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Barkley House
Opens Its Doors

Dr. Carolyn Henry, a veterinary oncologist at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, who conceived the idea behind Barkley House, tours the room at Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center, accompanied by two of her children, her sister Kat York and her dog, Blaze, who checks out his own reflection in the bookcase.

Dr. Carolyn Henry, a veterinary oncologist at the MU College of Veterinary Medicine, who conceived the idea behind Barkley House, tours the room at Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center, accompanied by two of her children, her sister Kat York and her dog, Blaze, who checks out his own reflection in the bookcase.

A ribbon cutting for the new Barkley House room at Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center in Columbia, Mo., was held on Aug. 14, 2009. Barkley House is a venture to provide temporary lodging for families whose pets are receiving treatment at the University of Missouri Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital (VMTH). The facility allows pets to stay with their owners in a homelike setting, lessening anxiety for both the animals and their owners and helping to speed recovery.

While the original Barkley House concept called for the construction of a Victorian-style house, the plan was modified to reduce expenses and expedite the establishment of the facility. Members of the Barkley House advisory board worked with the management at Stoney Creek to set aside a room that was then modified to accommodate pets for VMTH clients’ use. The room was retrofitted with a non-slip, non-porous floor for easy clean-up, hypoallergenic bedding for pets and their owners, and supplies needed for animals undergoing long-term care, such as water and food bowls, a litter box and a pet bed. The room is decorated with images of animals and also includes a library that contains informational reading materials geared toward pet owners. The room also has a private door leading to enough green space for pets to enjoy when they are able.

Stoney Creek President Jim Thompson

Stoney Creek President Jim Thompson attended the ribbon cutting for Barkley House with his own four-legged friend.

A portion of the nightly rate paid by guests to use the room benefits Barkley House.

Dr. Neil C. Olson, College of Veterinary Medicine dean, welcomed the guests who gathered for the ribbon cutting. Dr. Carolyn Henry, a veterinary oncologist at the College, who originally conceived the Barkley House concept, spoke about how the owner of a Great Pyrenees named Barkley drove her dog each day from the Kansas City area to the VMTH for radiation treatments and the complications that followed when Barkley’s owner was injured and couldn’t drive. Stoney Creek Inn and Conference Center President Jim Thompson also attended the event and discussed the partnership between the college and lodging facility.

The event featured a silent auction for a pet portrait donated by O’Fallon, Ill., artist Deborah Wildebrandt. The painter had originally agreed to donate one pet portrait to the highest bidder, but in response to a good-natured bidding war that erupted, generously offered a second portrait for the same final bid price. The two winners of the silent auction were Diane Thompson, wife of the Stoney Creek president, and Buck and Sarah Newman of Lake St. Louis.

For questions regarding Barkley House, contact CVM Development Officer Kelley Marchbanks at 573-882-3254.


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College of Veterinary Medicine
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Last Update: February 24, 2012