Sabrina & LLoyd Reid

Camp Run-a-Mutt


When Sabrina and Lloyd Reid decided to get out of the pet resort business, they discovered that selling a franchise is just as complicated as buying one.

The Reids built and operated a franchise location of Camp Run-A-Mutt in San Marcos, California starting in 2014. As passionate dog people, they were immediately interested when a friend suggested getting into the business. “When the window’s open, I jump through it,” said Sabrina, who was working as a House Supervisor, RN at a local hospital.

At first, she thought she could do both – nursing and running the dog daycare and boarding facility. But she and her husband, a retired Marine, quickly realized that meeting their own standards for high level care was going to be a 24/7 commitment. “You’re dealing with people’s loved ones,” Sabrina said of the dogs. “We took it to heart.”

The unique model of Camp Run-A-Mutt offers cage-free facilities, so the dogs stay in supervised play yards around the clock. When they were short staffed, which happened a lot, Lloyd would oversee the overnight care himself, sometimes working 20-hour shifts.

Sabrina admitted the stress was sometimes greater than what she experienced as an emergency room nurse. And although they did enjoy working with many loyal customers and their dogs, after eight years of trying to find a manageable work-life balance, the Reids decided to sell. The timing was strategic as well, allowing the new owners to get settled before having to renew the permits and licenses that would expire in the tenth year of the operation.

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They readily had a buyer lined up through the Camp Run-A-Mutt organization, so marketing the business wasn’t necessary. What they needed was help with the selling process – doing the paperwork correctly and in the right order, so that they could walk away with the most profit and fewest headaches.

“I would never sell my house without a broker,” Sabrina said. “We just decided there were probably too many in’s and out’s … we were absolutely right.” They found out about Teija Heikkilä of PET|VET through a franchise contact, scheduled one phone conversation and hit it off immediately.

Teija and her team went to work managing the transaction’s many details. They provided worksheets and checklists, solved tax issues, set up 401Ks and more. And when the buyer tried to back down and offer less money, Teija handled the negotiation and kept the offer intact. The Reids appreciated how PET|VET added structure to the process, operating as a well-organized machine. They said they never once looked back and thought they could have done it all by themselves.

In hindsight, Sabrina and Lloyd are glad to be free from the daily stress of running their pet care business but don’t regret doing it. “I’m always thankful for every experience, because there’s always a lot to be learned,” she said.

These days, the Reids enjoy a low key, semi-retired lifestyle. With the proceeds of the sale, they were able to pay off their house and property – a tranquil acre with sunset views, a new pool and room for their dogs to run. Sabrina is still a part-time substance abuse professional, but has plenty of time to practice with her dogs for Flyball competitions. Sometimes practices are held in the yards at Camp Run-A-Mutt, and she said it is really nice to show up as visitors and leave whenever they want to.