bannerFranchisor Stories

JDog Junk Removal & Hauling Signs 50-Plus Military Veteran Franchisees in First Half of 2021

By tailoring its franchise opportunity directly to the skills, needs and values of former military members, the junk hauling franchise has become one of the most popular investments for veterans.

Veteran-focused franchise JDog Junk Removal & Hauling has already seen tremendous growth in 2021, and the year is only half over. By the end of Q2, JDog had signed over 50  new franchise agreements. The brand continues its mission to reduce veteran unemployment across the country by establishing a franchise in every U.S. zip code. 

For America’s 19 million military veterans, the transition to civilian life can be challenging, especially when it comes to work. (The unemployment rate among veterans rose to a whopping 6.5% in 2020.) It’s not hard to see why veterans have difficulty transitioning into the corporate world. The military enforces a unique, hierarchical chain of command that bears little resemblance to most modern work environments, and many veterans, particularly those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorders, find it difficult to relate on a personal or professional level to their civilian coworkers. 

“When veterans come back from the military, they are often thrown into a world that just doesn’t comport with their talents,” said Kellie O’Brien, Marketing Director at JDog Brands. “They feel misunderstood and alienated.”

A Business Founded By Veterans, For Veterans

Jerry Flanagan, JDog’s co-founder and a veteran himself, designed his company specifically to provide lucrative work opportunities that align with the skills, needs and values of veterans.

Jerry and his wife, Tracy Flanagan, established JDog 10 years ago after filing for bankruptcy during the Great Recession. Flanagan needed a way to provide for his family, so he started hauling junk for his local community. Customers quickly came to appreciate Flanagan’s diligent work ethic and reliability, and it wasn’t long before he realized his military background gave JDog a distinct advantage over his competition. 

“I was looking for work, and I didn’t want to get burned by another economic downturn, so I googled ‘recession-proof industries,’ and waste management was one of the results,” Flanagan explained. “I had a Jeep and a trailer, so I figured junk removal was something I could get into pretty easily.”

Soon, Flanagan met a customer who gave him the idea to turn JDog into an explicitly veteran-oriented business. “She asked how I’m so good at what I do, and I said it was probably because of my background in the Army. The military doesn’t tolerate corner-cutting or ‘just-good-enough’ work,” Flanagan explained. “He said I should use that in my marketing, so I put ‘veteran owned’ on the truck, and things kind of took off from there.”

JDog’s veteran focus quickly extended well beyond branding. As the company grew, Flanagan began hiring veterans, and he soon realized he had an opportunity to make a marked impact on the veteran unemployment rate. 

That’s when the Flanagans turned to franchising.

How JDog is Reducing the Veteran Unemployment Rate Through Franchising

“We knew that if we really wanted to grow, and if we really wanted to reduce veteran unemployment, we needed to give veterans the opportunity to open their own JDogs around the country,” Flanagan said. 

JDog launched its franchise opportunity in 2012 and quickly became one of the most popular franchise investments among veterans.  As of today, the brand has over 230 franchise locations across the United States, an impressive feat for any franchise organization, especially for one exclusive to veterans and military family members.

“We thrived during the pandemic,” O’Brien said. “People were spending more time at home than ever before. They were making new use of their spaces, and that entailed getting rid of a lot of junk.”

The brand’s success throughout the COVID-19 crisis may explain why so many new franchisees have signed on with the brand in the first half of 2021, but O’Brien says she doesn’t expect that interest to slow down anytime soon.

“Everytime we reach a new milestone, whether it’s in terms of sales or brand awareness or anything else, it just adds to the momentum that we’ve built since day one,” she said. “This has been a big year for us in terms of franchise growth, but we really see it as just the beginning. Our name is out there now. We are a sought-after investment in the veteran community as well as the franchise community, and we’ve got a lot of whitespace to take advantage of.”

Streamlined Operations and Flexible Hours Give JDog an Edge in the Franchise World

One of the reasons JDog has become a hot commodity in the franchise industry, and not just among veterans, is because the brand has developed a streamlined and low-cost operational model that gives franchisees the freedom to set their own hours and maintain their preferred work-life balance. 

The business is exclusively service-based, requiring no brick-and-mortar space and minimal overhead costs. “The majority of our owners start  the business out of their driveway,” O’Brien explained. The brand offers comprehensive training and ongoing franchisee support from its corporate office, and most new owners open their business in as little as six to eight weeks after signing the franchise agreement.

“We chose JDog mainly because we could work with other veterans,” said owner of JDog Junk Removal & Hauling in Green Bay and Fox Valley.  “If you are working with another JDog owner, then you are always working with a veteran. After working in the corporate world, it is refreshing to work in a business that has a sense of urgency and attention to detail.” 

That ease of operations allows JDog to work with franchise owners from virtually any military background, so long as they demonstrate an alignment with JDog’s core values of respect, integrity and trust. In the second half of 2021, JDog is actively seeking qualified franchisees to open franchise territories in markets across the country, starting with Cincinnati, Louisville and Atlanta.

“The beauty of this proven business model and streamlined operating systems is that it requires no specialized skills or knowledge, but at the same time, it is designed to elevate the strengths of veterans and make the most of their talents,” O’Brien said. “So much of being in the military is about following a process, and with JDog, we’ve built a process veterans can take and turn into a thriving business.”

The cost to open a JDog Junk Removal & Hauling ranges from $30k-$110k, but generally that investment is $85k including a $35k franchise fee. For more information on franchising with JDog, visit