“This is a place for dogs, where they get to be dogs,” said Courtney Sills, an employee of Island Park’s Hounds Town USA, before she ran out back to be greeted by a sea of assorted hounds, jumping on her and showering her in kisses.
This month, Hounds Town on Alabama Avenue in Island Park celebrates its one-year anniversary of providing mostly doggie daycare for owners who work or have school during the day but also overnight dog (and cat) boarding, grooming services and even a pet taxi service to residents across Island Park, Long Beach, Oceanside, Rockville Centre and additional surrounding neighborhoods.
“You don’t have to worry about your dog,” Sills said. “It’s like a party, they get to play all day long,” At Hounds Town, pups are not kept in kennels and they do not wear collars — “No collar, no rules,” she added. The dogs get the exercise they need via the spacious backyard where they interact with each other and run around. Sills said there are typically around 35 dogs being watched at one time, and that they even have their own little cliques.
“Every single time the owner drops their dog off, they get just as excited as when they pick them up,” laughed Sills, noting their door gets broken about twice a week from enthusiastic hounds.
Since Nov. 1, 2017, when Hounds Town held their grand opening, there have been over 5,000 check ins, according to owner Lauren Duffy. She used to bring her dog to the Farmingdale location before she opened the place up with the franchise.
“Our big thing is we’re always available, and family-oriented,” Duffy said, noting the close relationships her and her staff have with the owners. They pride themselves in not being “corporate-esque,” she said, calling Hounds Town similar to a “day camp for kids.
And when it comes to marketing, Duffy said customers were gathered through word of mouth, mainly from local dog parks. “It’s a personal touch,” she said, and added that their numbers are growing each month.
“From the very beginning, the employees at Hounds Town Island Park have always treated our dogs the way we do — as a part of the family,” Kara Donovan, parents to dogs Rudy and Sandy, said. “It’s clear that they truly love what they do and our dogs love them back!”
She said she and her husband enjoy dropping them off and are confident they are getting the appropriate amount of attention and more exercise than they would at their home.
“It’s such a sense of comfort to know they are in great hands while we are at work!”