She liked the service so much she bought the business.

A client of Southampton-based pet care franchise Petpals, has taken over the business after the retirement of owner Victoria McGuire.

The business, which provides dog walking, dog boarding, cat and small pet visits was founded in 2008 and has looked after everything from regular cats and dogs to parrots and chickens in its 10 years of trading.

New owner Monique Nixon, who has been a client since 2010 has now given up her job as a personnel assistant to the director of training services at NATS in Whiteley, to purchase the franchise, become her own boss and run a business for the very first time.

Animal-lover Moniqu, 47, e grew up with a variety of pets including two rescue dogs, Archie the Boxer and Scooby the Dogue de Bordeaux. She is now the proud owner of a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Rudi.

On a daily basis Monique and employee Nicky Purdue care for dogs who come to stay as ‘Dog Boarders’ plus going out on several walks a day with dogs who’s owners are at work. They also visit homes to feed and care for cats and various other small caged animals e.g. rabbits, guinea pigs, fish etc.

Monique said: ‘One of the reasons I was attracted to buying Petpals Southampton was because it allowed me to realise a personal ambition of working with animals, plus I could see it was a fantastic opportunity for a significant career and lifestyle change, into a job I’m passionate about.’