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An NFL Panther Runs the Pet Care Field

In just one year, Marrow has opened four locations in Manhattan (the first two were dog day care centers he acquired) and a facility at Newark Airport, as well as Spot Country, a long-term boarding facility in upstate New York. Marrow has plans to expand his business further, hiring up to 500 people.

New York is "one of the most dog-friendly cities in the world, and people want a top-tier safe environment for their pets when they can't be with them. It's very similar to the quest for schooling and day care in the city. The bar just keeps rising," Marrow says.

But spa treatments for their dogs?

Apparently so. The pet industry, especially high-end services, is one of today's hottest industries. According to the American Pet Products Associations, consumers are expected to have spent about $51 billion on their pets in 2011. The industry is expected to grow roughly 10% over the next five years, according to APPA figures cited by Spot.

Marrow's business plan is working. Spot has a list of celebrity clients that includes Mariah Carey, Glenn Close, Kelly Ripa and former New York Giants players Jim Finn and Todd Pollack, among a host of others.

Earlier this week, Spot announced it had entered into a strategic partnership with Bideawee, a pet adoption and pet welfare organization in the Metro New York area. Bidawee doesn't typically partner with for-profit companies, Marrow says, but the agreement allows for Spot to be included in the nonprofit's co-branded marketing materials, events and adoption packets.

"The industry is very hot and it's growing, and it's developed the high-end service of the business. But the safety and the professionalism is a very new thing," Marrow says.

K-9 Resorts Daycare & Luxury Hotel is also looking to expand its doggy day care business. The company was founded in 2005 by two brothers, Steven and Jason Parker, who had experience in the dog-walking and pet-sitting business in New Jersey but decided to combine those operations and expand in the quickly growing business of luxury dog day care. Last year they started to franchise their operations.

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