West River Veterinarian Clinic welcomes two new groomers

Does Fido need a haircut? With the hiring of two new groomers, West River Veterinarian Clinic can help with your pet’s beauty needs.

Myranda Kugel and Paige Slater run the grooming department with West River Veterinarian Clinic in Hettinger. Slater has been employed since April and Kugel was hired in June. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)
Myranda Kugel and Paige Slater run the grooming department with West River Veterinarian Clinic in Hettinger. Slater has been employed since April and Kugel was hired in June. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

By COLE BENZ
Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

Does Fido need a haircut? With the hiring of two new groomers, West River Veterinarian Clinic can help with your pet’s beauty needs.

Paige Slater and Myranda Kugel have both been trained in animal grooming and though they are early in their careers, have the background to keep your dog or cat looking fresh and clean. Slater has been grooming for more than a year and Kugel is coming up on her 1-year anniversary of her education and training.

Services offered by the groomers include haircuts, baths, nail clipping, anal gland expression and (if desired) toe nail painting.

The facility went a long period of time without a groomer, and some area residents may not know the service is back.

“I don’t think a lot of people realize we have groomers back,” Kugel said.

Kugel said they have serviced animals from as far as Minot. Other area customers have included residents from Bowman, New England, and Lemmon, S.D.

The new building, which was opened to the community and late April, offers a better environment for both pets and their owners. The new space is bigger, the kennels are more accessible to the groomers, and they can offer a bigger space in the boarding area with access to the outdoors for the larger dogs, which is good for animals not accustomed to a tight space, like farm dogs.

Kugel said the new facility is also more welcoming for the pet owners. Slater, who worked at the old facility for one week before moving to the new building, said she enjoys the added work space.

“It was just really cramped and hot,” Slater said.

For those who don’t need the complete grooming package, a ‘dog wash’ is available 24 hours a day. On the east side of the building, a door gives patrons direct access to a pet grooming station. The cost is $10 for 10 minutes of wash time. The station offers regular shampoo as well as flea and tick shampoo. It is equipped with a leash harness to keep the pets stable, and offers a dryer so your pet doesn’t have to leave soaking wet.

MEET THE GROOMERS

Slater, who is from Fargo, started her grooming career in Loveland, Colo. where she attended professional grooming school. She also has acquired her Associate’s Degree in Veterinarian Technology and was scheduled to take her boards this past week.

It was her affinity for canines that led her to this work.

“I love dogs, so it’s kind of an excuse to be with dogs all day,” Slater said.

She also said she can express her creative side while working with animals, a match she thoroughly enjoys.

She previously worked as a groomer with PetSmart, and when a job opened up in Hettinger a relative of hers in the area called her. She applied and was hired. Slater has family from the area and frequented Hettinger often growing up.

She plans on transitioning more towards the Veterinarian Tech position with the facility, and putting in part-time work with the grooming department after she passes her boards.

Kugel said her affinity for dogs was also the main motivation behind getting into the animal grooming business.

“I love dogs,” Kugel said. “I wanted to play with dogs and love on them all day. And I didn’t want to see the sick ones.”

The Hettinger native got her education online before gaining some hands-on experience through an internship in Bismarck. She has nearly a year of experience between her education and her internship, and was hired by the clinic on June 20.

Family was a big part of why she came back to work in the area.

“My family has always been here,” Kugel said.

One of her favorite parts of the job is seeing all the different personalities of the dogs she cares for.

To bring your pet in for grooming, contact West River Veterinarian Clinic for an appointment. For the full grooming package prices range from $37 for small animals, to $75 for extra large breeds, though prices can vary depending on the workload the animal requires. The cost for a simple bath and dry is between $25-$30. Pet toe nail painting, a newer, trendy option for owners, is $10.

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