Boarding kennels at Tattersett established after diversifying the use of farm buildings is this month celebrating its 30th anniversary.
Waggtails Kennels was opened on August 16 by Mrs Shirley Wagg after she and her late husband, Patrick, decided to sell their herd of around 120 sows and six boars and were looking at what they could do with the empty barms.
Their daughter, Fiona, decided to work alongside her mother and help build up the business to what it is today.
Over the decades the kennels business at Manor Farm has acquired an extensive customer base with both local clients and others from as far away as Germany, Scotland, Wales and Ireland choosing to leave their pets in their care.
The kennels are licensed for up to 56 dogs and there is accommodation for 20 cats. Said Fiona: “We have customers who have been with us since we first opened and we have looked after their original pets followed by their more recent puppies. There are some people who have moved away from Norfolk but still like to have their dogs looked after by Waggtails.
“A lot of people say they like bringing their dogs here because it’s like a holiday home for their pets which can socialise and play with other canine friends.
“We try to help with animal behavioural problems. In the past we have had dogs which weren’t keen on socialising, but gained confidence and then loved racing round and playing with other dogs,” said Fiona.
“As a job, running Waggtails is fantastic as we are meeting like-minded people who love animals. It’s a job you have to love, as it’s hard work being seven days a week all year round, although we do take off two weeks in November for a break.”
Christmas is a very busy time on the calendar and is when Shirley and Fiona charge double on the bank holiday days but donate all the extra money to different animal charities. They choose two each year and, over the 30 years, Fiona estimates they have donated around £15,000 to various charities.
They also support other good causes, such as Macmillan and Norfolk Hospice, Tapping House, by holding regular charity events. They will holding a Mad Hatters Tea Party on Sunday, September 25, from 2pm-4pm with competitions and stalls. They thanked everyone who has supported these occasions.
In 2006 the rules for kenneling changed so new kennels were built and the old kennels and barns were converted into Manor Mews holiday cottages while The Great Barn is used for a variety of functions.