Hounds Town barks for Mineola doggy day-care site

From left: Michael Gould, Lauren Duffy and Jimmy Farrelly address the Mineola Village Board on Wednesday, April 19, 2017. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

A West Islip couple want to get dog owners’ tails wagging in Mineola.

Lauren Duffy and Jimmy Farrelly plan to open the sixth location of Hounds Town USA, a canine boarding and grooming center, at 221 Liberty Ave.

Duffy had taken her German shepherd, Willie, to Hounds Town for three years before deciding to open a franchise with Farrelly, her boyfriend. Farrelly also owns a vacation rental business and Duffy is in medical sales.

With its central location and high number of dog owners, Mineola was practically begging for a doggy day-care service, the couple said.

“Mineola fits the mold of the other locations — it’s very similar,” Duffy said Wednesday after pitching the center to the Mineola Village Board.

Most of Hounds Town’s business comes from its “day-care” service, said Mike Gould, the owner and founder — the Mineola center could take in as many as 50 dogs a day while their owners are at work.

Hounds Town also has locations in Commack, Port Jefferson Station, Ronkonkoma, Farmingdale and Bethpage.

Hounds Town’s locations have served more than 600,000 since the company was founded in 2001, said Gould, the former commanding officer of the Nassau County Police Department’s K-9 unit.

The Mineola location would have one employee for every 10 to 12 dogs at the 4,900-square-foot site, Farrelly said.

Hounds Town divides the dogs into groups of similar temperament and size so they can play together in separate areas, Gould said. The center also offers baths, grooming and a pet taxi service, and keep as many as 19 dogs overnight, he said.

“It’s basically like a kennel without the kennel, more like a camp,” Duffy said at the Village Board meeting.

Hounds Town would be open in Mineola seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Rates for day care service run around $26 a day, depending on the location, with discounts for multiple days, Gould said. Boarding costs $45 a night.

Hounds Town also gives back to communities through Hounds Town Charities, its nonprofit arm, Gould said. The existing centers board veterans’ dogs while they’re deployed and house animals when local shelters don’t have room for them, he said.

Some Mineola trustees worried about Hounds Town backing up traffic and causing parking woes in the industrial area near Wilson Park, where families running to soccer games and the village pool abound.

“There’s such congestion down there — I don’t know. I just don’t have a good feeling about it,” said John Borkes, who runs a nearby steel factory at 215 Liberty Ave.

Farrelly and Duffy said they could have employees pick up customers’ pets from their cars so they’d only need to sit at the curb for a short time.

The Village Board tabled their application for a special use permit Wednesday night for a later decision.

The board also tabled a plan to tear down a house at 215 Cleveland Ave. and replace it with an 11-space parking lot.

The lot would be used by doctors and other nurses at the medical office building across the street at 173 Mineola Blvd., most of whom are affiliated with Winthrop-University Hospital, according to Peter Mineo, an attorney for the building’s owners.

Mineo noted that the house sits in a business district, but trustees expressed concerns about the commercialization of the residential area.

The two-and-a-half-story, two-family house is currently empty, said Marco Silva, an attorney for the house’s landlord.

The Village Board voted Wednesday to approve a special use permit for Meta Burn Fitness, a one-on-one personal training studio at 212 Station Plaza.

Meta Burn has been operating in Mineola since August 2016, but did not have the necessary permits from the village. Its studios in Locust Valley and Oyster Bay did not need any special permission, said Mineola native Rahz Slaughter, one of the owners.

Slaughter and Greg Kalafatic of Huntington opened the first Meta Burn studio in Locust Valley in 2010, offering 30-minute individualized sessions, they said. They now have a staff of four trainers.



About the author

Noah Manskar

Noah Manskar is the assistant managing editor for Blank Slate Media and a reporter covering the Willistons, New Hyde Park and Nassau County government.
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