Amy Addington

The saying “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” has always deeply resonated with me, especially as I reflect on the last two decades leading my own pet care business.

Since childhood, animals have held a special place in my heart. While my true passion was pets and I wanted to one day own a business focused on animals, it didn’t materialize immediately. Instead, I spent a decade navigating the corporate landscape, gathering invaluable experience and insights from some of the best leaders. Yet, the traditional 9-5 grind left me yearning for something more fulfilling. Like many others in today’s workforce, job burnout was real, and I was ready to become my own boss. I wanted to create a business culture that prioritized well-being and passion, for both my team and me.

Everything changed in 2004. As lifelong pet owners and animal lovers, my neighbor (and eventual business partner), Leslie Barron, and I were repeatedly asked by family and friends to pet sit. Recognizing a gap in professional pet care services within our community, we decided to create something truly exceptional from scratch – a service with elevated professionalism and personalized pet care. That’s why we founded Woofie’s in our hometown of Ashburn, Virginia.  While it was certainly risky leaving behind my six figure salary, I saw an opportunity to do something I loved and was fuelled by finding a sense of purpose. Plus, I knew I would do whatever it took to make my business successful. What began with dog walking and pet sitting quickly blossomed into a suite of services including mobile pet grooming, pet transportation, overnight care and 24-hour pet care seven days a week. We experienced tremendous growth in a short period of time, all while meeting the needs of pet owners across our community. From day one, my goal for Woofie’s was to elevate the level of professionalism in the pet care industry. Through it all, Woofie’s commitment to building client trust remained unwavering, setting the foundation for our future franchise business model.

In 2019, as we prepared to expand Woofie’s into a franchise, the onset of the pandemic presented unforeseen challenges. Despite the economic uncertainty, giving up was never an option. We recognized the importance of pet care, pandemic or not, and pivoted our offerings. For instance, introducing new services like Adventure Walks gave pets a chance to explore outdoors while providing relief for pet owners indoors. We also launched Woofie’s Accelerated Grooming School (WAGS) to meet the demand for mobile grooming, filling the gap left by temporary closures of brick-and-mortar salons. The addition of contactless, curbside services, including mani-pedis and teeth brushing, resonated well with clients, proving both popular and profitable.

Although we navigated the aftermath of the pandemic, we came out knowing we needed additional support. In 2022, Woofie’s was acquired by our parent company, Authority Brands. Joining forces with Authority Brands provided us with the resources and support necessary for nationwide growth, further positioning us as an industry-leading pet care provider. Every Woofie’s franchise has a unique identity. Gone are the days of cookie cutter pet care – like people, pets are all different. That’s why our franchise owners have options to include other add on services and target specific customer segments. Many of our franchises proudly offer multiple services in one business model, including in-home pet sitting, dog walking, Bed & Biscuit Overnight Care and more.

Along with our services, another factor setting Woofie’s apart is company culture. As president and co-founder, I wanted to create a community of passionate animal lovers who not only run successful franchises, but are compassionate towards clients and pets alike. Our franchise model welcomes individuals from diverse backgrounds, but we especially value those who share our passion for animals and can manage daily operations. We believe in providing extensive support and resources to our franchise owners right from the start. Whether you have prior business experience or not, our comprehensive training, marketing strategies, advanced technology, safety protocols, grassroots networking opportunities and ongoing support will help set you up for success. We also strive to create career paths for our employees, helping them grow and hone their skills over time.

As a female business owner, I take pride in the majority of Woofie’s franchise owners being women. Having navigated the challenges and opportunities of being a female leader in a male-dominated industry, I believe in the value women can bring to business ownership. Like many of you reading this, women’s attention to detail, empathy and emotional intelligence are vital for success. By embracing these qualities and leading authentically, female entrepreneurs can feel empowered to follow their passions and still build fulfilling careers. Woofie’s business model demonstrates this balance, which is reflected in having two female C-Suite executives from Authority Brands also own franchises. While entrepreneurship entails risk, it’s a risk worth taking when it involves doing what you love. Success may not happen overnight, but entrepreneurship can change your life for the better – just as it has for me.

Today, I’m happy to share Woofie’s operates 42 franchises across 68 territories, offering elevated pet spa services and 24-hour care to communities nationwide. Thanks to the help of Authority Brands and our dedicated franchise owners, the Woofie’s brand is booming. We experienced significant growth in 2023 alone, signing 25 new franchise agreements to grow across 44 new territories. We show no signs of slowing down in 2024 and have franchising opportunities available nationwide! Personally, I’ve invested in a Woofie’s franchise in Delray Beach, FL because of my commitment to this company. Operating my own franchise will allow me to stay attuned to the needs and challenges of our franchise owners. Additionally, 2024 marks Woofie’s 20th anniversary – a milestone I take pride in as brand president. Since our humble beginnings in 2004, Woofie’s has evolved into much more, and I look forward to seeing what the future holds.


Written By: Amy Addington, President & Co-Founder of Woofie’s

Amy Addington has been President of Woofie’s since January 2022, and was a Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer from Woofie’s inception until then. She has been the Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Woofie’s, LLC, which merged into Woofie’s Ashburn, LLC in January 2022, since its inception in March 2004. She was also the Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Woofie’s Mobile Pet Spa Services, LLC, a position held from its inception in January 2017.

Leave a comment