Dog Sitters,  Industry News

Gloucestershire kennels transformed

Pet professionals Claire Fern and business partner Lauren Hunt have transformed a rundown dogs home in Gloucestershire.

The partners opened Aura’s Dog Rescue UK five years ago, which is focused on providing on rescue and care for abandoned, neglected and abused dogs from across the UK, that operates from the same premises.

Fern said that they faced an uphill battle to transform Elmview Boarding Kennels in Cambridge, near Dursley, after they got the keys 12 months ago.

However, thanks to a £400,000 loan from Cheshire-based finance group Together, they have been able to transform the kennels.

Together provided an initial short-term ‘bridging’ loan 12 months ago for the purchase of Elmview and agreed to provide longer-term funding after reviewing the success of the business over the past year. Fern received the new loan of nearly £400,000 at the end of May.

The partners have already spent £60,000 on renovations, the majority of which were insulation, new energy-efficient windows, and insulating the outside of the buildings to reduce heating costs.

Fern said: “We’re still renovating the kennels, but we’ve already improved them so much. Lauren lives on-site at the kennels to provide round-the-clock support and I live just a few minutes down the road.

“Owning the kennels is really an opportunity of a lifetime – we never thought we’d find somewhere so close to home that we could buy. Before running these kennels, neither of us had any real business experience, but the past 12 months have been a dream.”

Fern added: “The boarding kennels tend to be quieter in winter, so we’re keen to use the kennels to house some of the rescue dogs during that time. We’ll only charge the rescue minimal rent, just enough to cover costs.”

Claudia Calladine, Head of Affiliates at Together, said: “Supporting businesses like Claire’s is a key part of what we do here at Together. We were able to give her the initial short-term loan, and then when she proved that the kennels were proving to be a great success, we were more than happy to extend her term to allow her business to continue to thrive.”

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