K9dergarten is a doggie daycare center whose “big idea” is to set a new standard in quality and transparency. In its 16,000-square-foot Jersey City facility, it offers cage-free daycare and boarding, grooming, training, an upscale boutique, dog-walking, and transportation. Founder Jim Caulfield and managing director and principal Marc Donmoyer knew that providing the highest quality services and creating the brand image they wanted would require a unique kind of vehicle. After surveying the marketplace, they concluded that only the Freightliner Sprinter was up to the challenge.

Flexible, spacious . . . and just plain cool

“None of our competitors use travel crates to transport their dogs, but that’s something we insisted on, for the dogs’ comfort and safety,” Caulfield says. Their transportation plan also uses a runner and a driver, one doing pick-ups and drop-offs while the other watches the dogs onboard. “No other van allowed an interior configuration and access that would accommodate two people and enough crates to make it cost-effective,” Donmoyer says. But with its 2011 Freightliner 2500 High-Roof Cargo Van with a 144-inch wheelbase, K9dergartern can stack three tiers of crates, allowing them to transport up to 15 dogs at a time, safely and comfortably.

Broadcasting the brand

We needed a vehicle to broadcast that brand image wherever it went,” Caulfield says. “Sprinter hits that nail on the head.”

Sprinter’s voluminous cargo capacity, how easy it was to customize, and strong recommendations they got from other owners all played a part in K9dergarten’s vehicle choice, but other factors were also important. “We were looking to build a business around the idea that here was a modern, safer, smarter, cooler way to approach dog care, and we needed a vehicle to broadcast that brand image wherever it went,” Caulfield says. “Sprinter hits that nail on the head. We even have a QR code on the back that gives potential customers with smartphones an easy way to find out more about us.”