Sixty Plus Surfer Article - If you love animals why not become a homesitter in 2016?

Posted on 2 July, 2019

homesitters - Tim & Jill Clark

Tim and Jill Clark have been home and pet sitting since 2003.

When people retire they often want a fresh challenge and the chance to do something completely new. A great option for people that love to travel and enjoy taking care of animals is to become a homesitter.

It’s a flexible way to earn a little bit of extra money, as well as travel the UK, caring for people’s homes and pets when they go away. The role particularly suits active, retired people in their 50s, 60s and 70s or those who are not working who are looking for an interesting way to spend their retirement.

There are many benefits including the chance to stay in fabulous homes in rural and urban locations, meet new people and care for a wide variety of pets. 

homesitters - Ros & Jim Slaughter

Ros and Jim Slaughter have been home and pet sitting for three years.

One couple who are enjoying being homesitters are Jim and Ros Slaughter, a retired couple from Chichester in their early 60s, who have been home and pet sitting for the last three years through the national home and pet sitting company, Homesitters Ltd.

Before retiring, Ros was head of sports at a local college in Chichester where she had worked for 29 years and Jim lectured in hospitality at the same college. Prior to this, his career had been in hotel management. When they were approaching retirement, they had spent a lot of time planning their future.

Jim explains, “We wanted to do something a bit different but still purposeful in our retirement. Getting a part time job or setting up a business didn’t really appeal because we no longer wanted to be tied into a routine anymore. We wanted the freedom to travel extensively, visit new places and meet new people.”

Jim read an article about home and pet sitting and thought it sounded like an ideal way to combine their many interests. The couple are both very sporty and active. Ros plays golf and is an avid gardener and both of them love walking and they are great animal lovers.

The Slaughters have been ‘surrounded by pets’ all their lives. They had an English sheep dog for 13 years which they used to take into the college and the local hospital to visit patients, and Jim owned many dogs in the past. One of their biggest attractions of home sitting was the opportunity to look after other people’s dogs.

Ros says, “The pets mean everything to us. We love staying in grand homes and we have some fabulous clients who are really interesting and lovely. Homesitting provides a real break from the routine and a chance to get fit walking the dogs. We’re very careful to be strict about the pets’ routines – no client wants to come home to an overfed dog.”

Another retired couple Tim and Jill Clark have been home and pet sitting through Homesitters since 2003. They have completed over 210 house sits for sixty six different clients and looked after over 100 different animals ranging from Shire horses, to pigs, monitor lizards, Alpacas and even pythons.

Tim says, “We’ve sat in the most fabulous homes with beautiful gardens – it’s just like having a wonderful holiday. Homesitting suits us because we are doing something really purposeful, it is really flexible and it combines our many interests. Just like the Slaughters, the real highlight for them is the animals.

Tim explains, “We have looked after many different breeds of dogs which has been fascinating – we love playing with dogs. We’ve also looked after race horses, emus and even a pig that lived in the kitchen that we had to tuck up in a blanket before bed. We’ve really had some great experiences.”

Homesitters has been in business for 35 years. With over 1,000 employed sitters all over the UK, the company is looking to recruit new Homesitters in 2016 to meet the demands of its growing business.

The company offers a high level of service and sitters are carefully matched with clients, taking into account preferences, personalities, skills and experiences. The role is a flexible position, offering occasional employment, and whilst the primary rewards for home and pet sitting are non-financial, homesitters are paid a modest remuneration to supplement a pension or other income.

If this sounds like something you’d be interested in this year why not visit Homesitter’s web site and apply today!

For more information about Homesitters click on or to view the story on Sixty Plus Surfer please click here


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