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Breast cancer survivor to open doggie day cares

Posted on July 18, 2021

Local news
From left, Andrea, Louise and Jenny Lasker plan to open three Hounds Town doggie day cares in the Triangle.

Contributed photo

From left, Andrea, Louise and Jenny Lasker plan to open three Hounds Town doggie day cares in the Triangle.

arevels@wakeweekly.com

WAKE FOREST — Jenny Lasker knew she wanted to do something different after finishing treatment for breast cancer.

“Honestly, that was a real turning point of who I became,” said Lasker, who lives in Cary. “By nature, I’m kind of shy.”

That something different? Open a doggy day care in Wake Forest.

The Cary woman had been a social worker since 1999. But after months of not feeling well, she stepped away from the work.

Two months later on Sept. 11, 2018, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

“I had only seen the world of social work,” Lasker said. “It was just the right time after my health issues to say, ‘Where do we look next?’”

Lasker knew she wanted to do something with her sister and her mother, and she wanted to do something to honor her father, Joel, who died of esophageal cancer in 2006. He had always loved dogs, and Lasker and her sister grew up with dogs around. As adults, both own two dogs.

She did some research and found Hounds Town USA, a day care franchise that offers overnight boarding, dog and cat grooming and a pet taxi service. The sisters went to the company’s discovery day, where they met founders Mike and Jackie Gould.

“I remember Mike saying, ‘You want to jump off the cliff and do this journey,’ and inside of me, everything lit up,” Lasker said. “Yes, I’m going to take this jump because I’ve never jumped in my life. I’m going to do something totally different that I think I’m absolutely going to love, that I think I can be good at and that I know I’ve got the right people behind me to get me set up for success.”

She said the Hounds Town corporate team makes franchisees feel like they’re part of the family.

“You feel that your success is their success and their success is your success,” she said. “They have your best interest.”

Hounds Town requires its staff to receive training in dog psychology and behavior, Lasker said. The day care tests each dog for temperament, then groups the canines based on temperament, size and energy level to play safely.

Lasker’s sister and mom work part-time, she said.

“My mom will be the company grandma to the animals. She wants to do the parties and see the animals,” Lasker said. “My sister gets to do the fun stuff with me. She and my mom get to do all the fun things, and I pretty much do all the operational stuff. I’ll be there full-time.”

The fun stuff includes playing with the dogs, supervising play time and even throwing dog birthday parties.

“With Hounds Town, you are all about fun,” Lasker said. “You need to love fun, love the animals and what you do and love life.”

The Lasker family committed to opening three Hounds Town USA franchises in the Triangle. They say the first will open on Capcom Avenue in Wake Forest in late summer or early fall.

“Wake Forest is definitely where we wanted to be,” Lasker said. “If you walk downtown Main Street, Wake Forest is what you would want for living.”

The Laskers love Wake Forest’s small-town feel and how it’s interested in growing its business community.

“You have a lot of businesses wanting to be there, and the people could not be nicer or more supportive,” Lasker said.

She never realized how difficult it was to run a small business before, Lasker said.

“Small businesses are what America is truly made out of,” she said. “They’re the ones that struggle to provide so many of the services, and I was very naive to that being a social worker who worked for bigger organizations. Now I’m in complete awe every time I go in one.”

Lasker prides herself on how connected the doggy day care is on social media. She has both a Facebook and an Instagram page.

“You get to see the dog of the week. You get to see pictures and ask questions,” Lasker said. “By the time we’ve opened, you get a chance to really know who we are as people. I think our integrity and our love as a family and our love for your animals will speak for itself.”

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