An interview with CEO and Founder of Hounds Town USA about his career, animal advocacy, and more.
At Animal Fair, we love to celebrate people who devote their lives to helping animals. Mike Gould is one of those people. Founder and CEO of Hounds Town USA and former member of the inaugural NYPD canine unit, Mike has spent over 40 years being a champion for canines. Not only does Hounds Town USA provide a safe space for dogs to be dogs, but Mike’s mission in founding Hounds Town was to provide essential workers with a facility that they can trust their pets with while they are out serving others.
Our founder Wendy Diamond recently got a chance to sit down with Mike to talk about the success of Hounds Town USA and his advocacy for animals throughout his career. Read on for more!
How it Started- Working the NYPD Canine Unit
Mike’s four-decade career working with animals began in 1979 when he joined the first NYPD canine unit and started to see the incredible abilities and senses dogs have that can help society when nurtured and trained.
“I saw the miraculous things dogs can do because they can actually do things that seem extrasensory….That was where my journey with dogs began and it never ended.”
When Mike was thinking about retirement in 2000, friends and co-workers started to suggest that he should watch their dogs while they worked. He had an innate understanding of dogs as well as a genuine respect for them, but he had never imagined himself running a doggy day care. Yet, this idea planted a seed that took root and eventually became Hounds Town USA.
Hounds Town USA is Born
From an idea to reality, Hounds Town USA went from one warehouse building to a national chain with 50 locations across the country, and Mike isn’t done yet. He plans to add 25 more locations in 2021.
When asked why Hounds Town USA has been as successful as it has been, Mike says,
“We’re an essential service and we take care of essential workers’ dogs. It’s that simple. And we do it in a very straightforward way. We make pet ownership possible….and it’s very heartwarming and moving to us.”
To date, Hounds Town USA has hosted over 2 million dogs in their locations in 11 states, and the company continues to get great reviews from pet parents because of Hounds Town’s simple but effective approach to doggy daycare: let dogs be dogs.
Animal Advocacy and Philanthropy
Mike’s legacy as an animal lover may be solidified with Hounds Town USA, but he continues to find ways to help animals in need through Hounds Town Charities, Inc., the philanthropic arm of Hounds Town USA. This organization, which is dedicated to rescue efforts and promoting adoption, also touts other programs like Handcuffs to Heeling and the Fresh Air Fund. These campaigns give back to dogs in need and allow people to donate whatever they can, including their time.
Animal Fair wants to give a big thanks to Mike Gould, whose illustrious career as a supporter and lover of dogs is an inspiration to the animal rights and advocacy movement.