FORT STEWART, Ga. - Fort Stewart opened a new pet boarding facility June 27 next to the outdoor recreation equipment checkout facility at Holbrook Pond.

This state-of-the-art, air conditioned facility holds up to 24 dogs and 12 cats. It was created with the pet's comfort in mind, dogs will be let out twice a day to play and there is a separate play area equipped with a special climbing structure for cats.

Dogs will be given a complimentary bath during their stay and additional baths are offered for $2.50 per pet. A groomer will be on site two days a week and will offer a wide variety of services.

Valid DoD identification cardholders are permitted to use the pet boarding facility and appointments are currently being taken on a first come-first serve basis. The cost is $15 per day for dogs and $12.50 per day for cats. Advanced reservations are required. Pets must be older than 16 weeks in order to be admitted to the boarding facility, provided they have received all of their vaccinations at least 10-14 days prior to admission.

After one year of planning and construction, the dream of a pet boarding facility on Fort Stewart has finally become a reality. The facility, funded by MWR, was a community initiative and was constructed in response to the needs expressed by the Soldiers and Families.

"The Pet Boarding Facility will greatly enhance the quality of life for the Soldiers and Families stationed at Fort Stewart by providing them with a quality facility to temporarily house their pets during vacations and TDY travel," said Susan Chipple, MWR Outdoor Recreation and Leisure Activities Director. "This facility will also provide educational opportunities for Soldiers and Families in pet care, pet obedience classes, and grooming services."

The pet boarding facility hours of operation are as follows, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday; 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 6 Friday; and 9 a.m. to noon Saturday. For more information, call 435-8205.