It's a dog sitting service like no other.

Twelve-year-old Zahnee was born with a facial tumour and Phaces Syndrome. Her brother Zandon has autism and ADHD.

Together, the Mount Maunganui pair are the Z Team, and they share a passion for dogs.

"The children wanted to do something to earn some pocket money," said their mum, Jade Riley.


"We had looked after dogs during the holidays for friends and family. It just escalated from there and they decided they wanted to take it seriously."

Zandon, 11, said they wanted to provide a home away from home for their furry friends.

"They each have their personality," he said.

"Even though they don't talk, they seem like your best friend. Sometimes when I'm angry or anxious or frustrated, I can just go to a dog and pat it. It makes me feel a lot better."

Each day, the pair feed, play and care for the dogs, before owners turn up to collect their precious pets.

"Me and Zahnee always go up to the door when the dog owners come. We always say 'thanks for having your dog here' and that he had a good day."

Zahnee has had multiple abnormalities from birth, which have required extensive surgery in New Zealand and the US.

Their entrepreneurial venture helps pay for her treatments. It also allows them to save up and splash out.


"Me and Zandon saved up to get a laptop each," said Zahnee. "We will save up to do stuff together, go places and all that."

These inspirational siblings also believe in paying it forward, giving back some of their earnings to the local SPCA.

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