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our team

Kim Hessel is the owner of Room To Run Boarding Kennel. Since purchasing in 2005, Kim has expanded the existing space not by adding more runs, but by adding more yards for the dogs while they’re here. Kim has four daily part-time staff members, most of whom have been with her for at least six years.


Each person involved in daily care of the animals is well experienced in basic dog training and recognizing signs of sickness in animals, and fully understands we are responsible for the physical and emotional welfare of the animals while they are in our care. Each staff member brings their unique caring and compassion to work with them every day. And the kennel is never left unattended.

what makes us incredible...

Room To Run shares its space with the rescue cats and dogs of Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue. Operating in the High River and Foothills County since 1999, thousands of dogs and cats have been vetted, socialized, retrained and ultimately rehomed through Heaven Can Wait. Until such time as a permanent home can be found, the rescue cats and dogs call Room To Run their home.


All rescue animals are spayed/neutered, have full inoculations including parvo/distemper, rabies and bordetella, and have been parasite treated. The boarding dogs of Room To Run and the revenue we earn by caring for them is what keeps Heaven Can Wait, the charity, going. Without the trust and confidence of our boarding clients, our local animals in need wouldn’t have a safe, loving environment in which to live until their forever home is found. 

Kim always jokes about buying a new truck, but we all know that won’t happen! There are more important things to spend money on, and it always comes back to the animals.


Whether boarding dogs or rescued animals, and they have loving owners or not, our empathy and compassion goes out to all animals. Thank you for helping us to continue our work with abandoned, abused and homeless animals by trusting us with the care of your family pet. 


The rescue work aside, it is our collective personal belief that in addition to the basics of good food, clean water and excellent exercise, animals need kindness, awareness, patience and daily leadership to live their fullest lives. 

a message from kim

“As primary caregiver of your animal, I’d like to introduce myself. Although I’ve always had animals in my life, it wasn’t until 1999 that I began to work with them full time. In the spring of that year, I founded Heaven Can Wait Animal Rescue, a foundation committed to helping abandoned, abused and homeless animals within High River and the surrounding communities.


As a result of many active years doing animal rescue, I have built solid relationships with numerous veterinarians both locally and in the city, seen every possible kind of injury and health issue, and learned by experience to listen to what an animal is trying to tell me and pay attention to my instinct when it comes to their health and emotional needs. 


There is also the reality of caring for many animals in an environment such as ours. Cleaning and disinfecting routines are firmly in place, and it’s absolutely essential to their health and ours that our kennel be clean, safe, well maintained, and as peaceful as possible for its canine, feline and human inhabitants.


The boarding dogs of Room To Run, and the rescue animals of Heaven Can Wait, support each other. The revenue we earn caring for our boarding dogs at Room To Run literally supports the homeless animals of Heaven Can Wait. And without the years of experience caring for our Heaven Can Wait animals, I wouldn’t have the same level of knowledge and competency that I do now to offer the highest standard of daily care for our boarding dogs.

Our Philosophy


Room To Run is one of the few kennel operations that doesn’t have a breeding facility attached to it. We only take animals who have been spayed/neutered. In fact, we heavily believe in the importance of you reducing animal overpopulation issues by altering your pets and not contributing to the abundance of unwanted, abandoned animals who already exist and flood humane societies and other shelters

The right kennel makes the difference...

Choosing a kennel is an important decision. My best recommendation is to do your research! It is in your animal’s best interest to physically tour the facility and ask plenty of questions. The kennel should be clean, the animals should look happy, and the staff should be able to answer all your questions with intelligence and honesty. Your dog should be welcome to visit with you. It helps to know what your expectations are, too. If you have a high-energy dog, will they receive enough exercise? If they’re a friendly dog, will they be able to socialize with other dogs? If they’re not so friendly, can they still get good human socializing and exercise? And if they’re an old soul, can they get the medications, rest and quiet they need?


Animals have been such an important part of my life. It’s not just about giving them food and water. It’s about engaging with them, learning what makes them tick, doing what we can to make them feel safe, and being good leaders to them while they’re here. The difference is really caring about each animal as an individual and making sure their needs are met.”

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