GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. -- A new bus service in Kent County takes your pet from home to daycare. It was started by a guy who noticed how hard it was to take care of a pet living in an apartment and working full time.
Ash Middleton's love of dogs is obvious. LIke many people living in downtown Grand Rapids, leaving his dog home alone all day was hard.
"I really set this up because I was a downtown resident, I owned a dog and there were just not enough services to make my life easy with a dog," he said.
The idea for his business 'Dogs Butler' came when he was home sick.
"There was nobody to take my dog to daycare for me, so I got up, sweated all the way to daycare, came back and decided we needed something like this in downtown Grand Rapids."
That was a year ago. Dogs Butler has now been up and running for a few weeks.
"It’s really the connectivity between services," Middleton said. "So we don’t do daycare, we don’t do boarding, we provide the transport between companies. I just noticed there was really a lack of logistics within pet care, there’s not a lot of this anywhere in the country."
The Dogs Butler van will pick up your pet from your home and transport them to Whisker's Pet Resort on 29th Street and then bring them home at the end of the day.
"Sometimes I do feel bad when he's been at home all day and I'm at work," said Erin Monk, a pet owner who tried out Dogs Butler. "Sometimes it’s really challenging to give the care and the time to your dog, so I was like it’s a wonderful idea, and people would really appreciate a service like that."
In addition to daycare, Dogs Butler also does field trips.
"It’s just a time to get them out of the concrete and that was another thing for doing this," Middleton said. "They need to get out of the city. They get tired like we do, they need a break and you know how we feel when we’ve been at the beach for a day or you’ve been walking in nature. You feel better and they need that as well."
Dogs Butler services start at around $24 per round trip. That's if you purchase a bundle of multiple trips. The field trips are a flat fee of $50.