On Saturday, August 17, Hounds Town – Bergen worked with the Bergen County Animal Shelter for Clear the Shelters Day. The increasingly popular event—now in its fifth year–is a nationwide initiative to encourage pet adoption for the more than 6 million animals that end up in shelters each year. Adoption fees are waived, and more than 2,000 rescues participated in the NBC- and Telemundo-sponsored event. Boasting record-breaking adoption numbers this year, more than 12,000 dogs, cats, and even roosters were rescued on Clear the Shelters day. More than 1,200 of these adoptions were in the tri-state area alone. Hounds Town – Bergen franchisee owners spoke with NBC’s Sarah Wallace on the big day.
Dog Day Care Franchise Helps Out
It was in May that Hounds Town – Bergen opened its doors to a unique trio of abandoned beagles nicknamed Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. When the pack was first brought into the Bergen County Animal Shelter and Adoption Center by the Woodcliff Lake Police, they did not know how to socialize. There was speculation that the dogs had never even been indoors before. Franchisee owner Steve Garibell knew his team could help. “We had groups of [shelter] dogs stay with us for a few weekends so our team could train them,” he says. “While this was a great way for our team to learn, we discovered it was extremely beneficial for the dogs too. So, we started working with the shelter weekly to identify dogs that either needed some socialization skills or were too stressed to be living in the shelter.
Training Saves Lives
Anna, Elsa, and Olaf began boarding at Hounds Town – Bergen. “After being assessed by the shelter, we decided that some time at Hounds Town would be perfect for them.” The beagles learned basic socialization skills, responded well to crate training, and discovered how to approach people without getting scared. “The most important thing they learned though was just how much love they have to give,” says Garibell. As Clear the Shelters Day approached, the dog franchise geared up for what they hoped would be a successful event. “To prepare for the big day, we helped the dogs socialize and de-stress,” says Garibell. “It allowed them to have better meet and greets with potential adopters.”
Many of the dogs trained by the Hounds Town – Bergen team were successfully adopted that day including Krypto, Derek, Rocco, Nina, and of course the once-terrified Beagle trio. Hounds Town President Jackie Bondanza said, “We were thrilled to hear that Anna, Elsa, and Olaf found their furever homes. Steve and Anthony gave these pups a second chance at life.”
A Relationship with Surprising Benefits
Garibell believes they have “a responsibility as business owners to give back to the community.” Giving back has also resulted in a host of unexpected benefits for the popular dog daycare franchise. He attributes this to the surprisingly synergistic relationship Hounds Town USA has with local rescues. “Our relationship with the shelter began when we opened,” he says. “Many of the adoptions that are placed end up becoming Hounds Town customers. The shelter and rescues we work with have become our top referral sources for new customers. It’s a win-win for everyone.”
Your Franchise Can Help!
Besides training and socialization for adoptable rescue dogs, Hounds Town – Bergen sometimes finds homes for the shelter dogs within their own client base. “We were lucky enough to have two of our customers adopt dogs,” Garibell says of Clear the Shelters Day. “The best part is when we get to see the dogs come back as customers, and we can see just how much they love their new home.”
Garibell offers this advice to franchisees, “Partner with local shelters and rescues . . . they are trying to save animals, have limited resources, and the relationship will be mutually beneficial for both.” He believes it’s particularly important for new franchisees. “Helping these dogs help keeps your staff trained on their skills and gives a dog another chance at having an amazing life.”