Q. Describe the most common types of jobs you do for your clients.
A. Our most common types of clients are people who own dogs, cats , birds or small mammals and are traveling. But we care for other types of animals too. Mid day dog walk clients are a large part of our business as well.
Q. What advice do you have for a customer looking to hire a provider like you?
A. Make sure that the pet sitting service you hire is licensed , bonded and insured. Services that charge really low prices will not be able to stay in business over the long run so when you're ''price'' shopping keep that in mind.
It's good to look for services who belong to national and local pet sitting organizations. These organizations have a high standard for membership and their membership can reflect their quality.
Q. If you were a customer, what do you wish you knew about your trade? Any inside secrets to share?
A. It is highly recommended that when shopping for a professional pet sitter you ask some pertinent questions, A professional pet sitter should be licensed by the main city they are doing business in. It is good if they are members of either NAPPS or PSI. These are the 2 largest professional pet sitting associations and being a members indicates a serious committment to providing caring and experienced pet care.
Q. What important information should buyers have thought through before seeking you out?
A. Be sure that you have your pets vaccinations up to date and that your pet sitter comes to meet with you prior to your travel dates. If your animals are skittish, you may want to plan far enough ahead so that your pet sitter can come for a trial run or two before you actually leave town. While this is not the norm, the proactive approach can settle and comfort anxious animals and their parents and your pet sitter will be happy to schedule this with you.
Q. Why does your work stand out from others who do what you do?
A. Ark Angels Pet Care is going into it's 12th year as a respected pet sitting business serving the Raleigh , Wake Forest, Cary, Apex, and Garner areas. We truly love caring for your pets and go the extra mile to make our customers happy. We believe in good communication and know how important it is to keep you informed of how your pets are doing while you're away. We spend quality time with you during our initial consultation so that we can ask you to share with us all of the information that we may need during your absence. We think ahead and plan ahead. It's our job to be as well prepared as possible to handle emergencies in your absence and we take that responsibility very seriously. For that reason we have emergency back up plans in place that we discuss with you at the time of the consult. Your pets and the security of your home are our highest priorities.
Q. What do you like most about your job?
A. We love the bond that we develop with our clients and their pets ! There's nothing like it and for us, it doesn't get any better than this ! We love it when the clients return home from their trip to their pet who looks at them as if to say " Oh, it's only you! " . That's what our clients tell us! And the animals do too !
Q. What questions do customers most commonly ask you? What's your answer?
A. How many visits a day do you do ? We do as many as you need for us to for your pet and we can guide you in that decision. In general, dogs should receive 2 to 4 visits a day depending on the breed ,age and size. We prefer to do 3 visits a day minimum for dogs in order to keep them as happy and healthy as possible. Cats should be visited no less than once a day. If you think cats are ''independent '' and ''self sufficient'' I beg you to reconsider that old thought pattern. Cats can become stressed when their family is gone. For male cats in particular, there is a potential for developing crystals in their urine which can block their urethra and can be fatal if not caught and treated within 48 hours. So , because we want the best for your kitties too, we won't do less than once a day visits.
Q. What do you wish customers knew about you or your profession?
A. I served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters from 2008-2010. For my work as part of the Certification Committee from 2007-2010 I was recognized with the '' Member in Action '' Award . Part of my personal choice in giving back to my community has been my volunteer work in mentoring new pet sitting business owners. As a result, I co-founded the Traingle Area Professional Pet Sitters group . We have 27 members and serve an area of 5 counties including Wake. As President of TAPPS , I continue to volunteer my time by inviting experts in the field of pet care to speak to our TAPPS group at our monthly meetings . Our TAPPS Group also works together as a team to raise awareness about homeless pets in our community and we support our local rescue and foster groups and animal shelters.
Q. How did you decide to get in your line of work?
A. This decision for me was the result of my spiritual journey and my quest to find my soul's pupose and true happiness and fulfillment. I have been aware of the importance of my own spiritual growth for 30 years and so I've done a lot of studying and exploring. My personal launch came in June of 2001 when I sat down one day and impusively wrote a letter to God. I wrote to God that I felt like I was going to leave my job soon; I asked for clarity and guidance and told God in my letter that I would love to work with animals. Two days later I lost my corporate job! I then had to choose to take another couple of leaps of faith and a year later I created Ark Angels Pet Care !
Q. Tell us about a recent job you did that you are particularly proud of.
A. Recently one of my sitters was caring for a midday dog walk client. We walk her dog twice a week. Her dog is a border collie and had recently fractured a bone in her foot so we were instructed to take it easy with her.
Q. Do you do any sort of continuing education to stay up on the latest developments in your field?
A. I have taken a portion of the course in T Touch and I helped to create the NAPPS Certification Course. I renew my Pet First Aid and CPR every 2 years. Most recently I attended a Basic Bird Care workshop taught by Dr. Greg Burkett. Dr. Burkett is one of only 5 or so Board Certified Avian Vets in our state. Certificate in Pet Tech Pet First Aid and CPR; 3rd degree Reiki Practitioner;Puppy Care and Nutrition Workshop given by Angel Wasserman of Paws In Training Workshop; Cat Behavior Class given by Dr Barbara Sherman DVM and Dr Orlando DVM both of NC State Vet School and licensed in Animal Behavior.
Q. If you have a complicated pricing system for your service, please give all the details here.
A. Our basic rate is $18 for a 30 minue visit for up to 2 animals. We also charge a $2 gas surcharge per visit. All rates are posted on my web site at www.arkangelspetcare.com
Q. If you were advising someone who wanted to get into your profession, what would you suggest?
A. Get to know some other professional pet sitters in your area. Call them up and treat them to coffee. Be friendly and ask lots of questions but also be willing to share with them your own perspectives and experience. Join NAPPS which is the only not for profit pet sitting organization nationally recognized. Once you're a member of NAPPS, you'll have access to forms , contracts and a library filled with information provided by other professional pet sitters from across the nation! Plus, these benefits are free and come with the cost of your membership. PSI is also a good organization but you will have to pay extra to purchase forms and other educational materials on top of the membership fee.