Twin cities airport becomes pet-friendly

.MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Travelers returning home to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport at night won’t have to wait another day to see the pets they left behind under a plan approved by Metropolitan Airports Commission.

The commission will soon start taking bids on a proposed 24-hour pet day care, boarding kennel and grooming facility at the airport. The plan was approved last week.

Under the plan, travelers would be able to drop off their cats or dogs at the 24-hour facility and take a shuttle to the terminal. Likewise, travelers can pick up their pets at any time.

“Other kennel facilities are only open certain hours of the day,” said MAC spokesman Patrick Hogan. “If your flight gets in at 7 or 8 p.m., you would sometimes have to board your pets an extra day just because of the hours.”

The commission will take bids on the project through the first week of December. Officials hope to rent out the space by March.

The pet boarding vendor that’s chosen would pay about $48,000 annually to lease the airport space, and an estimated $1 million to renovate the facility into a luxury pet hotel. A portion of the profits would go to the airports commission.

Hogan said Americans spend $38 billion annually on their pets, so it’s not surprising the traveling public would pay for convenient kenneling.