The Prairie View Animal Hospital, located in Grimes, is preparing for a Paws on the Prairie Pet Fair on Saturday, March 22 from 3-5 p.m.

Prairie View Animal Hospital is a full-service veterinary medical and surgical center for small animals serving the northwest Des Moines area including Grimes, Johnston, Urbandale, and the surrounding communities. The animal hospital opened just four months ago and is owned and operated by Dr. Lisa Thilges and husband, David.

Prairie View was interested in holding an open house, but decided to make the event more about the community by hosting the Paws on the Prairie Pet Fair instead.

"We were looking to have an open house but we wanted it to be more community oriented and for kids and families," David said.

The animal extravaganza will be fun and educational for the entire family. Door prizes include a $500 credit to Prairie View Animal Hospital as well as a new bike awarded to the winner of the coloring contest. Other activities include a bounce house, agility demonstrations, balloon artists and other stations for the kids, like dressing up in surgery scrubs while listening to heartbeats and bandaging animals.

The event will be educational as well with experts on hand to inform pet fair attendees. The Polk County K-9 Unit will give a presentation while the Animal Rescue League of Iowa and others will be discussing pet care. For safety reasons, no pets will allowed at the event.

Since opening in November, Prairie View Animal Hospital has had a lot of support and well wishes from the Grimes community.

"Everybody has been very welcoming and our clients have been fantastic," commented Lisa. "The business community here has been very warm and welcoming. They have been very supportive."

Lisa and Dave met while students at Iowa State University in Ames. After graduation, the couple moved to a suburb of Chicago before relocating to Grimes. The Thilges’ have two children and moved to central Iowa to be closer to family.

While in veterinary school in Ames, Lisa spent a summer in Spain working at a zoo and also has worked closely with the Feral Cat Alliance, Feline Club, and Behavior Club. She has a passion for orthopedic surgery and has experience repairing animal anterior cruciate ligaments (ACLs). She is also interested in pain management, particularly pain associated with arthritis and cancer.

"We’re a full-service veterinary animal hospital," said Lisa. "We also do orthopedic surgeries. My big interest is ACL repairs. ACL injuries are really common in dogs. It is the second most common cause of limping in dogs. When springtime comes around, dogs have been inside all winter, they go out and play ball and tear their ACL."

Prairie View Animal Hospital is outfitted with state-of-the-art equipment, including an on-site lab that can provide results in just 10 minutes. Prairie View provides a broad range of services for pets, including wellness and vaccine visits, parasite prevention and testing, diagnostics, orthopedic and soft-tissue surgeries, hospitalization, and medical treatments.