One pet-loving veteran of the animal care industry opened Bone Sweet Bone in early 2007. Having worked in pet stores, veterinary hospitals, animal shelters, and briefly as a pet product sales rep over the course of his career, owner Santiago Ramirez has an inside-out understanding of the pet care industry. The idea for Bone Sweet Bone came from his belief that — utilizing his unique breadth of experience, understanding of animals, and multi-perspective view of the industry — he could open his own cage-free doggy daycare built upon the guiding principle of creating a true home away from home.
Ramirez’s love of animals began at a young age. Prior to immigrating to the United States from Colombia in 1989, he spent countless hours observing and learning from his veterinarian grandfather. It wasn’t until many years later, after training as a tech assistant at the Humane Society through a program run by his high school, that Ramirez realized that he wanted to turn his passion for animals into a career. He went on to complete two years of veterinary technician training at Pierce College before starting as a veterinary assistant at a local emergency animal hospital. His dedication and strong work ethic helped him to quickly progress to veterinary technician and ultimately manager of the hospital’s technical staff.
His reputation as a highly skilled technician spread throughout the animal care community in Los Angeles and soon other hospitals were requesting him to fill relief shifts at their clinics. Performing relief work helped Ramirez gain more experience within large national chain hospitals, small day practice hospitals, and overnight emergency-only clinics. He was even hired as the technician for a mobile veterinarian who provided medical care to exotic animals used in the movie industry. He has worked with animals of all types and sizes, including hamsters, ferrets, cats, dogs, birds, reptiles, and wolves.
Veterinarians across the San Fernando and San Gabriel Valleys praised Ramirez as a strong, responsible, and quick worker who could be trusted and depended upon to think on his feet, anticipate needs, and use good sense. In addition to his deep technical knowledge and unique understanding of animals, veterinarians and their staff found his positive attitude, charismatic personality, and ambition to be refreshing.
It wasn’t long before he began contemplating a business of his own based on a unique cage-free concept. Ambitious and driven, Ramirez set out to make his dream a reality, but not before accepting a full-time position as a sales rep for a disinfectant product targeted to pet care providers. In this position, he had the opportunity to visit numerous animal hospitals, pet stores, and shelters up and down California. In speaking with his customers, he was able to gather valuable intelligence about the needs and challenges that come with running a pet care facility.
With the knowledge gained from this opportunity, and his years of leadership experience in animal hospitals, Ramirez was confident that he could offer busy pet owners a unique alternative to leaving their dogs home alone during the day or having to board them at a kennel facility while they were away. More importantly, he wanted to provide the dogs with an environment that would make them feel as safe and happy as they do at home, and he wanted owners to take comfort in knowing that their furry family members would spend the day running, playing, and socializing with other dogs in a loving and attentive environment. In 2007, he opened the doors to Bone Sweet Bone – Your Dog’s Home Away From Home! – a cage-free doggy daycare and grooming boutique in Studio City, CA.
Ramirez is a hands-on owner who doesn’t hesitate to roll up his sleeves and get to work. He has put his own blood, sweat, and tears into building Bone Sweet Bone into a successful business. It gives him great pride to be the first member of his family to attain the dream of owning and operating a business in the United States. Ramirez’s entrepreneurialism doesn’t stop with Bone Sweet Bone, however. He also owns two businesses in Colombia that provide veterinary care and grooming services, but his heart is, and always will be, with his first venture into small business ownership, Bone Sweet Bone.