With the Help of Local Dogs in Need, Hounds Town – Bergen Opens for Business
In just four short months, Hounds Town’s 7th location is open for business. After signing their franchise agreement in April, owners Steve and Anthony hit the ground running to meet the August opening date on their 8,000-square foot facility. “Their ability to get done what they accomplished in less than 90 days from lease signing is impressive,” says Hounds Town Founder and CEO Mike Gould.
Hounds Town stores can typically take up to one year to open from date of agreement signing to opening day. “This is a record breaker, especially considering the size of the facility, and it just demonstrates that if franchisees have the knowledge, the business, project management, and delegation skills, opening quickly is absolutely achievable,” says Mike. “They had their mind set on being open in August to provide services during one of the busiest months of the year for our business and they did it with no problem.”
As part of the required franchisee training program, the corporate team spent the 3 days before opening at Hounds Town – Bergen with the franchisees and their team, a continuation of the initial immersion training done at the corporate location in Ronkonkoma. To help aid the process, the franchisees brought in ten dogs from the Bergen County Animal Shelter to stay at the facility for several days. The dogs played a key role in helping the staff determine the flow of the facility and identify any challenges or problems with the facility before they opened to the public. The dogs also served as “helper” dogs for teaching temperament evaluations and learning about dog behavior.
For the dogs, this was an opportunity to get out of the shelter and play and interact. Each dog received a temperament evaluation from Gould and the corporate training team, which served as a teaching moment for the franchisees, and will provide the shelter with a more detailed understanding of each dog to aid in proper placement. The dogs also got the opportunity to interact with one another in a play group. Understanding the dogs’ temperament, personality, and energy level helps make the dogs more adoptable and helps the shelter determine the right homes in which to place the pups.
Getting the chance to play and interact was a wonderful experience for the dogs, as well as the staff. “Seeing these dogs interact and have fun was so heartwarming,” says Hounds Town USA President Jackie Bondanza. “The idea to incorporate the shelter dogs into the training program was a great one, and it’s a strategy we look forward to implementing for future franchisees as it lends itself perfectly to hands-on training and provides the dogs the chance to get out of the shelter for a weekend and get some much-needed play time.”
The dogs finished the weekend with a complimentary spa bath! “We look forward to working closely with shelters and rescues in our local community to provide these opportunities to dogs in need,” says owner Steve Garibell. “We feel giving back and providing a platform for dogs in need is part of our responsibility as pet care professionals.”