SPOTLIGHT
on
Raegan
Raegan, and Lauren (her
"mom") were featured in an
article about petsitters in
the
"Daily Record" a Morris
County, N.J newspaper,
on October 9, 2008..

(Yes, they actually live in
New Jersey currently, but
travel here often.)
Return to front page.
Return to Spotlight Menu page.
Exerpts from article:

....The prospect of opening your home to a complete stranger and hoping your pet will
approve is bound to provoke anxiety.

With no federal or state watchdog for pet sitting businesses, finding one that belongs to a pet
sitting organization is a good place to start, said Nancy Peterson, spokesperson for the
Humane Society of the United States.

...Lauren Huston of Morristown runs her own show -- except for the occasional input from
her "silent" business partner -- a 4 year old Labradoodle.

Not your typical pet sitters, Huston and her dog Raegan both boast thrapeutic credentials
and experience:  A package deal, Huston and Raegan are a certified handler/therapy dog
team and Huston is also a licensed social worker.

Huston jumped on the pet sitting circuit while attending graduate school seven years ago.  
After four years of family and child counseling, she couldn't quite shake the pet sitting.  She
then relocated from Hoboken to Morristown and has taken her pet sitting services to
several levels and species.

Petcetera by Lauren, the name of her company, "means all pets" she said.  Her clients have
included dogs, cats, fish -- even a Koi pond -- all of whom she consults with beforehand.

...Huston is bonded and insured and belongs to the National Association of Pet Sitters, as
well as Pet Sitters International.

In combining her social work and pet care skills, she is growing a niche of assisting
homebound elderly who are unable to care for pets in full capacity.  In additon to $20 per
visit, she offers boarding options starting at $75 a night in her apartment to dogs that meet
Raegan's approval.

If all tails wag and sniff tests pan out, she'll take the animal in but only one at a time.  Such
was the case with Jody Myers of Morristown and her "puffy Pomeranian" Theo....Luck of
the draw landed Myers and Theo corporate housing in Huston's building.  "Theo attracts
attention, so someone said, 'There's the best dog sitter in your building.'" ..."He's so calm
and content when I get home," she said.  "Pets are family for a lot of us, and finding
someone like Lauren, you don't just have a dog sitter.  You have a highly trained
behaviorist."

The decision to leave a pet in the hands of a sitter or in the care of boarding facility can often
be determined by the personality of the animal.

"A lot depends on the pet's reaction," Peterson said.  "If you have a social animal a kennel
might be good, but some pets may find it stressful or get depressed."

The same means used to find pet sitters -- veterinarian referrals and word-of-mouth, for
example, as well as organization memberships, such as Pet Care Services Organization
(formerly the American Boarding and Kennel Association) -- can help narrow down the
search Peterson said.....

The full article was written by Ellen S. Wilkowe
ewilkowe@gannett.com  (973)428-6662
Photo used
on front page
of paper, as
well as next
to the article.