If a husband-and-wife team has their way local dogs in Jacksonville, FL will soon be off the couch and on their way to camp, says writer Christopher Calnan. Jim and Melissa Taketa are teaming up to put their years of coaching experience to good use by opening a dog daycare and boarding franchise otherwise known as dog camp, according to a recent article.
Melissa, a former women’s basketball coach at Jacksonville University (JU) and former JU coach Jim are the first Northeast Florida operators of the nationally franchised Camp Bow Wow, said the article. “Dogs may be very different from college athletes but The Taketas expect to use many of the same skills in business as they did coaching,” said Calnan. “The Taketas began considering franchises in May 2004 but kept returning to Camp Bow Wow.”
“As a coach you’re selling your program and university to potential student athletes,” said Melissa in a recent interview. “We own two dogs ourselves.” Camp Bow Wow will cater to dog owners in Jacksonville, especially those living and working in the Southside, according to research.
The Taketas are refurbishing a 9,500-sqare-foot former printing business warehouse for the business which they expect to accommodate up to 60 dogs at a time, states literature. In five years the franchise has expanded from two locations to 90 according to the Denver-based company’s website. In February last year The Taketas signed on with Camp Bow Wow and became the company’s 30th franchise owner, paying $40,000 for the right to open Camp Bow Wow locations in Duval, Clay, and St. Johns counties, according to press materials.
The Baymeadows facility is the only one planned right now but the couple said they would consider additional locations in coming years. Prices haven’t been set but The Taketas said they expect to charge about $20 for daycare and $28 to $30 for overnight boarding, wrote Calnan. The couple said as of November they received about ten inquiries a week from prospective customers and that “the response to the need is tremendous.”
According to campbowwowusa.com dogs must be at least four months old, spayed or neutered if over six months, and current on vaccinations for rabies, distemper, and bordatella. Owners must complete a behavior survey. Dogs play all day with others with similar temperament and activity levels in indoor and outdoor play areas. Owners can check in on dogs by accessing the website and view camp cams.
Bow Wow will feed dogs with a treat or lunch packed by the owner, to prevent stomach upset from change of food. Camp counselors are certified in Pet First Aid and Pet CPR. All camps are open 365 days a year.