Chuck & Don's Story

Pets bring people together, and the beginnings of Chuck & Don’s all started with a love for animals.

Training for Success

Chuck and Don

Don (left) and Chuck (right)

When Chuck and Sharon, his wife, started training dogs in 1972 at the Animal Inn Boarding Kennel in Lake Elmo, Minn., they didn’t know where the journey would lead. They just knew they loved their work.

They purchased the Animal Inn in 1978 and began running it full time in 1979.

Charles “Chuck” Anderson met Don Tauer at the Animal Inn. Through owning, training and showing German shepherds, golden retrievers, schipperkes, border collies and mixed breeds, Chuck and Don became friends.

Chuck and Sharon decided to devote their time to training and built the Animal Inn Training School. They sold the boarding kennel to Don and Joan Tauer in 1988.

The two businesses worked side-by-side as they devoted their time to pet parents and their furry family members.

A Demand for More

At that time, customers began to ask Chuck and Don to sell pet food. What started as a selling few bags of Iams and Eukanuba quickly turned into truckloads.

Chuck and Dons saw their own success in selling pet food and knew other local pet supply stores gaining momentum. So, Chuck and Don opened the first Chuck & Don’s® Pet Food Outlet in Eagan, Minn. in May 1990.

Growing and Changing

Chuck and Don met Bob Hartzell through a mutual friend. Bob was impressed by the knowledge of pet care and training by both Chuck and Don, and Bob saw the future of the business. Bob worked side-by-side on the business for two years before becoming a partner in 1996. Since then, he’s been a driving force in the growth of Chuck & Don’s.

Don Tauer retired from Chuck & Don’s in 2000 to devote time to Animal Inn Boarding Kennel, and his legacy is still proudly carried in our name.

Local, Committed and Trained

Becoming a destination store for pet parents dictates how we train our teams, the products we carry and the experience we deliver. From an outstanding selection of quality food and treats to giving our team members a place to grow and develop, Chuck & Don’s commits to doing what’s best for the customer and community.

Chuck & Don’s is based in Minnesota and has locations in Colorado and Kansas. We launched our Employee Stock Ownership Program (ESOP) in 2014 as another way to reward our team members.

Our work has consistently been recognized over the years, and we’ve received numerous awards for our customer service, community involvement and workplace culture.


Chuck of Chuck & Don’s

About Chuck

Chuck graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1963 with a degree in Accounting. He worked for State Farm Insurance from 1963-1966 as an adjuster. After that, he worked for Murphy Motor Freight Lines from 1966-1979 as a cost accountant, purchasing agent, office manager, operating shift manager and terminal operations manager.

Bob with Joleen and Nellie

Bob with Joleen and Nellie

About Bob

Robert “Bob” Hartzell is the current President and Chief Executive Officer. Bob graduated in 1975 from the University of Denver business school with a degree in Hotel/Restaurant Management.

He worked for the Clock Tower Restaurant in Vail, Colo. until returning to Minnesota in 1978. He opened Bobbie’s of White Bear Lake in Minnesota and ran the restaurant until 1988.

In 1979, Bob joined the Board of Directors of Hartzell Corporation, a manufacturing company started in the 1950’s by his father. In addition to his commitment to the Hartzell Corporation, Bob also acquired The Pub Restaurant on Madeline Island in Wisconsin.

Bob started working with Chuck and Don in 1993 and became a partner in 1996. Since then, he’s been a driving force behind Chuck & Don’s growth.