For pets, Penrod Kennels is a day at the park

Katy Rodighiero romps with some of the guests at Milton-Freewater's Penrod Kennels.

Katy Rodighiero romps with some of the guests at Milton-Freewater's Penrod Kennels. Photo by Donna Lasater.


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Contact Penrod Kennels at 541-938-7633 or find them online here.


Katy Rodighiero walks among the kennels and dogs at Penrod.


Dogs race through a run at Penrod Kennels.

MILTON-FREEWATER — Penrod Kennels is a place where pets can go to be themselves.

Owned by Katy and Scott Rodighiero, Penrod is designed to pamper dogs (and cats) during their stay. Amid fields and orchards, it’s a quiet place for pets to kick back and relax.

“Here they just get to be a dog. They can let their hair down and be a dog,” said Katy Rodighiero.

Penrod, a family-owned business for about 40 years, was founded by Scott’s mother, Penny Rodighiero, in the 1970s. Penny began her career in animal care when she was overseas with her husband, Vern, who was in the U.S. Air Force. She started an on-base grooming service for pets of military personnel.

When the couple returned to Milton-Freewater, Penny continued the grooming business. Breeding several types of dogs — poodles and basenjis — came next, and she became involved in the dog show circuit. Penrod Kennels evolved from these interests.

In 1980 they built what’s known as the Big Building, said Katy Rodighiero. “Then it grew even more, and (Scott) moved back here from Seattle to help (Penny) manage and run it. Then we built this office building in 2003-2004. In 2006 I started working here,” she said.

Katy has always loved animals, and learned to groom dogs as a teenager while caring for her own pet.

The business continued to expand. “In 2008 we built the Third Building,” she said. The operators also rearranged the runs to free up more open space.

“Over the years the design has changed so it’s more efficient. We’ve fine-tuned the workings of the facility and we keep it very clean,” Rodighiero said.

“There are just three of us,” she said. Since the crew is small, they have to clean regularly.

The facility can accommodate 120 animals. With runs, two large luxury suites, two private dog park yards and an in-ground pool with a waterfall, it is designed to pamper pets during their stay. The runs are indoor/outdoor so dogs can dash back and forth as much as they want, all the time.

“Dogs need activities,” Rodighiero said. The kennel features a number of stimulating things dogs can watch or participate in. “Here they have plenty of activities and there’s interesting stuff going on,” she said.

The business recently expanded its offerings to include adventure hiking for dogs whose owners desire them to experience the outdoors. “After five miles, they are pretty tired out,” Rodighiero said.

“We had one dog that at home would chew through several rawhide bones, and here just barely chewed on one,” she said.

The staff becomes familiar with pets’ personalities during their stays. “We get to know our kids real well,” she said. Often, she can call a dog's name and that dog will go into its designated run.

Each dog knows its place, order and routine. “Dogs love the routine,” she said.

The kennel's staff caters its care to match pets' specific requirements. “We take care of puppies through geriatric, and dogs with special needs — like diabetic dogs needing insulin,” Rodighiero said. “Everyone here has been trained in pet care.”

Penrod's clients need their pets supervised for various lengths of time, Rodighiero said, from a few hours of doggie daycare to overnighters, weeklong stays or even longer. But one thing is constant: Families are always excited to come and “get their kids,” she said.

Karlene Ponti can be reached at 509-526-8324 or


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