an in-and-out process that allows pets to be picked up by 4 p.m. the same day.
Even better than watching Internet dog videos is seeing your dog(s) have playful outdoor experiences. Six years ago, Edina established its first off-leash dog park in Van Valkenburg Park. And the city’s four-legged friends aren’t the only ones that appreciate this outdoor freedom.
Animal control officer Tim Hunter patrols the city’s two established off-leash parks: Van Valkenburg Park (open year-round) and Strauchauer Park (open seasonally).
While attending Washington University in St. Louis, Rachel Mairose was involved with animal rescues. She wanted to continue that involvement when she returned to her hometown of Edina after graduation. So a few years later, in 2009, she decided to start her own pet rescue organization. “I always joke that the hormones made me do it. I felt like I was Superwoman and I could do anything,” Mairose says.
Successful pet adoptions are generally not a drive-through experience. Though highly rewarding, pet adoptions require a bit of effort and patience.
Alisha Balzer of Chuck and Don’s in Edina says adopters don’t always get a lot of history on a rescued pet. So they must be prepared and understand that adopting a pet is a big responsibility. Pets should be considered forever family members.