bannerFranchisor Stories

With a Strong Q1, Hounds Town USA Proves It Is Well Equipped to Thrive During COVID-19

The pet care franchise continues to expand, even during an unprecedented crisis.

By Ben Warren1851 Franchise Managing Editor
SPONSORED 3:15PM 05/05/20

Garden City, N.Y. — In a year that has seen businesses across virtually every industry scaling back operations to survive an historic health and economic crisis, Hounds Town USA is not only surviving, but thriving. In the first quarter of 2020, the pet care franchise continued its two-decade trend of expansion, signing three new franchise deals in three new markets.

Part of that success can be attributed to the recession-resistant nature of Hounds Town’s business model. Even in times of economic duress, people do not stop spending money on their pets. In this particular crisis, healthcare professionals and other essential workers are working overtime and are in critical need of additional pet care, which is why Hounds Town USA has been designated as an essential business, allowing the franchise to continue operating while many other businesses have been forced to close temporarily.

Of course, this isn’t the first crisis Hounds Town USA has weathered—the franchise has learned more than a few lessons from its vast experience in a variety of economic climates.

“In the 20 years since Hounds Town has been around, we as a collective business have survived the 2008 Recession, massive layoffs, Hurricane Sandy, snowstorms, gas shortages, week-long school and business closings, floods, tornados, and other natural events that have threatened our business,” said Jackie Bondanza, Hounds Town USA’s president. “We have always found a way to not only survive, but thrive through all of these challenges.” 

Hounds Town has not just relied on its own sturdy foundation to keep business moving during this crisis, the franchise has also introduced a number of new programs to support its local communities and develop new revenue streams for franchise owners. The pet care brand’s new Fresh Air Fund, for example, offers long-term (two to four weeks) stays for dogs from animal shelters, relieving the burden on shelters and providing crucial socialization skills for dogs, making them more adoptable.

“We’ve fostered shelter dogs informally at some of our locations throughout the years, but when the coronavirus came along, we rolled out a formal program,” said Bondanza. “We help put the shelter dogs front and center to get them more exposure.”

In a decidedly uncertain economic landscape, Hounds Town USA is leveraging its strong Q1 performance to provide some measure of certainty for its franchisees and their customers. The franchise has no plans to slow its growth throughout the rest of 2020, aiming to open three new stores in three new markets in Q2. Given the record-high pet adoption rates the country has seen since stay-at-home orders have gone into effect in states across the country, the franchise is expecting an even greater influx of business once restrictions are scaled back and pet owners return to their workplaces.

“This has been an incredibly trying time for everyone, and we’re proud to be strong enough as a business and as people to offer a bit of relief,” said Bondanza. “We’re fortunate to have a business model that was built to survive a crisis like this, and we’re doing everything we can to extend our good fortune to our neighbors and set our franchisees up for even more success when this chapter is over.”

For franchising opportunities, please visit