The Reporter

Small Business
Room (for Pets) at this Inn

Couple offer an alternative to boarding your pet at the kennel

Lansdale, PA-
    You're leaving on a week's vacation but there's one problem-what to do with your pet beagle, Balley?
    You don't want to take him to a kennel-Bailey hates cages-but you don't want to burden a friend or relative with him, either.
    Franconia's George and Pat Miller may have an alternative. The husband and wife team is starting a pet boarding service in Lansdale under the national franchise Pets Are Inn.
    "If you have a pet that likes to sleep on the bed, we'll match it up with a family that will let it sleep on the bed," said George Miller, 54.
    The Millers have been working on starting up the franchise since June and are beginning to solicit host families. So far, they have two takers and are building their list.
    The franchise was founded in 1982 by a New York couple who moved to Minnesota, and was bought out in 1992 by current owners and Minnesota natives Ann and Jim Platt, said George Miller.
    The Millers heard a radio commercial for the business and decided it would be a great business to start in the Philadelphia suburbs.
    "I know something like this would work in this area, " said Pat Miller, 50.
    Here's how it works.
    The millers interview host families to find out what their home environments are like and then visit them to check them out.
    "Most of our host families become host families for only one reason," said George Miller.
    "They love pets."
    When clients come to them seeking to board their pet, the Millers do a "pet interview." They find out if the pet gets along well with other animals, what kind of food it likes and where it likes to sleep, among other things.
    Then they try to find a host family that can accommodate those needs. The clients provide a list of instructions and their pet's food.
    The clients and the host families never meet. Pets Are Inn picks the pet up at its owners' door and delivers it in a luxury van to the host family's door.
    For the smaller pets, such as hamsters or gerbils or birds, the Millers themselves will take the boarding responsibilities.
    Networking has been as important aspect of promoting the business, said George Miller.
    Mill said Pets Are Inn wants to add locations around the Philadelphia areas because the company sees a huge market among suburbanites in Montgomery, Bucks and Chest counties.

Return