We obviously love dogs, but we also feel strongly that we are helping make people’s lives better. Our member services team is constantly in touch with our pet parents. The experience of seeing a happy dog and a grateful pet parent after a day of play is very fulfilling.
It has been a long and winding road in the pet care for Dan Rubenstein, the founder of PUPS. It all started on one fateful day in July 1999. While Dan was working for Accenture as a technology consultant, he enlisted the help of a pet exercising service for his dog Sydney, a 172 pound St. Bernard. Sydney thoroughly enjoyed the service and Dan could tell by how happy and tired he was when Dan returned late in the evening from work, not to mention the inordinate amount of dirt and grass he would drag into the house after a play day!
Everything was going just fine for about 2 months until July 30th, 1999 which was one of the hottest days of record in Chicago history. It was 114 degrees that day – weather that wasn’t safe for humans and certainly not safe for a cold weather dog like a St. Bernard. Despite explicit instructions not to pick up Sydney if the temperature exceeded 80 degrees, the exercising service neglectfully ignored Dan’s wishes, picked Sydney up for daycare, and had him playing outside in the heat, without water or cool shelter for over 2 hours. As a result of their neglectful actions, Sydney lost his life after a 14 hour battle against the complications from heat stroke. Dan and the great veterinarians at Family Pet Animal Hospital tried to save him, but it was too late and there was too much irreversible damage – Sydney passed away on July 31st, 1999.
After the loss of his dog Sydney, Dan quits his job at Accenture and founds All For Doggies out of his apartment in Lakeview. He studies dog training and behavior and starts the company with dog walking and pet sitting services.
All For Doggies opens a store on the far west side in Chicago at Grand and Kilbourne. The store quickly gains notoriety as a premier store for pet care. All for Doggies is featured locally on all of the news stations as clients are thrilled that this type of service has become available in Chicago. Dan also partners with Alex Brooks from the Alex Brooks Canine Center to head up AFD’s training program.
All for Doggies has over 3,000 clients and is nationally recognized as a leader in the industry. AFD is featured nationally on WGN and receives recognition from industry trade organizations and journals as an innovator and leader in the pet services industry.
After considering expansion options, Dan voluntarily decides to sell All For Doggies. Dan doesn’t live with regret but to this day, he will tell you that if he had it to do over again, he would have stuck with the business.
Dan moves back to NYC where he starts SPOT, a new dog daycare company. He opens his first store in Tribeca in May of 2006.
SPOT in Tribeca has gained local and national recognition for excellence in pet care. The company is featured in The New York Time, The New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, all the major TV stations and some cable news outlets. SPOT acquires a large client base that includes many high profile celebrities but remains rooted in its principal mission to provide exceptional pet care and exceptional customer service. Celebrity or not, customers and their dogs were treated as part of the family.
SPOT opens a location in Newark airport in partnership with Continental Airlines, now United
SPOT opens another flagship store in Chelsea.
SPOT forms a joint venture for Overnight Camp in upstate NY.
SPOT merges with Camp Canine’s 2 stores on NYC’s Upper West Side as Dan sought to aggressively build the business. Camp Canine’s stores are rebranded SPOT and operated as SPOT stores.
After some time away from the business, Dan launches PUPS, his third and final run in the dog daycare industry. This time the vision is clear and the company is poised to do great things and have a positive impact on the lives of the dogs we care for, the pet parents we support, and the communities that we are a part of. Come join and be part of a growing family that has a track record of success in the dog daycare business that stems from the guiding principal of excellence in pet care and customer service.