Monday, September 25, 2023
HomeCats"It must be a professional passion": meeting two zookeepers from Menton who...

“It must be a professional passion”: meeting two zookeepers from Menton who will look after your animals during your holiday

We quickly pay attention to where we go in Claude’s apartment. Here, a ball of fur can arise from any corner. “Cats are at home, in total freedom…”, the sexagen slips by showing the places. Well, almost.

At each window and on the property’s two terraces, wire netting has been carefully installed to prevent escape. Because the animals that Claude keeps here are not his. Eight years ago, this retired, former executive in the automotive industry decided to turn his Careï apartment into a boarding house for cats. The first, and the only one to date, in Menton. “Since then, others have been created in Beausoleil or Sospel, but there are so many requests…”, she specifies.

Claude, 73, created the very first boarding house for cats in Menton eight years ago. In her apartment, she keeps an eye on over a dozen cats a year. Photo MB.

Strong demand

The idea, she had it”really random.” “It was my ex-daughter-in-law, who used to walk dogs in Nice, who said to me one day on the road: you know Claude, you could board here. I had been retired for eight years, I had to do something because I can’t stay idle and I love cats. I said why not!”she says.

Before she starts, Claude asks for the veterinary clinic right next to her home, where she usually takes her cats. “They told me it was a very good idea that customers always asked them for places to keep their cats while they were away…”

Diploma in hand, the pensioner runs. Her brother, who now works with her, is decorating the apartment where they both live. Claude even creates a website and a Facebook page.

“And there it goes very quickly“, she recalls. Today, this enthusiast houses up to fifteen cats a year at home.

“It was my dream, but the food, the care, it’s expensive!”, she smiles. The need for custody varies.

“Of course there are people who go on holiday, but also people who are hospitalized for a while, those who do professional internships or move home, the owners who work and don’t want to leave the cats with the workers and the windows open…”describes Claude.

“My primary interest is cats”

In the summer and at Christmas, demand explodes, but places are rare. “We are months in advance, I always have to turn people away. I already have reservations there for December”, says the pensioner. For whom this activity is now a valuable supplement to income, even if it focuses on collecting tariffs “available to all”.

Count 11 euros per day for a cat and 250 euros per month in the summer season. “The prices are much lower than what is done in Nice or elsewhere, but because my main interest is cats and to be able to allow these families to keep them instead of abandoning them.”emphasizes Claude.

Michel, dog trainer and founder of the company Lucky Dog 06. That day the self-employed entrepreneur was on a trip with Rudolphe, one of his regular customers. Photo MB.

Michel, 43, luxury “dog sitter”

The love of animals is also what made Michel enter the industry. A former private security dog ​​handler, this 43-year-old dog trainer founded Lucky Dog 06 five years ago, a “dog sitting company” that offers walks, home visits and transportation for dogs. Educated at the Menton dog friendly where he volunteered for many years, Michel now works mainly between Monaco and Beaulieu on behalf of billionaires.

“Just like these people have nannies for their children, they have nannies for their animals. You have to pick up the dogs, brush them, take them for walks three times a day, feed them, make sure they’re in good health…”he explains.

Sometimes you even have to travel very far. “It happened to me once to leave on a private jet with a dog in Germany, because the diagnosis of the vet here did not suit the owner, he wanted a second opinion”says the auto contractor.

“In winter, I can also take the dogs on snow walks, for example”, he continues. Some evenings it happens that Michel is called by prestigious hotels on the Côte d’Azur to keep certain customers’ dogs in their rooms.

A “real job”

But behind the anecdotes and glitter, the professional insists: it’s real work, “where you don’t have to be afraid to work hours”. “My first client is at 5.30am in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat and I often finish around 8pm. Before I worked full time, seven days a week. Recently I’ve been giving myself Sundays”he smiles.

“This is also because I only take care of one dog at a time during walks. I don’t do “pack walking” like some companies do now, where they take ten dogs at a time and earn 400 euros for a walk… When I started in this business, it was because someone in Monaco called me to help him walk dogs. Very quickly I realized that this person wanted to take them on a walk and after an hour he didn’t want to take them back. with that, that’s why I started my own business”says Michel.

“The primary goal is not to get rich”

“The main problem with this activity is that it is growing a little and that today many people do it in addition, in a black way, when they have no knowledge of animals in general. I will not entrust my dog ​​to anyone. You must have a minimum of experience, a diploma, insurance… It is mandatory, alert the dog trainer. It must be a passion, the primary goal is not to get rich…”



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

%d bloggers like this: