KEARNEY, Neb. (KSNB) – The West Villa Animal Hospital held a pet festival Saturday for their third year. People, dogs and even a hairless cat was out at the event that last went on in 2009. During the 2021 festival, Tropical Sno and Candy Cloud food trucks joined in on the fun for their first time.
Tara Spence, West Villa’s head receptionist and certified pet nutrition coach, and Practice Manager Rachel Stegeman said they decided to bring back the event to not invite out people to have a good time, but to also wish their farewells to one of their long-time veterinarians.
“Doctor Larsen is retiring so, we kind of wanted to use this as a way to have the community say thank you for his 45 years here,” Stegeman said.
Dennis Larsen, who had been at the pet hospital before the facility had initially opened, said he had enjoyed working with all of the staff through his years.
“They all have stories and i have stories for them too to tell them and, I’ll miss them,” Larsen said. “It’ll be a sad time but, at the same time, it’s my time to do other things.”
He said, after he had officially retired, he looked forward to doing more of his hobbies such as hunting, fishing and most importantly to spend more time with his grandchildren. During the pet festival, Larsens’ thoughts were focused in on what was all going on at the event.
“Thanks so much for coming out here, seeing me today and braving this weather,” Larsen said. “And thank you for the rain and also for being clients and more than clients, good friends for all these years.”
The pet festival went on from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday outside of the West Villa Animal Hospital. At the event, there were free hot dogs, free pet nail trimming, a dog agility course, a dunk tank, pet contests and more.
“It makes us feel really loved,” Spence said. “Like, West Villa Animal Hospital has been here for a long time in the Kearney community, so it’s nice that our clients are coming out with their animals to come support us.”
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