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Personalized Care for Your Precious Pet

13175 W. Silver Spring Road, Butler, Wisconsin 53007

Proudly Serving Southeastern WI

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Animal Motel Pet Care Dog Dish

Our History

Animal Motel was founded by Don and Diana Gutknecht in 1960 and was located in Milwaukee for 27 years. In 1987, we designed and built our present facility in Butler, WI. We relocated to this facility in March 1988. Don and Diana are still the owners and operators of Animal Motel. Their daughter, Dawn, and son, Daryl, are also actively involved in the business. Dawn is a professional groomer and Daryl is a pet travel agent.

In 1946, Don started his training career, along with working with people and their dogs. In 1952, he entered military service, serving in the K-9 Corps. His responsibilities included training sentry and scout dogs, along with managing the dog kennels in the Far East during the Korean Conflict. He served on the Army Dog Training Center's demonstration team, working and training silent scout dogs, sentry dogs, messenger dogs, and casualty dogs. Don also trained U.S. Army personnel for scout and sentry work in Korea, serving in Korea with the 39th Infantry Scout Dog Platoon. He was NCO in charge of the Far East Sentry Dog Training Center in Japan.

Don was one of 12 kennel operators from across the country to serve on the original Board of Directors of the American Boarding Kennels Association (ABKA), established in 1977, which eventually became the Pet Care Services Association (PCSA). Don served as regional director for seven years, treasurer, chairman of the ethics committee, and was a member of the oral examining board for the certification of kennel operators. Diana also served as regional director for three years.

Don became a Certified Kennel Operator in 1979, after being in the boarding kennel industry for 19 years. PCSA awards the prestigious CKO designation. To qualify for CKO certification, an individual must complete a two-year educational program, must exemplify high ethical standards as outlined by the PCSA ethics committee, and must demonstrate a high degree of competence in animal care and kennel management through a combination of written examinations and oral interviews. Don and Daryl Gutknecht are the only CKOs in the Milwaukee area.

Don and Diana remained active members of the PCSA, for whom they served on various committees and continued to participate on panel discussions and as meeting planner/coordinators. Since they are considered “veterans” in the industry, they also help other kennel operators who call upon them for advice. They also regularly attend conventions, workshops, and seminars, which are offered to keep pet care professionals current in all aspects of pet care services and business management.

Don and Diana Gutknecht are professional people, and this is their business, not their hobby. They require the Animal Motel staff to be professional as well. The staff currently includes several employees who are certified by the PCSA as Ken-techs II. Don and Diana maintain very high standards at Animal Motel, and are proud of their staff, who work hard to provide quality customer service and pet care.

A Message from son Daryl:

The Gutknecht family thanks you for visiting our site. We hope you found it interesting, informative, and have gotten to know us better. We would also like to thank our past and present employees for their hard work and dedication to the welfare of the animals we care for. Without their commitment and love for animals, we could not maintain our high standard of care.

On a personal note, I would like to thank my Dad for turning his love for dogs and their training into a lifelong career and to thank my Mom, who lovingly supported him. Animal Motel is a result of their combined efforts, hard work, and commitment to excellence in pet care. Dad is still very active and involved in the daily operation; his long hours do not go unnoticed. Mom is semi-retired and works behind the scenes wherever needed. Because of them, Animal Motel is a wonderful place for pets!

Thank you to my sister, Dawn, who has always worked in the business as one of our groomers and always been a great help to Mom and Dad. She has a deep love for pets. In the past, Dawn had raised and shown Dachshunds and Dande Dinmont Terriers. She has received several “Best in Show” ribbons.

Although my two brothers, Dale and Dell, are not actively involved in the business, they are generous with their help and support when needed.

As for myself, I live on premise. I assist my Dad with the daily operation and am responsible for the pet shipping department. I grew up in this business, love the pets and people, and plan to continue in this pet services business.

We hope you enjoyed your visit to our site. If you’ve never been to our facility, stop by for a visit. Our staff and family look forward to personally meeting you and your pet and being of service to you, our guests.

Daryl Gutknecht