Mick and Kay Hunton opened Happy Cats Cattery two weeks ago, after he spent two years renovating a shed and they completed a three-week small business course.
‘This was our house originally ” when we shifted into the house it became the workshop, now it has become the cattery,’ Mr Hunton said.
Originally a roof builder, he had to stop work after losing his hearing and balance, and went into the Federal Government’s Looking for Work scheme.
‘Being in the building trade for 30 years, I was losing my hearing,’ he said.
‘After two operations, I lost total hearing on the right-hand side, which upset my balance.’
Now permanently disabled, Mr Hunton met with Peedac Disability Employment Service consultant Alex Kepes, who enrolled him in a government funded program, the New Enterprise Incentive Scheme.
She said the Huntons were the first people the Joondalup-based service had helped who had gone down the self-employment route.
Mrs Hunton worked in another cattery for almost five years, and they decided running their own cattery would be a viable business because they ‘love cats’.
Before opening the cattery, the Huntons completed a Certificate IV in small business management in East Victoria Park through Harlequin Business and Training Consultants.
The Huntons said the cattery could take 56 cats, but would eventually accommodate 99. The couple said they would also donate part of their fees to Cystic Fibrosis WA because their daughter April (13) had CF.
Visit www.happycats cattery.com.au for details.