A retired public sector worker has turned her love for four-legged friends into a flourishing business.
Linda Barnes, who spent 25 years helping other people to find work through her role at the Job Centre, is supporting dog lovers to find their perfect job with her new business venture, PetStay.
Linda is bringing PetStay – a growing nationwide business which provides home boarding for dogs through a network of licensed carers – to the North East as the region’s first franchisee.
The 60-year-old, who lives in North Shields with her own dog, a nine-year-old Weimaraner called Jess, is looking for dog lovers to join her team and become licensed boarders to meet the demands of dog owners across the region.
Linda said: “Despite retiring, I knew I wasn’t ready to sit back and just do nothing and as a real dog lover, it made perfect sense to try and develop a business which could incorporate this.
“PetStay was only set up a few years ago by a dog owner in Hull who was unable to find suitable accommodation for her much-loved pet whilst she went on holiday, yet has quickly grown in to a successful national business.
“The company places huge emphasis on not only finding the right franchisees but on training and administration to ensure that dogs and their owners receive the best possible service.
“As a franchisee, I am now looking for other dog lovers to join my team as I have a growing list of customers looking for somewhere for their dogs to stay.”
“I already have four licensed carers but I am looking for more to come on board who are looking to generate income from their love for animals.”
PetStay has been helped by North Tyneside Council’s Business Factory, the enterprise support programme designed to encourage both start-ups in the borough as well as helping existing businesses to succeed and grow.
Linda added: “I really can’t think of a better way to make a living.”