Zoom Room

New franchise brings pet lovers together with dog sports
By JoAnna Lou, July 2010

Animals have always been a part of Jaime Van Wye’s life, so it’s only natural that she would grow up to become a dog trainer. Through her work, she’s trained dogs in search and rescue, bomb and drug detection, criminal apprehension, tracking and even taught a Labrador how to pee in a urinal—and flush. 

Through her interactions with people and their pets, Van Wye identified the need for greater training opportunities in Los Angeles, but also the need for a place where pet lovers could connect. As a result, in 2007, Van Wye founded Zoom Room, the first indoor agility training center in the area. 

But Zoom Room offers much more than just agility. The company’s mission is to develop the bond between pets and their people by offering classes and activities in a modern, social environment. Visitors to Zoom Room train their pups in obedience, therapy work, scent tracking, Pup-lates and skateboarding. 

The venture was so successful that Van Wye turned the business into a franchise last year. This year, two more locations are set to open in Austin, Tex., and Hollywood, Calif. Locations are also underway in Colorado and Florida.

Besides working with my pups, my favorite thing about participating in dog sports is the community. I’m usually wary of franchises, especially when they involve animals, but it sounds like Zoom Room has a great mission: To encourage pet lovers to become more active with their pets, while meeting like-minded people.

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

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