Orlando Pride midfielder/defender/forward Kristen Edmonds has big plans for the offseason.
Those plans have little to do with soccer.
Edmonds will keep busy this offseason working with pets. Not just her own 18-month-old pit mix, Jersey, but the pets of anyone interested in having a professional soccer player walk their dog or keep an eye on their cat.
On Sept. 1, Edmonds launched P.U.P.S (short for “Pets Under People’s Supervision”) to give people around Central Florida an option for who watches their pet (or pets) while they seek some time away. It’s a situation Edmonds is familiar with, considering how often she travels with the Pride.
“I kind of struggled, finding help to watch [Jersey],” Edmonds said. “Thankfully, my teammates would help out, the ones that weren’t traveling, or family friends would help out. But they’re not always available and you can’t always rely on people just to take their time out of their day to watch your dog because it’s like having a child, essentially. They need attention and they take up a lot of your time.”
Edmonds, 31, has experience handling multiple dogs at once. She fostered Jersey while at the same time taking care of three of Jersey’s siblings. She calls herself a “foster fail,” a common phrase for a person who falls in love with a pet that’s only supposed to be in a home temporarily.
Edmonds said P.U.P.S is an idea that’s been in her head since her first season with the Orlando Pride in 2016. She was shocked to find there weren’t many options for pet setting in the greater Orlando area when she arrived after being traded from the Western New York Flash.
“The first season, I was like, ‘I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it,’” Edmonds said. “Last season, I kind of got the ball rolling. I got my LLC, but I kind of wanted to wait until I had everything figured out to do it the right way. It just started it this past weekend and I’ve already got some business.
“A lot of people are excited for me to start it. I have a couple of clients already, which is awesome. I just am excited to be around animals. Obviously, I love soccer and that’s what I come out every day and it’s my job, but I just love doing it. Animals are another thing that I just love to be around, so it’s not really work for me.”
Right now, the business is just Edmonds. She’s planning on hiring employees if she builds a strong client base heading into the 2019 season, but she’s going to devote time building her new company after the Pride’s final match of the season this weekend against Sky Blue FC.
“Obviously, I’ll be training on my own to get ready for next season, but I’m going to take a little bit of time to let my body and mind recover after this season, and then I’ll start training,” she said. “P.U.P.S is going to be my No. 1 for the offseason.”