Is homesitting the ideal second career for retired police officers?


Police officers retire relatively young at 60 years old and whilst some want to put their feet up others want to keep busy and active.

According to police recruitment job site, there’s an increased demand in the jobs market for the skills and experience of retired police officers.

One option that suits former police officers is home and pet sitting. The role is ideal for mature, trustworthy people as clients employ homesitters to keep their home and pets safe and secure when they go away. This flexible job can also be fitted around travel and hobbies and appeals to animal lovers, especially ex-police dog handlers.

Former police officer, Malcolm Horsup and his wife Sue from Colchester in Essex started homesitting when they retired in 2013.

This animal-loving couple read about Homesitters Limited in The Garden magazine and applied for the role. Following an in-depth interview, were taken on. Today, they complete around 10 assignments each year. They spend their summer travelling and their winter home and pet sitting.

Malcolm explained: “We have a boat in France and spend our summers there or travelling in other countries and we wanted something to do in the winter. We’re both active and didn’t want to be twiddling our thumbs so homesitting is ideal.”

The couple love dogs, but don’t own one because they travel extensively. However, they get their ‘dog fix’ through homesitting and say it is the next best thing to dog ownership.

They have stayed in some amazing UK homes including multi-million pound mansions with swimming pools and gyms and Grade 1 listed houses in the countryside dating back to the 12th century. Homesitting also gives them time to enjoy hobbies including cooking, walking, and planning overseas trips.

Peter Holmes, aged 60 from Seaford is another former police officer who has been home and pet sitting since he retired four years ago. He wanted to keep mentally and physically active in retirement. He does around six assignments each year, fitting them around other commitments including working in a school.

Peter loves the variety of assignments and spending time with animals. He particularly likes looking after dogs, but has looked after cats, pigs, sheep, fish and chickens.

He says, “My clients have confidence in me because of my background. Pets also get to know me and are excited to see me again. I enjoy the rapport I have with clients and look forward to each assignment.”

He adds, “Police officers make perfect home and pet sitters. They have many skills including common sense, reliability and they are usually physically fit which the job demands.  Keeping calm under pressure and knowing what to do in an emergency is important and many clients like the fact I’m an ex police officer.”

For over 35 years Homesitters Ltd has been offering home and pet sitting services throughout England, Scotland and Wales. If you are interested in becoming a homesitter please contact them through the web site or call 01296 630 730.

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