THE owners of the Steeple Ashton Boarding Kennels & Cattery are set to enjoy a happy retirement after looking after more than 500,000 pets over the past 17-years.

Yvette and Terry McColgan closed their doors for the last time on Friday, October 31 although they will still be living in the house next door.

They took over the business in 2002 with their three daughters, Laura, Jessica and Dawn, offering day and long-term boarding as well as a pet taxi service.

Mr McColgan said: “We wish to thank all of our lovely customers and adorable pets that have had their holidays here with us over the last 17 years.

“We have enjoyed each and every hairy and furry animal that has passed through our doors and have felt a lot of love from our regular holiday goers.”

Their youngest daughter, Dawn Thomas, says her parents are looking forward to enjoying a much-deserved retirement.

“Mum and Dad bought the business in September 2002 after being made redundant by Alpha Dot in Andover, an ink printing company once owned by my mother’s parents.

“Dad is now 65 while Mum is 54 and still a few years off retirement but she will be looking for other work.”

The family have looked after more than 473,700 pets since 2012 when they introduced a computerised booking system.

The boarding kennels and cattery handles over 67,600 bookings a year and has more than 3,150 customers and more than 4,600 pets on its records.

They include dogs and cats of all breeds, shapes and sizes, as well as ex-Army dogs and a wide variety of other pets, including guinea pigs, rabbits, chickens, reptiles, geckos, tortoises, parrots and even stick insects.

During the past 17 years they have only lost three boarding pets which died while their owners were on holiday.

Mrs Thomas said: “It was always an odd but understandable situation. The pets were either old or had poor health conditions.

“Owners would come back off holiday to find out their pet had died but they were always very understanding.”

The McColgans also have a proud record of never having had to look for a pet which had escaped and could not be found.

The couple used to hold a licence to board 169 dogs and 75 cats, but they dropped that down to 45 dogs and ten cats as the business wound down. It finally closed on October 31.

On November 9 from 11am to 1pm they will hold a farewell party for 40 customers at their premises on the Edington Road at Steeple Ashton.