This week on people we can’t relate to, a couple has bought a three-bedroom property to make space for their very large pack of dogs .Mandy Whitnall, 37, and husband Alec, 45, love sausage dogs but they didn’t have enough space for 14 pooches in their home. So naturally, they sold their house and upsized to a bigger three-bedroom property – so their 13 Dachsunds and one Jack Russell could roam freely. The couple moved to a spacious three-bedroom property in Cambridge after selling their smaller two bedroomed home for £230,000.
Housewife Mandy and window fitter Alec, who don’t have kids, say training the dogs is easier than raising children. Mandy’s sausage dog obsession began 16 years ago when she brought home two dachshunds rather than the one she’d planned to adopt because she couldn’t decide between them.
The couple’s pack has been growing ever since.Mandy said: ‘We don’t have children – the dogs are our babies, so they have a life of luxury.
‘When we moved house, we had to buy a new sofa that sits eight people and they’ve just taken over that already.
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‘They have their own room and we made them big dog beds to share, but they still spend most of their time on the furniture.’
The couple wanted to move years ago to accommodate their dogs but couldn’t afford it.
But the opportunity arose when a bereavement in the family left them with some money.Their pooches, named Tia, Sally, Joey, Saffy, Maisie, Ruby, Dolly, Lady, Teddy, Sophie, Piper, Rosa, Shelby, Luba, are aged between 16 and six weeks.
They are taken out for walks in groups of four, three times a day.Mandy and Alec estimate they spend £3,000 a year in total on the pampered pooches – including £80 a month on vet bills and a further £80 a month on food.
‘It’s a full-time job, exercising them, brushing them, walking and feeding them, but I still think it’s a lot easier than having kids,’ added Mandy.
‘It’s actually really easy to take pictures of them altogether, we just line them up and tell them to stay and they know they’re going to get a treat.’
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The couple began breeding their pedigree pups 14 years ago and now only keep their favourites, although Mandy said they still get attached to each one.Ruby, who is the only Jack Russell in the group, feels like a sausage dog and was raised by one after her own mum died.
Both Mandy and Alec made the decision not to have children as they both prefer raising sausage dogs.
She said: ‘They have the run of the house and they don’t want for anything.‘I shouldn’t have a favourite but it’s got to be Dolly, I just love her so much because she’s really naughty.’
‘When we have a new litter, Alec doesn’t need much persuading when I suggest keeping one. He’ll just say if I like that one I can keep it.’