DOG-lovers are being called on to volunteer to host holidays for hounds.
Barking Mad, a service which provides holiday homes for dogs while their owners are away, is in need of more volunteers.
Jane Harrison, of Finden Drive, Chichester, opened a local branch of the innovative nationwide business three years ago and business has continued to grow since then, but she needs enough hosts to keep up with the rising interest.
“Business is booming and I love what I do because I believe it’s the best care, but the most difficult part of the job is to get hosts on board.
“The host is given all the food and extras they need. They get the enjoyment of the dog’s companionship without all the responsibility.”
When the branch was first set up, it had about 25 hosts, but some of those have left since or were transferred to the Worthing branch when that opened just before Christmas.
Jane said anyone can become a host as long as they have an appropriate space at home and enough time to devote to the holidaying hounds.
Many of the hosts are retired couples and some can offer a hand at weekends and in the school holidays.
Jane said it would also be particularly helpful to have more full-timers and more young hosts who can look after the larger and stronger dogs.
All dogs are matched with their perfect hosts so they match in terms of their exercise routines, their love of hugs and their house rules.
Jane meets the dogs when they are registered and she finds out all about their likes, dislikes and quirks.
Before they go on holiday, they have a trial night at their holiday home to check they are happy and Jane is usually the person who picks them up to take them to their holiday home.
“Half the time the dogs want to walk out the door with me because they associate me with going on a fabulous holiday.
“It’s nice to see the customers’ faces when I come because they are so relaxed knowing their pet is in good hands.”
To find out more, call 01243 583152 or visit www.BarkingMad.uk.com