Hounds Town is Headed to North Carolina with Kristi Bennett & Aric Allen!

If you ask anyone on our team what our ultimate goal is, they’ll tell you it’s for every dog in the country to be within distance of their own Hounds Town USA! In order to achieve this, we need to welcome more like-minded and motivated Franchise Owners to our pack – and that’s exactly what we found in the latest pair to join our franchise system. Coming to us from the Raleigh, North Carolina area, Kristi Bennett and Aric Allen are two individuals who were lucky enough to find success and fulfillment in their 9-5 jobs but were still missing something that could help them retire and build wealth for themselves.

Join us as we get to know our newest Franchise Owner couple and hear all about how they found Hounds Town and why they chose our business model over other doggy daycares in the market!


Welcome Kristi Bennett & Aric Allen, Our Newest North Carolina Owners!

Finding Success in Their Existing Careers

Our newest Franchise Owners join us like many of those in our pack – with sales and management backgrounds outside the pet industry. Kristi brings an extensive background in real estate, specifically in new home sales, where her knowledge and dedication to exceeding client expectations earned her a reputation as a trusted and successful professional in her area. Before this, Kristi spent much of her early career years in the hotel industry, working through a variety of roles across a few high-end, 5-star resorts. 

Aric, a veteran of the U.S. Navy, has continued his career in civil service as a Federal Civilian, now working as an intelligence professional within the Department of Defense (DoD), supporting various special operations worldwide. In his combined time with the Navy and the DoD, Aric has served the nation on seven deployments totaling three years overseas in the most challenging operational environments. Throughout his career, Aric developed excellent leadership and team-building skills, in addition to an ability to remain calm during very demanding and high-stress situations.

Hounds Town - Kristi Bennett and Aric Allen - Raleigh, NC

What Motivated Them Into Entrepreneurship & Franchising

As the couple progressed through their careers side-by-side, they recognized how complementary their strengths were and began to talk about what their next move should be. While Kristi and Aric often had the idea of becoming business owners, they typically found themselves never acting on the concepts they would discuss. After sitting back and watching others open up many of the business models they had toyed with, they finally decided it was their turn, even if they already found fulfillment in their 9-5 roles.

“Both of our jobs are very demanding, and we were originally looking for an exit strategy that would allow us to open a business later in life and have [the] income to be able to retire from our current jobs. Once we started investigating different businesses, we decided we didn’t need to wait until closer to retirement to open a business. We both agreed that we wanted to open a franchise. We did not want to reinvent the wheel, and we knew that a franchise opportunity would allow us to focus on the business aspects and not come up with the concept.”

By chance, after Kristi became burned out, quit her job, and took a few months off to rediscover herself several years ago, the pair learned about the benefits of franchising through a free class at a local community college. From there, Kristi researched the different types of franchises that could be most profitable in their area, but all roads continued to lead back to the same place: Hounds Town USA.

Choosing Franchising & Finding Hounds Town

When the couple first discovered our model, the pair quickly learned through chatting with our team that they didn’t yet meet the financial requirements to open their own franchise. While the pair tabled the idea at the time and Kristi returned to work, both agreed to keep franchising at the forefront of their mind. Finally, in 2022, Aric and Kristi began looking into franchise business opportunities again, restarting their search with car washes until they remembered their experience with Hounds Town. They confirmed that they met all the requirements and quickly reached back out to restart the process!

“We really didn’t look into any other dog boarding franchises because we were fairly familiar with some of them, and we really liked the concept and story of Hounds Town. We also thought the initial investment was reasonable compared to other competitors.”

As Aric and Kristi progressed through our franchise process and learned more in-depth information about the Hounds Town business model, they fell for the fact that our doggy daycare locations don’t breed discriminate and create a safe space for all dogs to be included in the fun! Additionally, as dog parents themselves, the pair appreciated the all-inclusive approach that allowed dog owners to not worry about extra fees for medication times, pictures, and group playtime.

Their Personal Life & Dogs at Home

Outside of their fulfilling careers and busy lives as new doggy daycare Franchise Owners, Kristi and Aric are active dog parents with their 4-year-old Basset Hound, Lola. While Aric spends much of his free time golfing, hunting for rare bourbons, and participating in his hobby pyrotechnics group, Kristi loves listening to her extensive vinyl collection when she can’t see live music. Together, the couple adventures around North Carolina, hiking, kayaking, and paddleboarding when they aren’t entertaining friends, family, or their dog!

“We rescued Lola from a shelter in Louisiana a few years ago after losing our 14-year-old Chocolate Lab, Maverick. Last May, we also lost our Bloodhound, Huckleberry, to cancer. Huckleberry was our first hound dog and the one that was responsible for us falling in love with hound ears! For the first time ever, we are a one-dog family. Lola is enjoying all the attention, and in true Basset hound fashion, she is very vocal and dramatic.”

Hounds Town USA - Raleigh, North Carolina

Kristi & Aric’s Franchise Journey in Their Words!

While the newest pair of Owners to join our franchise system are busy preparing to introduce Hounds Town to the dogs (and their humans) in their community, Kristi and Aric still made time to sit down with our team to chat about their experience. Check out this peek into our Q&A session to learn more about what brought the couple to Hounds Town, why they chose to move forward with joining our Franchisee pack, and how they’re most looking forward to their new future as business owners!

What drew you to Hounds Town in the first place, and why do you feel the model is the right fit for you?

Kristi Bennett: “To be honest, we loved the name! We had a Bloodhound, and we just loved the Hounds Town name and their whole concept. We loved the story of Mike and his knowledge of dog behavior, [as well as] the all-inclusive type of approach. Honestly, we were really annoyed with boarding our dogs and having to pay for all kinds of add-ons like pictures and medications; we felt like we were being nickeled and dimed to death! We also love that there is a woman CEO (Jackie Bondanza). We wanted to invest our hard-earned money into a franchise that aligned with our personalities and lifestyles.”

Was there an aha moment that made you want to become a Franchise Owner?

K: “Meeting Mike and Jackie in Denver and the rest of the Hounds Town team. They are all wonderful, and seeing Mike interact with the dogs and sharing his knowledge and dog philosophy was very impressive. We felt very at ease when interacting with everyone, and we just felt like this was a place that we fit in. Aric and I both looked at each other while we were at our Approval Day and said, ‘These are our people!’”

What are you most looking forward to about owning a Hounds Town doggy daycare?

K: “Freedom. Not immediately, but eventually, we are looking forward to freedom. I have spent my entire life working weekends, and Aric works Monday through Friday. We are looking forward to someday (not anytime soon) being able to have some time off together or at least spend time together working!

Another big reason we wanted to open a business is to be a part of our community and be able to give back to our local community. I have been involved in several animal rescues and spent a lot of time volunteering in my life and I am personally looking forward to partnering with rescues and being able to offer a place to help socialize dogs and foster dogs.”

Regardless of how many new territories we award to our franchise system, we never lose the excitement of introducing the newest Owners to join the Hounds Town pack! If you’re like Kristi and Aric and you’re tired of sitting on the sidelines while others follow their entrepreneurial dreams, there’s nothing keeping you from starting the franchise process with Hounds Town doggy daycare. Prime territories are still available across the country, so take the first step today by taking our quick, 1-minute quiz to see if you qualify.