We’re a nation of dog lovers. But could you switch careers to completely focus on our four-legged friends? One couple did just that.
They say if you find a job you love, you’ll never work another day in your life.
And when Michael and Pam Hersey decided it was time for a career change, it was their love of their pooches that inspired the biggest move of their lives.
“We’d only kept pet dogs,” laughs Pam. “But we had successfully brought up three children and owned pets as they grew up.
“We figured running a boarding kennel would come down to common sense and treating the dogs we looked after like our own pets.”
Incredibly, the couple had never used kennels for their own family dogs. And the property that caught their eye, Biergate Kennels in Grainthorpe, was around 130 miles away from their home for five decades.
“I’d never even been to Lincolnshire,” adds Pam. “I had it in my head it was flat and a bit boring. But within a week of arriving, I loved it. I’d never seen such huge skies, the pace of life was so good, it was just what we wanted.”
The couple had decided that with their children grown and after long careers in mechanical maintenance and engineering for Michael and financial administration services for Pam, they didn’t want to spend the next 20 years stuck in the same routine.
Converting a love for dogs into a full-time job, but the couple quickly found their feet.
“We didn’t really know what to expect at first,” admits Pam, “and it was a huge learning curve. While looking after other people’s pets was a big responsibility, it was also lovely and we enjoyed it from the start.”
Michael and Pam were the third owners of Biergate Boarding Kennels, so inherited an established business with experienced staff – a real help when it comes to hitting the ground running.
Since 2004, they’ve added to the facility, growing it from a kennels licensed for 30 dogs to 49, and establishing a strong reputation for quality care.
While they’ve never regretted their decision to follow their passion, it’s now time for another big life change. The couple, both now in their sixties, are leaving Biergate Boarding Kennels for the Manchester area to be closer to their new grandchildren.
With the business turning over around £80,000 per annum and the prospect of spending your working days in the countryside surrounded by four-legged friends, running a boarding kennels sounds like a dog lover’s dream job.
But, could anyone do it?
“You must have a real love of dogs, they know if you are not terribly bothered about them, they sense it,” she says. “And it helps if you don’t mind walkies and dealing with dog poo too!
“It can also be a physical job. You can delegate things like walking the dogs, but Michael likes to get out with dogs and do it himself.”
While summer holiday season is busy, Pam says there’s a constant stream of dog owners seeking boarding kennel space for their pooches all year round – ensuring a steady income for the new owners.
“We’ve really enjoyed running the boarding kennels,” adds Pam. “We have mixed feelings about moving on because it’s been such a big part of our lives, but we’re looking forward to another new chapter.”
Biergate Boarding Kennels in Grainthorpe, Louth, is currently being marketed for sale by commercial property experts Ernest Wilson & Co.
Its price tag of £599,950 includes a delightful detached home with granny flat, plus a ready-to-use grooming parlour, offering the potential to create a new strand to the business.
Find out more by calling 0113 238 2900 or visit https://www.ernest-wilson.co.uk/Business-Details/556607