British Columbia·Photos

Craigslist ad entices dog lovers with 'free' rent

24-hour Vancouver pet service aims to hire workers feeling the city's housing crunch.

24-hour Vancouver pet service aims to hire workers feeling the city's housing crunch

A puppy patiently waits for attention inside Canine Adventure Den's puppy room. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

The Canine Adventure Den isn't your regular doggy daycare — there's no kennels or cages, dogs can go for a recreational swim and puppies routinely race pigs for popular chew toys.

"The pigs hang out with the little dogs and the puppies," said owner Kirsten MacGregor. "And they love it."

A puppy and a pig spar for a hotley contested chew toy inside Canine Adventure Den's puppy room. The puppy won the race but abandoned the toy shortly thereafter — much to the pug's pleasure. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

The space is one of just a few 24-hour dog daycare spaces in Vancouver — a service that she says has become increasingly in-demand.

Now, MacGregor is hoping to tap into the city's red-hot housing market to find her next employee: a pro-active snuggler and dog handler who doesn't mind working five graveyard shifts a week in exchange for $800 per month — and a free place to live in a city with one of the lowest vacancy rates in the country.

Kirsty MacGregor stands beside a seemingly endless row of collars and leashes at Canine Adventure Den on Industrial Avenue. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Craigslist ad

MacGregor's unique Craigslist ad for an overnight dog handler and caretaker has been circling the web for a few weeks and has already drawn some interest — even though it offers a full-time salary that, at first glance, appears to be below minimum wage.

"The lodging comes out of your pay," she said, adding that once accommodation is deducted, the worker comes out with about $800 per month, with the chance to work extra shifts.

Lodging includes a bedroom and kitchen in Vancouver's pricey Mount Pleasant.

Canine Adventure Den's Craigslist advertisements says the job is not all puppies and snuggling — even though it happens a lot. (Craigslist)

"We got a few resumes, so now [we're] just figuring out who is best fitted and who we feel secure leaving the dogs in their care," she said, emphasizing that they're not looking for someone who is going to fall asleep on the job.

Space for dogs

MacGregor says a worker is desperately needed for the Adventure Den as many pet owners drop their pets off late in the night. She says the space is frequented by nurses, paramedics and doctors.

Graveyard shift workers can bring their own pups to work — a perk she says is appealing, as many Vancouver renters struggle finding pet-friendly accommodation.

"The hardest thing is finding accommodation with dogs," she said. "There's nowhere to go with your dogs anymore. People are having to go further and further out of the city. They're having to live in Surrey, Coquitlam or Langley in order to keep their dogs."

MacGregor says another bonus is getting to spend all night with a furry horde of pups.

"We let the dogs just sleep with all their friends and have a big slumber party."

Dogs crouch in anticipation of a treat to be awarded to the most well-behaved canine. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Follow Jon Hernandez on Twitter: @jonvhernandez

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