When you walk into Camp Bow Wow in Long Island City, N.Y., the smell of dog is the first thing you notice. This isn’t a camp for children, but for New Yorkers’ furry friends – their dogs.
Stephen Neagus brought the Camp Bow Wow franchise to New York for the first time in 2008, after leaving his job in finance. Three years later, Camp Bow Wow employs 12 people, houses around 20 dogs a night and provides daycare to around 20 more. Neagus puts owners’ minds at ease with an interview process that ensures that dogs can handle the social atmosphere, and 24/7 webcam access that they can check with an app he sells for iPhones. For an extra fee, Neagus will pick up campers in the “Doggie Bus,” and transport them to his 10,000 square foot doggie daycare facility.
Neagus credits his success to people’s devotion to their canine companions. People will cut back on creature comforts for themselves because of hard times, he said, but caring for their beloved pets is still a high priority. Because of his continued success, Neagus’s business has recently been profiled in the Wall Street Journal, and he is planning an advertising campaign in local subway stations.
Although Neagus took a pay cut at first to start his business, he said he’s never been happier and that working for himself, for something he loves, has made him a changed man.
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Working Like a Dog