Three friends, one dog,
and lots of love!
The Camp Run-A-Mutt concept was born in mid 2007. We (Dennis, Mikel and Severn) put our heads together and came up with the obvious: build a place we’d bring our own dogs to. A clean, safe place that looks like a dog park with grass, toys, things to climb in, things crawl through, and water - not just to drink but to jump into and splash. Instead of cages, there’d be other dogs to play with and humans 24/7 to keep the chaos controlled. Also, "Muttcam" technology that allows people, no matter where they are, to watch their dogs having fun. Finally, a beautiful, user friendly website that allows customers to register their dogs, submit instructions for boarding and connect to a social network of dog lovers. When we opened on February 29th, 2008 we were proud of what we'd created and determined to change an industry that needed updating.
Since that first day, there’s been a recession and competition yet CRAM has had continuous growth. We’ve learned something everyday from every dog that’s walked in the door, and there have been thousands. It's not enough to provide a safe place for dogs, you have to love and care for them like your own. We have learned the nuts and bolts of running a successful business, winning awards from the San Diego Chamber of Commerce, local television stations and publications along with an A+ rating from the BBB and the San Diego Humane Society’s Compassion Award. This business was started with a basic love and respect for dogs and turned into a concept that thousands of dog lovers know, love and keep coming back.
To most people, their dog is far more than just a pet, they're a member of the family. At Camp Run-A-Mutt we understand the importance of knowing your dog is safe and comfortable while in our care. We are committed to maintaining an environment that offers fun and exercise in a well supervised, clean and safe surrounding.
Dennis, Mikel, and Severn
Owners & Founders of Camp Run-A-Mutt
Who we are
Working at a nuclear power plant, the space shuttle project, graduating from Cal Poly and climbing telephone poles did nothing to prepare Dennis for what was to come next. However, owning his energetic and beloved English Springer Spaniel, Andy, for 15 years changed his life forever. Dennis realized the loving relationship he had with Andy was the same most people have with their dogs. When Andy passed in 2007, Dennis dreamed of creating a dog heaven that not only Andy would have loved, but any dog. When he realized there wasn’t a dog daycare like this vision, it was a no-brainer. This would be a special place for dogs like Andy and their owners. Teaming up in 2008 with Mikel Ross (and his dog Petie) and Severn Crow (with Rocco), they created the Camp Run-A-Mutt cage free concept. It’s crazy what people will do for their dogs.
When you do what you love it's amazing what you can accomplish. Two of Severn's greatest passions are his work and his dog Rocco. Originally from the Washington, D.C. area, Severn has been a dog owner all his life beginning with his childhood dog German Shepherd "Duke" who was found scared and starving in the cellar of an abandoned house. This was the beginning of a lifelong affection for dogs and an insight on dealing with behavioral issues resulting from neglect and abuse.
With a marketing and design background, Severn's career spans from running his own successful graphic and Web design business in the late 90's, to a Senior Web Designer for a Washington, DC publishing firm, and most recently as a Senior Web Developer for USA Today for almost a decade.
Severn is responsible for Camp Run-A-Mutt's® online and print marketing, application development which enables the business to run efficiently, and overall business development.
Co-Founder/Director of Operations
Mikel grew up in Northern Virginia, outside Washington D.C., where he used to run through the woods with his first dog Shadow. Mikel and Shadow were inseparable, hence her given name, and it was that bond that showed him what the love between a dog and a person could mean to both.
He attended school at George Mason University where he focused on Marketing and Communications. He worked his way up through AOL headquarters and landed a job working in Partner Relations helping corporate partners with their web sites. While Mikel loved using his creative skills, he decided he wanted to be more hands on and help people.
Mikel and his little sidekick, Petey, moved to San Diego in 2002 and worked as a personal trainer. He and Petey would get together after work with his friend Dennis at the dog park in the evenings and wind down. It was there that the idea of a doggy daycare came to be. In 2008, we opened our doors and almost 10 years later and thousands of dogs in his care, Mikel’s passion for our four legged friends has never waned.
New Franchisee Liaison
Analiese didn’t grow up with dogs, but she’s always had a passion for animals. After adopting her first dog Rumo (a 1 year old heeler/border collie mix) in 2009, she had no doubt that a career in the animal field was her calling. Discovering Camp Run-A-Mutt in early 2012, it seemed like a perfect fit. She began as a dog handler at our 3rd location, in Kearny Mesa, San Diego.
The joy of being able to work with dogs every day, as well as developing a unique bond with their owners, was like nothing else. Her enthusiasm for CRAM propelled her into a management position by 2013, and then eventually to our headquarters team.
Now, as our New Franchisee Liaison, she’s the main point of contact for franchisees when they sign on until they open their doors for business. Using her knowledge and experience from running a Camp for 5 years, she is able to help guide new locations in their development, and set them up for success!
Digital Media Designer
Chelsea has always loved dogs. When she was six, she was given a Veterinarian Barbie as a gift. While Barbie was immediately banished to living under her bed, the plastic dogs included were treasured. For three Halloweens in a row, Chelsea dressed up as a dog (Dalmatian twice, Golden Retriever once).
In 2008, she got to bring home Henry, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Since he’s deaf, Chelsea has taught him a few ASL signs, but he likes to pretend he doesn’t understand “food all gone”. For over a decade, Henry has given Chelsea the gift of unconditional love and friendship.
Chelsea grew up in a Denver suburb, but followed her family to San Diego in 2014. Since graduating from CSU Monterey Bay, Chelsea’s thrilled to combine her lifelong love of dogs with her passion for design at Camp Run-A-Mutt.