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Petpals partners with other national franchisors to launch pet welfare organisation


Petpals, the UK’s longest-established, multi-service pet-care franchise, has partnered with a number of other leading pet-care franchises to put the welfare of pets at the forefront of the £3.1 billion industry1. Forming a new regulatory body, the Pet Care Franchise Association (PCFA), the main objective of the group is to improve animal welfare standards in the pet-care industry across the UK.

Along with other leading pet-care franchise brands, including Barking Mad, Pet Stay and We Love Pets, Petpals is spearheading an ongoing national campaign through the PCFA that truly prioritises the care and wellbeing of pets. In turn, the initiatives devised by the organisation will appeal to relevant government authorities in raising the ceiling for ethical pet care through both the training and licensing of pet-care activities.

David Gray (QFA), Brand Development Manager at Petpals, has seen a real increase in the need for such a regulatory body since first investing in his own Petpals franchise 16 years ago.

“In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of pet owners in the UK has increased significantly and, therefore, so has the demand for pet-care services,” explained David. “Unfortunately, this has seen a huge leap in the number of unlicensed pet-care providers offering boarding services without the necessary licenses or even boarding pets with no training or support.”

“The PCFA aims to reduce the inconsistencies in how local authorities interpret Defra’s boarding and animal care regulations, cut the red tape and put the focus back onto animal welfare – this is a mission we’re committed to and proud to support,” said David.

Kevin Thackrah, Director of Petpals, said, “Much more needs to be done as it’s too easy for unethical pet-care providers to slip through the net and deliver care that does not meet minimum standards. The sad truth is that some pets will suffer due to inappropriate care, and that is heart-breaking. At Petpals, we firmly believe that pet ownership is a privilege, not a right. That is why we wholeheartedly champion the commitments of the PCFA and will continue to represent the various initiatives as we work with other brands for the rights of pets around the country.”

Having joined forces, Petpals and members of the PCFA have set strong guidelines for other pet-care franchises looking to join the fight against unethical pet care. Already representing around 250 franchisees, 4,200 pet-care staff and 91,000 customers across the UK, it is of the utmost importance that all associated providers abide by the organisation’s laws and ethics.

“Firstly, any franchisors looking to join forces with us must be a member of the British Franchise Association,” explained David. “And it goes without saying that the franchisor should have clear guidelines and policies relating to all aspects of pet welfare. We’re committed to maintaining these standards because Petpals is, first and foremost, invested in offering only the best possible pet-care standards industry wide. This, in turn, increases trust in our services and demand for our business model.”

As the PCFA looks to 2023, plans are already in place to launch a public awareness campaign and national education scheme, so all pet owners and providers in the UK understand how the organisation works and how they can get involved.

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