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Dog Taxi Business Pays Off For Retired Breeder

Girard Burgess, Athol, Idaho, laughs when he tells people he's retired. A dog breeder and trainer for over 25 years, he now spends his time on the road, hauling dogs and pups around the country.
  Burgess runs a business called "The Dog Taxi" using a 1999 Ford Expedition and a home-built 10-dog trailer.
  He's licensed in Idaho and inspected, certified and governed by the Department of Transportation. The Department of Agriculture also has laws, licenses and legal requirements of its own.
  Unfortunately, right now, anyone with a van or pickup can throw a few carriers on and start transporting dogs, he warns.
  In May, he drove over 1,200 miles, spent over $2,000 in fuel, and was on the road for 21 days. While on the road, he uses his cell phone to keep in touch with customers. He spends about 14 hours driving each day and sleeps a few hours in the truck. Every third day, he sleeps in a hotel.
  Once he has the dogs on the road, they're the priority. He likes to carry about 6 at a time but can handle up to 10. Dogs are kenneled in back but puppies are kept inside the vehicle in a couple enclosed carriers. "All puppies get motion sickness the first time they're transported," he says, adding that he gives them plenty of water to keep them hydrated. "They also like the added attention."
  Every two hours, he stops and checks all the animals to water them and change their pine shaving bedding as needed. Every 4 to 6 hrs., he stops to exercise and feed them Purina dog food in addition to watering and cleaning the pens.
  Burgess charges 35 cents per mile from pickup to delivery points up to 1,000 miles. Any mileage after that is an additional $350 per dog. He has a multiple dog discount if the pickup and delivery are both to one location.
  In order to eliminate the hassle of dealing with banks while on the road, Burgess deals only in cash. He gets half at the time of pickup and the other half at delivery time.  
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, The Dog Taxi, Girard Burgess, 26579 N. Old Hwy 95, Athol, Idaho 83801 (ph 208 818-5113; email: thedogtaxi@yahoo.com).


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2005 - Volume #29, Issue #4