“A lot of firefighters have something that they do away from the fire station,” says Eugene Harwell, a retired firefighter from Huntsville, Alabama and founder of DogWatch Hidden Fence of Northern Alabama. In a 2013 survey, 16% of firefighters had a second job, making it the occupation with the second highest percent of multiple jobholders. The DogWatch Dealer team includes a number of firefighters who have become DogWatch Hidden Fence Dealers, and we spoke to two of them to get their perspective on building their second career.

“DogWatch is a perfect fit for me as a firefighter,” says Eugene Harwell. Eugene first became a DogWatch Dealer back in 1997, after researching several options in the pet containment industry. His love of dogs drew him to the business, and it was DogWatch’s commitment to customer service that separated it from the pack. “I like that in my work with DogWatch, I can also provide a valuable service to my community by helping keep dogs safe.”

Harwell family at the 2015 DogWatch Dealer Meeting

Eugene Harwell (at left), with his wife Shannon, daughter Amber, grandson Holder and son-in-law Jordan at the 2015 DogWatch Dealer Meeting

Eugene also proved to be a great fit for DogWatch. He won DogWatch’s “Rookie of the Year” award in his first year of business, “Dealer of the Year” award in 2011, and numerous Sales Achievement awards through the years.

DogWatch of Northern Alabama is also a family business. Eugene’s wife Shannon works in the office and manages “lunch and learn” sessions with local veterinarians and pet businesses. Their daughter Amber grew up with the business and worked in the office during college. Her husband Jordan has now joined the business, handling operations and sales management.

After 25 years of service with the Huntsville Fire Department, Eugene retired in 2012. “I was able to build the business while I worked, and now that I’m retired, I have something I enjoy to ‘retire to’.”

Pete Harvey with his dogs Nora and Sophie

Pete Harvey with his dogs Nora and Sophie

Pete Harvey of DogWatch of Southeast Wisconsin is another firefighter turned DogWatch Dealer. He began working for a former DogWatch Dealer in his area as a second job, and found that he loved working with dogs. Pete and his wife Sarah have owned and operated the business since 2001. Pete serves as an active firefighter in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.

Like DogWatch of Northern Alabama, DogWatch of Southeast Wisconsin is also a family business. Pete and Sarah run the business together, and their 13 year-old son Nick helps out on installs, repairs and training.

The Harvey family are also dog lovers. They share their home with Sophie, a Newfoundland-St. Bernard mix and Nora, a Leonburger puppy. With these two very big dogs, they truly understand the need for a DogWatch Hidden Fence to give their dogs the space to roam and play outdoors!

DogWatch has Dealership opportunities available in many markets that would make a great second career opportunity for an active or retired firefighter. Boise, Idaho; Evansville, Indiana; Reno-Tahoe, Nevada and Little Rock, Arkansas are a just few of the places where we’re looking for Dealers. A complete list of available markets can be viewed at our website.

For more information on becoming a DogWatch Dealer, contact Charlie King at 800-793-3436 ext. 616 or charlie.king@dogwatch.com.