South Shields football boss’s son aims to score with Canine Camp idea

Callum Thompson and Cheryl Larson, second left, with Emma Murray and Georgie Smith
Callum Thompson and Cheryl Larson, second left, with Emma Murray and Georgie Smith

A shareholder in South Shields Football Club is aiming to score again with a venture that pampers pooches in a dog house with a difference.

Callum Thompson, and his girlfriend Cheryl Larsen, have founded Canine Camp, a specialist doggy day care centre that lets owners go to work knowing their pets are in safe hands.

The duo spent a year researching similar ventures in the US and Australia before launching the business.

Its target market includes people who travel for work from South Tyneside to North Tyneside, where it is based.

Callum, son of South Shields FC chairman Geoff Thompson, said: “This is a niche and new market and one which requires specialist staff and that is what we have.

“There are lots of people who struggle to look after their dogs while they are at work or out and about. At Canine Camp, they can leave their dogs with us and know they are being looked after in a safe place and by staff with a real passion for their jobs.

“We are based close to a lot of businesses, including those on the Cobalt Business Park where lots of people from South Tyneside work, so it is ideal for them.

“Everyone involved in the business loves dogs, and it’s great being able to put that passion into practice.”

Callum, 25, will leave the daily operations to Cheryl, 31.

It will allow him to focus on his day job as group commercial director with Utilitywise, the energy saving specialist founded by his father.

The couple employ two specialist staff, Emma Murray and Georgie Smith.

Canine Camp, which is based at West Chirton North Industrial Estate, features three closely monitored pens, each with a different mood environment.

Team members are trained to interact and play with the dogs, regular activities take place during the day, including an off-site walk, and basic training and agility is included.

A five-hour half day package costs £15, while prices start at £20 for a full day, which can be from 7.30am to 6pm.

More information on Canine Camp is available by calling 0191 290 9938 or visiting