Paws ‘n’ Rec: A Tale of Doggy Dreams and Partnership

In a lively and insightful interview, co-owners Taylor Wallace and Mike Mayleben share the story of their beloved business, Paws ‘n’ Rec – Tampa Bay’s premier dog daycare, boarding, and grooming facility. From humble beginnings to a flourishing venture with four locations, Taylor and Mike opened up about their journey and the game-changing partnership with Pet Resort Hospitality Group (PRHG) that has accelerated their growth.

You can check out the full video here.

Paws ‘n’ Rec goes back to Taylor and Mike’s days as roommates with very different professional backgrounds. While Taylor was running a software startup, Mike, the dog enthusiast, managed a franchise dog daycare. Together, they envisioned creating a doggy daycare that would stand out in the industry. The dream materialized three years ago when they acquired Paws ‘n’ Rec in the fall of 2020, averaging about 50 to 75 dogs a day at that business, creating a haven where dogs could “chase their dreams, not their tails.” The duo swiftly doubled their first location’s capacity, and as they expanded across the region, their facilities now host around 400 dogs daily.

What sets Paws ‘n’ Rec apart is their unwavering commitment to prioritizing the safety and experience of dogs. With the best dog-to-person ratio in Tampa Bay, the company focuses on creating a contagiously positive atmosphere for dogs and customers alike. The unique philosophy of putting dogs and staff first has been a driving force behind Paws ‘n’ Rec’s success. And as they sought to expand, they were only going to work with a partner who understood those values.

Taylor and Mike’s partnership thrives because of how they complement each other’s skill sets. Taylor handles marketing, tech systems, and finance, while Mike, the “dog guy,” manages day-to-day operations, ensuring the well-being of dogs and staff. Their rule is simple: if it happens inside the building, it’s on Mike; if it’s outside, it’s on Taylor. As their business grew, Taylor and Mike faced a crossroads: should they continue growing incrementally or seek a strategic partnership for accelerated expansion? Enter PRHG.

The decision to partner with PRHG was grounded in shared values and a vision for the future. Mike and Taylor spent six months getting to know the team at PRHG and Trivest, really ensuring that they were partnering with a group that wanted to continue building a company that put employees and customers first. They saw firsthand that PRHG wasn’t just a capital provider; it was an integrator, a collaborator genuinely invested in creating a network of top-notch pet resorts nationwide. Contrary to misconceptions about private equity, the PRHG team shattered stereotypes. Transparent, integral, and supportive, PRHG became a true partner. The collaboration allowed Paws ‘n’ Rec to tap into a deep pool of resources, from navigating operational challenges to consulting with renowned vets on pressing issues like the recent dog virus concerns.

The heartbeat of Paws ‘n’ Rec lies in its people-first approach. PRHG’s involvement ensured continuity in providing exceptional benefits and growth opportunities for the team. The partnership amplified the company’s commitment to fostering a positive workplace culture. Since joining forces with PRHG, Paws ‘n’ Rec’s growth trajectory has soared. The partnership not only unlocked doors to more acquisition targets but also propelled the pursuit of new locations. The collaboration has become a testament to the belief that one plus one equals ten, as Taylor and Mike work hand in hand with PRHG to integrate and elevate their pet resort business.

Paws ‘n’ Rec’s journey is not just about pet care; it’s a tale of partnership, growth, and a shared passion for dogs. Taylor and Mike, alongside PRHG, are on a mission to build more than just a collection of pet resorts; they aim to create an integrated network that goes beyond the sum of its parts. As Paws ‘n’ Rec continues to thrive, the partnership with PRHG stands as a testament to the power of collaboration in pet hospitality.

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