This interview was first published in JWeekly.
Name: Mark Klaiman
City: San Francisco
Position: Co-owner of Pet Camp, a day care and overnight facility for dogs and cats in San Francisco
J.: When did you open Pet Camp?
Mark Klaiman: In 1997. The idea came from my wife, Virginia Donohue, and my trying to think of something that would let us take our dog to work. In a classic “be careful for what you ask for,” we now get to spend our days not only with our own dog, but also with 150 others.
J.: How does it work?
MK: We wanted to design a place that we would want for our own dogs. In San Francisco, people don’t have big backyards, so the natural place to take your dog is to a dog park. We wanted to create a dog-park environment for your dog when you are not home. When we opened Pet Camp and we offered group play where dogs could socialize, the industry went crazy. They thought this was nutty and dangerous. Of course, now everyone does it and it’s completely mainstream. It’s great. But from a competitive point of view, we’ve had to continue to evolve and keep pushing things out there. It’s a great challenge to have.
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© 2013 Renee Ghert-Zand. All rights reserved.