Soldotna roller rink goes to the dogs

  • By Kelly Sullivan
  • Sunday, October 19, 2014 10:16pm
  • News

For the first time in years the old Soldotna roller rink will have tenants — specifically of the canine variety.

Mike and Ellen Adlam, owners of the Blue Moose Bed and Biscuit dog daycare and boarding facilities, will be constructing an indoor dog walking track in the heart of downtown Soldotna. Ellen Adlam said they plan open the new facility by mid-January 2015.

The Adlams will be able to expand on their current care program, which has 600 regular clients, Ellen Adlam said. The building is located on Lovers Lane in Soldotna, near PJ’s Diner and Riverside Assisted Living.

The indoor dog track is unique to the Peninsula, Ellen Adlam said. It will offer locals a safe daycare not only to drop off their pets, but a place to spend time with them indoors in the winter months.

“It would probably make more sense to tell you what businesses we can’t help with our program,” Ellen Adlam said. “There are so many groups who can benefit from this new track.”

The Adlams plan to utilize the track to its fullest. Ellen Adlam said they will be starting a Walk a Person Program, where any member of the public can come to the facility and take a walk with an animal, Ellen Adlam said.

Central Peninsula Hospital and Riverside Assisted Living have already expressed interest in sending over patients and residents, Ellen Adlam said. Spending time with animals is therapeutic and has health benefits, she said.

Additionally, animals constantly need to be taught how to interact with different people, and dogs of different temperaments, Ellen Adlam said. It also makes for a better setting for the animals to have fun, she said.

All clients entering the facility will sign agreements that follow the rules and regulation of the track and be will given a briefing by Blue Moose staff, according to the Adlam’s application to the city. The track will be constantly supervised at all times and a maximum of 10 clients may be on the track at once. Each client will have to provide proof of vaccines such as rabies, according to the application.

The new facility was approved by the city at the Oct. 8 Planning and Zoning meeting. Forty residents spoke in favor of the daycare and two expressed concerns, Ellen Adlam said.

People were concerned about noise and smell specifically, Ellen Adlam said. They have taken precautions to ensure those disruptions are minimal, she said.

Dogs being taken to, or dropped off at the daycare will be on a leash from when they leave the car to when they enter the building, Ellen Adlam said. The daycare can accommodate as many as 70 pets at once, but will likely only hold 20-50 depending on size and client type.

Hours of operation for dog daycare will between the hours of 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m., and indoor walking will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., according to the Adlam’s Conditional Use Permit. No overnight boarding is permitted.

Animals will be kept on site and not allowed off the premises without supervision, and all areas will be supervised by staff to discourage barking, according to the permit. Outside animal pens must be covered with six-foot high perimeter windscreen barriers, at the minimum and will be supervised at all times when dogs are present.

“There is nothing better than dogs and people together,” Ellen Adlam said. “The new facility combines two of my biggest passions — dogs and health.”

The animals that come into the Adlams’ facilities are organized by size and how they behave, Ellen Adlam said. This helps reduce noise because they are in a comfortable setting, she said.

Each of their seven staff members are or will be certified through the Animal Behavior College Dog Training program, Ellen Adlam said.

“It is a unique facility to Alaska,” Ellen Adlam said. “We hope other people will catch on to the benefits of this program.”

 

Reach Kelly Sullivan at kelly.sullivan@peninsulaclarion.com.

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