Home board your pets


Tee shows how the service looks on various platforms. Customers can use an app or the website to find other pet lovers to take care of their furry friends. — Art Chen/The Star

Tee shows how the service looks on various platforms. Customers can use an app or the website to find other pet lovers to take care of their furry friends. — Art Chen/The Star

With the Hari Raya Aidilfitri ­holidays around the corner, it’s time to plan your balik kampung trip but what about your pets?

Vernon Tee understands the anxiety that goes with leaving your pets with a boarding kennel.

“I believe pets should be in a home not a cage, and in the care of someone who really loves ­animals. I feel strongly about this as I’m a pet owner too,” he says.

Tee was devastated with ­boarding service before when his dog returned home from the ­kennel sick and then suddenly passed away.

Not wanting others to suffer such an experience, he invested in PetBacker, a service that connects pet owners to “Backers”, individuals who provide pet care services ranging from boarding and sitting to dog walking and pet taxis.

He makes it a point to ensure the Backers are pet lovers, with around 90% made up of current and former pet owners.

While most Backers are between the age of 27 and 38 and are often people with stay-at-home jobs, he found the hardest ­working Backers tended to be ­college students.

Since starting it in 2016, the company has hosted pets for over 20,000 nights. For additional peace of mind, there is insurance coverage for the pet in case of accident or emergency, and for the Backers in case they are bitten or if the pet damages something while under their care.

Backers are only allowed to accommodate up to five pets through the system, ensuring they give enough attention to each ­animal. Boarding fees are set by the Backers, though the company recommends they charge between RM20 to RM45 a night. PetBacker takes a 20% cut of the fees.

PetBacker operates out of several markets including Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and the United States.

It has more than 25,000 backers, mostly in the US (about 6,000), while Malaysia has 700 plus ­backers.

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