July 23, 2020
Last February, Tracey Eaton left her job in the civil service after 15 years to start Maccy G Pets, a dog walking and pet sitting service, which covers Norwich and nearby surrounding villages.
The animal lover could not have dreamt her first year would go so well, but as the pandemic hit she saw months of bookings cancelled and received no government support.
Her wedding to her childhood sweetheart Lea McGowen, which was due to take place at Norwich Castle in April, was also postponed.
With a reduced income, she invested in a van to start up a pet taxi service which can transport pets and their owners “anywhere they need to go”.
Miss Eaton, of Carrow Hill, said: “We had a fantastic first year with lots of regular clients. When the pandemic came nobody was working away from home, no-one was going on holiday.
“All of my bookings when the pandemic started right until the end of September were cancelled. “We decided to use the time and used our savings to buy a van and develop it as a pet taxi.
“We can take you and your pet to vet appointments, to drop off at boarding kennels/catteries or anywhere else you’d like to travel with your pet in safety… I love meeting people and I love meeting dogs and cats.”
The van has been equipped with a large crate and has water, a full pet first aid kit and air conditioning aboard. After each trip, the van is sanitised and bedding removed.
The taxi will sit alongside her current dog walking and pet sitting services which have been adapted to be more Covid-secure.
When dog walking, Miss Eaton will arrive to pick up or return dogs from clients’ gardens, using her own leads and personal protective equipment.
Miss Eaton said despite the challenges she has faced she has felt “valued” as clients continued to use her dog walking services even when working from home.
She said: “We want it to be really personal. What I wanted to create is the service that I would want from a pet sitter or taxi. I adore my animals.”
The couple have a bundle of four legged friends themselves, with dogs Teddy, six, Sam, 10, and one-year-old Summer and cats Artie, Belle and Henry.