Hounds Town USA is rolling out the “welcome waggin’” this week, as we say hello to our two newest doggie daycare Franchise Owners, Michael and Michelle Hurley! The Hurleys will be opening their Pittsburgh, PA location in several months, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome them to the Hounds Town family!
Michael is no stranger to the exciting world of business ownership, having owned and operated a successful chiropractic practice for over 20 years, as well as being the owner and operator of a local gym. His wife of 28 years, Michelle, has also found a great deal of career success as a registered nurse for nearly three decades. However, the couple decided that now would be a good time to start looking into a franchise opportunity that was as emotionally rewarding as it was potentially profitable. His first encounter with the Hounds Town USA pet care franchise opportunity came while he and his wife and business partner Michelle, were on a return flight from a drag racing tournament, when he spotted a Hounds Town franchise advertisement in an in-flight magazine. Though it seemed like an intriguing possibility, the Hurleys didn’t initially consider the Hounds Town opportunity as something they could legitimately see themselves doing. “I was interested but didn’t pursue it,” Michael remembers. “I hadn’t found anything that seemed to fit.”
However, the Hounds Town name resurfaced again a short time later, when the couple enlisted the services of franchise broker Luis Fuentes. “(Luis) threw about five franchises at us to see if something stuck, and then he mentioned Hounds Town USA, and I said ‘Absolutely,’” recalls Michael, adding, “The moment I decided that we should definitely do this is when my wife said, ‘This is a REALLY great idea!”
As owners of a two-year-old American bulldog named Buster, the Hurleys were especially drawn to Hounds Town USA’s inclusive policies- something that was not present in all doggie daycare franchise opportunities in the industry. “They don’t discriminate against bully breeds- that’s a big thing,” Michael says. Upon the realization that Buster, who suffers from special breed-related needs, including skin allergies, may not be accepted as a client at other doggie daycare facilities in their neighborhood, Michael and Michelle became even more committed to bringing a Hounds Town USA franchise to their community.
Though the Hurleys have enjoyed decades of success in their respective careers, they look forward to owning a doggie daycare franchise, mainly because of the built-in enjoyment that goes along with it. Healthcare has really been bringing me down,” Michael admits. “It’s difficult dealing with insurance companies. But people love their dogs. It’s going to be something enjoyable where people are going to be happy.”
The couple has fond memories of meeting Hounds Town USA Founder Mike Gould, along with President Jackie Bondanza and the rest of the corporate support team, at their Discovery Day in New York. “Mike reminds me of myself!” exclaims Michael excitedly. “He’s a friendly guy- upfront, wears his emotion on his sleeve.” In addition to his extensive experience working with dogs, the Hurleys were impressed by the level of availability Mike showed to the rest of his team, and how highly involved he continues to be in the day-to-day operations of his business. “He’s the one you deal with,” notes Michael. “When we were in our meeting with him, he had to step out because he was getting phone calls from franchisees.” This dedication and attention to Franchise Owners was a major selling point for the couple.
Mike Gould’s down-to-earth persona, in addition to Jackie’s friendliness and knowledge of the business and the pet care industry at large, was a big draw for the Hurleys, and they immediately clicked with the Hounds Town corporate team. In fact, the best advice Michael can give to prospective Hounds Town USA Franchise Owners is, “Go meet Mike and Jackie! At that point you’ll know if it’s going to be right for you.” He compares Mike Gould’s approach to awarding franchises with his own approach to recruiting customers for his fitness center. “You either like it or don’t like it. It’s what I do for my gym. It’s not a big-box gym, but I say, ‘this is what it is,’ and people either join or they don’t join.”
The Hurleys view the Hounds Town opportunity as an ideal stepping stone between working full-time and retirement, since neither of them are ready to stop working altogether. “We’re getting older, we’re not old yet!” Michael exclaims. As part of their not-quite-retirement plan, he and Michelle see themselves as owners of multiple Hounds Town doggie daycare franchise locations in the not-too-distant future. “Eventually we’d like to get a couple more Hounds Town USA locations and just manage them, and not have to work five days a week and everything,” he explains. Since a number of our Franchise Owners do just that, we think the Hurleys have a pretty good chance of achieving this goal!
Michael and Michelle can’t wait for the grand opening of their Pittsburgh Hounds Town USA doggie daycare franchise, and especially look forward to the happiness their four-legged clients will generate when they arrive for the first time. “Just the excitement when the dogs start coming in,” Michael says, visualizing his upcoming grand opening. This happy atmosphere, he says, will be a welcome departure from his current practice, which caters almost exclusively to people who are suffering from pain and discomfort. “When people come into my chiropractic office, they’re in pain,” he explains. “Here, there’s going to be happiness from Day One. The happiness when they drop them off and then the happiness of seeing the dogs, and the dogs seeing them, when they pick them up. It’s going to be great!”
Michael and Michelle were able to take their passion for dogs and desire for a happy, fun career in a welcoming environment and turn it into a reality by becoming Franchise Owners with Hounds Town USA. As we’ve mentioned, Pittsburgh and other cities in Pennsylvania are some of the areas we are most interested in opening new pet care franchise locations, but we’re also on the lookout for quality Franchise Owners in a number of other cities across America. If you’re ready to emBARK (see what we did there?) on a highly rewarding career move with a great deal of potential for high profitability, check out our website to learn more about the Hounds Town USA opportunity.