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Dog Days (in a Good Way) for Camp Bow Wow


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Heidi Ganahl scored a huge payday this week when she closed the purchase of Camp Bow Wow, the nation’s largest franchisor of dog day and overnight care centers, by VCA Inc.

Ganahl will remain CEO of the company she founded 13 years ago, she told the audience Wednesday at a Faegre Baker Daniels conference on franchising in Minneapolis.

The sale was in part about playing defense, she said, because VCA owns, operates and manages the largest network of freestanding veterinary hospitals and labs in the country and so provides a barrier against a bigger chain aligned with other brands acing her out.

But offense is on her mind as well, as VCA’s much larger resources can help her expand. Camp Bow Wow has 152 franchised units.

Despite the sale, don’t expect Ganahl to turn corporate. “If you can’t have fun in the dog business, then there’s something wrong with you,” she told the audience. Her title is “top dog,” as her bone-shaped business card says, and her general counsel’s title is “legal beagle.”

She thinks the approach is one reason for the brand’s strong identity. “You almost have to be a little crazy about it. You have to go over the top to get people’s attention.”

 

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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