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H a n g i n g wi th DC Me tro ’s d o g -c ra z y c ro wd

Charles (Chas) W. Richardson, III Partner A Dog’s Day Out, LLC

This Family’s Motto: Must Love Dogs By Ange la M ey er s

We love sitting down with industry experts to get the story behind where they are now, such as how they landed in the animal industry, what drives them, and understand their passion for pets. This issue we get to talk to Chas W. Richardson, III, Partner at A Dog’s Day Out, a Northern Virginia–based, family run company that is growing and now has 5 locations throughout the area.

NOVADOG MAGAZINE: Could you please provide some background on how you decided to start A Dog’s Day Out? Where does your passion/ interest for this particular field of work originate? Charles (Chas) W. Richardson, III: My family and I have always been animal lovers. Sadly, one of our dog’s died from being hit at night. That moment in time changed my life and sparked my first entrepreneurial dream as an adult. In the late 1990’s with the help of my mother, I was able to invent, patent, and market our safety product, Flasher. Flasher is an illuminated safety wrap for people and pets to wear and be seen in low light or total darkness. Working to grow the Flasher brand, my mother and I traveled the country with my female Rottweiler named Daisy. At national trade shows we would be next to industry giants like Hartz Mountain collar at pet shows & Schwinn at bike shows. It was exciting to show Flasher at our mom & pop booth in a “David vs. Goliath” setting. The biggest success came in 1999, when Flasher was showcased on QVC three times and my dogs were with me for the first two on-air segments. Other successes included being accepted into Petco stores, bicycle shops, running stores, and other pet stores across the country. After a few years in corporate sales, the next dream I set out to achieve evolved once more around life with my own pack of dogs. This involved a facility that allowed dogs to interact with each other in a size appropriate space, when the pet parent cannot be with their dog. This new goal got its start at the end of 2004 with the help of my father. In November 2004, without a company sign in place yet over our head, A Dog’s Day Out first location opened on Gallows Road, one block from the Dunn Loring Metro station. In less than 10 years, what started with a handful of dogs (mostly my own) has grown to five Northern Virginia locations, one of which is a licensed operation. A sixth location is slated to open in 2017 in Haymarket, VA and that will be our second licensed operation. Both of our licensed operations were originally clients

10 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2016

of A Dog’s Day Out and understand first-hand the need for our services. Each A Dog’s Day Out facility offers separate daily small, medium, and large dog play groups monitored by our highly attentive teams in cagefree dog daycare, along with boarding, and grooming. Our Van Dorn location has daily outdoor play. The Springfield location will soon have daily outdoor play and an aquatic offering. Ashburn would be our next existing facility to offer an aquatic feature. Our family owned father-son company strives to offer more for the dogs in our community. ND: What do you find most rewarding about what you do? CR: The best part about my job is how many awesome dogs we get to care for each day across Northern Virginia, and hopefully soon, across the country. Every dog that has a permanent loving home is a lucky dog. However, most of our dogs sleep all day and fight off boredom until their owner’s get home from work. The luckiest dogs in town spend their days running, playing, socializing, and, often, sleeping at one of our facilities. At the end of the day, our clients pick up their happily tired dog. That’s a big win for our beloved dogs and a big win for our incredible clients. The most rewarding parts of my job includes: • More recently, having my sister join our company by becoming our third partner at the Ashburn location. • Having the opportunity to partner with my father and grow our brand locally in NOVA. • Proudly having the most dedicated dog lovers in place on our amazing teams at each facility. We have four managers that have been with us for 7+ years and counting. That speaks to our close knit family or team environment at each location. From our managers to our daycare attendants, they personally know each dog and ensure each dog gets the TLC they crave. • Seeing how excited dogs are coming into our facility in the mornings and how happy their owners are to see their pups each afternoon or at the end of a boarding stay.

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