KILLEEN — When Harker Heights resident Kathryn Leisinger opened her dog training and rescue business, School of Wags, in 2012, she had a slight problem.
Not with the services she offered or interest from the community, but with the School of Wags business model.
Leisinger started School of Wags as a for-profit business, offering low-cost, in-home dog training to families in Central Texas. But she was not reaching all the people who needed her services.
“Even low-cost in-home training was more than a lot of people could afford,” Leisinger said. “Even when we broke the prices down and gave people more time to pay, it just wasn’t affordable enough, or important enough.”
Facing uncertainty, the School of Wags chose to go another direction and become a nonprofit organization.
“By becoming a nonprofit and having financial backers, we can do a multitude of new things, like offering dog training (in exchange) for volunteering,” Leisinger said. “We find that this teaches people how to become an effective dog leader … that way they never need another dog trainer again.”
Since gaining the nonprofit status in November, the School of Wags changed locations and partnered with Texas Humane Heroes.
“What we get from (Texas Humane Heroes) is a place to be, and what they get from us is a rehabilitation of their dogs that cannot be re-homed,” said School of Wags treasurer Jodi Perry. “Before this partnership, we were working out of our homes, but we’re visible now. This offers a chance for people to see us.”
While the School of Wags employees are happy with their business’ current home and setup, they are not yet content.
“We would love to have our own location, with indoor and outdoor kennels,” Leisinger said. “That way we could pull more dogs from shelters and not have to turn anyone down.”
For more information about School of Wags, call (254) 681-4090 or go to www.schoolofwags.com.