New Website Offers Pet Care Service Provider Referrals
Petsitting.com, a website that connects pet owners with professional pet care service providers, recently launched. The new site allows pet owners to search for local pet care providers who come recommended by Petsitting.com.
“With Petsitting.com, pet owners will no longer have to waste time sifting through the yellow pages, search engines or unreliable referrals,” said Jared Katz, vice president of sales. “Our company has already done all of the work to find the best in pet care all over the United States and Canada.”
To use the service, pet owners visit the website and fill out an online form. Then, pet owners are contacted via phone or e-mail by a couple of the recommended pet care companies in their area. Each company will directly provide pricing, references and all of the other information necessary regarding their services. At that point, pet owners may request more information or decide whether to hire the company.
To be considered as a Petsitting.com provider, pet care service companies must go through an application and evaluation process. Once they are accepted, providers receive referrals from potential customers in their respective geographical locations for a small fee.
All of the providers recommended by Petsitting.com must be insured and bonded (where required). To help pet sitters, dog walkers and others become part of the Petsitting.com network, the company has inked a deal with Business Insurers of the Carolinas. As part of the agreement, Petsitting.com will refer potential network members who need insurance to the Chapel Hill, N.C-based insurer. Business Insurers will then assist those individuals with the steps necessary to become adequately insured so that they qualify for membership into the Petsitting.com network.
“We are extremely excited about this development, which will provide a much-needed service to our pet care partners,” Katz said.
Business Insurers of the Carolinas offers protection to sitters, walkers, trainers, groomers, doggy daycares, boarding kennels, non-profits, shelters, pet supply stores and veterinarians. In order to receive insurance, providers must be members of either Pet Sitters International or the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters.
Best Friends Pet Care Opens Disney World Pet Resort
|Best Friends’ Walt Disney World resort is for kids of the furry variety. |
Best Friends Pet Care Inc., a privately held pet boarding company based in Norwalk, Conn., opened a luxury pet resort at Walt Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Fla., in early September.
Best Friends Pet Care at Walt Disney World features 17,000-square- feet of air-conditioned indoor space, 10,000-square- feet of covered outdoor runs and play areas and a 25,000-square- foot dog park, which includes a 1,400-square-foot canines- only splash-and-play water feature.
“We’ve been looking forward to this day for a long time, and we are very excited to finally be ready to open the door and show off this special facility,” said Dennis Dolan, CEO of Best Friends Pet Care. “It incorporates the very best concepts from our other Best Friends facilities with some imaginative ideas that we think will delight and surprise our Walt Disney World guests.”
The facility, which is located within the Disney complex, across from Disney’s Port Orleans Resort-Riverside, can accommodate up to 300 pets for both daytime and overnight boarding. Dog owners may choose from a variety of accommodations, ranging from a standard 32-square-foot all-indoor suite to a 226-square-foot VIP (Very Important Pet) suite with television, raised bedding and private outdoor yard. Feline guests stay at the separate “Kitty City” pavilion in two- and four-room condos. The resort also houses a special area for the boarding of small mammals and birds.
In addition to boarding, other services include grooming and dog day camp.
Dogtopia Launches Campaign in Support of Breast Cancer Research
Dogtopia, a dog day care, spa and boutique franchise, kicked off its first annual “Paws for Pink” campaign in October to raise money for breast cancer research.
For every spa bath or nail trim sold throughout October, which is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Dogtopia pledged to donate 10 percent of the purchase price to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Susan G. Komen for the Cure is a nonprofit organization that provides funding for breast cancer research and community programs.
“It’s difficult to find anyone who hasn’t been personally affected by breast cancer, whether themselves, family, friends or co-workers,” said Amy Nichols, CEO and founder of Dogtopia. “A number of our locations have participated on the local level for the annual Komen Race for a Cure, so we decided to hold this system-wide event because it’s such a worthy cause.”
All 22 Dogtopia locations across the United States participated in the campaign. Dogtopia pledged to donate at least $5,000, with a goal of raising $10,000.
NAPPS Reports Positive Feedback for Certification Program
The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS) of Mt. Laurel, N.J., reported in late September that more than 300 individuals have completed its nationwide certification program since the program’s launch in January 2009.
“The feedback from our certification program has been tremendous,” stated Christi Fries, chair of the certification committee and owner of Terrapin Pets, LLC in Beltsville, Maryland. “At the launch of the certification program, we sensed a growing need for pet sitters to further define their skills and expertise. We are thrilled to see members continue experiencing success and business growth through the resources provided from a professional certification.”
NAPPS certification indicates a pet sitter has met specific criteria through an online study and testing program. The program, which is open to both NAPPS members and non-members, covers pet care, health, nutrition, behavior and pet first aid. In addition to pet care-related content, the program also includes a course in business management, marketing and operations.
Zoom Room Hosts Grand Opening Party for Flagship Location
The Zoom Room, a dog agility center franchise, celebrated the opening of its corporately owned flagship location in Hollywood, Calif., in mid-September. The grand opening event featured an array of dog-friendly activities and served as a fundraiser for Morris Animal Foundation.
“We couldn’t think of a better way to introduce the Zoom Room to Hollywood than through a day filled with activities that are engaging and entertaining for both dogs and their owners,” said Mark Van Wye, the Zoom Room’s COO. “It’s the perfect environment to help dog owners deepen the bonds of communication with their pets, which is at the core of our business.”
The festivities began in the morning with free dog agility classes. In the afternoon, local pups and their owners strutted their stuff in the “Hollywood Dog Trick Contest.” Prizes included an unlimited six month pass to the Zoom Room’s indoor dog park, a dog party at the Zoom Room’s social club and a $50 Zoom Room gift certificate. The event wrapped up with a party for dogs and their owners, who sipped on freshly brewed Zoom Room Agility, a new line of coffee made exclusively for the Zoom Room.
For every RSVP the Zoom Room received, the company pledged to donate $10 to the Morris Animal Foundation, which funds animal health and welfare research. Guests were encouraged to make additional donations. The event ended up raising more than $2,000 for the foundation, according to Van Wye.
Wag’n Tails Launches 2nd Annual Campaign in Support of Dog Adoptions
Wag’n Tails Mobile Grooming Conversions Inc., a Granger, Ind.-based manufacturer of pet grooming vehicles, kicked off its second annual “Mobile Grooming for a Cause” campaign in October.
The campaign calls on Wag’n Tails van owners to groom as many shelter dogs as possible during the month of October—National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month—to increase the chances of the dogs being chosen for adoption.
The Wag’n Tails owner who grooms the most shelter pets during the month was to receive $5,000. In addition, PetEdge, a manufacturer and distributor of professional pet care supplies and equipment, offered up a $300 gift certificate for the second place winner and a $150 gift certificate for the third place winner. PetEdge also provided participants with a product prize package.
PLAN AHEAD: The National Association of Professional Pet Sitters (NAPPS), a non-profit trade association based in Mount Laurel, N.J., has created a 19-page emergency preparedness guide for pet owners and sitters. The guide includes recommendations for monitoring and coping with earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, thunderstorms, extreme heat and snow storms among other incidents. It is available for free at www.petsitters.org.
OUTSTANDING EDUCATOR: Karen Deeds of Canine Connection in Fort Worth, Texas, was named winner of the 2010 Outstanding Community Educator of the Year Award in late October during the Association of Pet Dog Trainers annual conference in Atlanta.
The award is sponsored by Comfort Zone with D.A.P. Comfort Zone is part of Farnam Companies Inc.
TO BE CONTINUED: Animal Behavior College (ABC), a private vocational school specializing in animal-related career training, plans to launch in mid-2011 a continuing education program on how to start, manage and market a pet sitting and/or dog walking business. Continuing education programs are available to ABC students, graduates and alumni members. For more information, visit www.animalbehaviorcollegecourses.com.
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