A FAMILY run firm has thanked dedicated staff members for devoting a decade to caring for other people’s pets.

Over the past ten years, Jayne Gibson and Vicky Metcalfe have walked hundreds of dogs and kept scores of curious cats company in their roles at a pet care company established in Darlington.

The pair are part of a team of 13 people who are enlisted by Petpals to care for 300 dogs, more than a hundred cats and other small animals across the town and in Yarm each month.

Established in 2007, the business offers to look after the much-loved pets of those who are on holiday, at work or need extra support in caring for their furry friends.

The company’s founder, Sallyann Gray, praised the efforts of Ms Gibson and Ms Metcalfe as she spoke of how important a loyal workforce had been in ensuring the firm’s success.

Ms Gibson had worked as a hairdresser prior to handing in her scissors and taking up a role with Petpals, where she plans walks and carries out home visits.

The animal lover, who said her job had provided her with the opportunity to experience something different every day, was described as “super flexible, always keen and incredibly positive” by her boss.

Ms Gray also praised Ms Metcalfe for her organisational skills and commitment to her work and colleagues.

She said: “Having long-term staff is so important to a small business like Petpals.

“When you’re leaving your treasured pet in someone else’s hands, you want to know that their staff are trustworthy, reliable, responsible and experienced, in it for the ‘long haul’ not just a temporary job.

“Having staff who have been with us for this amount of time illustrates to our customers that we take being employers very seriously, we treat our staff well and in turn they stay with us and we know this gives our clients great peace of mind. We’d like to say a big thank you to Vicky and Jayne for being such fabulous employees.”

Ms Metcalfe said: “It’s gone so quickly, it just doesn’t seem like ten years. I’m really lucky – even though I do some of the admin work, which I enjoy, I’m still out with the dogs every day. I’ve got the best of both worlds.”