"PROFESSIONAL PET SITTERS"
Featured on FOX 2 News
FOX Files: 1- 4- 05
We are very grateful to a very special client of ours, who thought enough of the service that we provide to take advantage of an opportunity she had to speak to the Channel 2 News team about us during her involvment with the news team's coverage of 'Operation Desert Storm'. Channel 2 asked to spend a day with us to get a glimpse into the world of Pet Sitting... we were thrilled! Above are links to allow you to view the interview with us that aired on the 'Fox Files' on January 4, 2005... the transcript is included here below:
It's one of the fastest growing home-based businesses in the country in the past five years. More people are hiring professional pet sitters to look after their pets. In the Fox Files, you'll see how one couple delivers creature comforts to pets and their owners.
" You work seven days a week, a lot of times you're on call, you're in the service industry, you're there when your clients need you." Tally and Mamie are some of Regina and Darrell Windels' clients. Regina Windels, pet sitter, "This is one of our dailies. We come and they just basically get a potty break. We just come in and grab the mail, newspapers and we take the dogs out and play with them." The Windels are among the growing number of pet sitters across the St. Louis metro area. They've been in business for five years. "You're not just taking care of pets, your taking care of the property, everything, for them. It's peoples livelihoods. It's a high responsibility." And its a responsibility they don't take lightly. The Windels know people's pets and properties are their priorities. "You have to be willing to put up with animals... animals have accidents, animals bite, animals can create havoc."
The Windels work up to 18 hours a day, sometimes. They go from house to house. Darrell Windels, pet sitter, "We dispense all medications, injections..." And they run the risk one of their clients won't be very happy to see them. "Oh yeah, bitten by a cat and bitten by a dog. The cat was worse than the dog. The worst encounter I've ever had is an 8 pound cat. She had a Dr. Jekyl / Mr. Hyde kind of syndrome. It's part of the territory, part of the job."
It's also part of the job to make sure clients are comfortable with giving up the keys to their homes and access to their pets. Regina realizes many people are skeptical. "Insurance you get is for the clients benefit. The crime bond states that if something is stolen, it will be covered. It costs several hundred dollars to get insured and bonded, but it's worth it." It was worth it for Craig George and his wife to hire the Windels. They'd never heard of a pet sitting service before they hired the Windels. "Every day they come in to watch our two dogs while my wife and I are at work. She had human interaction during the day and that made us feel better." Craig says he was reluctant to use a pet sitter at first, but he knew he didn't want to take his dog to a kennel. "We had a bad experience with a kennel."
But a pet sitter is not for everybody. Steve Smyth can't imagine hiring a stranger to take care of his dog. "I doubt that we would do that. We'd bring our dog in here before we would do that." The Windels know they can't convince everybody, but they don't think their business will slow down anytime soon. They've already got 300 clients with more referrals everyday. Regina and Darrell Windels own Creature Comforts Pet Sitting Service in St. Charles.
You can find them on the web at www.creaturecomfortsinc.com. The Windels say Professional Pet Sitting isn't as easy as it looks. Most new pet sitters don't make it past a year in business.