In 1981 mum and dad (Hannie and Bob) founded Hanrob at Heathcote, on the southern outskirts of Sydney. They truly had a passion for dogs and cats and a genuine concern for their welfare. They identified an opportunity to provide exceptional care for both dogs and cats whilst their owners were on holidays.
The property had previously belonged to Hannie’s sister who bred standard poodles from their family home in Cronulla (Sydney Southern Suburb) prior to moving to the current Heathcote location in the late 1960’s. This move enticed them to operate a pet boarding facility which was named Tanrod, after their children, Tanya & Rodney.
In 1981 Hannie’s sister decided to sell the business and mum and dad confirmed that it would be a good business venture to own and operate the pet boarding facility. They followed suit with the name and joined their names to create Hanrob.
The property included a family home where mum and dad raised my brother, Gavin and I, whilst building a reputable pet boarding business.
As Hanrob grew, we included dog training to the list of services and recruited a network of vet agencies across Sydney and Wollongong. The purpose of the vet agencies was to build a strong referral network for pet owners whilst providing a convenient pick up and delivery point for people to drop their pets. This was a great initiative as vets trust Hanrob to care for their client’s pets and offered a convenience to pet owners that hadn’t been experienced before.
Our dog training business grew in size and reputation and in 1995 we successfully bid on a contract to train dogs for scent detection for the Australian Government Department, AQIS. The contract remains in place today and has been extended to other government agencies in Australia and overseas.
In 1996 dad and I co-founded Assistance Dogs Australia, a non-profit organisation that trains dogs to assist people with disabilities to live independently.
In 2004 I was ready to take over the helm at Hanrob and took on the role of Managing Director. My first challenge was to open a new boarding facility at Sydney Airport in 2005. We have had great success in securing more government contracts to train dogs for scent detection and in 2011 we will be opening a new boarding facility in Melbourne Airport.
We continue to seek out new business opportunities whilst maintaining the high standards of pet care and dog training. As a second generation family business, I am proud to carry on the family legacy and continue to improve and build the business.