Hound Around Resort to offer dog daycare and boarding in Cottage Grove
Anita Conrade was in marketing but wanted to make a change and do something completely different.
Her volunteer efforts with the Wags and Whiskers dog rescue organization unknowingly put her on that path.
While caring for other dogs Conrade realized Cottage Grove lacked a dog boarding facility. Now, Conrade and longtime partner Rick Perry are about to fill that gap by opening Hound Around Resort, the only dog daycare and boarding business in Cottage Grove.
Conrade said they conducted market research to decide whether Cottage Grove would be a lucrative location for their business. They considered renting but then purchased the former Orkin building at 8607 West Point Douglas Road. They've spent the past couple of months transforming the building in a plush place for pooches. They are still wrapping up their construction work and plans for when they start as they look ahead to Hound Around's opening day on Monday, March 4.
The facility includes sleep rooms with about 35 "suites" -- chain-link kennels wrapped in a privacy fabric -- with pillow-top beds in each kennel space and flat-screen TVs on the wall. Some dogs like a TV on in the background, Conrade said. Some of the spaces are large enough for two dogs. People with multiple dogs might like that option , she said.
Also in the building is a grooming room, where the staff will offer dog baths and nail trims, but not full luxury grooming services. Conrade is partnering with nearby La' Pooch pet salon on cross-marketing, she said.
A door off of Hound Around's indoor dog play area leads to an 11,000-square-foot open space behind the building. The outdoor play area is fenced-in and will include dog play equipment, an automatic tennis ball shooter and large cement culverts for dogs to run through. There will also be an area designated for small dogs.
"They're going to be free to come in and out as they please," Conrade said of the indoor-outdoor play arrangement.
Hound Around also offers something else that's becoming more common in the business: webcams. Four video cameras are installed in different parts of the facility and connected to the Hound Around website, so people could go to the site and watch their dog via the webcams.
"For some people, their dogs are like their kids," said Conrade, who has two dogs of her own and has fostered others through Wags and Whiskers.
Hound Around will be staffed by five full-time employees and a couple of part-time employees, including a veterinary technician. All staff are trained on animal CPR, Conrade said. There is a security system and the indoor play area is temperature controlled.
Conrade said she thinks she has found a good location. There isn't a similar facility in Cottage Grove, she said, and the proximity to Highway 61 and the Metro Transit park-and-ride lot could be a boon for the daycare side of the business. People may choose to leave their dog at Hound Around while they go to work in the Twin Cities, she said.
Conrade is using her marketing background to promote Hound Around in Cottage Grove, Woodbury and Hastings, where there are kennel facilities but none similar to Hound Around in services and proximity to a major commuter highway. She also created the website.
Any breed is allowed and dogs must be spayed or neutered and current on their shots. All dogs are required to go through a two-hour orientation, which is free but allows staff to see the dog's personality and how it reacts to other dogs. Daycare rates range from $4 per hour to $28 for a full day. Boarding ranges from $30 to $40 a day.
If you go
Hound Around Resort will mark its opening with two events. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is planned for noon on Friday, March 1. A grand opening celebration with drawings and doggie giveaways will be from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, March 3. For more information call 612-802-4168 or go to www.houndaroundresort.com.