Édition #5

PatchGuard: for responsible and fulfilling mountain tourism

Laetitia LACOTE President and founder of Patchguard
There are 18 million dog owners in France, in other words a third of the population. For 95% of them, their dog is considered as a real member of the family at all times in their lives and particularly on holiday: 80% of owners take their pet with them on holiday or at the weekend. Sadly, that means many potential visitors “lost” to sites where pets are not allowed.

I have been in this situation many times myself during family holidays, not being able to take full advantage of the activities on offer because of Patch, my American shepherd. So I gradually stopped going to museums, nature parks, amusement parks, ice rinks, cable cars and so on… but not without regret.

“NECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF INVENTION”, AS THEY SAY OVER THERE!

However, as time went by, I could not get my head around the idea of having to stay off the beaten tourist track. As a positive response, I came up with the idea of PatchGuard, with the conviction that every tourist site or activity could also benefit from offering a dog-sitting service for a new clientele.
PatchGuard now offers an ad hoc dog-sitting service (from 1 hour to 1 day), with qualified staff and a clear response to the 3 objectives of sustainable development:
»Environmental: the opening up of cultural sites and mountain activities to a new clientele, which until now has been left out. You hear about cycle tourism or wine tourism, but very rarely about “doggy tourism”.
»Economic: higher turnover and visitor numbers. It also means that dogs are not left alone in accommodation, at the risk of damaging the property or annoying others with their barking.
» Social: creation of jobs in the canine sector, dogs not being abandoned when people go on holiday… Respect for animal welfare is our priority.

OUR COMMITMENT TO THE MOUNTAIN OF THE FUTURE

At PatchGuard, we believe that mountain tourism should be environmentally friendly and inclusive, including for pets and their owners. Our mission is to improve animal welfare on the one hand and to offer a new service on the other, in response to certain conflicts of use (protected areas, presence of livestock guard dogs, sporting activities, etc.), or to the specific nature of certain tourist facilities and activities in the mountains (ski lifts, refuges, etc.). We want every visitor to be able to enjoy the freedom of the mountains, while leaving their animals in good hands.

Laetitia LACOTE
Laetitia LACOTE
The current president and founder of Patchguard, Laetitia worked at Basel Mulhouse airport for 20 years before returning to her studies in project management, specialising in entrepreneurship. Following that, still passionate about dogs and tourism and wanting to make a living from her passions, Laetitia completed several dog-related courses before setting up Patchguard in 2020.