Meet the teenager whose small pet hotel has already taken 400 bookings

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A teenager who set up a £2-a-night animal hotel for hamsters and rabbits while their owners are on holiday has already taken 400 bookings.

Tamzin Shipway, 13, came up with the idea earlier this year when her family tried and failed to find a professional pet sitter to look after her bearded dragon, leopard gecko, tortoise and rabbit while they were away.

She asked mum Lisa, 46, if she could set up her own business at the family home in Marlborough, Wiltshire, with the school holidays approaching and coronavirus restrictions easing.

The schoolgirl made flyers to put through local letterboxes and set up a Facebook page with Lisa’s help – and she has since been inundated with bookings.

The makeshift hotel – named Tammy’s Small Pet Hotel – welcomes hamsters, gerbils, mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, bearded dragons, tortoises, geckos and snakes.



Tamzin came up with the idea earlier this year
Tamzin came up with the idea earlier this year

Tamzin wakes up every morning to cut fresh fruit and vegetables for her furry guests and couples it with the dry food left by the owners.

She also does her own paperwork, logging the animal’s name and length of stay onto a spreadsheet on her laptop in order to manage the growing bookings.

The teenager has hosted a dozen animals since setting up Tammy’s Small Pet Hotel last month and has bookings until the end of September.

Tamzin said: “It’s been great. My favourite thing so far is having the guinea pigs to look after as I’ve never owned one before.

“I’m just so shocked at the response it’s had.

“I want to continue doing this for as long as I can.”

Mum Lisa added: “It’s really taken off and we’ve had a great response.

“She pointed out we had spare hutches and runs here so we thought we’d give it a go.

“Tamzin’s very disciplined with it all. She’s even made a spreadsheet so she can keep track of the bookings.

“She charges £2-a-day per pet. Most of it will be spent on the fresh fruit and veg but anything left over is Tamzin’s pocket money which is nice.



She feeds the animals first thing in the morning
She feeds the animals first thing in the morning

“She wakes up in the morning and will feed the animals before herself.

“She knows it needs to be done and has taken on the responsibility in full swing.

“We’re looking to opening it up to budgies in the future as there’s not a lot round for them either.”

More information about Tammy’s Small Pet Hotel can be found on its Facebook page.



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