Doggy daycare owners are busing their clients' pups to 'school' every day.
Instead of leaving your dog home alone when you go to work, you could send them to "school." Doggy daycare centers have become incredibly popular for helping ease the tension of those worried about leaving their dogs at home. Some will even arrange for your pet to be picked up and dropped back home in at the end of the day. Arat Montoya runs a doggy daycare in Oregon that does just that. Montoya says it was his love for dogs that really drove him to open the center. He grew up in Mexico and while his family expected him to continue the family tradition of becoming a baker, he had something else in mind. “I said, ‘I’m sorry Dad, I love dogs,’” he told his dad, reported The Oregonian.
Montoya initially worked at a dog daycare service, but when it shut down he continued to work with clients he knew, boarding and dog-sitting out of his house. Then in 2016, he decided to open his own dog daycare center, Doggie School Bus Inc. His customized yellow school bus picks his clients' dogs up from their houses. The dogs and the clients love it. Clients often post videos of their dogs getting excited when the school bus shows up at their doorstep.
Montoya rented a five-acre property from a friend for his daycare and it has ample space for the dogs to run around, play and interact with him and the many other dogs. "School" is done by 2 p.m. and the dogs are then driven back to their homes in the yellow bus. Clients are charged $30 for a whole day of puppy play. When demand skyrocketed, Montoya had to buy larger vehicles to accommodate the increasing number of dogs. “I got 16 customers within two weeks. People were going bananas,” he said. His Facebook page now has more than 33,000 followers.
By 2019, he had more than 300 clients in total and 20 pups to look after on an average every day. Montoya loves his job and is really close with all the dogs and can even recognize each one by their bark. “I’m the happiest man in the world doing what I’m doing,” he said. Asked about dogs that are considered ferocious, he said, “I’ve never had an issue with a pitbull. I’ve never had an issue with a German shepherd or a Rottweiler. But, let me tell you, I’ve had an issue with a Chihuahua.”
Over in Austin, Texas, another doggy daycare, EZ Dog Stay and Play, also uses a doggy school bus. The center recently got some publicity after a client posted a video of her happy golden retriever returning home in the bus. The video went viral, with more than 16.9 million views and 2.7 million likes. Evan Zwerneman, who runs the daycare, said he cares for 50-60 dogs on average per day. “In December of 2021, we had 95 dogs on our waitlist to join our daycare program,” he told Voyage Austin. “I love what I do and can not believe my passion has turned into my career.”