Cheaper alternative to pricey pet resorts or cold kennels

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - In this season of taking vacations, what do you do with your four-legged friend if you can't take him or her along?  WHNT NEWS 19 found a money-saving alternative to expensive pet resorts and traditional kennels.

It is

If you log onto the site and type in your zip code, it will bring up a list of so-called "hosts" in and around North Alabama.

These people charge half or "less than half" of what pet resorts charge.. and they say there are no hidden fees.

There is always a happy pack at Huntsville House of Paws -- an in-home dog boarding service.

Jennifer Linton and Jana Miller set it up through

That's an online service they found when they were looking for someone to take care of their three dogs.

"We saw an ad and we were going out of town and needed a place for our three to stay, so we went on as potential clients and found a host that fit our dogs that could accept them quickly," said Linton.

They found it to be much cheaper than a traditional kennel and worked out well.

Then, the two decided to apply to become hosts themselves.

They say in nine months, they've saved others a lot of money, offering a night's stay for $25.

They're not the only ones doing it.
The website lists hosts in Madison, Hartselle, Guntersville and Rainsville, some offering a stay for as low as $15 a night.

Jennifer and Jana came up with a few freebies:

"We'll administer medicine and that's no additional fee," said Linton. Miller added, "They have play time, it's not an additional fee.. they have walks.. it's not an additional fee. they also have naptime."

The two require a 30-minute meet-and-greet to see if the guest dog fits in with their permanent pack of three.  And they require the guest only have a rabies vaccination.

And there's one more perk for clients and hosts: "Dogvacay offers 24 hour support, for not only the host, but also the client.  So if they have a question, they can call Dogvacay and someone's there to answer and they also offer insurance for the dog," said Miller.

Huntsville House of Paws limits the number of dogs they take at one time to three.

They'll accommodate a guest for any length of time -- from one night to a month -- even on short notice, if they're familiar with the dog. can be a money-earning venture too.

Anyone interested must submit an application and meet the company standards and be prepared to handle pets with various idiosyncrasies their owners cater to.

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