About Us

The Animal Aunts team

Animal Aunts comprises a team of over 400 pet sitters, who have a wide variety of experience in caring for animals of all types. The Aunts (be they female, male or couples) are all interviewed personally and we write to four referees for detailed references. We have never needed to advertise for Animal Aunts as every week up to 30 people apply. Animal Aunts may come from any walk of life and be aged from 21 and over. What they all have in common is integrity, honesty, fitness, a love of animals and the knowledge and experience to care for them. Whatever your needs, the Animal Aunts are flexible and will tailor their services to suit your needs. Animal Aunts are based all over the UK and are available to travel anywhere the job requires within the UK or abroad.

We have Aunts who can look after Kennels, Catteries, B&B’s and Rescue Centres whether canine, equine or feline! We can arrange full time Custodians as well as house sitters for Probate situations.

Where it all began

Animal Aunts was created by Gillie McNicol in 1987 to provide a completely new concept of animal care, home care and security. Gillie had worked professionally with horses, livestock and domestic animals both in the UK and abroad. Between 1982 to 1984 she ran the Crete branch of the Hellenic Animal Welfare fund, owned her own pet shop in Crete and ran the Riding Club of Iraklion, Crete. Gillie has owned her own animals since she was a child and so naturally while in Greece for six years, she met and fell in love with a scruffy little dog called Zambia who returned with Gillie to the UK (via quarantine) and lived to be 20 years old.  Upon her return from Greece, she worked with horses and started to take on one or two pet sitting jobs locally. In 1987 she found herself overloaded with bookings and began the process of setting up Animal Aunts; interviewing and taking on new Aunts to help her. The very first person to be interviewed is still an Animal Aunt today!

The present day

Gillie now spends her time dealing with bookings at head office with the support of her fantastic team Donna and Seonaid. But don’t worry, she is still surrounded by animals including four dogs (now on the ninth generation of Greek Mountain Dogs), one cat, nine chickens and five ponies and our office is pet friendly so Donna’s dog Lady and Seonaid’s dog Molly are regularly welcomed into the mix. Animal Aunts thrives on a pawsitive environment.

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