Barking Mad appoints managing director duo

May 26, 2019

Barking Mad Dog Care announced the appointment of two new joint managing directors at its annual conference in the Lake District.

Richard Dancy and Rachel Stewart will run the leading dog care franchise jointly, specialising in communications and operations respectively and leading an award-winning support team.

Barking Mad’s founder, Lee Dancy, retires as MD this month (June). The Dancy name, which has become synonymous with the dog holiday brand and franchising, will live on, however, as Lee’s husband, Richard, takes over the reins alongside former business development consultant Rachel.

Barking Mad, the dog home boarding franchise, has been run semi-autonomously by Lee since the company’s acquisition by the Franchise Brands group in 2016.

Franchise Brands is an international multi-brand franchisor with a combined network of more than 450 franchisees in 12 countries. Under a new structure, the parent company will now play a greater role in ensuring growing success through shared support services such as technology, marketing, finance and franchise recruitment.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business


Chairman of Franchise Brands Stephen Hemsley said: “Lee’s passion, commitment and entrepreneurial spirit were instrumental in achieving this success and everyone at Franchise Brands wishes her all the very best.”

Lee was a pioneer in the dog home boarding market 19 years ago when she set about creating a new concept for dog holidays. Today, Barking Mad is a multi-award-winning business with more than 80 franchisees nationwide.

The Barking Mad concept is centred on accommodating dogs in a caring environment, ensuring their routine is kept as consistent as possible with a loving, local host family.

Lee added: “After almost 20 years at the helm I have decided to retire. I feel extremely proud to have founded a business which has changed the lives of so many people: our customers and their dogs, our community of wonderful host families and the enthusiastic franchise network of 82 business owners.

“We recently celebrated all things Barking Mad at the National Conference hosted on the shores of Lake Windermere. It was a very fitting celebration themed ‘Teamwork makes the Dream Work’ and a delightful opportunity to recognise the success of the business. I look forward to seeing Barking Mad continue to grow under the leadership of Rachel Stewart and Richard Dancy.”

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory


Everyone in the dog-sitting network came together to celebrate and thank Lee for her vision, hard work and unwavering enthusiasm.

Barking Mad franchise owners John and Elaine Warburton, from Fife, have recently been named as finalists in the British Franchise Association’s HSBC Franchisee of the Year Award.

Richard Dancy said: “Barking Mad has really grown up in the 11 years I have worked in the business and Lee has literally changed the lives of thousands of dog lovers and business owners as a result. I am delighted to be able to continue to work with Rachel and the team, including all those at Franchise Brands group plc.

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

“Our new structure integrates us more into our parent company, which puts us in a very strong position with such excellent resources at our disposal. Barking Mad will continue to expand in a buoyant growth market with the pet sector predicted to hit £7bn in 2021.”

Rachel Stewart added: “Lee has been an inspirational founder and leader and has steered the business to huge success over the last 19 years. She leaves at an exciting and buoyant time for the pet care sector and she leaves behind firm foundations from which Richard and I can further build upon.”

By Karen Pickwick

Source: Pet Business World

Karen’s Barking Mad thanks to national award

May 16, 2019

Barking Mad Dog Care has recognised business success at its 16th national conference.

Local dog business owner Karen Wright received an award for above average year-on-year financial growth.

The franchised service, which provides bespoke holidays for dogs whilst their owners are away, celebrated at the Low Wood Bay Resort in the Lake District, where the achievements of the branch covering Conwy, Bangor and Anglesey was acknowledged.

The event, led by managing director Lee Dancy, was a thank-you for all the hard work from the dog care providers across the UK and it marked 19 years of continued success.

Lee Dancy said: “We were delighted to recognise Karen’s proactive and professional approach in running her business.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

“It is a testament to her dedication and hard work that Barking Mad Conwy, Bangor and Anglesey has shown such growth.”

“Karen’s love of dogs and people has always shone through as she has grown her business.

“She has also built a thriving community of dog sitting host families, improving and enriching the lives of local people with dog companionship.”

Karen said: “I am delighted to receive an award acknowledging how well my business has done.

“Having started from scratch just over two years ago, we have gone from strength to strength and attained the top year-on-year growth figure in Barking Mad UK with over 70 per cent.

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We have some gorgeous doggy customers and fantastic hosts who make every day a happy one.

“I love reading the five-star reviews our customers send in and watching our hosts enjoy their dog guests.

“It’s great to see my regular customers get so excited when the Barking Mad car arrives for them.”

The Barking Mad concept is centred on accommodating dogs in a caring environment, ensuring their routine is kept as consistent as possible with a loving, local host family.

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

The Barking Mad brand, part of the Franchise Brands plc group of companies, is recognised across the pet care sector and the franchise industry, as well as the great British pet loving public.

By Shaun Davies

Source: North Waled Chronicle

Grantham dog business couple voted ‘Best Newcomer’ at ceremony

May 14, 2019

A Grantham dog business couple have been named as Barking Mad Dog Care’s ‘2019 Newcomer of the Year’ at its national conference.

Colin and Jacqui Murphy, who live in Barrowby Gate, Grantham, beat more than 80 other dog care providers to be named top dog at the conference in the Lake District last month. The couple opened up the franchised dog-sitting business in 2017 to offer pet owners an alternative to using kennels.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

Barking Mad managing director Lee Dancy said: “We were delighted to reward Colin and Jacqui’s hard work in developing their franchise into a prosperous and well-established business. They took over an existing business which was operating at a steady level to take it to the next level.”

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Colin said: “We are delighted to be recognised for our efforts. From being customers ourselves to being named as best newcomers in just 18 months is something we are very proud of.”

Related: Barking Mad Franchise

By Tracey Davies

Source: Grantham Journal

Alnwick business raises hundreds to support dog charity

September 29, 2018

An animal business in Alnwick has proved it is top dog when it comes to fund-raising, by collecting the most in the country for a vital charity. Barking Mad franchisees throughout the UK have donated almost £10,000 to Dogs for Good, which trains dogs to help people with severe disabilities.

And north Northumberland’s local franchise has emerged as England’s top money-raiser for the charity.

Tina Young, of Warkworth, whose team operates from Hawkhill Business Park, on the outskirts of Alnwick, said: “I’m thrilled to learn that the £705 we have raised so far has pushed us into the position of top dog in England. “The charity trains dogs to support people with disabilities, including children with autism, in order to enrich and improve lives.”

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

The team’s fund-raising efforts included a cake sale, raffles, a tombola and dog-biscuit sales.

Barking Mad offers a specialist dog-sitting service.

Source: Northumberland Gazette

Independent pet businesses nominated for national business award

June 17, 2018

Dog holiday service Barking Mad and dog walking and boarding company We Love Pets have both been shortlisted in this year’s Bfa HSBC Franchise Awards.

Barking Mad has been named as a finalist in the Brand Awareness category while We Love Pets has made the shortlist in the Emerging Franchisor of the Year category.

In 2017, Barking Mad invested into consumer brand marketing for the benefit of its network. This involved a truly integrated marketing campaign, using varied techniques including a full re-brand and PR, TV, web, print and event campaigns.

Family-run We Love Pets launched its pilot franchise four years ago and has since recruited 12 franchisees.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

Joanne White, founder and company director of We Love Pets, said: “We are over the moon to receive the news that we’re a finalist in such prestigious franchise awards. It’s a real credit to the team and we’re looking forward to the opportunities it will bring.”

Richard Dancy, head of marketing for Barking Mad, added: “It has been a stonkingly good year for our brand, which has required many hours of hard work. To receive recognition for this year’s dedication by all involved means the world to us. We hope to enjoy the benefits for years to come.”

All the Bfa HSBC Franchise Award category winners will be named at an exclusive black-tie ceremony held between day one and two of the Bfa Annual Conference, on 28 June 2018 at the ICC in Birmingham.

Source: Pet Gazette

Franchise awards reveal finalists

May 23, 2018

The Barking Mad franchise has made it to the shortlist in this year’s bfa HSBC Franchise Awards, in the category Brand Awareness.

Barking Mad is the UK’s first ‘dog holiday’ service offering tailored one-to-one care for dogs.

The awards ceremony will take place on June 28 at the ICC in Birmingham and recognise both franchisors and franchisees who have demonstrated outstanding business acumen, innovation and achievement.

The British Franchise Association (bfa) is a not-for-profit self-regulatory governing body for UK franchising and has run its annual awards for nearly 30 years.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa, said: “It’s over 40 years since the bfa was launched specifically to develop ethical franchising in the UK, and I am proud of the way the sector has grown in that time, with the industry’s turnover exceeding £15bn – that’s 1% of the UK’s GDP!

“If you are running a successful business and looking to expand, then franchising has truly become a valid and important next step in accelerating your business growth. For others wanting to run their own business, but who still want additional support and backing, becoming a franchisee is a great way to take the plunge via a proven business model and hence limit the risk.”

Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchising for award sponsor HSBC, said: “HSBC is delighted to be once again supporting these franchise awards.

Franchise businesses are often the hidden engine of business growth in the UK and it is essential to highlight the important contribution both large and small businesses make to our economy. It is also important to showcase to people that they can run their own businesses and if you don’t want to go it alone, or haven’t got a strong business idea of your own, you can still be successful and become your own boss.”

Source: Pet Business World

Dog care franchise celebrates

April 30, 2018

Barking Mad Dog Care named its 2018 Franchisee of the Year at its 15th National Conference.

The franchised service, which provides ‘bespoke holidays’ for dogs while their owners are away, celebrated  at the Low Wood Bay Resort in the Lake District, focusing on the people who make their brand a success. The event, led by managing director Lee Dancy, was a thank you for the hard work from more than 75 branches across the UK and marked 18 years in business.

Barking Mad was founded by Lee in 2000 and the two-day conference has been held each year in the Lakes since the business became a franchisor accredited by the British Franchise Association.

Related: Independent pet businesses nominated for national business award

“Our 15th conference is a proud celebration for Barking Mad and a lot of fun, too,” Lee said. “We love what we do and are privileged to work with such talented, hard-working people who have made us the UK’s brand leader.

“We were thrilled to present our Franchisee of the Year Award to John and Elaine Warburton, of Barking Mad Fife and Kinross. Our 2018 conference theme was ‘Together Towards Tomorrow’ and I believe that John and Elaine operate with this vision at the very core of all they do. Their relationship with customers and in particular their hosts, is exemplary and as a result they benefit from the financial rewards those relationships bring.”

The dog holiday specialist welcomed guest speaker Peter Gorbing, CEO of Dogs for Good, Barking Mad’s chosen charity for 2018. After huge fundraising efforts to support the charity’s life-changing and inspirational work, the franchise network was delighted to learn that more than £6,000 had been raised, enough for the sponsorship of Prince, a new puppy in training.

Source: Pet Business World