A NORTHUMBERLAND company is looking for more people to give dogs a loving home while their owners go on holiday.
Tina Young’s franchise of Cumbrian firm Barking Mad, which caters for dogs from the Cramlington area as far north as Seahouses, has had to take on a new member of staff to cope with the growing demand for her service.
The business, franchised to Tina in 2005, now has 400 dog owners on its books as well as 25 host families.
Tina said: “I’ve taken on Carol- Ann Grey who will be responsible for taking the dogs to and from their holiday homes.
“My customer base is growing all the time and I needed to take on an extra member of staff to give my other driver, Colin Heathcote, a bit of time off.
“I’m always looking for more host families to cope with the growing demand. I’ve been having to turn customers away because I don’t have enough hosts and that’s been really frustrating.
“Customers love the service because they can go on holiday knowing their dogs are being looked after in a family home in the way they’ve always been accustomed.
“It’s about matching the dog with the right host and getting the balance spot on.
“Although hosts do get paid I don’t want anyone who’s just in it for the money. They must be doing it for the right reasons. They must be dog lovers and able to show a clear understanding of dog care.”
Founder of the operation Lee Dancy developed the flourishing enterprise from an idea which was originally conceived out of sheer frustration when she failed to find suitable care for her own dog.
She discovered some pet owners simply did not go away if it meant leaving their pets behind.
There are currently three franchises of Barking Mad running successfully in the North East.
As well as Tina’s arm of the business, there is also a firm run by Susan and Peter Seward which covers the South Tyneside area, Washington, parts of Durham and also areas of Newcastle north of the river. An additional franchise covers the Tyne Valley and areas west of Newcastle city centre.