Local women find niche with pet sitting

Published 12:00 am Saturday, September 29, 2007

Four cats, one dog, two pygmy goats who lost their mother at birth and 11 chickens play and rest in the back yard at Wanda Hysell’s home.

“We’ve got a lot of animals here,” Hysell said, of Chesapeake. “Love animals.”

Hysell lost her job last year because of downsizing. She had been working in a doctor’s office for several years.

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“It’s a very stressful job,” she said.

She had been thinking about going into something that was not too stressful and something she would really enjoy.

“I thought, ‘What about taking care of pets?’ because I love pets,” she said. “That would be my perfect job.”

So, she called her daughter-in-law, Connie Hysell. They had been talking about going into a business together and just hadn’t come up with an idea yet.

Connie had been working as a vet assistant in Proctorville and recently decided to quit because of the long hours.

When Wanda called Connie about the idea of pet sitting, Connie said she had been thinking about the same thing and she felt the Lord had guided her.

“It was like a confirmation, so, we decided that is what we were going to start doing,” Wanda said. “She loves animals, always has, and so have I, always.”

Connie has two cats and two hound dogs.

Their new business, Professional Pet Nannies, officially got off the ground with the two women offering pet sitting services not only to domestic animals, but also to farm animals.

“We’ve got some flyers for farms and we’ll go to a person’s farm if they need to go out of town,” Connie said. “Horses, pigs, any kind of animal. We’ll clean stalls and do anything they need.”

They provide daily visits to a home several times a day, if needed, so that the animals are in their own surroundings if a family goes on vacation.

“We go to their home,” Connie said. “I think it’s just easier on the pet instead of taking them into a kennel and they get stressed. I’ve seen lots of pets come in (to kennel) and they’re very sad and depressed.”

They will even go to a person’s home who may have to work late or are delayed and need someone to walk their dog, she said.

“So, anytime — short periods of time or long periods of time, it doesn’t matter,” Connie said.

They cover Proctorville, Chesapeake, South Point and Huntington, W.Va.

A price list and services offered are on their Web site at www.professionalpetnannies.com.