Barkley House finds temporary home at Stoney Creek Inn

Tuesday, August 11, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — The Barkley House, a proposed facility supported by the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, has found a temporary home at Stoney Creek Inn. An open house and ribbon cutting for the Barkley House room will be held Friday at Stoney Creek Inn.

The Barkley House is “a venture to provide temporary lodging for families whose pets are receiving treatment” at MU's Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, according to a news release from the College of Veterinary Medicine. While construction of the Barkley House has not yet started, the Barkley House room at Stoney Creek Inn is one step in the project, said Tracey Berry, director of external relations for the College of Veterinary Medicine.

If you go

What: Open house and ribbon cutting for the Barkley House room

Where: Stoney Creek Inn, 2601 S. Providence Road

When:  5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday

“We have set up this room working with Stoney Creek Inn, and while we will continue to work toward a permanent facility, in the meanwhile this will provide pet owners a place to stay with their pets,” she said, adding that the open house at Stoney Creek Inn will help make the community aware that this facility has been established.

The Barkley House takes its name from a dog, a Great Pyrenees named Barkley. The dog was driven daily from Kansas City to Columbia for treatment at MU. His owner was injured, however, and unable to drive him, according to the Barkley House's Web site.

As a result, Carolyn Henry, a veterinary oncologist, came up with the idea of a guest house, the Web site states.

The Barkley House room has a nonslip, nonporous floor for easy cleaning, hypoallergenic bedding for pets and their owners and necessary supplies for pets in long-term care, according to the release. There is also a library stocked with pet-oriented literature.

Henry  and Neil C. Olson, dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine, will speak at the event.

The idea of a home for ill pets and their owners goes back as far as May 2000, Berry said. As reported by the Missourian in May 2005, the Barkley House is estimated to cost nearly $2 million. At the time, $99,000 in funds were raised from individuals and businesses, with another $400,000 promised through estate gifts. Land on the east side of the campus, near the vet hospital, is being held for future construction of the facility.

Funding for the Barkley House room at Stoney Creek Inn has come from donations and fundraisers put on by the College of Veterinary Medicine, and part of the nightly rate paid by guests of the Barkley House room will benefit construction of the Barkley House.

“The Barkley House is a concept as much as anything. It is an evolving process and this is the latest evolution of this concept,” Berry said. “The opening of this facility marks an event that a lot of people have been working for many years to establish.”

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