A stunning Egyptian Arab horse, a Shetland pony, plus a Havenese dog, cat and Koi carp are amongst the pets that Homesitters look after when their owner goes away.
Aflie the horse, Rupert the pony, dog Theo, cat Noddy and the Koi carp belong to a family that live in a large Tudor style house in Warwickshire and have used homesitters for 15 assignments as they wanted someone to stay in their home and care for all their different pets.
Homesitters provides responsible and vetted home and pet sitters to clients across the UK looking for someone to take care of their home and pets.
Ben Irvine, Director of Operations at Homesitters Ltd said; “Our homesitters are experienced with all types of pets, from different dog and cat breeds to more unusual pets. The benefit for our clients which have a menagerie of pets is they employ one person or couple to live-in their home to look after all their different pets which is cost-effective and means their animals can all stay in their home environment.
“For dogs and cats especially this is preferable to a kennel or cattery, plus there is someone living there for the horses rather than just popping in to the feed them. The home and pet sitter can also keep an eye on the koi carp pond, as well as ensure the home is occupied which can help prevent opportunistic burglaries.”
Paula and Gavin Rose from Dorset have done over 90 assignments since they joined Homesitters in 2012, with four booking planned for this year already. The couple are both in their 50s and decided to become homesitters when they no longer needed to work full time and wanted to try something new.
While sitting for their client in Warwickshire, Paula and Gavin give daily walks to Theo, feed all the animals per the client’s instructions and give them all lots of love and attention. For Alfie and Rupert, the Roses provide two feeds a day, along with topping up their water, checking the enclosure is all intact, and they are in good form.
Paula explains, “We wanted a lifestyle change – we were keen to live in different parts of the country and meet new people and researched ways to do this. Then we discovered homesitting and it sounded ideal. We love animals and are keen walkers, and the role incorporated the travel and new experiences we were looking for.”
The Roses tend to go on about 12 assignments a year which can vary in length from three or four days to a month at a time. They usually look after dogs and cats although they have also looked after horses, chickens and a tortoise, and once memorably homesat at a hedgehog sanctuary.
They were once asked to help out at the hedgehog sanctuary while they were staying in the owners home looking after her two dogs and a cat. They helped another volunteer at the sanctuary to feed sick and injured hedgehogs that had been rescued – they eat kitten food and mealworms – and weigh them to check they were progressing well. Once the hedgehogs were recovered, they were reintroduced to their natural habitat.
“That was a really interesting homesit” says Paula, “we enjoyed learning to handle and care for the hedgehogs, it’s not often you get to see these little creatures close up and we took great pleasure in being able to help with their recovery.”
Paula and Gavin prefer to be in the countryside rather than the town as they enjoy walking. While the couple’s own home is a small bungalow, often the homes they stay in are grander. They sometimes have swimming pools, table football or pool tables too so there is always something to do regardless of the weather.
Paula recalls one of her favourite homes, “It was like staying in a National Trust property, the gardens were very well kept and beautifully laid out, there were ponds and statues. It was such a pleasure to be able to step out of the house straight into that beautiful setting.”
Homesitters Ltd are different to many other pet sitting agencies in that all their homesitters are employed by them, are fully vetted and insured, plus they provide 24/7 back up support for homesitters on assignment. Homesitters also meet clients and their pets beforehand to be briefed on the home and the pets’ routine to ensure the assignment goes smoothly.
For more information on Homesitters Ltd and to apply to become a homesitter visit: www.homesitters.co.uk