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Dog Concierge Service Coming to Dozens of City Buildings

By Emily Frost | June 9, 2012 11:12am
Dog owners can be assured of their dog's every move with 24/7 webcam access, said The Spot Experience owner Mitch Marrow.
Dog owners can be assured of their dog's every move with 24/7 webcam access, said The Spot Experience owner Mitch Marrow.
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Annie Balliro

UPPER WEST SIDE — Like many dog owners, Mitch Marrow considers his pooches, 180-pound bullmastiff Hank and 200-pound Saint Bernard Reggie, “his babies.”

But while there are plenty of upper-crust preschools and daycares in Manhattan, the former NFL player and hedge fund manager couldn’t find dog care he thought was up to snuff — so in 2011, he created The Spot Experience, a state-of-the-art dog center with six locations across the city and in Westchester.

Now the Spot Experience is about to launch a "groundbreaking" deal to bring its high-end dog care service to residents in 56 buildings in the city.

Marrow said his company inked a deal to provide concierge dog services for luxury apartment developers, marketers, sale and rental company Rose Associates Management, which boasts of 38,000 units in some of the city's most expensive buildings; as well as with Millennium Tower, the 47-story high rise building at 101 W. 67th Street, which has its own IMAX theater, post office, and 117,000-foot gym. 

The exact details of the concierge services or the deal were not immediately available. A spokeswoman for Rose Associates confirmed Friday that the services would be available at "select properties."

Marrow has distinguished his doggy daycare company from others in the city by offering his clients an option to watch their pets 24/7 while they are in his company's care — with a collection of high-end surveillance cameras instead of the average grainy nanny cam.

Marrow said he looked around at the surveillance camera access at other facilities and found they “mostly consisted of one grainy camera that showed you a 10 by 10 area in a facility."

The Spot Experience installed 12 to 15 high-end surveillance cameras in each of its six locations, so that there’s no place where a dog can hide from view, he said. An owner can log into his or her account online or on their smart phone and watch their dog 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Customers say the experience of watching their dogs is extremely addicting, Marrow said.

“We have people who tell me that their work life is going down the tubes because they have the dogs up [on their computer screen] all the time,” said Marrow.

Marrow said the experience of watching the web cam is like watching Animal Planet’s post-Super Bowl “Puppy Bowl,” which features puppies running around an enclosed space with a football.

“As an ex-NFL guy, I’m enthralled by the Puppy Bowl. It’s the same concept. People love to watch the dogs.”

The company coupled constant surveillance with handlers who are paid well above minimum wage and are trained for 80 hours before they begin. It’s a model that has been quite successful, said Marrow. The company is looking to expand to Boston, Washington, D.C. and Chicago in the next year.

Owners looking to see Spot run, while at work, pay a $200 membership fee and then have access to several levels of commitment. The average cost per day is between $25 and $30 for care between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.

“We’re about to expand in the next six months, adding 10 more facilities. Eight in the city, one in Brooklyn and one in New Jersey.” said Marrow, characterizing the expansion as “massive.”