If you’ve ever found yourself in a situation where you needed a pet sitter but didn’t want to break the bank and preferred your pet stay in a home versus a kennel, you’ll appreciate a new start-up company called DogVacay.

DogVacay connects dog owners to thousands of pre-screened, trained, and certified dog sitters around the nation. You choose your pet sitter and your dog goes to their home. Dogs tend to get better care and more individual attention when they stay in a home versus kenneling your dog. Plus, the hosts of DogVacay set their prices, which turn out to be half as much as a kennel. The dogs seem to have so much fun, it’s as if they are on vacation, hence the name, DogVacay.

Making the process as easy as possible, DogVacay has a website and a mobile app, allowing users to book everything online. DogVacay customers have given positive reviews and are happy with the fact that not only is DogVacay cheaper then kennels, but more importantly, their dogs are not sitting in a wire cage. And host families will even send pictures and videos showing how your pet is doing while you’re away.

Some DogVacay customers have liked the process so much, that they’ve decided to make some extra cash by signing up as hosts for other dog owners.

While this all sounds too good to be true, some critics argue that there are safety concerns leaving your pet with a complete stranger. DogVacay CEO Aaron Hirschhorn stated that the company addresses any of those concerns by an extensive screening process. Hirschhorn said: “We provide all the quality control; we have a five-step vetting process, comprehensive insurance, 24-hour customer support.” And dog sitters from DogVacay typically send photos and videos to the vacationers, proving their dog is being treated properly. If you still have concerns, Hischhorn explained that you can do a no-obligation meet and greet prior to booking your pet sitter.

If you’re skeptical of using a company like DogVacay, you can always hire your own pet sitter. But keep in mind, most pet sitters come to your home versus your dog going to theirs. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a pet sitter:

Ÿ Can the pet sitter provide written proof that she has commercial liability insurance? (to cover accidents and negligence)

Ÿ What training has the pet sitter received?

Ÿ What will happen if the pet sitter experiences car trouble or becomes ill? Does he or she have a backup?

Ÿ Will the pet sitter provide related services such as in-home grooming, dog walking, dog training, and play time?

Ÿ Will the pet sitter provide you with the phone numbers of other clients who have agreed to serve as references?

Personally, I think DogVacay is a great idea. Leaving your dog in capable hands while you’re relaxing and enjoying your vacation is an ideal situation. You can watch a video showing how the entire process works at http://dogvacay.com/how-it-works. For more information, visit www.dogvacay.com


Santa Barbara County Animal Services Adoption Specials

This October Santa Barbara County Animal Services want you to “Fall in Love with a Shelter Pet.” During the month residents can take advantage of $75 dog adoption fees, free microchips on adopted cats, and a “White Sale” on white rabbits for only $15 and 2 for 1 on all bonded bunny pairs. As the warm fall colors start showing up and we begin to warm our homes, nothing brings greater warmth than adopting a pet. As the summer draws to a close all three of our Santa Barbara County Animal Services Shelters are filled with adoptable animals. With more than 600 animals to choose from, there is sure to be one that will warm your heart and home this fall.

Qualified adopters will have a chance to adopt a dog for only $75, a $35 savings, and Animal Services will throw in a microchip for free, an additional $30 value for a total of $65 worth of savings. To help you fall in love with a cat or kitten, Animal Services is offering a free microchip on all cats adopted during the month of October, a $30 savings. In addition to dogs and cats Animal Services has several adoptable rabbits that offer just as much warmth and love. During October all white rabbits will be 50 percent off, a $15 savings and all bonded bunnies will be 2 fur $30. You are sure to find that perfect pooch, faultless feline, or loving lagomorph when you visit your shelter this fall.

All animals adopted from Santa Barbara County Animal Services are spayed or neutered, up to date on all applicable vaccinations, and ready to fall in love with you. Families are encouraged to apply. Santa Barbara County Animal Services does not routinely microchip all animals adopted however all cats adopted from our partner, Animal Shelter Assistance Program (ASAP), are always provided a free microchip as one of the many contributions by this wonderful organization.

Visit one of the three Santa Barbara County Animal Services locations to Fall in Love with a Shelter Pet. The Santa Maria Animal Center, 548 W. Foster Rd. in Santa Maria; the Santa Barbara Shelter, 5473 Overpass Rd. in Santa Barbara; and the LaPAWS Shelter, 1501 W. Central Ave. in Lompoc. The shelters are open for adoptions Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.

Adoptable Pet of the Week


Emily is a spayed female Chihuahua Pug mix, about five years old, and about 15 lbs. Emily was rescued by K-9 PALS after a harrowing experience of being hit by car, seriously injured, and the abandoned in a shelter. This is Emily’s story as we know it. The Pet Emergency Clinic who first examined Emily recorded “tire track” across the top of the dog. Her eye was so severely damaged that it had to be removed immediately, her jaw was broken, and her front leg so seriously injured that amputation was seen as the only option. No owner came to reclaim her, so she was taken to the County shelter in Camarillo, and still no one came for her. The shelter contacted K-9 PALS and asked for our help for her medical care and rescue. We networked her, and no rescue came forward, and Emily was running out of time at the shelter. So K-9 PALS rescued her and got her to our vet right away for evaluation to try to save her leg. And now we have not only saved Emily, with physical therapy and treatments, we have also saved her leg!

Emily is in a foster home now and enjoys the company of other dogs, and would likely be able to live with a cat and any kind of small animals, and she is housetrained. She is just waiting for a kind and loving person or family to adopt her and give her the good life and forever home that she very much deserves. Please consider being part of Emily’s happy tail by giving her a loving forever home! If you are not ready to adopt, please donate to the Emily Medical Fund.

To learn more about Emily, or other similar dogs for adoption, email to adoptme@k-9pals.org, or call 805-570-0415, so we can help you find your new best friend. To view other dogs for adoption from K-9 PALS and dogs that we courtesy post for other shelters and rescues, visit the K-9 PALS website at www.K-9PALS.org .

K-9 PALS – (K-9 Placement and Assistance League, Inc.) is the all-volunteer non-profit 501C3 organization that provides veterinary care, behavior training, rescue, foster, adoption, and advocacy for homeless and abandoned dogs from county shelters. K-9 PALS receives no government subsidies, none of K-9 PALS funding goes to employee salaries, all K-9 PALS donations go directly to benefit the dogs, to save lives and reduce the number of abandoned and homeless dogs in shelters. K-9 PALS financial support to accomplish our mission is solely dependent on donations and charitable giving.

K-9 PALS has monthly Adoption & Community Outreach events every First Saturday at Pet House, monthly adoption days at Petco 5 Points, and other special adoption events throughout the year. Check our website or Facebook page for K-9 PALS events.

K-9 PALS provides four FREE dog behavior training sessions for people who have adopted a dog from any shelter, rescue group, or humane society, so please contact K-9 PALS if you want to take advantage of this great offer when you adopt a dog.

If you are not looking to adopt, please consider being a donor or volunteer for K-9 PALS to help us in our mission to provide care and services for homeless and abandoned dogs in our communities.

For more information about K-9 PALS, go to www.K-9PALS.org or call 805-570-0415, or K-9 PALS on facebook. Donations are gratefully accepted through PayPal, or to K-9 PALS P.O. Box 60755 Santa Barbara, CA 93160-0755.

Lisa Acho Remorenko is executive director of Animal Adoption Solutions www.animaladoptionsolutions.com


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