Meet Some of the Cats We Have Helped
Scroll down to see our recent fosters
Here is a sampling of the many rescues that Dori has been involved with. Dori’s passion is animal welfare and has been helping animals in need all her life.
Ricky, Lulu and Spanky
In April 2002, I was made aware of approximately 32 cats and kittens inside a building and informed that they may have had no food and water for a few days. I called our pet sitter in that area who also happened to be the Animal Control Officer. We both went to check it out and were saddened by what we found. This little house had no heat – in April it was still very cold – and there was no running water or food. Feces and urine were everywhere throughout the entire home (which was later condemned and destroyed).
When the cats saw us, they all piled up at the front door, where the Animal Control Officer kept them occupied. I entered through the side door which allowed me to get inside without any cats escaping. As soon as they saw me, they swarmed and I had to tear open the 25 pound bag of cat food. They just climbed right into the bag, scrambling over one another because they were so hungry.
We had brought bags of litter and large cardboard boxes to provide clean bathrooms, and were able to obtain several jugs of water from a neighbor.
The cats were friendly and seemed healthy. Unfortunately none of them were neutered, so it is assumed they had interbred. The range of ages were 5 weeks to approximately 5+ years. I made some phone calls and many people jumped to assist us: the Merrimack Valley Feline Rescue donated distemper vaccines, feline leukemia/FIV combo tests and worming medication. The Feline Friends Rescue volunteered help, and a few of my Veterinary Technician friends volunteered their time. We gave them physicals, vaccines, tests (all negative, thankfully), and wormed them. The Animal Rescue League in Bedford, NH was gracious enough to take all the of cats and adopt them.
I chose to take a 6 month old white with black named Spanky. He was petrified of people and literally climbed the walls to get away. I knew he would not do well in the shelter. I balanced him out with an overly-friendly black with a bit of white littermate, named Lulu. I have found that animals take cues from one another, and I knew that Spanky would be looking at Lulu for comfort and learning in new situations.
I also adopted a 5 week old kitten named Ricky, who was diagnosed with congenital cataracts and was expected to be blind by the time he was a year old, may possibly have distemper, etc. He also had a mysterious black yeasty substance all over his face, eyes and in his ears. I had taken him to 4 different veterinarians, who were not familiar with whatever he had. After 4 years, I finally found, Dr. Holub who does help with Tufts Animal Hospital. He explained that Ricky (who did not have distemper, nor cataracts and was not blind), had allergies. Allergies in animals do not manifest like they do in humans, with itchy watery eyes, congestion and sneezing. In animals, allergies usually manifest in skin conditions. In Ricky’s case, his allergies manifested in an over production of black yeast in the hair follicles, known as Malazizia Pachydermitits. With the help of Dr. Anne Johnson, we did a blood allergy test. Poor Ricky is allergic to numerous grasses, tree pollen, black ants, 2 types of dust mites and a slew of other things. He now gets an allergy injection every 14 – 21 days and a monthly bath to keep the yeast at bay. I love all my cats, but Ricky is so completely special. He and I have this amazing connection, he is my “Soul Kitty”.
All three kitties (Lulu, Spanky and Ricky) acclimated into my home as if they had never been anywhere else and are doing fine with my other 7 cats! Lulu is still loveable and Mr. Spanky is an insatiable cuddle bug! I am so lucky to have them in my life.
Raina was apparently thrown from a car in the southbound high speed lane, just before exit 4 on the Everett Turnpike in Nashua.
I came across an unbelievable scenario driving down Everett Turnpike just before Exit 4. A young 8 month old female cat was clinging as close to the middle barrier as she possible could, in the pouring rain. I could not believe my eyes so I got off at Exit 4, and got back on to come around and sure enough, it was a cat. I pulled over into the break down lane and soon there after a Nashua Police Officer pulled up behind me. Thinking there was hope, I was glad to see him.
He came up to talk, I told him the situation, he saw the cat and demanded that I leave. He stated the cat got there and she will leave on her own. I left infuriated, my daughter was with me and I instructed her to call everyone we knew in rescue (and we know a lot). I turned around and went back, figuring the officer was going to have to arrest me, because I was not going to leave that area until I knew she was safe. Soon, three rescuers came armed with capture equipment. I called Maureen of the Bedford Shelter and she called the NH State Police.
The State Police Officer came down and he met up with the same Nashua Police Officer who made me leave. The amazing State Officer made him (Nashua Police Officer) stop all lanes on the highway, so we could rescue her, now named Raina.
After examination, we found that all 4 paws were raw, she was pretty scraped up and emaciated. The evidence pointed to the probability that she was thrown from a moving vehicle. It took months but she recovered and is happy in her forever home.
More to Come Soon !!
Sazar & Desilu
Felice & Linus
We are a Foster Family for
Manchester Animal Shelter
AND Humane Society Of Greater Nashua
All Fosters found homes
for You, Your Pets & Family
written and compiled by Dorinne Whynott,
In the past decade, it has been scary with all the hurricanes, tsunamis, floods, fires and earthquakes. These are big enough reasons to warrant an evacuation, but there are smaller reasons, too. You could have a house fire or if you live near a train track or a highway, there could be an accident with one of the vehicles carrying hazardous material, there could be work done on a home near you and someone accidentally hits a gas line. We all live within a few hundred miles from a nuclear plant or there is the possibility of a biological and/or terrorist attack. In Nashua, a few years ago, some were evacuated from their homes when there was a chemical problem in a plant in the southern part of the city. Spring of 2006 brought drought and dry conditions, starting wildfires to many NH towns and then there was the Mother’s Day floods.
If you ever need to be evacuated, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. If it is unsafe for you, it is unsafe for them. Even if you are told you will be back in a few hours, take your pets. Once you are evacuated, you will NOT be allowed back into the affected areas and there is always the possibility of the disaster becoming worse. Survival of you, your family and pets goes up dramatically if you are prepared, so here are some tips and information collected from The American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States, Emergency Animal Rescue Service, The ASPCA, and The American Red Cross. If you would like further information please contact these organizations, (contact information located at the end of this document).
Disasters can happen at anytime and anywhere. In a disaster, roads may be out, cell towers may be down, phone lines and electricity may be stopped so do not depend on these. Cells phones are always a good idea, however, it is also advisable to have a corded phone, so in the case of no electricity and no cell phone, you will still have a phone line in case of emergency. When a disaster strikes, you may not have much time to respond so please be proactive. Prepare BEFORE a disaster. Hopefully, you will never have to experience a disaster, but the probability is that you will at some point in your life, being prepared will help in a very hard stressful situation. As we saw in New Orleans, it is best to not rely on state or federal government for all your needs.
Think about what you would do if you had to live in your home during a disaster. What would you do for food? Water? What if you had no electricity? No heat? What if there were no gas available? No propane? No Oil? What would you do if the outside air was contaminated? How would you seal your home? What if you had to stay in your home for 4 – 6 weeks? Okay, this sounds drastic, but what if? When the planes hit the towers, what did you think? I thought we were at war. What if the scenario of the TV series “Jericho” were a reality? One day you are living your life as you have always done, and then within minutes life as you know it changes. All I am suggesting, is to think about these things, prepare for as much or as little as you feel comfortable to protect you, your family and your pets. I am giving you suggestions that can apply if you are contained in your home and/or if you are evacuated from your home. Of course, if you can stay in your home, you can prepare with more food, water, etc, then if you must leave and pack things in your vehicle. You will need to decide before hand, what would you bring and not bring if you must leave. So, here are some ideas.
Create a Family Disaster Plan
- Contact your local emergency management or civil defense office and your local American Red Cross Chapter. Find out which disasters are most likely to happen in your community. Ask how you would be warned. Find out how to prepare for each. Ask the American Red Cross for a brochure on “Your Family Disaster Supplies Kit”. Click on Making a Disaster Kit for more information.
· Meet with your family. Discuss the types of disasters that could occur. Explain how to prepare and respond. Discuss what to do if you need to evacuate. Practice what you have discussed.
- Plan how your family will stay in contact if separated. Pick two meeting places: 1. a location a safe distance from your home in case of fire 2. a place outside your neighborhood in case you can not return home. Also, choose an out-of-state friend as a “check-in contact” for everyone to call if a disaster you.
- Complete the following: Post emergency numbers by every phone and put these numbers in wallets and pocketbooks to go with you. Show responsible family members how and when to shut off water, gas and electricity main switches. If you ever go away post this information in a visible place. Make a map of your house as to where these are.
- Keep gas tanks in vehicles full at all times, Stock pantries of canned goods (One month’s supply is best), keep cash on hand, keep plastic gloves and masks (boxes marked N95 or N100, can be purchased at drug stores and also used around home when using chemicals, painting, etc.) for disease control and if air is contaminated. If a disaster hits, gas, food, and other necessary items will be in short supply and banks will be closed.
- Post Pet Rescue Stickers on each door. They must be easily visible to rescue workers and must contain the types and number of pets inside, the name of your veterinarian and phone number, your phone numbers (cell, work, emergency) and emergency person’s phone numbers. Professional Pet Sitting Etc. does have Pet Rescue window clings for sale.
- Install fire/smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors on each level of your home, especially near bedrooms, test monthly and change the batteries two times each year (an easy way to remember is to change batteries when the clocks are changed in spring and fall). It is also recommended to replace these devices every FIVE years. Another recommendation is to buy devices that communicate with each other, so if the one in the basement goes off, the others sound also and say the room of the unit that is sending the alarm.
- Contact your local fire department to learn about fire hazards. Have your home inspected for fire hazards and repair, also have your fire extinguishers checked. If you can afford to equip your home with a fire sprinkler system, these systems can extinguish a fire within minutes and keep damage to a minimum.
- Learn first aid and CPR (for people and pets), you can contact your local American Red Cross for information and training. Click here for Pet First Aid Video.
- Meet with your neighbors. Plan how the neighborhood could work together after a disaster. Know your neighbors’ skills (medical, technical). Consider how you could help your neighbors who have special needs, such as elderly, disabled persons and neighborhood pets. Make plans for child care AND pet care in case you can not get home.
- Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become stressed, disoriented and wander away from home during a crisis.
REMEMBER TO PRACTICE AND MAINTAIN YOUR PLANS.
The federal government has passed the PETS ACT, basically stating that each state must include pets in there disaster response plans. The following is a compilation of pet disaster preparedness from the American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States, Emergency Animal Rescue Service, and the American SPCA:
Where could you go?
- Know where you can go with your family and your pets BEFORE anything happens. Evacuation shelters will not allow animals, so it is up to you to know where to go.
- Call hotels in and out of state. Go to the book store, there are books that list pet friendly hotels. Ask hotels with a “no pet policy” if that would be waived in the event of an emergency (A great source is the web site Pets Welcome).
- Keep a list of pet friendly places and their phone numbers.
- As soon as you hear that there may be an evacuation, call and make reservations and go as soon as possible. These hotels will book fast. Most operate on a first come, first served basis. Be one of the first to arrive and give your pets plenty of time to settle.
- If your pet is not used to traveling, take them for short rides in the car now, it will help them in a time of crisis and when they are going to regular check up.
- If they are not used to being crated/caged, again now is the time to get them used to it by feeding them in their crate/cage and leave the doors open, gradually get them used to staying in their crates for periods of time. If pets are not used to leashes, collars, harnesses (especially cats), it is advisable to accustom your pet to these also. If you have a pet that does not have some basic obedience training, or your pet is not used to strangers, etc., work on these now. Not only will it be a better life for you and your pets working with them to being comfortable in these situations in case of a disaster, but everyone will be able to live better at home if there were no disaster also. Again, helping your pets now, will help you and them later.
- Contact your veterinarian or pet professional for a list of emergency animal shelters. Click here to view many shelters in NH.
- Check with your local animal welfare shelter to determine if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets. Animal shelters may be over burdened caring for the animals they already have, as well as those displaced by disaster, so this should be your last resort.
- Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in you and your pets in a disaster. If you have more than one pet, they may be more comfortable if kept together, but be prepared to house them separately.
- Choose a Designated Caregiver. This is best when you take considerable time and thought. You should make plans for a temporary home for your pets in the event of an emergency (and you may need to make arrangements for a permanent home in the event you can no longer care for your pet, if you become incapacitated or worse).
- If you have not prepared a will and a trust, now is the time to do this. If you already have a will and a trust and your pets are not included, this may also be the time that you consider adding your pets to your wills and trusts if something should happen to you. Unlike a will, a trust provides for your pet immediately, and can apply not only if you die but if you become disabled (call your wills & trust lawyer for more information).
- Professional Pet Sitting Etc. and Dori have been placed in quite a few trusts by their clients to be notified in case of an owner’s passing to care for pets until they go to the prearranged home in the trust, or they have entrusted the company to find a permanent home.
Make a Disaster Emergency Kit
- Make an emergency kit (make a kit for you, a kit for your cat, and a kit for your dogs) and put everything in a plastic container, ready to go at a moments notice. You can use water proof luggage, duffel bags, Rubbermaid storage containers, trash cans, etc. Remember that no one can predict mother nature, you may be evacuated much longer than you originally thought, so pack for an extended stay. If you do not need everything you bring, great, save it for the next time.
- Make a list of items (not in your emergency kit like photos, your grandmother’s ring, etc.) you want to take or itemize what you may need to do for the emergency and post it on the inside of your bedroom door. Purchase an inexpensive lockbox or a small fire proof safe to place these important items in. If you need to leave you can bring this with you. Making your list ahead and having these important items in an easily accessible place will ensure that you won’t be scrambling when disaster happens. It is best to prepare this list when you are calm and over a period of time with much thought. You will not be able to think of everything in a crisis. Practice time (how long it takes you to do everything from packing the car to actually driving away), in many cases you are only given 15 minutes to 24 hours to evacuate.
- Now is the time to check what you have for insurance on your home and belongings. Make sure that you have guaranteed replacement” if your home and belongings are completely destroyed. Also ask about inflation in rebuilding, etc. It is advisable to take pictures of your home inside and out. Take pictures of each room, include all your belongings and if possible, write down an inventory.
- Scan all photos (personal and for insurance) and place on a CD, put family videos on DVD, make a list of all bank numbers, credit card numbers, include institutions phone numbers, all important documents (home mortgage, insurance – life, house, health, passports, etc.
- For all important documents, photos, CDs, DVDs, etc. if you can make three copies of each, and place one copy with a trusted friend or family member, second copy in a bank security box with the third (or originals ) with you. This way if anything ever happened you will have access to this important information (and memories), one way or another if one or two are unavailable.
- If you ever need to be evacuated due to unsafe conditions – anything can happen. Everything could be fine and you can return to your everything could go very wrong and everything in a 5 mile radius could be completely destroyed. So when you plan, plan for the worst. When you evacuate, you will not be able to bring everything you have stored for a disaster. It is just not feasible to bring everything, so you need to decide when you are calm and not in a disastrous situation (in a trauma situation, we may not make wise thought out choices) what is important to bring and what you must leave behind.
- It is recommended by all sources to have a supply of food and water for pets and people and medications if needed. One month’s supply is best.
- Canned food stores best but rotate cans using the oldest and replacing with new. Buy flip top cans or keep a manual can opener (in case of no electricity).
- Keep dry pet food in airtight containers (never leave dry pet food in bags on concrete, as concrete depletes nutrients and moisture through the bag). Also, check these plastic containers to make sure they are “food quality” containers. Many plastics leach chemicals into food products that are not good for consumption.
- Have extra bowls (disposable bowls or paper plates do not have to be cleaned between uses, so you do not use up much needed water).
- Make sure that you have spoons for mixing food, disposable is good.
- Buy a small grill with a supply of charcoal to cook with, in case you lose electricity. Gas grills are great, however, keep an extra full propane tank. Also keep in mind if you could not obtain more gas/propane.
- It is recommended 2 gallons per person per day, 1 gallon per pet per day, One month’s supply is best. This is a lot of water, so at the first sign of disaster fill empty containers and tubs.
- If tap water is unsuitable for human consumption then it is unsuitable for animal consumption.
- Store drinking water in tightly sealed plastic containers.
- Do not store water in direct sunlight (will grow algae). Rotate water every 2-6 months.
- Have extra water and bowls/bottles on hand for pets.
- The best situation is for you and your family to be in your home together, self contained. Check into alternative energies – solar, wind. There are many solar products to produce energy to run household items. Some items to have on hand – solar and/or battery powered lights, emergency TV/radio to keep up to date on information, CB radios may come in handy also.
- If you must leave your home, the best situation is for your family and pets to stay together. If your pets can not stay where your family is staying, spend as much time with them as possible. This will keep them calm and prevent others from bothering your pets. KEEP IN MIND – pets have been stolen in a crisis situation.
- Purchase wire collapsible cages to house cats and small dogs (and other small pets). Make sure it is large enough to put a litterbox, food, water and a small area for the pet to sleep (this will help if you need to keep the pets contained).
- Each carrier should be labeled with pets inside, owner information & numbers, general care and vaccine history. Keep copies of medical records in safe dry container with pets, a copy with you and a third copy in a safe place.
- To help keep a pet calm, bring a blanket to cover the cage.
- Also, bring a lock to lock the cage door so that the door can not accidentally come open by accident or by curious people if you are in a shelter (a combination lock is best, keys can become lost or misplaced).
- Bring a harness and leash for exercising pets out side of the cage.
- Bring extra collars, harnesses, and leashes and a portable tie out if needed (never leave your pet unsupervised when out of carriers).
- Bring pet beds and toys if they are easily transportable and there is room, especially if they can help keep your pet happy and calm.
- Make sure pets have access to water – obtain a good quality water bottle made for carriers (bowls can be tipped over and create a mess).
- Try to keep to some schedule for feeding and exercising.
- Be aware of temperatures where your pets are housed – it should not be too hot or too cold.
- If you are evacuated bring a small container of dish soap and disinfectant (Purelle).
- Bring a minimum of FOUR rolls of paper towels (more if space allows), small bags to dispose of waste, Litter scoops, pooper scoopers, litterboxes (bring extra disposable litterboxes , aluminum roasting pans work great).
- Bring enough litter, One month’s supply is best (try to use less than you normally would).
- Have a human first aid kit (Pre-made kits& MORE )and a first aid kit & book for your animals. Pre-assembled animal & human first aid kits can be purchased or go to one of the organizations at the end of this article and ask for a list of items to make your own –
- During or after a disaster and in high stress, a pet’s behavior can temporarily change, packing a muzzle is a good idea in case behavior becomes less than desirable, plus your pet may be in close quarters with other pets and may be cared for by people they do not know (especially if something happens to you).
- If your pet is stressed and does not travel well or hates unfamiliar surroundings, talk with your veterinarian about possibilities of medications to keep on hand in an emergency.
- Have any long term medications, for you or your pets. One month’s supply is best.
- If you have any medical conditions that others should be aware of, wear a medical alert bracelet so that people will know if you can not speak for any reason.
- If your animal is on a long term medication or has a medical condition (allergies, diabetic, kidney failure, FIP, etc.), have a tag made indicating this and put it on your animal’s collar (same idea as an alert bracelet for people).
- Also check out the Health section below for more information
- Have a collar and ID tag for any animal that can wear them (remember to include the above medical conditions).
- Use safe break away collars for cats. All cats (and dogs) should have collars and ID and be used to wearing them all of the time.
- On the collar and/or tag include your name, home phone number, an alternate phone number and your address.
- Another permanent form of ID, which can be used in addition to a collar and tag is micro chipping, in case collars and tags fall off. Check with Animal Shelters or your Veterinarian.
- Attach a temporary tag with the phone number and address of your temporary shelter (if you know it), or of a friend or relative outside buy temporary tags that you can write on and set them aside in your disaster kit. Another good idea when you are traveling or visiting with your pet, attach this temporary tag with the temporary vacation information, just in case your pet gets loose.
- Have multiple copies of current (within 6 months) photos of your animals to help locate them should they get lost.
- Include yourself in some photos as proof of ownership.
- As stated above, take photos of your house and belongings inside and out for insurance. Put all photos (personal and insurance) on CDs. Put all taped memories on DVDs. Make three copies of everything, one copy to a trusted friend or family member, one copy in a bank security box and the third copy with you. That way, no matter what happens, you will never lose your memories and have necessary proof for insurance to start your life again if everything becomes destroyed.
- Make a medical sheet for each member of the family, include things such as blood type, surgeries, dates and type of vaccinations (include all childhood & adult vaccines received), any known allergies, all medications being taken, any surgeries and/or medical conditions, list last few readings for blood pressure, etc. This will help medical personnel if you needed medical care in the event of a disaster, if you could not speak and access to your medical history was not available. This information is required to be carried on each person who does disaster response. It may come in handy for each person to have, just in case.
- Check with your doctor about any vaccinations that may need to be updated. Some childhood vaccinations that you have received as a child, may need to be boostered as an adult. Adult Vaccine Schedule
- Do a similar medical sheet for each pet
- Keep your pets’ vaccinations current. This will protect them if they need to be housed with other animals. Keep a notebook with all medical records ready to go. You may need to show proof of vaccinations.
- It is advisable to keep all important paperwork in water proof containers (Ziploc bags or plastic container).
- In the event you are unavailable for pet care for whatever reason – It is also advisable to leave information on pets’ crate for feeding schedules, behavior problems, and a written permission slip for the pet caregiver to obtain medical for your pet in the event of a medical emergency (you may need to include a credit card number and expiration date with your signature just in case the emergency veterinarian will not treat if there is not a financially responsible party – this can be tricky because you do not want your CC information in the wrong hands).
- Bring grooming items, grooming helps calm some pets and will help pets that easily mat.
What happens if you are not home at the time of a disaster?
- You should choose someone who lives within walking distance to your home to check on and care for your pets. They may also need to transport your pets to safety.
- They should have a key to your home (or access 24/7)and know where carriers are and your disaster/emergency care box is, so they can grab and go. Key lockboxes attach to your home, open with a code (can be changed as often as you wish) and are a great way to have emergency access to your home with a phone call to whoever you feel comfortable without having many keys out and about. (Key lockboxes are sold by Prof. Pet Sitting Etc.)
- If you have a pet sitter or another company caring for your pet, do not rely on them. A good pet care company will have asked you for a person you trust close by to care for your pets in the event of an emergency. A pet care company may not live close to your home and they may need to evacuate themselves along with many other clients’ pets. It is always best to have a back up person within walking distance to your home. This person must be within walking distance because if your neighborhood is evacuated, no one from outside the area will be allowed in the evacuated neighborhood.
- Have your person meet you in a prearranged location to obtain your pets if they needed to be evacuated when you were not home.
What about pets other than cats or dogs?
- Most of the suggestions above are pertaining to dogs and cats. Horses, livestock, small pets, reptiles, birds, etc. all have special needs. Be prepared for their care. Also, remember that all pets will react very differently under stress. Outside your home and in your car, ALWAYS keep dogs securely leashed and transport all cats in carriers. Do not leave pets unattended anywhere. Even the most trustworthy pets may panic, hide, try to escape, or even bite and scratch. Being prepared can save your life and the life of your pets.
- Hooved animals can be identified by taking a permanent marker to the hooves. Write your phone number, so when found you can be notified.
- Take off all halters, leads, blankets. In a weather disaster, these things can get caught or entangled, possibly injuring your animals. In a fire disaster, they can catch fire or melt into the animals’ skin.
- Leave gates and doors open to give them the best chance, depending on the disaster. However, take care, because your animals running loose can also pose a problem. Whenever, possible, it is best to transport them to safety outside of the disaster area before evacuation is imminent.
What about other emergencies such as a Pandemic like the Bird (Avian) Flu?
- According to Dr. Michael Osterholm as seen on the Oprah Show airing 1-24-06 (contact Harpo or go to Oprah.com for more information), it is not a question of if a pandemic of some sort will happen it is when. He states:
- You should have enough food, water, medications and all essentials for you and your pets to stay in your homes, (not leaving for any reason) for up to 5 WEEKS.
- If you need to leave your home while the virus is in the air, purchase special masks with air filters to screen out Avian Flu germs.
- Purchase plastic and duct tape to cover windows, doors and vents. Ahead of time, cut to fit each opening and store. This is to seal your home, to prevent the air born virus from coming into your home.
- During and pandemic, wash hands at every opportunity.
- You may consider getting vaccinated for pneumonia (Pneumovax). Most people who die from the Avian flu, died with pneumonia. The vaccine would be given to you now and then you are revaccinated at age 65 (check with your doctor).
- It is also advised to become vaccinated every year with the flu vaccine. Some experts believe that the Avian Flu will mutate to a humane form when a human that already has the flu also becomes infected with the Avian flu simultaneously.
So to recap:
At the first hint of disaster, act to protect you, your family and your pet.
- Leave early -don’t wait for a mandatory evacuation order. An unnecessary trip is far better than waiting too long to leave safely with your pets.
- Call ahead to confirm emergency shelter arrangements.
- Check to be sure your pet disaster supplies (including food, water, medications and other essentials) are ready at a moment’s notice.
- Bring all pets into the house so that you won’t have to search for them if you need to leave in a hurry.
- Make sure that all pets have collars, ID and medical information, and temporary tag with temporary information.
For more information on Disaster Planning click on or contact:
- The American Red Cross,
- Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 1-800-745-0243
- FEMA Information for Pet Owners
- Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) 1-301-258-3010
- Red Rover Responders ( formerly EARS) 1-916-429-2457
- American Humane Association 1-800-227-4645
- ASPCA: Animed, Preparing for Disasters
- or contact Dorinne Whynott at Professional Pet Sitting Etc. 1-603-888-8088, www.profpetsit.com. you can also go to our website
Dorinne Whynott has been in animal welfare since 1978, is the owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc., the founder of the Animal Care and Education Center of New Hampshire, the Animal Angels Network, the NH Pet Sitters’ Association and a co-founder of the NH Pet Expo.
Ms. Whynott is certified for Animal Disaster Response by the American Humane Association, Humane Society of the United States and FEMA. She is also the head of the response team in Hillsborough County for the NH Animal Disaster Response Team (NHDART).
If you are interested in becoming part of the NH Animal Disaster Response Team (NHDART), go to the website or contact our office at 603-888-8088, we will give you information on where to go and what you need to do.
This is a great article from MSNBC: “Putty in their paws, why we do what cats want”. Click to go to the article.
Do cats get heartworm disease like dogs?
For decades, in the Northeast, and where ever mosquitoes live, heartworm disease has been a plague for our dogs. Until recently, it was thought that heartworm disease did not adversely effect cats. New studies show that heartworm infection can harm our cats. Click here for Video & information on Feline Heartworm. Click on Feline Heartworm Animation and then the arrow to start video.
Has your cat been diagnosed with chronic kidney failure?
The Feline CRF Information Center is a great resource in up to date information on this frightening, confusing and overwhelming diagnosis of our beloved feline. Click here to go to the Feline CRF Information Center. and Instructions on Giving Sub-Q Fluids
Hyperthyroidism in Felines
Has your cat been diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism? For more information,
Click links below for more info –
Everything you always wanted to know about litter boxes from your cat’s point of view, and so much more. This website delves into a comprehensive look into all kinds of problems, do’s and don’ts and so much more. Click on Litter Box for this great website.
Check out our Gus Bennett series –
Feline Nutrition, Exercise, Obesity, etc.
The same website as the Litterbox above, has some great information on Feline Nutrition, Diabetes, Pilling and much more.
Click below for more information –
- Cat Information,
- Feeding Guidelines for Kittens,
- Foods to Avoid,
- Snacks/Treats Recipes
Check out our article – Feeding Cats by Gus Bennett
Diabetes in your feline
The best thing you can do is prevent the disease before it happens, learn how, Preventing Diabetes in your cat.
If you do get the diagnosis that your cat is diabetic, know everything you can on this disease. In most cases, cats do very well if diagnosed early and regulated. Here are two more websites on Feline Diabetes – Your Diabetic Cat and Cats and Carbs.
Click links below for more information – watch all videos Before doing anything. Each video give info the other does not.
- Giving insulin to your cat video #1
- Giving Insulin to your cat video #2
- Diabetes Information Center Video : How to test your Diabetic Cat’s Blood Sugar at Home
Allergies in Cats
Dori’s cat, Ricky suffers from a multitude of allergies, poor guy. He is allergic to many environmental sources such as two types of dust mites, Maple, Yellow Dock, Sycamore, Black Ants and much more. He is treated with an allergy injection every 10 – 21 days depending on how bad his allergies are. Most allergies in animals come out as skin conditions (whereas in humans, we suffer most respiratory and itchy eyes). Ricky’s allergies manifest in a skin condition of an over abundance of black yeast production all over his body (not a pretty sight). He is bathed every 3 – 4 weeks depending on his condition. Other problems that may occur from allergies could be open lesions, excessive grooming, hair loss, and hair thinning. If you notice anything different, check with your veterinarian.
To learn more about allergies in your cat, click on
This website has some great information on Cat Breeds, health, nutrition, behavior, etc. It is a web site put out by Cat Fancy and does sell advertising, so some products advertised maybe a paid endorsement, but over all it is a good site for some information. Click on Catchannel.com to view.
Declawing: Good or Bad
Declawing your cat, is it good or bad? Most animal welfare organizations do not condone declawing. It is an unnecessary surgery. Find out everything there is to know about declawing before you make the final decision. Feel free to call our office if you would like alternatives.
Check out these websites for more information:
- Facts on Declawing,
- Declawing: A Rational Look,
- Declawing & Humane Alternatives,
- Declawing Cats, far worse than just a manicure,
- Declawing: What you need to know,
- Physical Problems of Declawing.
Find out more about purebred cats
The Cat Fanciers’Association (CFA) has great information and pictures of purebred cats. Of course, we advocate adopting homeless pets first, but if you like a certain breed of cat, you sometimes will find them in shelters if you are patient. If you absolutely can not wait, check out these breeds. This website also has information on upcoming sponsored cat shows, etc.
Click here for CFA recognized purebred cats.
Brushing Your cats Teeth
Brushing Your cats teeth can be tricky.
Click here for
Giving Your Cat a Pill
Click here to view Instructional Video on Giving Your Cat a Pill.
Video 2 – Cat Pilling
Giving your Cat Liquid Medication
Click here to view Instructional Video on Giving Your Cat liquid medication.
Video 2 – Giving Liquid Medication
Taking your Cat’s Temperature
Click here to view Instructional Video on Taking your Cat’s Temperature
Trimming your Cat’s Claws (nails)
Click here to view Instructional Video on Trimming your Cat’s Claws (nails)
Cats, Babies and Toxoplasmosis
Congratulations you are pregnant, then your doctor says get rid of your cat to protect your baby. What do you do? Educate yourself…..You are more likely to get Toxoplasmosis from handling raw meat or gardening in your yard than from your inside cat. But here are some websites to help educate you and possibly your doctor.
Click the links below for more information –
Click on the Behavior you wish to view-
- Adding A Cat
- Introducing a cat to a new cat
- Aggression to People,
- Aggression to Other Cats,
- Cats & Toxic Plants,
- Harness & Leash Training,
- Scratching Furniture,
- Selecting Safe Toys,
Indoor vs. Outdoor
Dori owns ten cats that are all considered indoor cats. However, a special cat fence was installed on top of the existing chain link fence about 6 years ago. All cats have been enjoying the protection of an indoor cat with the enjoyment of running and playing outside SAFELY. Statistically, cats who are indoor cats can leave three times longer than outside cats. Some inside healthy cats can live 18 – 20 years with outside cats averaging 6 years. Yes, there are cats who go out and live to be 10, 15, maybe even 20 years, however, they are very lucky. The outside cat must endure many hazards that threaten his life every day, such as dogs, cruel neighbors who do not want animals in their yard, cars, other territorial cats and many wild animals who may look at your cat as dinner!! Just as there are leash laws to protect dogs, people and property, there should be the same for cats. They need protection too. If you would like to learn more, read our article – 2 ways to keep your cats safe outside
Vaccinations and diseases
Here is some information on different diseases that can affect your cat and what vaccinations maybe necessary.
Click on to view –
- Feline Leukemia.
- FIP – Feline Infectious Peritonitis,
- FIV-Feline Immunodeficiency Virus,
- Feline Herpes Virus,
- Vaccination Guidelines
Caring for your cat’s emotional health
Cats are very emotional. These wonderful little animals are very capable of expressing anger, happiness, love, separation, depression, etc. Click here to learn more about Cat’s Emotional Health.
How We Keep You & Your Pets Safe
We take pet sitting seriously !!
As one of the largest NH Pet Sitting Company, who has cared for thousands of pets every year since 1990, we are always thinking of safety.
- We deter people from targeting your home while you are at work or away!!.
Whether we are walking your dog every day in New Hampshire or caring for all your pets while are away or just checking on your home with NO pets while you are vacationing in Florida, We are coming and going making your home look like someone is there. We bring in your mail and newspapers so they don’t pile up outside. Also, it’s advisable to NOT stop your mail or newspapers because that indicates to those employees you will be away, making your home a possible target.
One day, our pet sitter, Richalie, was going to one of our daily mid day visits to exercise 4 awesome dogs. When she pulled up, she noticed a car parked out front but down away from the driveway. It was an older car with signs on the side that said National Grid ( a heating service), then she saw a gentleman walking around out to the back of of our client’s home.
Richalie got out of her car, and the ex- army person that she is, followed him around back, saying, ” excuse me, can I help you?” The man kept walking, never looking back and even sped up a bit and said he was looking for…..and gave the address across the street. Richalie yelled, since he was way ahead now, going for his car, that he was at the wrong address. She immediately wrote down license plate and description as he got to his car, pulled the signs off, got it and drove off!! We called police and the owner. Come to find out, houses were being targeted in that area and the information our sitter obtained help to track down the culprits!!
- We are also checking on your home, making sure everything is okay with your home.
Our petsitter, Betty, was doing a routine mid day visit to exercise 4 great dogs as well, different home. When she arrived and opened the door, she was greeted with black thick smoke. She immediately got the dogs outside and called the fire department. I called the owner but she was not reachable. The fire department checked the house from top to bottom and ascertained it was a faulty oil burner. He shut the furnace off and opened windows to air out. It was spring and the temp was in the 60s so it wasn’t cold. After the house cleared quickly, the fire chief said it was safe for the dogs to go back inside now. Finally, got the owner and explained what happened. She was grateful. If the dogs had stayed in that black smoke until she got home 6 hours later, we aren’t sure if they would’ve been okay or if the oil burner would’ve progressed to something worse.
- We also have checked on elderly family members of owners!
We’ve had visits where an elderly parent was home and we would go and exercise pets while a client was working. On one occasion, we were to visit a 95 year old woman who was in her own townhouse but it was a facility where nurses and staff visited throughout the day for blood pressure and to make sure meds were taken and that they eat properly. This elderly woman could get around and take care of herself in her home but walking the dog once in the morning and night was too much. So, we did it for well over a year, 7 days a week. One day, the sitter arrived to find her on the floor unconscious!! We called the staff who rushed over. She had apparently suffered a stroke. The staff were not scheduled to come in until the next morning. If we didn’t go in for that night visit, she would’ve passed away by morning. We had got there in time and she had some major speech problems but that was it!! We went on to help her for a few more months until she needed more around the clock care and the dog went to live with her daughter.
- We will never put your address or name on your keys.
We have ID numbers and pets names. Accidents do unfortunately happen and I’ve heard horror stories of other sitters dropping keys and not so kind people using them. The other thing we do, is put a note on the back of our key tag that states “if found please call 888-8088”, our office number.
- We will never advertise you are away while you use our service.
Our sitters DO NOT have any business signs on their cars when they go to your home. They may have one of our bumper stickers that we also give clients ( our pets are loved by Professional Pet Sitting Etc. ). Signs on vehicles or cars wrapped in the pet sitting business information is a great way to bring attention to someone away.
Our sitters do not wear T-shirts advertising our business either unless it says “My Pet is Loved by Professional Pet Sitting Etc”. We’ve had many people ask us why? Why do we not want to advertise while driving around or walking clients pets……we would be a huge NEON sign, come target this house….no one is home!!!
As one of the largest NH Pet sitting company that cares for thousands of pets, We do much more but here are the top 5 ways we work to keep you and your pets safe.
Did you know that we did these safety features? Does this make you feel safe? If you have other ideas please send me an email, we always love to hear great ideas.
History of Dorinne Whynott
Dorinne Whynott is the creator/founder/owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc, author of many educational articles, and has been in the animal field all of her life.
Professional Pet Sitting Etc. is a very successful business, established in 1990. Since we are caring for your most beloved pets and you are giving us access to your homes, it seems fitting to give you a background history of the most important person, the owner of the company.
Ms. Whynott was born with a special gift with animals and is most passionate about all animals and their welfare. In her life, she has rescued numerous animals – however only a few major rescues are featured here. Let me introduce you to, Dorinne Whynott.
Here is her story:
1961 – 1975:
Ms. Whynott was born a surviving twin and grew up in Saugus, Massachusetts. She has always shown a deep connection with animals and at a very early age, all animals seemed to be drawn to her. Growing up she had many pets, a few pets are Mitzy, Husky and Spot.
Ms. Whynott started pet sitting as a child (from 7 – 15 years old) caring for her neighbor’s horse, Black Jack (a black and white Quarter Horse who was a retired champion barrel racer). Her payment was being able to go horseback riding. She was taught to ride (at 5 years old!!) by Kathy Wheeler (Black Jack‘s owner), a wonderful woman who was proud of her black foot Indian descent. Kathy was instrumental in helping to develop the special skills Dorinne had with animals.
1975 – 1979:
Ms. Whynott experienced her first big loss, when her grandmother, Matilda Rose Whynott (Katka-maiden name), passed away and soon there after, her family decided to move to Nashua, New Hampshire, where she attended Nashua High School.
Ms. Whynott’s first dog after she left home was Duke. Duke came into Dorinne’s life when she answered an ad in the newspaper, featuring $5 puppies (the money would be going to spay the mom). Duke was a Labrador/shepherd/husky mix. He was the most obedient all around dog that Dorinne has ever encountered to date. He was certified for obedience and pet therapy. He was used in many educational seminars, in schools, demonstrations and used next to other dogs in training sessions. Ms. Whynott found training dogs was faster when used next to a dog that was already trained.
1979 – 1984:
Ms. Whynott considers herself an animal advocate and is very dedicated to animal welfare. She was thrilled to read about a job opening at the Nashua Humane Society(also known as the Humane Society of Southern Hillsborough County and now known as the Humane Society of Greater Nashua). There she excelled under Nancy Soule, who was the Director and Darcy Langdon the Manager. Ms. Langdon stated on Dorinne’s first day of work, “ As a humane society, we are here to put ourselves out of business. For if we did our job correctly, there would be no need for a shelter”. This was an ideal statement, however, it was one that Ms. Whynott lives her life by and thus her life long passion of education in animals and animal welfare was born.
At the shelter, all employees were taught various veterinary technician and shelter duties. Dorinne learned how to do physicals on dogs and cats, proper animal handling, drawing blood, heartworm checks, fecal examinations, parasite control, administering vaccinations, euthanasia, wound management, along with numerous other important medical, shelter and kennel duties. She was also responsible for animal statistics gathering, office management, daily record keeping, deposits, minor book keeping, grief counseling, interviewing, behavior modification, public education, and much more.
Ms. Whynott considers working at the Humane Society one of the best jobs that she has ever had. Of course she loves her present company, however, working at the shelter fulfilled her passion of helping animals so completely that other jobs only filled partially.
What made this job so amazing first was the great group of people that worked there. It was a family unit, everyone cared for everyone and worked well together, learned together and always put the animals first. In the time that Ms. Whynott worked at the Nashua Humane Society, this facility had many functions. Ms. Whynott met many long time friends there, two were Norma Lavigne and Pat Konecny (who is the current office manager of Hudson Animal Hospital).
Dorinne stated “Every day was different. We could be going out to rescue a Heron shot by someone with an arrow, or help a group of ducklings whose mother was hit by a car, or help a family who did not know what was wrong with their dog (frozen in his doghouse was the problem). Then we could be going to various organizations to visit with some shelters animals, to educational talks at the local schools and children’s organizations, to television, radio or newspaper interviews and so much more. We were an animal shelter, that meant that we were there for ALL animals, domestic, wild, feral, exotic. One thing that was paramount, was that NO animal was ever turned away, EVER. Whether it was a baby squirrel, injured seagull, unwanted pet, all were taken in with no waiting, everyday. It was taught to us that if someone brought in an animal for whatever reason, they made this decision and needed to let the animal go now. If these people were turned away or talked into waiting, the risk may be that they would drop the animal off on the side of the road or something much worse. The risk to the animal was unacceptable. Of course, we would try to educate the owner and alleviate any problems that may have been the reason a pet was being relinquished, but on many occasions, the reasons given were just an excuse for not wanting the pet anymore“.
Dorinne even had someone give up a dog because it did not match the furniture!
Ms. Whynott learned to become very efficient in rescue and rehabilitation of abused and neglected animals. She was especially good with aggressive animals (and showed the scars for it – being bit by just about every species, from dogs, cats, squirrels, various wildlife to even a seagull!!). She became licensed (along with many shelter employees) in the state of New Hampshire to rehabilitate wildlife. She was in the public eye for the humane society quite a lot, you could find her in the newspaper showing off her many foster animals looking for homes, or doing public seminars in animal education or visiting many facilities including Greenbriar Nursing Home and the Plus Company for Pet Facilitated Therapy (PFT).
Ms. Whynott took many classes and training in Animal Behavior and Obedience. Working at the animal shelter gave her extensive on the job experience in a wide variety of animal behavior. She became a Dog Obedience Trainer (later to be part of the Association of Pet Dog Trainers). She worked with adoptive owners who adopted animals with behavioral problems to help ensure that animal and new owner had a long and happy life together. To this day, her passion is helping owners with pet problems.
Ms. Whynott was instrumental in implementing many new ideas at the shelter which helped the shelter to run more efficiently. One idea she started was the protocol for lost pets and for people looking to adopt certain pets. She also developed and implemented the out of cage cat room, where cats who were healthy could roam freely. Her protocol was instrumental in keeping disease down. Allowing cats to roam freely helped to house more cats and alleviate depression that occurred when felines are caged for long periods of time. She also helped work on the policy and procedures for the shelter along with by-laws.
She became the Shelter Manager until she left to move north and a new manager was hired.
During this time period, Dorinne acquired a few animals:
Kiki was an all black Domestic Short hair (DSH), spayed female with one white whisker. She was a free kitten, and lived 18 years passing away at home of natural causes.
Pandora was a brown tabby with white DSH, spayed female. She was adopted from the Nashua Humane Society and died of kidney failure.
Angel was a grey DSH, spayed female. She was from the Nashua Humane Society and also passed away from Kidney disease.
Armouk was a black and white Siberian Husky puppy brought to the Humane Society because the owners could not deal with the work it takes to have a puppy. They purchased him from a pet store and as many pet store puppies are, Armouk had many health issues and died with complications of heart and kidney disease.
Appollo was a brown tabby DSH, neutered male who was brought into the humane society after he was found with a tail injury possibly an abuse case.
Magic was a grey and white Dutch Dwarf rabbit, brought into the humane society after the owners purchased her for their children as an Easter gift. Then the owners decided after a month that they did not want her any longer.
During this time, Ms. Whynott was also the vice president of the NH Veterinary Technicians Association.
1984 – 1987:
In 1985, Ms. Whynott moved to Thornton, NH and rented a home that used to be the Robin’s Nest Restaurant and Motel. There she shared her home with 2 dogs (Duke, Armouk), 4 cats (Kiki, Pandora, Angel, Appollo) and 2 horses (Trinity, Quincy).
Ms. Whynott worked as a Veterinary Technician for Plymouth Animal Hospital. Since this was a small animal hospital, all duties (other than veterinary) were her responsibility, including the duties she performed at the Humane Society but also assisting in surgery, x-rays, lab work, and much more. Animals cared for ranged from domestic pets to livestock to horses. Patients were seen in hospital as well as in their own home environment.
Squam Lake Science Center located in Holderness, NH was also a fascinating working experience once held by Ms. Whynott. Her title as an Animal Care Technician included caring for bears, coyote, foxes, bob tail, owls, osprey and other birds of prey along with raccoons, and other native wildlife found in New Hampshire.
Ms. Whynott rescued two abused and neglected horses, Trinity and Quincy. She designed and built a large barn for them. Shortly, thereafter, the Pemigewasset River flooded the paddock and barn – the river swelled to 20 feet over the natural level of previous years. Her home and some contents were slightly damaged. The horses and barn were okay, but the barn needed a good cleaning, since the water rose 4 feet into the barn.
Dorinne Whynott had her first and only child, Rachelle in August.
Ms. Whynott saw that there was a need for an animal feed and supply store in that area. She strategized and in December, she opened RR Tack and Feed (named after her daughter – Rachelle Rose, thus RR). Being young and anxious, she wanted to open the week before to get a bit of the Christmas rush. A big mistake was opening the business before the insurance kicked in after the first of the year.
Unfortunately, the fire was caused by a crack in a heating duct. Everything burned to the ground 2 days before Christmas. No person or animal was harmed, but the building and all contents (personal and business) were destroyed. She was forced to place her horses with a kind person. She was homeless for a while until a gracious family allowed her to live in one 6×8 room with her newborn, 2 dogs and 4 cats. They lived there for a few months. She cooked on a small hot plate and slept on a mattress on the floor. As a new mom, with no real home, no job and suffering the loss of everything, she was completely traumatized and devastated but somehow prevailed.
Finally she got back on her feet and her best friend, Norma Lavigne, offered her a wonderful basement apartment and the move back to Nashua was in order.
1987 – 1992:
Ms. Whynott found work with Hudson Animal Hospital. Ms. Whynott speaks very highly of Dr. Allen Conti, whom she considers a great boss and a superior surgeon. This animal hospital has now and has had in the past many great Veterinarians. She worked with Dr. Michael Dutton (now in his own practice, Weare Animal Hospital) and Dr. Lisa Anderson (now working at the Milford Animal Hospital) , both great veterinarians, mentors and teachers. Pat Konecny is the current office manage , whom Dorinne met working at the Nashua Humane Society and is a long time friend. During this time, Benson’s Animal Farm was still open and Hudson Animal Hospital helped to care for elephants, tigers, etc. What a sight to see an elephant in the parking lot!! Ms. Whynott became Office Manager Assistant and was responsible for boarding schedules, veterinary appointment schedules, intake and return of boarding pets and patients, medical record accuracy, counseling and solving animal problems for clients over the phone, grief counseling for clients, dispensing medications prescribed by the veterinarians, retail sales and invoicing, daily receipts, deposits, and reception duties. On very rare occasion she helped fill in for veterinary technician duties, however, she loved and preferred to be out front helping clients with problems they were experiencing with their pets.
She started pet sitting in 1990 when she obtained her first client, Samantha, a longhaired black and white cat. Many clients at the hospital started to ask if there was such a service who would visit their home and care for their pets while they were away on vacation. This led to the establishment of Whynott Professional Pet Sitting, later to be known as Professional Pet Sitting Etc (PPSE). Ms. Whynott comes to this field with unmatched superior credentials in business and animal experience. Ms. Whynott takes the professional in PPSE very seriously and as a result, she registered the business in the state of New Hampshire, became bonded, and acquired liability insurance. She is responsible for every aspect of the business. She created each piece of PPSE advertising, literature, brochure, and presentation book. Ms. Whynott is responsible for the advertising in all newspapers in southern New Hampshire, on WMUR TV, and the Yellow Pages.
NOTE: It would be a long 6 years of hard work, lots of money and time, driving long hours (some days driving 150 miles) and covering many towns on her own, before PPSE would become a full time business, have enough clients and be able to make enough money to be supportive.
While working at the Hudson Animal Hospital, a wonderful client came in, with a dog she had just rescued. This client wanted to place him but he had many problems. The dog she was referring to was Dorinne’s favorite breed, the Siberian Husky!
To read more about “Fudge”, check his story out by going to Case Studies. Since Dorinne had an extensive background in dealing with abused animals, she decided to adopt him. With her training, Fudge earned his obedience certificate and also was certified as a Pet Therapy Dog in 1996.
1992 – 1996:
Along with working a full time job, being a mother and starting her pet sitting business, Ms. Whynott decided to go back to school and earn a degree. She went to Springfield College earning her Bachelor of Science degree, majoring in Business, Animal Science and Behavior, and Human Psychology with a GPA of 3.97! Ms. Whynott has also received credit from Mount Ida College for Veterinary Science Clinical Methods. Her educational courses include: business and marketing, business development and management, highly effective business management tools, numerous psychology courses, case management, counseling and interviewing skills, veterinary sciences, computer skills, preventive holistic health, substance use and abuse: prevention to treatment. She interned at Brookside Hospital in Nashua, working with dual diagnosed patients (patients who had an addiction and a disorder – for example – alcohol addiction with multiple personality disorder). Ms. Whynott was the only student working on her Associate’s degree allowed in this internship, which was for Master’s level students only. Dorinne’s supervisor, Ms. Jan Bruce stated, “This students works with masters level students and consistently participates at their level”.
As part of her degree with Springfield College, Ms. Whynott needed to complete a mandatory group study project. She chose the subject of Pet Facilitated Therapy (PFT) and studied the pros and cons on children in trouble. Ms. Whynott took an additional certification course for Pet Facilitated Therapy with Linda Hume (she runs a great PFT program at the Northeast Rehabilitation Hospital in Salem, NH ) . At this time, Fudge was also certified as a pet therapy dog. The most satisfying visits were at the Nashua Children’s Association in Nashua – working with children with abusive backgrounds. They seemed to identify with Fudge’s abusive background (see his story in our case studies section on this website). One child who had not spoken for a while suddenly just began talking, talking about Fudge!
She also received certification as a Pet Care Technician. The very last course, she completed for her degree was “Coping with Disease and Death” – little did she know that this course would be the most important tool she would need in just a few months time….starting in August 1996.
Ms. Whynott was asked to help Greyhound Pets of America with fostering greyhounds off the track, trained them and placed them in permanent homes. She fostered quite a few greyhounds over the next few years.
WMUR Channel 9 and WHDH Channel 7 had special interest in Ms. Whynott’s involvement with the Salem Animal Rescue League (SARL) on the 16 abused Shepherds from Salem (read more about the Coh case). Ms. Whynott worked closely with all of the foster homes to help the abused Shepherds on their way to happy homes.
She, herself, took in the two worst Shepherds (Schultz and Tyler) to work with them so they could be placed in great homes. After a few months of hard work, both dogs were placed in great homes. Schultz eventually was returned after a few months. He was diagnosed with advanced kidney disease due to the past neglect, starvation and poor diet. The new owners were unable to care for him medically. SARL entrusted Ms. Whynott to care for Schultz until he was too ill and needed to be euthanized.
Ms. Whynott created and wrote her own Obedience Training Manual and started to give in-home training as a new service.
Ms. Whynott helped to start the NH Pet Expo.
PPSE is now successful enough and has become a full time business.
Ms. Whynott helped to create a Christmas greeting on WMUR Channel 9 and the ad ran for a few years until WMUR no longer offered these great advertisements. Three wonderful commercials were also created at this time and ran a few times, however, due to the high cost of television advertising, it did not pay off. As a result of much advertising and recent media exposure, Ms. Whynott was sought out to do numerous articles and interviews about her background and business.
She was asked to be involved with a radio call in show on WZID for pet related problems and was interviewed for a local business show for Channel 50. Overall, she has conducted many animal education talks for schools, animal welfare groups and other organizations in past, present and future.
Penny was a new addition to the family. She was a free grey and white lop eared bunny given to Dori a friend. Penny did not enjoy to much handling and when she had enough, she would growl!!!
1996 – 1997:
Devastation hit during August of 1996 to December of 1997, Ms. Whynott experienced the most traumatizing 14 months of her life. She literally lost 18 family, friends and pets in that time span, which included her best friend (Norma Lavigne), her mother (Eva Whynott), her father (Robert Whynott) plus her 4 cats – Pandora to kidney failure, Kiki to old age, Angel to a fatal injury and Nikki to heart failure.
During this time of loss, Ms. Whynott felt that her clients and pets in her care were not getting the service they should, and she decided to hire employees. She wrote a 40 page policy and procedure handbook, devised an extensive application, and required a police background check. All to ensure that clients, pets and PPSE were as safe as possible and that good quality care was given.
In spite of all of the losses, Ms. Whynott continued to fill her home with more furry loves. Tex was inherited when Dorinne’s mother passed away.
Danny and Nikki were adopted from SARL. Danny was a DSH, brown tabby, neutered male and Nikki was a flame point Siamese, neutered male (unfortunately, Nikki passed away from heart failure at 5 months old on December 10, 1997).
Pooh and Raji were adopted from the
Nevins Farm MSPCA in Methuen, Mass. Susan T., a client who had become a friend, worked there.
Pooh was a DSH, orange tabby with white, neutered male and
Raji was a double pawed, DSH, black and white, neutered male.
Ms. Whynott and her, daughter, Rachelle Whynott were certified for Pet First Aid and CPR.
Nepheratiti was adopted. She was a grey and white lop eared bunny, who had no bottom teeth in the front.
2000 – 2002:
Ms. Whynott and her, daughter, Rachelle Whynott attended Tufts Animal Expo (no longer being held) each year for continuing education courses in:
Dog Behavior – Dog Breed Characteristic Behaviors – Cat Genetics – Loss and Grief Counseling – Benefits of early neutering in cats and dogs – Shelter assessments of cats and dogs (A.D.O.P.T.) – Behavioral assessments – Business productivity – Business marketing – Prevention and management of cat diseases – Understanding cats: assessing, temperament, handling, and techniques – Enhancing a shelter environment for cats and dogs – The ins and outs of a better multi-cat household – Dogs that bite the hands that feed – Criteria for behaviorally healthy dogs – Promoting behavioral health through environmental enrichment – The basic nature of cats, who plays best with others – Intro to the Human-Animal bond and grief – Take me to your leader, understanding the dog’s need for leadership – How to run a safe doggy daycare – Behavior Knowledge – Positive reinforcement training – Loss and grief, a footprint for mourning – Cat clicker training – Clicker training to shape behavior – Humane education that makes a difference – AKC good citizen program – Animal cognition and its role in behavior – Overview of feline nutrition –
Sazar and Desilu were rescued from a barn in Mason, NH. A friend of Dori’s, called her about these kittens in fear of them being harmed. Miss Desilu had no fear and would walk up and rub on the horses’ legs at 5 weeks of age. People who worked at this barn feared that they would find the kittens crushed if one of the horses had a mis-step.
Dorinne learned of a new product that was installed on top of an existing fence, to discourage cats from getting out of a fenced in yard. She installed this cat fence to allow all the cats to play outside, yet keep them safe. This has been a wonderful product that has worked beautifully for many years.
In the very cold month of early April, Ms. Whynott was made aware of 30 cats and kittens in a cold trailer, with no heat, no water, no food and living in filth, urine and feces. Read more about Ricky in our article – Ricky, my Soul Kitty.
She organized and carried out the rescue. To read more, go to case studies. This is where she obtained Ricky, Lulu and Spanky. Ricky being her sole kitty…
Sazar had major surgery to remove a long piece of invisible nylon thread wrapped around his tongue and going through his entire system to somewhere in the intestines. Ms. Whynott’s previous employer, Dr. Conti performed the much needed surgery successfully. This is one very good reason, to always watch your pets, know how much they are eating at every feeding. This may mean that you need to stop free feeding (which most veterinarians advise) and feed once in the morning and once in the evening. The only way Dori knew that some thing was wrong is because he stopped eating and this is a cat that LOVES to eat. Please watch your cats. To this day, the source of the nylon thread is unknown, which is scary.
Ms. Whynott’s daughter, Rachelle graduated from Nashua High School with honors. Rachelle is responsible for the payroll of Professional Pet Sitting, Etc. Rachelle started college in the fall at Rivier College (see 2008 for graduation).
2005 – 2006:
Ms. Whynott completed two courses, Strategic Thinking and Business Planning and Executive Leadership Action Plan with Strategic Directions, LLC and has written her Business Plan to help aid in the progress of the Animal Center and Professional Pet Sitting Etc. Ms. Whynott also completed courses in The doggie daycare business, How to own and operate a dog daycare and The boarding kennel business.
With the horrors of Hurricane Katrina in the past, Ms. Whynott was devastated by the lack of preparedness for animals (and people) in a disaster situation, she read as many books and articles she could find on the subject. She sought out and completed as many educational outlets on the subject as she could find. She then wrote her own article on Disaster planning for you and your pets, which you can view on this web site.
Ms. Whynott obtained certification in the following:
Animal Emergency Services Training by American Humane Association
Disaster Animal Response by Humane Society of the United States
Emergency Animal Sheltering by Humane Society of the United States
National Incident Management System by FEMA
Animals in Disaster, Awareness and Preparedness by FEMA
Animals in Disaster, Community Planning by FEMA
A Citizen’s Guide to Disaster Assistance by FEMA
Ms. Whynott was asked to be the team leader for the greater Nashua area for
NH Disaster Animal Response Team.
One of Dori’s best friends became aware of four 10 day old kittens needing help. Dori adopted and added two to the family, bringing the number of kitties in the house to 10! Felice (lilac point Tonkinese mix, spayed female) and Linus (DSH, brown tabby with white, neutered male) are the new additions.
This is also the time that Dorinne started to think about evacuating her own animals. How would she round up 10 cats, which includes 2 feral-like that run if they know you want them? Especially since a couple of them were not fond of carriers, in fact Danny would stress out so much in a carrier that in the 15 minutes it took to drive to the animal hospital, he would have his nose completely scraped up and bloody trying to get out….So, the first thing would be to get them used to carriers. A set up of 10 carriers, 3 across, 3 high with the 10th one on the very top, 4 foot boards were placed in between the rows, to steady all the carriers. Each carrier was labeled with each cat’s name, description and date of birth (in case evacuation led to cat’s being housed away from owner). The easiest way to get any animal used to something generally is food. So, this would be used for all feeding. A special call (command) would be used, so that when it is pronounced, all the cats knew that food was coming. On the first few days, it was a bit chaotic, the cats did not know where to go or what to do. Each cat was methodically placed in the appropriate crate, then given food and the door closed. Very surprisingly, it only took a few days before most of the cats would quickly jump into their crate and be standing in it waiting to be fed. In feeding this way, it was found that each cat would get the appropriate measured amount of food, each cat could be fed a different food if needed (for any cat with medical conditions or food allergies), each cat could be monitored for food intake (thus a cat not feeling well would be noticed immediately), each cat was eating slower (no competing cat hurrying to eat neighbor’s food), no cat was vomiting up food (due to eating too fast before another cat barges in), AND they were all calm and happy in the crates. They were left in for about 15 minutes and then up to 30 minutes. When they finish eating, they just curl up and go to sleep. No more stressed cats in crates and they were all running for feeding time, jumping into the RIGHT crates. Feeding 10 cats used to be a frenzy and now it is simple, calm, fast, healthy and if evacuation was needed, all 10 cats could be crated in 3 minutes, even the 2 feral-like!!!
Dorinne Whynott and Rachelle Whynott completed a UNH course for certification of Animal Cruelty: NH Laws, Investigations and Prosecution to become Animal Abuse Investigators.
Fudge passed away in October. He would have been 16 years old in January!
Another rescue of a cat (named Raina), who apparently was thrown from a car window just before exit 4, southbound on the Everett Turnpike, Nashua. (Read more in Meet the Cats We have Helped).
Ms. Whynott’s daughter, Rachelle, turned 21 and is now officially a pet sitter, since all pet sitters must be 21 years old and older. Rachelle also is responsible for various office duties along with payroll, as mentioned earlier.
Ms. Whynott acquired a wonderful silent investor/grantor and animal lover, who was impressed with her business plan and wanted to assist with her spectacular vision to help all animals. She started her search for a unique property to expand Professional Pet Sitting Etc. to the Animal Care & Education Center of NH. Shortly there after, this angelic investor had a devastating family tragedy and had to back out.
Note: We are looking for a replacement silent investor/grantor who loves animals, is interested in a vision to help make a difference in the lives of all animals and possibly the people who love them….
Ms. Whynott was asked to be a consultant to the Humane Society of Greater Nashua.
Ms. Whynott’s daughter, Rachelle, graduated from Rivier College with her Bachelor’s degree of Science, majoring in Biology, minors in chemistry, psychology and women’s studies. Rachelle will be working full time at PPSE, learning all aspects of the business and adding new services. Her long term goal will be to finish her veterinary studies after a break. Rachelle comes to the business with life long experience growing up handling all kinds of animals, abuse cases, rescues, wildlife and obedience training.
Rachelle and Dorinne took a continuing education certificate course on “Mega Dog Daycare”. A great course teaching dog handling, daycare specifics, reading dog body language, etc.
Dorinne has taken courses in living green. We moved to a better location so as to help with the continued growth of Prof. Pet Sitting Etc, its employees and personally.
Ms. Whynott was able to purchase a large building with much room to grow for the company and her ever growing number of rescues.
Dorinne is currently working on the space for the office and developing training courses for employees. We moved into our new forever home and office. Putting up a new cat fence for all our kitties to get fresh air and sunshine but to still be safe. We will be getting a new Siberian Husky to join our family soon.
Tex passed away of Kidney disease.
2011 – 2012:
Raji passed away of Intestinal Lymphoma Cancer. Raji contracted one of the most fast acting cancers. He was gone shortly after his diagnosis.
Dorinne constructed a bird feeding station. To date we have the usual finches, jays, sparrows but have seen woodpeckers, indigo buntings and catbirds at the feeders.
Talks of getting a new Siberian Husky to join the family are happening !!
Fostering – started fostering orphaned and abandoned kittens for Manchester Animal Shelter. Fostered Je T’aime (adopted) and Gus Bennett
Petsittingology Pet Sitting Conference in Las Vegas !!
At the conference, we heard many great amazing speakers and got to Meet Marcus Sheriden of the Sales Lion (one word – AWESOME). Learned more about social media, SEO, marketing and animal behavior.
Merlin and Mystic were adopted!!
Merlin is an amazing Blue eyed, black Siberian Husky mix. He was dumped on a highway at 5 months old .
Mystic is a pure white Siberian Husky who was kept in a basement for a few years until he was surrendered to a shelter. He was a frightened shell who thrived in their home with lots of love.
Fostered a very sickly litter of Black and White kittens for Manchester Animal Shelter. All were adopted within a few days after being returned!
Spanky passed away of Nasal Cancer. After a long 6 months of tests and going to Tufts, Spanky lost his battle with cancer.
After a year and a half of living with a family of kitties, Mystic attacked Linus, kitty. It was a serious attack with 12 puncture wounds and a $2000 vet bill.
Linus almost passed away but he survived and has healed completely. Unfortunately, and with a heavy heart, for the safety of all, it was decided to rehome Mystic. 6 months after the attack on Linus and searching for a home, none of which were right for him, Mystic was returned to Marlena, who had rescued him. They had been working with Her to rehome and she decided, she would take Mystic to live with her and her Husky, Penny. This was one of the hardest things for Dorinne, to give up a beloved pet.
Having been in rescue, giving up an animal was extremely hard. The safety and quality of life for all was the deciding factor. A life lesson learned was that every situation is grey. There is no such thing as black and white. In order to help animals we must learn to help people. In rescue, helping people, especially those who love animals, will always help the animals. Listening and helping with compassion and empathy when in rescue or in any other animal profession, is the number one rule.
2014 was a hard year, losing two beloved animals, the trauma of Linus and a very ill family member (who wishes to be private)
To make matters worse, one Sunday morning, Dorinne woke up to find that her entirely website had been completely deleted due to a virus on the hosts server. On the bright side, a NEW updated website was built by Dorinne !!! It did take months but was accomplished.
Easier navigation, more information, lots of great pictures, videos. The old website was completely deleted from the web by the host, after a virus infected their servers. It was devastating, since Dorinne had no idea what to do. So, She did some research and taught herself on how to rebuild a website. After two months of working around the clock, 7 days a week, the new website went live. It is completely updated and does so much more. There is lots of room for growth for years to come.
Lots and lots of educational articles were added to our blog list! Check out the article on Free Pets, it is eye opening.
We had to say good bye to our oldest kitty – Danny. His health was failing due to kidney disease.
Signed up with the Humane Society for Greater Nashua to help the with fostering.
Re-Certified for Veterinary Assistant
Ricky and Lulu were taken to Radiocat to cure their thyroid disease with radiation. Ricky came through with flying colors and is doing perfectly.
Lulu, unfortubately, succumbed to low platelets resulting in the high radiation dose that was given. We are deeply saddened at the loss of our Lulu.
I was called upon to once again foster for Manchester Animal Shelter. Three young (5-6 months old) purebred Bengal cats were surrendered and they were not doing well with shelter life. They had completely stopped eating and were just shaking and hiding. I picked them up and started the long process of getting them relaxed and eating began. They seemed to act like they were not handled very much or not at all. They would cringe and back away at the foreign feeling of being touched, petted or held. After a few months of rehabilitation, I decided to adopt all three. So, April 2016, Jewel (snow bengal), Bowie (sepia bengal) and Katniss (brown bengal) became part of our family.
ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF A PROFESSIONAL PET SITTING BUSINESS
– Continuing Education
Petsittingology Professional Pet Sitting Business Conference for Continuing Education October 2016
Rachelle and Dorinne headed to the conference in Las Vegas, Nevada
Some great topics and Speakers
- Understanding Dog Behavior
- by Mikkel Becker (Daughter of Dr. Marty Becker)
- Master business Class
- By Beth Cotrell
- Centered Success
- By Nicole Taggart
- Conflict Resolution
- Cancer Advances in Pets
- by Dr. Sue Ettinger aka Dr. Sue Cancer Vet
- Social Media Success
- by Danielle Lambert
- Public Relations & How to Utilize it
- by Charlie Gikey
- Compassiona Fatigue in Pet Sitting
- by Holly Cook
- Money Mindset
- by Aly Michaels (Anthony Robbins)
- Grassroots Marketing
- by Cindy Vet
- Challenges in Business Growth
- by Beth Greenberg
- Panel Discussion on Making Professional Pet Sitting Certification Known with PSO, PSI and NAPPS
As part of the conference, we were treated to a professional photographer
The loss of my Ricky to cancer was VERY hard.
Please read his story – Ricky, my Soul Kitty
Then later that year, I also lost my Sazar with a severe intestinal infection. My beautiful boy
Petsittingology Professional Pet Sitting Business Conference for Continuing Education October 2017
Rachelle and Dorinne headed to the conference in Washington DC
Some Continuing Education topics – SEO and Marketing for business, Mastering Google, Dog and Cat Behavior workshops with Arden Moore and Jamie Migdal, Pet Sitting Business Masterclass
Arden Moore is author to many books and is a Master Certified Pet Fird Aid Instructor
Jamie Migdal is a multi Business Owner and Animal Behaviorist
Petsittingology Professional Pet Sitting Business Conference for Continuing Education October 2018
Rachelle and Dorinne headed to the conference in Las Vegas, Nevada
Some topics – Power Networking, you and google, animal behavior, beyond pet first aid
Keynote speaker – Dr. Marty Becker!!
Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian,” has spent his life working toward better health for pets and the people who love them. He is the founder of Fear FreeSM, an initiative to “take the ‘pet’ out of ‘petrified’” and get pets back for veterinary visits by promoting considerate approach and gentle control techniques used in calming environments.
Dr. Becker was the resident veterinary contributor on “Good Morning America” for 17 years. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the American Humane Association as well as its Chief Veterinary Correspondent, a founding member of Core Team Oz for “The Dr. Oz Show,” and a member of the Dr. Oz Medical Advisory Panel.
He has written 25 books that have sold almost 8 million copies, including three New York Times best-sellers — one of which is the fastest-selling pet book of all time, Chicken Soup for the Pet-Lovers Soul. He has been a contributor to Parade magazine, Reader’s Digest and AARP.com. Animal Radio hosts him monthly as their Chief Veterinary Correspondent.
We helped to create “Our Pet Sitter Song”!!!
Look closely, you will see Dorinne and Rachelle!
Thank you to Jason Waggs for the song, lyrics and great voice!
“In my PERFECT WORLD, there would be no need for humane societies or animal shelters, if we, as pet professionals, worked hard to educate the public in proper humane pet care. Then every pet would be wanted, healthy, safe and happy in a loving home for life and have us for a pet care provider!!”
Why Use Professional Pet Sitting Etc ?
Peace of Mind
You have probably never given much thought to just how much time and effort you put into your pet’s good health and happiness. When you are gone, many things have to be done on a daily basis to make certain your pets are safe, secure, comfortable and happy. Professional Pet Sitting Etc. has decades of experience in animal care, and we go through the following checklist every time we visit with your pets:
- Bring in the newspaper
- Bring in the mail
- Give each pet clean, fresh water
- Give each pet the fresh food
- Give treats, if allowed
- Scoop litter boxes, if needed
- Have loving playtime with each pet
- Take pets out for a walk, if needed
- Make notes for owners
- Administer medications, if needed
You do most of these things automatically when you are at home.
Isn’t it comforting to know that someone is going through a checklist each day and will do them for you while you are away?
Advantages and Benefits
Professional Pet Sitting, Etc.
Advantages for your pet include:
- In your home, your pet remains in his or her secure environment, where all the sights, smells and sounds are familiar.
- In your home, your pet follows his or her customary diet and exercise routine. Some pets get very depressed and may stop eating in a pet care facility (see note below at end of page).
- Your pet is not traumatized by travel in a vehicle.
- In your home, your pet is not exposed to other animals, diseases, fleas, ticks and other parasites. Most pet care facilities do their best to keep things at bay, however, it only takes one infected pet to spread it from pet to pet in close quarters.
- In your home, your pet is not traumatized from other pets trying to fight with them (pets can go home with cuts, scrapes and bites) in a group environment at a pet care facility. Some pets become aggressive with other pets when they go home.
- Your pet will be less stressed left at home.
- Your pet will stay happy left at home. Some pets will come home with diarrhea, anxiety, destructive chewing, and other behavioral problems after being in a pet care facility.
- In your home, your pet will not regress in housebreaking. When pets are at pet care facilities, they are allowed to go to the bathroom where ever, when ever they want. Sometimes, these pets think it is okay to do at home also.
- Your pet will be happy in his/her home rather than in a cold, lonely environment away from home.
- Pets in their own home, do very well alone when you are away. Most pets are home alone while you are at work and at night when everyone is sleeping (in most cases, there is no need for a sitter overnight). We do recommend a visit in the middle of your work day and three (or 4) visits per day while you are away.
- Most importantly, your pet receives love and personal ONE ON ONE attention while you are away, whereas in a pet care facility it could be up to 25 dogs to one person (in some cases 25+ ).
- Your pet will not have to spend extra time away from home, due to the pet care facility being closed on a Sunday or a holiday.
- Shy pets, cats, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs and other small pets always do better in their own home environment rather than in a pet care facility.
Benefits for you include:
- SAVE GAS – we come to your home.
- SAVE MONEY – in multi pet households, our prices will be less expensive then a pet care facility. You do not have to pay for extra days if you come home on a Sunday or holiday when pet care facilities are closed.
- SAVE TIME – no need to take time out of your already busy day to drop off your pets or pick them up.
- As a registered client, we will always cover you if you ever became hospitalized, have a family emergency or a death in your family. We will start pet care just as soon as possible.
- You are not inconvenienced (or traumatized!) by transporting your pet.
- You are not stressed having to drop off or pick up your pet in certain time periods. You will pay extra if you are late to pick up at a pet care facility.
- You do not have to impose upon a friend, neighbor or relative when you use our service.
- Your home is looked after as well, since most pet sitters provide crime deterrence.
- You can leave home worry-free, knowing your pet is in good hands.
- You will ALWAYS be covered in emergencies, such as hospitalization or death in the family.
- Once you are a registered client with us, You will NEVER have to worry about finding another pet sitter if they move away, if they come down with the flu, if they have a death in the family, if their car doesn’t start, if they need to have a full time job, etc. Professional Pet Sitting has 38+ pet sitters on staff.
- SAVE TIME – Also you will never have to spend extra time checking on another pet sitter, pet sitting company (or every independent contractor). If you can not use Prof. Pet Sitting for any reason (maybe we are not in your area), you should check police background, bonding, insurance and references. We do all of the above for you on all of our employees, to keep you and your pets SAFE. Remember that if you check the pet sitting company and this company uses independent contractors, not employees, you MUST check both. Click here for more info on IC’s.
- When using Prof. Pet Sitting, you can return home at any time of the day or night and find your healthy, happy pet eagerly waiting to greet you.
All in all, the majority of pets will do better in their own home, with a pet sitting service making visits. The pets that do not do well at home while you are at work, obviously will not do well when you go away. Aggressive pets are also not a good candidate for pet sitting.
If you feel guilty placing your pet in a pet care facility, as is with the majority of us, do you and your pet a favor and leave them home with a quality pet sitter.
Pet sitters who stay overnight in your home, are generally not necessary. You will be paying for a person to sleep and your pets are sleeping also. The only time that overnights maybe necessary are when a pet is ill (and then that pet may be better in an animal hospital – keep in mind that there is no hospital or pet care facility that has a person check on every pet 24/7, even if they have a person on the premises at night).
If you use a pet sitter other than our company, please check them out THOROUGHLY. Pet sitters are not created equal. To keep you and your pets safe, check out “Frequently Asked Questions” to help guide you when you check out other pet sitting companies, pet sitters and all independent contractors hired by other pet sitting companies.
If you MUST use a pet care facility, for whatever reason, please do your homework. See EXACTLY where your pet will be “living”. Do not accept excuses (insurance regulations, it will disturb the dogs) or just look through a window where your pet will be, actually go in and see the actual pet quarters. Inspect the kennel – is it spacious, is it clean, does it smell, is the concrete or paint chipping, are the sides made of fencing. It is not recommended that pets can “touch” each other through fencing, some dogs will lift their leg to urinate and it will go into the next kennel, possibly onto your pet. Pets may also try to fight through fencing or get paws and/or teeth caught.
Note: A Pet Care Facility can be any place away from your home that takes care of pets, such as a boarding facility, kennel, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions About Our Service
What to Look for in a Pet Sitter and Pet Sitting Company?
Use these questions to help guide you in finding a good quality pet sitter/company to keep you and your pets SAFE
Our company gives you peace of mind pet care, 365 days per year.
Once you become a registered client of Professional Pet Sitting Etc., you will NEVER have to worry or go through the hassle of finding and researching another pet sitter. We will always have a back up pet sitter if you need service. If your pet sitter ever moves away, becomes ill with the flu, becomes hospitalized, their car does not start, has a death in the family, must work full time, etc. One or two person companies will always have problems, but we have 30+ pet sitters, so you will never have to search again.
The following questions and answers are geared towards our large pet sitting company. However, to keep you and your pets safe, if you are not able to use our company (maybe you are not in our service area), you can use these questions to ask another Company. If you must go with another company, please for safety, do your due diligence and research carefully. You are ALWAYS welcome to call our office, if you have questions, before or after finding another pet sitter.
We do ask all clients to be familiar with our policies and procedures to ensure there are no misunderstandings. We encourage you to read all of these Frequently Asked Questions, our Service Agreement online and all emails with policies.
Our policy and procedures are tried and true since 1990 and we reserve the right to update and/or changed anything as the need occurs. At a minimum, all are reviewed, updated and/or changed quarterly. Some of our policies and procedures are only shown to our registered clients. Our policy and procedures are there for everyone’s protection, you, our clients, the pets in our care, our employees and our company. Over the past decades, we have found without question, that our policy and procedures work very well and if followed, everything runs properly.
BE CAREFUL when looking for a pet sitter/company – we have heard about many problems with local pet sitters. When I was at an event, a person who used a local company who had independent contractors, told me that while she was away, the pet sitter of this other company had a dinner party in her home for 30 guests!!! She used the client’s china and burned her candles. She washed the fine china in the dishwasher and never replaced the candles…..Not to mention that her poor dog was petrified of strangers…..The client was horrified that all these strangers were in her home without her consent or knowledge. Of course, then if you use a teenager they too could have a party in your home as some have done….Anyway, the moral of the story use our company or please check others out thoroughly.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
You can also go to our FREE E-book for more Questions answered
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. legal in every way? Yes, we have done whatever is required for business.
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. registered as a legal business in the state of NH? Yes, our trade name is registered and our logo is trademarked.
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. insured? Yes, and we have never had a claim, since 1990. Because we have Employees, we are required to have insurance. Anytime a company comes into your home to do anything (roofer, plumber, etc.), you should always make sure that they have liability insurance to protect YOU. If you have a company that has Independent Contractors and NOT employees, all independent contractors MUST carry their own liability insurance, again to protect YOU.
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. bonded? Yes, and we have never had a claim, since 1990. Again, because we have Employees, we do have bonding insurance. If you have a company that has Independent Contractors and NOT employees, all independent contractors should carry their own bonding insurance, again to protect YOU. You can ask smaller companies for a certificate of insurance.
- Is Professional Pet Sitting Etc. a full time business, offering pet care visits 365 days per year, 1 to 4 visits per day? Yes, we offer pet care services 365 days per year and we can schedule visits AM, mid day, supper and PM. Only our office is closed every Friday, Saturday, Sunday and all holidays. Our office is open and during our call back hours – see “contact us” for these hours. Even when our office is closed, our pet sitters are still pet visits per day.
- How long has Professional Pet Sitting Etc. been doing pet sitting? Pet sitting since 1990. Since I started this pet sitting company, I have literally seen 250+ pet sitting companies start up and die. Running a pet sitting company (or any company) is a lot of hard work. Many pet sitters do not want to pet sit on weekends, or they will take a few vacations and therefore, you have no service when they are away or if they become sick. We have 30+ pet sitters to make sure we cover you and your pets.
- Do you have references? Yes, see our testimonial section. Most if not all animal hospitals and animal welfare organizations, do refer to us, however, many have policies that forbid them to refer to anyone. It is most important to have business references, because if a business’ clients are not happy, then the business will not refer. A client reference could be anyone close to the owner of the business (in some cases they can be relatives). Our policy of non-disclosure forbids us to give out any client information, due to high profile clientele and client personal preference. Check out our testimonial section to read some client testimonials. Check in our FREE E-book, there are Businesses in there, where the owners have used our service and have agreed to allow us to give out their information for you.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have a business phone? Can I find your business in the business white page listings under the business name? Yes, if you have an emergency, while you are away from home, you may not always remember our phone number, but you will always be able to find us by calling information, looking in the yellow pages or going online. We are a business, not a hobby. This is important for the continued care of your pets if you ever had a delayed flight, cancelled flight, or just wanted to extend a vacation. Many small pet sitting companies only use their cell phone, you will not be able to call 411 or information and get their phone number if you lose it.
- Do you have a business checking account, do I make the check out to the business name? All businesses have a checking account in the business name, so you should always write payments out to the business name, this is important for business trip accounts for taxes or to prove that you paid for services. Payments to a person, do not have as much legal recourse. Since April 2013, our company no longer accept checks, we only accept Mastercard and Visa.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. accept credit cards? Yes, we accept Mastercard and Visa. This helps the many clients who have busy lives and for the unexpected emergency that may come up and pet care is needed in a hurry.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have repeat clientele? We have repeat clientele over 99% and have well over 3000 pet clients. Generally, the only reasons people stop using our service is that they move away or unfortunately a beloved pet passes away.
- Do you have animal health, care and welfare experience? Yes, Dori (the owner) has been in animal welfare all of her life and continues her education every year. Credentials for Dori and some petsitters are listed in the credential section of this website. Many of our pet sitters work or volunteer for animal welfare organizations or in the animal field. You can also read Dori’s History, look on our Home Page, click on “About Us” and then go to “History of Dorinne Whynott”.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have Employees or Independent Contractors? We have EMPLOYEES. We pay payroll taxes and workman’s compensation insurance. Most small pet sitting companies have Independent Contractors to avoid paying payroll taxes and worker’s comp. If you use another company, you, the client will need to check both the company AND the Independent Contractor’s thoroughly – are they registered to do business in NH, do they both have liability and bonding insurance, training, etc. Every person going into your home, to do any work (plumber, roofer, pet sitter, etc.) needs to have their own insurance because if they fall or hurt themselves on your property or damage your property somehow, it will all fall on your home owner’s insurance or worse (you could be sued). We, as a company, do all of this, so if you choose for whatever reason to go with another company, please check them out thoroughly. THIS IS IMPORTANT TO KEEP YOU AND YOUR PETS SAFE. It has come to our attention that some pet sitting companies are stating that they do police back ground checks – do NOT take this for face value. They probably do not. Also, they may refer to their Independent Contractors as “employees” – again, they probably are not. Ask who they use for Workman’s Compensation insurance.
One way to find out if a pet sitting company has employees or independent contractors and if they have done police background checks is to see if they have prices that are below the National Average of $20 per visit for up to a 30 minute visit than it is very probable that they are a one person pet sitting company and/or they have Independent Contractors and/or they have not done police background checks, see #16 below for more information –
DO YOUR HOMEWORK FOR THE PROTECTION OF YOU AND YOUR PETS
- What is the difference between employees and Independent Contractors (ICs) ? The difference between having employees and Independent Contractors is HUGE. Employees are hired and fired by the company. The company can tell employees when, where, how, why to do their job. The company can have the employees sign a non-disclosure, non-compete contract (to ensure your information is not repeated elsewhere). The company can have policy and procedures to make sure that you the client gets the service that they are paying for each time and quality control can be achieved. Independent Contractors (ICs) are in business for themselves, essentially if the company has ICs then you can cut out the middle man and deal directly with the Independent Contractor, why have the middle man or middle company? By law, the company can not tell the Independent Contractor when, where, how and why to do their job. They can give information but essentially the Independent Contractor can do the job the way THEY want and when they want (yes, the company can tell the IC that the job is one visit per day from disclosure/non-compete (your personal information is not protected and the IC is its own business, so therefore can compete). There is no policy and procedure and no quality control. No one will be checking up on the Independent Contractor. The Independent Contractor must have their own liability insurance to protect you. Which means that you will need to ask for a certificate of insurance from the company AND any IC that will be entering your home (with employees, there is no need, we have insurance covering all employees). The IC should have their own tools and supplies. ICs can come and go as they please, working for this family and that family, they can pick and choose what job to do or not, what pet to care for or not, and may not be pet sitting the next time you go away. The IC is in control because they are in business for themselves. If that is the case, you are better off dealing directly with the IC to ensure that you have more control of the care and what exactly you want done, plus you want to check up on this person, the way we check up on our employees. If you know of ANY company that states they have employees and are NOT paying payroll taxes and do not have Workman’s Compensation Insurance, this company is breaking the law, cheating their workers and possibly putting the care of your pets in jeopardy. For more information on Employees vs. Independent Contractors contact the State of NH Department of Employment Security.
- Do all of your employees go through a background check? Are these sitters qualified? Yes, all potential employees must fill out a thorough application, we call their references, do a background check, then go through our long orientation process, sign all of our forms, then they shadow and receive training from a seasoned pet sitter. If they do not complete each process satisfactorily, then they do not pet sit for us. We do all of this to keep Prof. Pet Sitting, you and your pets safe. We do this, so you don’t have to.
- How many employees does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have on staff? How old are your employees? At present we have over 30 pet sitters on staff. Our Insurance requires that all of our pet sitters be 21 years or older, at present all pet sitters are over 30.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. have a written police and procedure handbook? Yes, all of our pet sitters must follow a 40+ page policy and procedure handbook. This is to ensure quality pet care for you. We check up on our pet sitters, a 1 or 2 person pet sitting company does not have anyone checking up on them. Would you know if they did not go to your home?
- Is my information kept confidential? Yes, only office staff has access to all information. Pet sitters only have access to pet care and veterinary information.
- How do I update my information? Right Online !!! You can update your information easily 24/7 right from your home computer, tablet or smartphone ! You are required to update any information that has changed just as soon as you possibly can. Information changes to credit cards, new pets, deceased pets, pets on medications, changes in keys, etc. It is the clients’ responsibility to update all changes.
- How do I know that a pet sitter has come to my home? All pet sitters are required to notify the office at each visit.
- What if my pet sitter becomes ill or has a family emergency? This is always a possibility and that is why we have an emergency back up system of 30+ non-related pet sitters. If a pet sitters’ family comes down with the flu or has a death in their family, they are all affected. The pet sitter is required to call their back up pet sitter, who will then take over pet care visits. Priority is always making sure that all pets under our care are taken care of, and a change of sitter may happen at any time for any reason without prior notification, so that all pet care runs smoothly. Our preference is to have only one sitter each time you use our service when you go away, but because anything can and has happened, any one of our pet sitters may need to care for your pets at any given time. However, each client will have back up sitters, so that you will be covered whenever you are on our schedule. Changes in a sitter will happen automatically to ensure your pets’ care. Again, your pets’ care is our top priority.
- Do you offer anything for FREE? Yes, we have courtesy services of bringing your mail, newspapers or packages while you are away. Beware of services that offer too many free things, since 1990, there have been 250+ pet sitting companies start up and die. Pet sitting sounds like an easy job, so many try it out, however pet sitting is a big responsibility that is 24/7, 365 days per year and it costs money, a lot of money to run any business to ensure continued quality. If a company offers free or low prices (below the national price level of $20 – 25 per half hour visits), it may entice you to go with that company, but be careful, this company may be here today but next year when you need them for a family emergency, they may be out of business and you will be left with no one.
- Are all of your fees written down? Yes, when you become registered, your online service agreement will have fee ranges. With today’s gas prices and rising costs every where, beware of very low prices for pet sitting. This is one area, where you will get what you pay for. In some cases, in-home care may be more than if you bring your pet somewhere. If you have more than one pet, in home care may be cheaper. The average cost across the US for up to a 30 minute visit can range from $20 – $25 per visit, excluding holidays. Anything less than that is a company that may not have insurance, is very new, etc. Again, be careful of lower than average prices. All of our services are pre-paid. We never bill. This helps to keep our prices low.
- Does Professional Pet Sitting Etc. offer other services beyond pet care visits? Yes, please check out “services” on our website.
- Can I meet a pet sitter? Yes, many people who know our reputation as a company choose not to meet a sitter, however, if you would like to meet a sitter, you can schedule a regular visit after you complete your online registration. Keep in mind that even if you meet a pet sitter, everything you want to tell her must be written down, so that if for any reason, they are unable to care for your pets, any other sitter can come in and read what you want them to know. Plus, if the pet sitter you meet can not do the scheduled visits, for any reason (car does not start, they are sick, family emergency, child is sick, etc.), then any one of our 30+ pet sitters will go in to complete the pet care visits, without any prior notification. This is to ensure that all pets are cared for because that is our top priority.
- Will I have the same pet sitter? We prefer to have one pet sitter coming and going each time you use our service when you go away. It makes it easier in the office for scheduling and payroll. It is also easier on the pets as well as the pet sitters, however, if any sitter ever becomes ill, has a family emergency or vacation, it could be anyone of our pet sitters to make sure your pets are cared for because that is top priority. For mid day clients, we may have a minimum of 2-3 main pet sitters coming in. All clients benefit with up to 30+ back up sitters in case anything does happen. Since 1990 (when we started), everything has happened and because of the way our company is set up, when something does happen, the transition of another sitter coming to your home and taking care of your pet happens very smoothly. Your pets’ care is our top priority. We do all of this so you never have to worry. You come home, see your pet has been cared for and everything is fine. This set up enables great pet care and comes with years of experience and knowing what works. Smaller companies (which do not exist anymore with today’s economy) can not do this or do not know how, leaving many clients with no pet care.
- Can you give my pets medications, if needed? Yes, we can give a variety of veterinary prescribed medications. In some areas, our pet sitters are capable of giving insulin injections for diabetic pets and fluids for pets in renal failure. For those needing injections, if you ever use another pet sitting company, please make sure that the sitter does have experience in administering injections, many do not and do not know the warning signs. Call our office for further information.
- If I register, do I have to use your service right away? No, once you are registered, you will be a click away to schedule pet sitting when you need it. If you only need us once every 2 years, then we will be here when you need us.
- Do I have to give you keys? No, we have lock boxes for sale. They mount permanently to your home and you can access with a code. Most people choose for us to keep keys in their file.
- What if I already have a neighbor, friend, relative or another pet sitting company? or I have a child/teenager in the neighborhood caring for my pets? Not a problem. We have many people who use us as a back up if their neighbor, friend or relative becomes ill or they have an emergency and can not care for the pets. We are also a backup for many 1 – 2 person pet sitting companies, in case they have a problem. As for children/teenagers caring for pets, it is your choice, But ask your self – will this child/teen recognize a medical emergency with your pet? Will this child/teen recognize a problem in your home?
- What if I rarely go away, or can’t go away due to health reasons? Again, not a problem. We have many clients who register with us just in case. Maybe they only need us for a supper visit to go into Boston for a show once a year. We are here when you need us, if you need us.
- What if I have an emergency such as hospitalization or a death in the family? Many people who may have health problems, register with us, so if they are unexpectedly rushed to the hospital, they can call us from the hospital. Or if you have a family member who is far away with health problems, you maybe called at anytime and need to leave. We will always cover you when someone is ill, hospitalized, or unfortunately, death in your family happens.
What to Look For in a Pet Sitter
Hi, I’m Dori,
I am the owner of Professional Pet Sitting Etc.(PPSE), co-founder of the NH Pet Expo. For many, the experience of leaving your beloved pets, your home and all of your worldly possessions for the first time with anyone is a difficult decision. It is easier to select a reliable pet sitting company if you know what questions to ask. I, personally have over two decades of experience in pet sitting, animal care, veterinary technician, obedience, business, counseling and more. I have structured my company to provide unmatchable pet care service. As with life, Murphy’s law is inevitable and over the years as we have run into Murphy’s law, I have changed the way we run our company so that we never run into the same problem again to ensure you and your pets great care.
Since 1990, I have seen hundreds of NH based pet sitters start up their company and die for many, many reasons but the main reason is burn out. Many petsitters start petsitting thinking that this is a fun job and it is, but it is also a lot of work. I am in touch with petsitters all over the world and because there are no regulations on pet sitting, there have been incidents of theft, neglectful pet care, etc., etc. These uncaring pet sitters are giving the profession of pet sitting a bad name.
I love my company and I want to keep NH free of these incidents. Safety of our company, our petsitters, the animals in our care and our clients are always the determining factors of why I choose to do or not to do things in our policies, procedures, services and prices of services. Here are some questions I believe are important to ask a petsitting company. I will be happy to discuss one or all of these suggested question with you, whether it is pertaining to our company or another petsitting company, please feel free to talk with me. I will help you out in any way, to keep you and your pets happy and safe. PPSE meets all the requirements I am about to discuss. No one compares to our service. Very few, if any, one or two person pet sitting companies will be able to do ALL of the suggestions because they are small. This does not mean that they are bad pet sitters in anyway, however, it does mean that we offer you more. I put these together to give some guidelines to help decide what is important to you in a pet sitter.
Thank you for inquiring about our company, gratefully, Dori
1. First and foremost Is this company legal in every way?
YES, for PPSE. In NH there are certain things that need to be done at the state and federal level, to run a business. DBA’s and sole proprietorships must apply for a federal ID number.
2. Is the business trade name registered as a legal business in NH?
Yes for PPSE, you can call the state department and ask if the business name is registered or you can ask to see the certificate of registration. All businesses are required to register their trade name, to legally do business in the state of NH.
Our paw print heart logo is a registered trademark as well.
3. Is the business insured?
Yes for PPSE, any person or business coming onto your property to do anything such as plowing, roofing, landscaping, housekeeping, pool maintenance, etc., should carry their own liability insurance, so that if they get hurt, it is not claimed against your homeowners insurance which may or may not cover the incident. You can ask to see a certificate of liability insurance. To date we have had NO insurance claims.
4. Is the business bonded?
Yes for PPSE, bonding insurance is basically an insurance stating that a company employee is not going to steal anything from you and if they do, the insurance covers any loss and then you and PPSE will prosecute the thief to the fullest extent of the law. You can ask to see a certificate of bonding insurance. Our insurance company is Foy Insurance. To date we have had NO insurance claims.
5. Is this a full time business, offered 365 days a year?
Yes for PPSE. You want to know that your pet sitting service is going to be there when you need it. Maybe you’ve made advanced reservations to go on a day trip, or business trip or vacation but what about the unexpected overtime, illness, hospitalization, car accident, or death in the family. You need to know that your pets will be cared for whenever you need them to be. One less worry in a world of worries. PPSE is there for our clients for 100% of emergencies. Because we have over 30+ pet sitters on staff for the most part we can cover just about anything.
6.How many visits can you do in one day?
We can do 1 to 4 visits a day, morning, mid day, supper and pm. Approximate times for these visits are – Morning – 6am – 9am, mid day is 11am – 2pm, supper is 4pm – 7pm and PM visits are from 7pm – 9pm.
Make sure to ask for approximate times of visits. Many companies do not do am visits before 9am or pm visits after 6pm !!
7. How long are the visits?
It is up to you, we can do up to a 30 minute visit or 60 minute visit or custom length of 2 – 3 hours if we can fit it into a sitters’ schedule. We can do overnights as well in some areas.
8. How long have you been pet sitting?
I have been petsitting since 1990. This is an important question to ask, because you do not want a new company that may not know what to do in an unexpected situation or that may shut down in a few years. Typically most pet sitting companies that do not stay in business shut down from their first year to their fifth year. A pet sitting company, in my opinion, should be in business for at least 5 years or longer, to ensure that they have run into a snag here and there and have practices in place to ensure visits are done and have a plan for emergencies (car breaks, fly, death). Also, to ensure that they will be there when you need them. However, I have seen businesses that have been around for 6 and 7 years, fold in this economy from 2008 – 2013.
Many people have told me that they had a sitter, used them for a few months or years, then you call and they never return your call, or they are on vacation, or their phone is disconnected.
Now you have to start searching and researching a new pet sitter. NOT ANYMORE
We do all the research, police check, training, etc., so you don’t have to. Plus, if one of our sitters becomes ill, needs a vacation, needs a leave of absence, moves away – we have 30+ pet sitters to take their place.
9. KNOW the Owner’s and the business history?
Complete History of myself and Business is on our website.
A Pet Sitting company’s website should be able to tell you who the owner is and what animal background they have. These are the people who will be guiding employees or ICs in the care of your pets. Even if the pet sitters have experience, it is the owners who must have the experience in order to allow or not allow certain things for the welfare of your pets. You should know what that experience is as well as when the business was started and how it has grown. If you cannot see this, ask questions. Why is it not available? Do they not want you to know? Are they hiding their name for a reason? This information should be readily available to you for the safety of you, your pets and everything in your home.
10. Will you furnish business and client references?
Yes, PPSE typically gets referrals from many of the local veterinarians and other animal business in our service areas. I used to work at Hudson Animal Hospital and you are more than welcome to call and speak to the office manager, Pat about me and my company. When asking another pet sitting company, keep in mind that client references are less important than a business reference for the main reason that a client reference can be anyone, a business reference will not refer to another business if their clients are not happy. It would simply be bad business for them. Most veterinary hospitals and animal shelters know who we are. You can also read all of our wonderful client testimonials on our website or check out our Facebook page. There are many client testimonials in comments on quite a few of our posts. We, certainly, would not be in business for this long if many, many clients did not love us (and we certainly love them and their pets, as well).
Our E-Book on our website, also has businesses that will be happy to speak with you. The owners have been Clients !!
11. Do you have a business phone and can I find your business phone number in the phone book yellow pages or call information under your business name?
Yes for PPSE, you can find us in the yellow pages and by calling information. We are also in almost every newspaper in the pet classified column in many cities that we service. Many pet sitting companies do not have a business phone, they just use their home phone which is frowned upon by the phone company. Or, they may use their cell phone, which may not always work in many areas and it is not found in the yellow pages or in information. You can tell if other companies have a business or personal phone by calling information or the way they answer the phone, if it is a personal phone they may answer by just saying “Hello” or they have a message with the business name and then personal names, using the home phone for double duty. This is unprofessional and can be confusing. Also if you lose the phone number, you can’t call information, etc. This can be a big problem if you are on a trip, lose the phone number, something happened and you need to extend your trip. It is extremely important to be able to call information and get the phone number of your pet sitting company so that you can extend services in an emergency. This is a safety factor.
12. Do you have a business checking account, not a personal account, so that when I pay you, I make the payments out to the company name not to a person?
Yes for PPSE, all payments must be made out to Prof. Pet Sitting Etc. No payment is ever made out to a person. This is another way of finding out if the company is truly a registered company along with having a business phone. Also, if a check gets lost, a company check CAN NOT be cashed by a person. A check made out to a company MUST be deposited in the company account. Even though I own PPSE, my bank will not even let ME cash a check made out to PPSE!!
Since only a handful of clients were writing checks, in April 2013, we decided to no longer accept checks when we went to our online registration/reservation program. It has allowed 24/7 access to your personal pet care profile and making reservations has never been easier!
13. Do you accept Mastercard and Visa to make payment easier for the unexpected emergency or extended trip?
Yes for PPSE, we do accept Mastercard and Visa. We have found this to be especially easy for people who need to keep track of business expenses or have a business credit card but also for people with the unexpected emergency when cash flow is low.
14. Is your repeat clientele over 99%?
Yes for PPSE. Usually the only reason a person leaves us is due to moving. At this time we have over 3000 clients.
15. Do you have animal health, care and welfare experience?
Yes for PPSE. I personally have over 30 years of animal related experience and some of our pet sitters have great experience too. Many of our sitters have animal health, care, & rescue experience.
16. Do you have veterinary technician experience?
Yes for PPSE, I personally have vet tech experience along with many of our petsitters. This is vitally important if you ever have a pet that is diabetic, in kidney failure needing fluids, etc. You will need a pet sitter with some medical experience at one time or another. Feel free to read my entire history on my website.
17. Do you give medications to pets requiring it?
Yes, for PPSE, we can give most medications that are prescribed by a veterinarian.
18. Do you have employees or independent contractors (IC) ?
PPSE has employees. The reason we have employees is to control the high quality of our pet sitting visits. We are required to pay workmen’s compensation insurance for our employees. This added expense of Workers’ Comp. Insurance (WC), taxes and paperwork, is why many companies hire IC’s. We felt the added expense was worth it to be able to control the how, why, where, when and what of our company. An IC is a company all by themselves. WC is not required because an IC will get a 1099 at tax-time not a W2. IC’s take care of their own taxes. So, if you hire Company #1, who then sells your reservation to their IC/Company #2, the original company #1, you hired cannot control the service that you receive from Company #2. There are specific guidelines from the IRS that explains what is an employee vs. IC. Plus, why use the pet sitting company if the IC is also a company, just deal with the IC !! Ask if they do W2s for their employees or 1099s?
Our employees go through quite the process BEFORE they are allowed to pet sit on their own. From interviews, to a application that takes about 30 minutes to fill out, to calling all employment and personal references, copy driver’s license and Social security card, etc.
Here are only two incidents that has happened in NH (I am aware of many more and this just a small reason why I do NOT use ICs) –
- a pet sitting company who uses ICs, had a reservation for 2 weeks of pet care for a dog. The IC (about 30 years old) went in and cared for the dog but decided she would have a dinner party in the clients’ home !! She used the good china (put it in the dishwasher, it was NOT dishwasher safe), used all the clients’ candles (burned them down to half the size) and the dog was placed in the basement (where the clients NEVER puts her dog and she found the dog when she came home a day early). This was told to me by the client.
- Second incident – a pet sitting company used a 22 year old IC with very little experience and the company owner had little medical experience. The cat was showing signs of dehydration and when the owner came home, the cat had to be rushed to the hospital. The cat was okay, but should have been cared for earlier.
These are just two incidents to remind everyone to know the history and animal experience of the owner and what are the pet sitters – employees who follow specific guidelines and instructions or ICs who do whatever they want !!
19. Have your pet sitters had a police background history check?
Yes for PPSE, I love my company and try to protect it and all of our clients in any way that I can and one of those ways is to do a police background history check on all pet sitters.
We have found that many companies say they do this but do not, not sure why they would not want to protect themselves and you. Also, 1 – 2 person pet sitting companies will not do this on themselves, so I suggest you doing one on them. You may also want to copy down their license plate number on their vehicle as well. Or just use us and let us do all the research and training for you.
20. Do you have a written policy and procedure hand book for your company?
Yes for PPSE, our policy and procedure handbook is 40+ pages long and is gone through page by page before a pet sitter goes on even one pet sitting visit. Our hand book goes into detail of what is expected from our pet sitters, to confidentiality, to non discrimination, to what to do in most situations. It has been reviewed by our company lawyer and insurance company. This is just another way I try to keep my company, our clients, the pets in our care and our pet sitters as safe as possible. Our sitters also train with a senior pet sitter (someone who has been with our company for 5 or more years), before they can pet sit on their own.
21. Is my information kept confidential?
Yes for PPSE, our employees are required to sign a non-disclosure, confidentiality contract. This is to protect all of our clients, especially our high profile clients. Our registered clientele, who use our services range from local veterinarians, vet. techs, lawyers, judges, police officers, high profile people and many, many more.
22. How can you prove that you were at my home?
PPSE pet sitters are required to call in from each home on each visit. Your name, phone number, date and time are displayed on our business caller ID, then the pet sitter must leave me a message that they are at your home and that everything is okay. They are to leave you a note and they are to fill out a daily sheet for our office. 1-2 person pet sitting companies would be checking up on themselves and it would just be their word.
Plus our sitters are required to do a few other things so that I know that your pets are cared for. This is for my peace of mind as well as yours.
For many who do not have landlines anymore, our sitters log onto our site and the gps feature logs in their position !!
23. Do you have an emergency backup system in place of non related pet sitters?
Yes for PPSE, we have over 30+ pet sitters on staff and all petsitters must be over 21 years old. We have a system that if a pet sitter has any problem, illness, vacation, family emergency or a death in the family then the next pet sitter steps in to ensure that the pets are always cared for. This system is over 30+ pet sitters deep.
The reason you do not want related pet sitters for emergency backup such as husband/wife , sisters, mother/daughter, etc. is that if they live together and one comes down with the flu, chances are they both become ill or if one becomes hospitalized then the other will be preoccupied with the other’s illness or if there is a family emergency or a death in the family they are BOTH devastated and cannot fulfill proper pet care. We at PPSE have gone through these problems (Murphy’s law) and learned from these experiences.
With our over 30+ pet sitter deep emergency backup system, your pets will ALWAYS be cared for. Also be careful on the one person or two person pet sitting company, pet sitting inevitably becomes a 7 day a week, 365 day a year, sometime 10 hours or more a day job. This creates a fast burned out pet sitter. Once a pet sitter is burned out, the pet care quality goes down. They will remain burned out unless they take time off and limit their pet sitting, then your pet sitter will not always be there when you may need them, forcing you to go elsewhere for your pet care needs possibly in a time of emergency. Also, if a petsitter says they do have backup, make sure to ask more questions, some backups are 16 years old, plus if it is their partner, their partner may already have a full petsitting schedule!! There are a few small petsitting companies who use our company as their back up.
24. How large is your service area?
PPSE has 30+ pet sitters covering 38 cities. Our petsitters live in the areas they serve so that in most cases, our sitters are only 5-10 minutes away from all of their clients. Pet sitting is to be enjoyable and to have fun with the pets we care for. I do not like my pet sitters to drive more than 10 minutes. We are not in business to drive, we are in business to love and care for pets. I have seen many 1-2 person petsitting companies cover the same size area that we do. This is a recipe for burn out. I have done this in the beginning. Inevitably, I would get two to three visits that I would have to drive 30 minutes in between each visit. This may not sound bad but try that 3 times a day for a while and soon many do not look forward to pet sitting. Then if you have 4-5 visits in the morning, 6 visits mid day, them 4-5 visits at night, it is okay if they are all within 5 or so minutes but try 20 minutes apart. Service quality goes down, the sitter is rushing from visit to visit, it is not fun anymore and takes time away from giving your pet quality time.
25. Do you offer anything FREE?
Yes, PPSE will bring in your mail, newspaper, packages, water a few plants, turn lights on or off, etc., etc. We call these free services courtesies. Be wary of pet sitting companies who offer lots of things free such as free extra time, free interviews, free meet and greets. This may sound great to you, but that is the fastest way for a pet sitting company to go out of business. In any business time is money and then there is gas. A properly run company that will stand the test of time will charge a fee for meet a pet sitter, etc. Usually, large corporations offer free services, such as free interviews, free estimates, etc. These corporations are charging LARGE sums of money to cover the free things they give you, corporations such as roofers or contractors (services ranging from $3000 and upwards to tens of thousands), lawyers (at $150, $200, $300 per hour), mortgage companies (who make thousands and thousands in interest). Also, it is usually new companies who offer free things or discounts on services to build up their clientele.
If you want a petsitting company who has been in business for a long time, has experience, and will be there tomorrow and for decades to come, then choose a pet sitting company with DECADES of pet care experience, choose Professional Pet Sitting Etc.
26. Are all your fees written down?
Yes, all clients receive a written fee range of services is accessible in our service agreement when you register.
27. Does your company offer other pet care services besides pet sitting visits?
Yes, PPSE offers many, many other services. Check out other services on our website. You never know when you will need other services and we give you peace of mind knowing that if the need arises that we more than likely can help you.
28. Are you a member of the NH Pet Sitters Association?
To become a member, the pet sitting company must provide a copy of their business registration, certificates of bonding and liability insurance, 1 business reference and 3 clients references. They must also show us their pet experience and NEVER have a complaint come back to us. The NHPSA was started to create a place to educate pet sitters and the public so that pet sitting would always be safe and to set high standards of excellence in quality in your home pet care.
29. Are you a member of other organizations?
Yes PPSE is member of many organizations, especially for the continued education. Some organizations are American Humane, Humane Society of the US, Assoc. of Pet Dog Trainers, National and International Pet Sitters Associations, and many, many others.
Now that you know a lot about PPSE, you see that no other pet sitting company compares to us. This does not mean that pet sitters or companies that do not meet these standards are bad in any way, it just means that we have improved our company through time and experience to protect you, your pets and our company. I truly love my company and I care for my pet sitters, my clients and the pets entrusted in our care. Again, if you have any questions, concerns or I can help in any way, please feel free to leave me a voice message or email and I will get back to you just as soon as I can.
Thank you for learning more about PPSE and Happy Pet Owning,