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ORION, Illinois – The barking for joy is about to begin as area dogs soon will have a new home away from home when the Red Ruff Inn opens for business. The new dog boarding kennel, located a few miles outside Orion at 8328 162nd Ave., is almost ready to board dogs. It is now in the midst of opening ceremonies and final details before the dogs start arriving in a couple of days. A Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the Red Ruff Inn on Thursday afternoon, March 16. The public is invited to an open house from 1-4 p.m., Saturday, March 18, and the business will be ready for its dog clients on Monday, March 20. “This started with my husband when I said ‘Honey, come walk with me. I have an idea,’” said Angie Edmondson, the owner and sole employee of the Red Ruff Inn. That idea began more than a year ago when Ms. Edmondson – a health care professional who experienced some of the dark days of the pandemic – said that tough experience taught her that: “Life is short. … I deserve to do something that brings me joy.” And that joy centers on caring for dogs. It appears many people have that same joy. Ms. Edmondson said that part of her decision to open a dog kennel came after discussions with friends in the pet care and veterinary fields. Those friends told her that during the pandemic, local animal shelters adopted out twice as many dogs to people compared to the few years before COVID-19. When the pandemic ended, many of those people who were working from home had to return to work (or return to traveling for work) and needed a place to board their new pets. Last year, she started a Facebook page for Red Ruff Inn as a way to announce the business was in the works. And when the word got out, the telephone calls started. “I had a lot of interest, lots of phone calls last year. But I had nothing. I just had a Facebook page. … It’s a booming market and there’s not a lot of (dog boarding) options,” Ms. Edmondson added. Some of the features to the new dog-centered facility include:
- 22 kennels. The new business will likely house more than 22 dogs because some owners will want their pets housed in the same kennel.
- A play room for the dogs. That room is decorated with photos of dogs and a large wall sign stating: “What A Good Dog.”
- Outdoor play and running space for the dogs.
- The rates are: $30 a day for one dog; $55 a day for two days; and $75 a day for three dogs.
- The kennel is located in a former ag building that has been enlarged and remodeled that sits on the five-acre Edmondson family property.
- Currently, the business has one employee – Ms. Edmondson, with a lot of help from family members. It's possible more employees will be added in the future. “Right now, I’m a party of one,” she added.
- The Red Ruff Inn hours are 8-11 a.m. and 3-5:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 8-11 a.m. Saturdays. It can be reached at (309) 738-4130 or email firstname.lastname@example.org