C8 Sunday, February 24, 2002 The Morning Star by Leanne Ritchie, Morning Star Writer
Tricia & Russ Epp, owners, throw tennis balls for their guests. Morning Star Photo by Leanne Ritchie
Providing a family with peace of mind about their beloved pets is the reason Trica Epp, with Hy Country Kennels, is February's Grand Go-Getter.
Chosen from more than 100 nominations, Melanie Watson, Go Award liaison, said Epp was nominated by a family after she took exceptional care of their healing cat.
The Go Award is about rewarding people who go the extra mile. Each month the nominations are collected and the Go Award committee chooses the best story of outstanding service.
According to Watson, the cat named OC had an open wound which needed time to heal and the family had a rambunctious puppy who was eager to play with his friend.
The wound required regular cleaning, antibiotics inserted into the wound, oral antibiotics administered twice a day and most importantly OC needed to remain indoors in a calm setting.
According to the family who nominated Epp, it was the level of care OC received at Hy Country that helped the wound to heal. In half the time the veterinarian predicted.
Epp set up a spacious kennel which took into consideration OC's needs, provide special toys and bedding and a climbing area that OC could access while wearing his head gear. "I came away from the Hy Country Kennels feeling fantastic, knowing that in Vernon someone had found their passion and is truly an incredible worker who is very deserving of Vernon's Go Award," wrote the nominating family.
Hy Country Kennels is located within city limits on Mission Road. It's a ten acre lot with triple security fences and two acres of dog runs, grassed and seeded. Because of the security, it's a leash free facility.
"It's peace of mind that's most important," said Tricia Epp. "People like to leave their animals with someone they trust."
Hy Country has six separate facilities - indoors for dogs with outside access in each pen, an indoor for smaller dogs and cat facility with windows for a view.
The Epps took over the facility in spring of 1999.
"We pride ourselves on a providing a safe and caring environment with plenty of exercise and socialization," said Russ Epp.
The pair carries cell phones when they are looking after the animals so owners can stay in touch.
"People get worried," said Tricia Epp. "Their pets are just like their kids..."
Recently, they've begun offering a doggie daycare service. They have five regulars who get dropped off in the morning and picked up in the evening.