Pet sitting is not exclusive to just dogs and cats anymore. Horses, pigs, chickens, steers and even snakes have made the non-traditional list of pet sitting, according to Teresa Green, owner of Duke’s Pet Lodge.
With a staff of five and a vision to expand to Sedona and Prescott areas in the next two years, Duke’s Pet Lodge was bred out of need. “I’ve had the idea for quite some time,” said Green. “We do not have a facility, so pets get to stay in the comfort of their home.
“While working in my previous animal care jobs, I became close to my clients and they made me aware of their concerns to find care for their horses or exotic pets. They would hire multiple people to watch over their animals. They would board their dog, hire a pet sitter for an elderly dog, then hire another person to take look after their goat. At Duke’s Pet Lodge, we do it all and clients don’t have to scramble looking for care.”
Growing up around dogs and horses, Green learned early on that animals were her passion. “My mom bred miniature Schnauzers so I grew up helping her care for them. My first job (at 15) was at a pet store and working with animals continued into my adult life.”
Green has worked at PetSmart, Second Chance (now High County Humane), vet clinics and a horse-board and training facility. She has 25 years of equine experience. “I learned western reining (competition riding), natural horsemanship and dressage, one of the highest expressions of horse training.”
Retired schoolteacher Karen Cunningham is very impressed with Duke’s Pet Lodge. “Teresa is providing an invaluable service to those of us who live in rural areas and have pets and livestock. She is someone you can completely rely on to handle any situation and give love and the trusted care far above our expectations,” said Cunningham.
“We had a very old dog who couldn’t walk or stand up. He had to be carried in a sling. We left him in Teresa’s care, knowing she could be trusted. She took better care of him than we could,” added Cunningham.
Green is married with two young boys. She earned her degree in business administration and finance and has a little farm of her own. “We have two dogs, a Doberman, an American Bulldog, three chickens, a cat and two pygmy goats.” Green says her first dog was Daisy Duke, hence the name Duke’s Pet Lodge.
“It’s so rewarding to be my own boss, as it allows me to be a mom as well,” she said.
Diane Smith, who has a homestead outside of Williams and runs Arizona Junior Hunters and Anglers Club (AHAAC), said, “I know how Teresa takes care of her own animals and that’s important. Having someone care for our animals that has experience with equines makes you rest a bit better. Equines are very touchy and you never know if they’re going to get sick.” Along with horses, Smith owns steers, chickens, pigs and a donkey.”
Duke’s Pet Lodge Manager Ashlee Paffrath says she, too, loves her job. “I get to cuddle cats and dogs a and one client has seven chickens. They all have names and when I visit in the morning, they come running up, wanting their treats.”
As a young mom of two children, Paffrath says the flexible hours work well with her schedule. “We have a good team at Duke’s and we work together so we always have backup,” she said.
All employees at Duke’s Pet Lodge have had a full background check and are screened and drug-tested. “We want to provide our clients peace of mind while we care for their babies,” said Green. FBN
By V. Ronnie Tierney, FBN