FROM POOPER-SCOOPERS TO BUSINESS OWNERS, YOUNG ENTREPENEURS PURCHASE LOCAL DOGGIE DAYCARE FRANCHISE
Local small business proves a competitive force against corporate giants in the billion- dollar pet care industry.
Young entrepreneurs Jennifer Jung and Candice Vogel recently took the big leap from employees to business owners to seize opportunities in the booming pet care industry. Jennifer and Candice began as entry-level kennel workers at Long Island-based Hounds Town USA, a fully interactive doggie daycare and pet care franchise. Jennifer, a 26-year-old Long Islander and volunteer EMT with the Massapequa fire department; and Candice, 25, joined forces with Hounds Town customer Maria Gillen, who saw a great business opportunity.
“The emotional bond between our customers and their dogs made it clear to me that pet care is my passion,” says Jennifer. “Watching pit bulls play with poodles made me realize we have something unique here and I wanted to be part of something different.” Candice adds: “When the opportunity to purchase the franchise came I couldn't resist turning my passion into a career.”
Former customer Maria Gillen says: “I loved the concept when I heard about it. After bringing my dog to daycare as a customer and seeing how much she loved it, I was sold. You wouldn’t realize how vital doggie daycare is to working people, and now I now get to bring my dog to work with me.”
Hounds Town—one of Long Island’s first fully interactive doggie daycares—was founded in 2001 by Michael S. Gould, former Commanding Officer of the Nassau County Police Canine Unit and a military veteran. Michael brings 35 years of commercial canine experience to the private pet care industry. “Our honest and straightforward approach to pet care is a refreshing experience in an industry that is inundated with many so-called professionals that are inexperienced at best, and exploitive at worst,” says Michael.
As a small business, Hounds Town brings to the table a unique experience for animals and their humans. “We offer an expertise in caring for live animals that no corporate pet care facility can duplicate,” says Michael. “It is a perfect franchise model.”
Unlike most other pet care facilities in the nation, Hounds Town does not breed discriminate. Since 2001 Hounds Town USA has hosted almost 500,000 canine visitors at their three Suffolk County locations. Hounds Town is positioned to expand to Nassau County and Queens, and a fourth location in Nassau County is in development.
In addition to offering daycare, boarding, grooming, and training, Hounds Town also works with local shelters and rescue groups through its non-profit Hounds Town Charities to rehabilitate dogs deemed potentially dangerous and are at risk of being euthanized. Since taking over Hounds Town Farmingdale, Jen, Candice, and Maria have joined forces with local rescue groups Get-A-Bull, and several Siberian Husky rescues to offer discounted doggie daycare for those dogs waiting for their forever homes. They also organize toy drives and fundraisers for their local municipal shelters.
Jen, Candice, and Maria look forward to opening their second location in the near future and expanding their Hounds Town USA family!