A dog day care and boarding facility called Flo + Friends has opened in Slater approximately March 11. Molly Onken, the founder of Flo + Friends, said the idea for the business not only came from a life-long history of owning dogs, but from her experience moving from city life in Baltimore back to Iowa.
As she started a career as a hair stylist in Baltimore, and had recently adopted her puppy, Flo, Onken said she began to realize the crazy hours she would work.
“I really started to realize how important it was to have child care for your pet,” she said. “I went on this absolute hunt for a long line of dog walkers.”
Onken said finding someone to take care of her dog was difficult because she wanted the caretaker to love her dog like she does. Instead, she took Flo with her to the salon every day and eventually found a doggie day care 30 minutes outside of the city.
When she moved to Des Moines, she said she realized that the ability to bring your pet anywhere — as she experienced on the east coast — did not exist.
That realization took her to real estate websites, where she found the space that she currently owns.
“You know what? Here it goes. I’m going to make this happen,” she said about seeing the listing.
Now her facility has 600 square feet of fenced, outside area for dogs to play in. The inside of the facility features a large indoor play area and eight to 10 kennels that are currently being built.
“I’m going to use this beautiful building as a doggy day care and boarding building,” Onken said.
Onken said she is most excited for her business because of the local people she will help with their day-to-day needs.
“I thought — what a cool way to share this with all these people — where they want to take their dogs,” she said. “They are just trying to make a living and work every day. I want to give people what I looked for, for so long.”
“I want people to feel comfortable about coming (here),” she said.
To contact Molly about day care, boarding or with any questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 515-473-4357. Flo + Friends is located at 52480 Hwy. 210, between Hwy. 69 and Slater.